New React Native Architecture- Value Offerings and Improvements in 2020!

New React Native Architecture- Value Offerings and Improvements in 2020!
React Native, ‘the minimalistic JavaScript framework’, was actually discovered as a side-project while working on ‘React.js’- Facebook’s another important project. The principal motive behind React Native’s discovery was to find a comprehensive solution for creating cross-platform applications with native properties.
But surprisingly, this framework became way more popular than anyone thought, despite having some flaws. To make it more powerful, it was strongly backed by the huge open-source community of Facebook. Also, in the year 2018, the Facebook team announced the re-architecture of this framework for addressing all the existing issues faced by engineers during React Native development. Today, React Native has become one of the most preferred choices of developers for creating modern-day SPAs and mobile apps.
React Native is still progressing and a host of React Native development companies have emerged across the globe, due to a massive demand for this framework.
So what’s new in React Native in 2020? Well, the framework is about to release its new architecture in the market. In this article, we will have a glimpse at React Native’s enhancements in 2019, the basic React Native architecture, and its new update in 2020.

Highlights of the React Native in 2019

In 2019, React Native introduced several versions with some amazing modifications and tools. Let’s explore them.
Updates in Version 0.60
  • For speeding up the development of the repositories, the team moved the main packages to distinct repositories
  • The start screen was modified and made more informative
  • Android X was introduced. Facebook also released a JavaScript engine which was optimized for React Native, Hermes. Hermes enables Android apps to use lesser memory, faster launching and apps are much lighter in size.
  • The helper was updated too after a long time
  • Auto-linking of the native modules, another new feature was introduced
  • CocoaPods were merged as a section of the React Native IOS project
Updates in Version 0.61
  • The hot-reloading and live-reloading features were replaced by the well-functional Fast Refresh feature.
  • Another significant feature- React Native doctor was launched in this version which ensures that migrations and updates become hassle-free.
Updates in Version 0.62
  • The team announced that Flipper, a feature that enhances the debugging of mobile apps in both- Android and iOS, will be introduced.

Overview of The Old React Native Architecture

Main objective of this framework is to help React Native developers to write JavaScript React code so that UI can be displayed correctly at the same time developer can access the native capabilities in the app. Mechanism for Android/iOS ecosystem typically looks like this:
There are 3 threads running in parallel in the React Native apps like JS thread, Native thread and, Shadow thread.
JS Thread is where the code of JavaScript is read fully and then compiled. Here the business logic of the app also resides.
Shadow Thread does the layout calculation. It makes use of Facebook’s layout engine named Yoga for calculating flexbox layout and then sends this information to the UI thread.
Native Thread does handling of the user interface. When the app needs to access native capabilities or UI needs to be updated, communication takes place between this thread and JS thread.
In this older architecture, C++ Module Bridge had to be used to make the communication possible between JS thread and Native. Every time data received from JS thread or Native had to serialized as JSON and then had to be sent to the queue and then after arrival had to be decoded. Due to the bridge that is being used for communication, there was an inherent delay in the synchronization between the native and JS code.

Highlights of Re-architectured React Native Framework in 2020

To address some of the existing issues related to the bridge in React Native, Facebook has taken the important step of going for a revamp in the architecture of this framework. There will be enhancements done in the Native Modules. For instance, a Type-safety feature would be introduced for improved safety between JavaScript and Native-side code. There will be default lazy initialization of Native Modules for faster startup. Also, when calling native methods from JavaScript, there will be less overhead. It will be possible to control the Native Modules directly. Communication between different threads will improve considerably.
Also, there will be the implementation of a new thread-safe of the React Native UI layer. It will help in better native interoperability, faster startup, elevated UX of core components, etc.
Another update will focus on a new set of APIs for the initialization of React Native. It will be dependent on the new native module system and the new renderer. The overall aim is the improvement of the startup time.
JavaScript Interface- JSI will be another important update that will be useful during native development. For this, the Bridge feature will be deprecated gradually. JSI act as an enabler for TurboModules and Fabric. Now, the JS bundle can make use of any JavaScript engine and is not limited to just JSC. The JSC engine can be replaced with a JS engine like V8 for instance.
JSI helps in the following:
  • In loading JS bundle
  • calling functions between JS and C++, creating JS runtime
  • for creating and accessing JavaScript objects from C++
Also, JS can now hold the reference to C++ Host Objects and call methods on them with the use of JSI. This will ensure that the Native and JavaScript realms will be aware of each other. So we can say that complete interoperability will be possible between all threads. Also, React Native developers will now be able to handle very large panels of systems.
A concept of shared ownership is being introduced in this new architecture which allows the JS code to directly communicate with the native code from the JS thread. So the serializing to JSON the messages won’t be required to pass across and all the asynchronous issues, congestion, etc. on the bridge would be removed.
This architecture also allows better control over native modules as developers can use native modules when the need arises instead of loading all of them at the startup. Consequently, there is a huge performance improvement during startup.

Final Words:

Since its inception, React Native has accumulated several features and functionalities that have become redundant today. So, to match the needs of next-gen apps, and other software products, the framework is cleaning away the unnecessary and outdated sections. This new architecture is an attempt to make the React Native development services highly efficient to create performant apps. Some features have even been replaced by their advanced counterparts. The core modules like AsyncStorage and Webview have been gradually removed and changed into the community managed repositories.
Besides this update, the React Native developer tools will make the development process much easier and impactful. All this is going to help the React Native developers a big time in improving the overall work-flow, time-frames, development process, predictability, reliability, and much more.
The re-architecture of React Native is expected to get completed in the coming few years and the future of this technology definitely looks bright.
We hope this blog provided you with some useful insights.
Do share your thoughts on this in the comments section.
We would love to hear from you.

Best React Native Developer Tools for designing Exceptional Apps in 2020!

Best React Native Developer Tools for designing Exceptional Apps in 2020!
Companies across the globe have hundreds of libraries and frameworks to choose from while doing mobile application development. Despite the innumerable choices, React Native by far has become one of the most preferred choices of corporate enterprises and mobile app development companies. The reason behind its popularity is the extensive benefits offered by React Native development for myriad applications! Right from simple learning curve, code re-usability, cross-platform development, high-speed development, support from a vibrant community, to the creation of native-like applications, this framework has a lot to give. And when we talk about its technical goodies, React Native developer tools just can’t be ignored. These tools are some of the most vital factors of this framework.
So this blog is all about the top-notch React Native tools available in the market. These are widely used by almost every React Native app development company out there. So let’s have a glimpse at a few of them.

8 Popular React Native Developer Tools to Know and Use in 2020

1.Visual Studio Code
Released in 2015 by the software giant Microsoft, Visual Studio Code is lightweight yet a robust source-code editor. It is open-source and free to use. It is written in JavaScript, CSS, and TypeScript. It works well with platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux, etc.
Visual Studio Code comes with in-built support for technologies like Node.js, TypeScript, and JavaScript. Besides, it has a huge ecosystem of extensions to support languages like C#, C++, Python, PHP, Java, Go, etc. It also supports runtimes like Unity and .NET.
2. Android Studio
As the name suggests, this tool enables React Native development for Android. Android Studio 4.1 was the major release. The recent version of Android Studio comes with features like Kotlin DSL support in Android Gradle plugin, newer database inspector, allows running of android emulator inside Android Studio, visual layout editor, faster emulator, APK analyzer, flexible build system, smart code editor, real-time profilers, and much more.
3. Xcode
Xcode is Apple’s integrated development environment (IDE) that contains several software development tools for building apps in iOS, MacOs, etc. This is a perfect pick for creating powerful React Native apps for iOS. It is also a great tool for debugging and installation of iOS packages. Recently, Xcode 12 was released by Apple which comes with all the more fascinating features like customizable font sizes for the navigator, new document tabs, redesigned organizer, improved code completion, enhanced auto-indentation, etc.
4. Redux
Written in JavaScript, Redux was developed by Andrew Clark and Dan Abramov and released in the year 2015. It is an open-source tool commonly used with libraries like React, Angular, etc for developing user interfaces. It is a very small tool whose file size accounts for hardly 2kB including dependencies. It helps in the creation of apps that run in different environments like native platforms, front-end, back-end, etc. and are quite easy to test. Also, it offers features like a time-traveling debugger and live code editing. As a result, it is highly recommended that React Native development services should use this tool for their projects.
5. React Native Debugger
This tool is like a standalone desktop app that goes well with Windows, macOS, Linux, etc. It is probably the best debugger tool for the React Native developers when they are already using Redux. It comes with default React’s Developer Tools and Redux DevTools embedded in it. Also, it is possible to edit the UI and inspect React Native elements using this tool.
6. React Navigation
React Navigation is written in JavaScript and is quite popular amongst the developer community as it enables them to establish the navigation and routes in the native apps with the help of navigators like Drawer, Tab, Stack, etc. It is an easy to use tool which is highly customizable and also provides Extensible Platforms. It is used for developing alluring components for both platforms- Android and iOS.
7. React Native CLI
Being the official CLI for the React Native framework, React Native CLI is an MIT licensed tool. This tool provides an original method for bootstrapping for creating a react native app using the command line. This method is required if the react native developer needs to access the native layer of the app. It is extensively used for the automation of tasks such as starting the packager, linking, creating the apps, etc. It is used as a debugging tool as well sometimes. It supports custom configurations. For instance, it can be used for the installation of React Native project pre-configured with a particular package such as TypeScript or even complete boilerplates.
8. React Native Tools
It is also a free tool developed by Microsoft but kind of an extension of the Visual Studio Code. This tool provides a supportive environment for developing as well as debugging the React Native projects. It allows debugging styles in React Native and also enables debugging for React components, making it one of the best debugging tools. Besides, it runs the react-native command with the use of “command palette”.

8 Additional React Native Tools explained in Brief:

1. Nuclide: Nuclide is a free and open-source tool that is highly customizable and helps the React Native developers to make improvements in code. Its top features include-context view, working sets, remote development, a task runner, quick open, health statistics, a debugger, code diagnostics, etc.
2. Bit: This tool is quite useful for the creation of advanced React Native component libraries. It resolves issues related to collaborating and sharing on UI components across different repositories
3. Expo: This is an open-source tool-chain that has its own CLI and offers easy-to-use components and APIs. It also provides several services like accelerometer, real-time updates, fine documentation, powerful community support, etc.
4. React devtools: Though this tool is more concerned with React and Reactjs, it is also useful for debugging the React Native code. Also, its latest version provides support for inspecting React native styles, live editing, etc.
5. Vim Editor: This tool comes with a highly configurable text editor and provides a complete set of features for designing React Native apps. It is easy to work with and helps in effectively changing any kind of text.
6. Sublime Text: This is another amazing text editor that has numerous plugins and functionalities for app development. It also has features like “Goto Anything” for faster navigation to files, lines, symbols, etc. Other goodies that Sublime Text offers is “Command Palette” and support to multiple programming languages and markup languages.
7. Jest: Developed by Facebook, it is actually a testing framework for JavaScript but also works well with React Native, especially for functions like unit testing. Its features like Built-in code coverage, zero-configuration, and snapshot testing make it a rich tool.
8. Reduxsauce: This tool is helpful to the developers when they work on Redux codebases and need to create Reducers and Actions in Redux.
Final Words:
The React Native developer tools that we have mentioned in this blog play a significant role in not only building captivating apps but also in accelerating the development process to a great extent. These are one of the finest tools and it is essential for the React Native Developers to have the fundamental knowledge of at least the ones noted here.
Along with these tools, the knowledge of React Native component libraries is an add-on. For detailed insights on these, please have a look here.
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Please let us know your thoughts in the comment section.
Also, share with us the tools that you have used for React Native app development in your projects.