Today I would like to talk with you about choosing between React Native and Expo.
React Native has become a popular choice for building cross-platform mobile applications. With its ability to write code once and deploy to multiple platforms, it has become a go-to solution for many developers. However, when it comes to choosing a tool for developing and managing React Native projects, developers often face a choice between two popular options: React Native CLI and Expo CLI. In this video, we’ll compare these two options and discuss their pros and cons to help you decide which one is right for your project.
Let’s start with React Native CLI which is the official command-line interface for React Native. It is a tool for creating and managing React Native projects, and it provides developers with access to all the tools and features that React Native has to offer. React Native CLI is a bare-bones tool that requires developers to set up their own development environments and install all the necessary dependencies manually. This means that developers have more control over their development environment, but it also requires more setup time and can be more difficult for beginners to use.
Let’s talk about the pros of React Native CLI:
First and foremost, Full Control: React Native CLI provides developers with complete control over their development environment. This means that developers can configure their projects exactly the way they want, and they have access to all the tools and features that React Native has to offer. It provides developers with more flexibility in terms of project structure and file organization. This makes it easier for developers to customize their projects to fit their specific needs or habits.
It’s my fully personal opinion, but I believe that React Native is better for larger projects with complex requirements. Because it provides more control and flexibility, it allows developers to manage large projects more efficiently. It also leaves you an open gate for future changes, like a demand to change something in native code, or use modules not available in Expo.
Ok, so you know what’s good about React Native CLI, but don’t forget there is no perfect tool, this one also has some drawbacks:
Steep Learning Curve: React Native CLI has a steep learning curve, especially for beginners. Setting up a development environment and installing all the necessary dependencies can be challenging, especially for devs with no mobile experience, for example, those coming from web development.
Longer Setup Time: Because React Native CLI is a bare-bones tool, it requires more setup time than Expo CLI. This can be an issue for developers who want to get started quickly.
More Maintenance: Because React Native CLI requires developers to manage their own development environment, it requires more maintenance than Expo CLI. This can be a challenge for smaller development teams with limited resources.
So we talked about React Native CLI, now let’s look at Expo.
Expo CLI is also a command-line tool for building and managing React Native projects. It is built on top of React Native CLI and provides developers with an easy-to-use interface for setting up and managing their projects. Expo CLI is actually a great option for beginners or developers who want to get started quickly without having to worry about setting up a development environment or managing dependencies.
Easy Setup: Expo CLI provides developers with an easy-to-use interface for setting up and managing their projects. This means that developers can get started quickly without having to worry about setting up a development environment or managing dependencies.
Faster Development: Because Expo CLI takes care of much of the setup and configuration work for developers, it allows them to focus more on developing their applications. This can lead to faster development times and a more efficient development process.
Built-In Features: Expo CLI comes with many built-in features that make developing React Native applications easier. For example, it includes a built-in development server, an app preview tool, and support for over-the-air updates.
I know you might be already amazed by the pros of Expo, but it’s not perfect, there are some limitations and problems which are definitely worth mentioning:
Limited Customization: Expo CLI is built on top of React Native CLI, which means that it is less customizable than React Native CLI. This can be a limitation for developers who need more control over their development environment.
Limited Native Module Support: Expo CLI does not support all of the native modules that React Native has to offer. This can be a limitation for developers who need to use specific native modules in their applications.
More Difficult for Larger Projects: While Expo CLI is great for smaller projects, it can be more difficult to manage larger, more complex projects. This is because it doesn’t provide developers with as much control over their development environment as React Native CLI does.
Which One Should You Choose?
The decision of whether to use React Native CLI or Expo CLI ultimately depends on your specific project requirements and personal preferences. Here are some factors to consider:
Project Complexity: If you are working on a larger project with complex requirements, React Native CLI may be the better option. It provides more control and flexibility, which can help you manage a larger project more efficiently.
Developer Experience: If you are new to React Native or don’t have a lot of experience with development, Expo CLI may be the better option. It provides a simpler, more streamlined development experience that can help you get started quickly.
Native Module Requirements: If you need to use specific native modules in your application, you may need to use React Native CLI. Expo CLI doesn’t support all of the native modules that React Native has to offer, so you may need to use React Native CLI if you have specific module requirements.
React Native CLI and Expo CLI are both great options for developing React Native applications. React Native CLI provides developers with more control and flexibility, while Expo CLI provides a simpler, more streamlined development experience. Ultimately, the decision of which one to use depends on your specific project requirements and personal preferences. Consider the factors we discussed in this video when making your decision, and choose the tool that best fits your needs. That’s all, feel free to share your thoughts about React Native CLI or Expo in the comments section. See you next time, bye!