Tools, libraries, and services play an important role in the life of any developer, regardless of the development environment. And React Native is no exception. In this article, We will introduce you to some of the best UI frameworks, libraries, components, development tools, and web services that will make you a happier and more efficient React Native developer.
Text Editors and IDEs
Visual Studio Code is a text editor with built-in auto-completion, error checking, and Git integration capabilities. What makes it especially useful for React Native development is the React Native Tools extension. It allows you to execute React Native commands on the command line, has auto-completion for React Native API commands, and checks code for errors in the editor itself.
If you are using Atom, you can install the Nuclide plugin. It was specifically built to work with React Native, Flow, and Hack projects. It has built-in error checking and item inspector with all the capabilities you’re used to in Chrome Developer Tools. Flow support means you have auto-completion, typing hints, and code diagnostics available out of the box.
React Native Developer Tools
The React Native developer tools are very diverse, so we will group them according to the main tasks:
- Code Quality
- Error Checking
- Presets and UI Frameworks
Expo-Open-source platform for making universal native apps
As an SDK for React Native, there is nothing better than Expo. Expo allows you to quickly prototype your application without the need to use Android Studio or Xcode. It includes a set of components and libraries to help speed up your development process.
The development process at Expo consists of the following steps:
- Creating a new project using create-react-native-app.
- Writing code in your favorite text editor.
- Launching the application using the Expo client application.
There is no need to connect your phone to your computer. Simply scan the QR code from your terminal using the Expo client application and your application will automatically launch. If you are using Genymotion, then Expo supports it too.
The only downside to using Expo is that you cannot add custom packages to work with native device functionality. Expo already includes some of the most commonly used packages such as Camera, Facebook, and Map.
Code Quality Check
Enzyme is a testing utility for React that allows you to validate, modify, and migrate the output of your component. It provides methods for both shallow()”empty” displaying your components, find()for passing in the output of a component, and expect()for checking whether a component’s parameters or its output are consistent.
Useful links for Enzyme : Github
Reactotron – tracking the app functioning in real-time design
Reactotron is a desktop application that allows you to check for errors in React and React Native applications. Some of its core capabilities are tools for inspecting, modifying, and subscribing to application state, tracking HTTP requests made from the application, evaluating application performance, and tracking errors. If you’re using Redux, you can even track actions and messages right from Reactotron.
Presets and UI Frameworks
Snowflake – React Native development framework
Snowflake is a full-stack React Native development framework. It has everything from the front-end to the back-end of the application. So if you just need a tool to speed up the start of your project, then Snowflake can be useful for you. You can read the notes to find out what packages and tools are used here.
Alternatively, you can use Ignite. It is a command-line tool that includes project stubs, generators, UI component development guide, API testing tool, and more.
React Native already includes UI components that you can use to interact with the user. The problem is that they only have the most basic styles to indicate what a particular component is used for (for example, a button, an option). If you want to add custom styles, you will have to write your CSS code.
NativeBase will help you with this. It will make your app look and feel like a native platform app by adding the same look and feel like native Android (Material Design) and iOS (Human Interface Guidelines) apps. Out of the box, you get a set of special components such as basic action buttons, spinners, and best of all, form components.
Useful Snowflake links: Docs
Realm – Open source object database management system
Not all of the features are available in the developer edition, but in most cases, you should be sufficient because it has core features such as object database, real-time synchronization, and authentication. Here’s a comparison table of what’s available for each version: Realm Products and Pricing.
If your needs don’t require as many features as Realm, you can always get by with the AsyncStorage API, which is available in React Native.
That’s all! In this article, you learned about some of the tools, libraries, and services that you can use in developing React Native apps. Feel free to hire dedicated react native developers.