React Native init:

Advantages:

  • You can add native modules written in Java/Objective-C (probably the only but the strongest one)

Disadvantages:

  • Needs Android Studio and XCode to run the projects
  • You can’t develop for iOS without having a mac
  • The device has to be connected via USB to use it for testing
  • Fonts need to be imported manually into XCode
  • If you want to share the app you need to send the whole .apk / .ipa file
  • Does not provide JS APIs out of the box, e.g. Push-Notifications, Asset Manager, they need to be manually installed and linked with npm for example
  • Setting up a working project properly (including device configuration) is rather complicated and can take time

Expo

Advantages:

  • Setting up a project is easy and can be done in minutes
  • You (and other people) can open the project while you’re working on it
  • Sharing the app is easy (via QR-code or link), you don’t have to send the whole .apk or .ipa file
  • No build necessary to run the app
  • Integrates some basic libraries in a standard project (Push Notifications, Asset Manager,…)
  • You can eject it to ExpoKit and integrate native code continuing using some of the Expo features, but not all of them
  • Expo can build .apk and .ipa files (distribution to stores possible with Expo)

Disadvantages:

  • You can’t add native modules (probably a gamechanger for some)
  • You can’t use libraries that use native code in Objective-C/Java
  • The standard Hello World app is about 25MB big (because of the integrated libraries)
  • If you want to use: FaceDetector, ARKit o Payments you need to eject it to ExpoKit
  • Ejecting it to ExpoKit has a trade-off of features of Expo, e.g. you cannot share via QR code
  • When ejecting to ExpoKit you are limited to the react native version that is supported by ExpoKit at that point in time
  • Debugging in ExpoKit (with native modules) is a lot more complicated since it mixes two languages and different libraries (no official Expo support anymore)
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