Writing about this latest release on the Facebook blog, Daniel Witte and Philipp von Weitershausen said that React Native:
“brings what developers are used to from React on the web — declarative self-contained UI components and fast development cycles — to the mobile platform, while retaining the speed, fidelity, and feel of native applications.”
A version for iOS was released earlier in the year, and React Native for Android has now followed.
At the time the iOS version was launched, Facebook engineer Tom Occhino said that before React Native was created, developing native mobile apps took longer, but produced better experiences on the mobile platforms than were possible on the web:
“For one thing, we have access to platform-specific UI components, like maps, date pickers, switches, and navigation stacks.
We also don't have anything as sophisticated as the native mobile gesture recognizers on the web, and we don't yet have the proper tooling or the developer discipline needed to build a system that gets this right”.
“What we really want is the user experience of the native mobile platforms, combined with the developer experience we have when building with React on the web”.
Despite the problems, the team says the experiment worked: