New Version of React Native for Windows
Written by Kay Ewbank   
Tuesday, 23 March 2021

Microsoft has announced version 0.64 of React Native for Windows, its open source project for React Native developers wanting to target Windows. Among the new features is easier opt-in for Facebook's JavaScript engine Hermes.

Microsoft announced React Native for Windows at Build 2019 as a new open-source project on GitHub under an MIT License for React Native developers wanting to target Windows.


The Reactive Native framework was a development from Facebook's React JavaScript library,  open-sourced in 2013. Designed for building native mobile apps using JavaScript by letting developers use declarative components to compose a rich mobile UI, it  is still being used at and actively developed by Facebook, although it was open-sourced in 2015.

Microsoft's fork, React Native for Windows, adds support for the Windows 10 SDK, enabling devs to build apps for all devices supported by Windows 10 including PCs, tablets, 2-in-1s, Xbox, Mixed reality devices etc. It is described as an "updated, high-performance" implementation which, like the original, is for writing cross-platform code in JavaScript with a native feel.

Hermes is Facebook's JavaScript engine designed to make native Android apps built using the React Native network load faster. Hermes, which has been open sourced under a MIT license,  is described as featuring ahead-of-time static optimization and compact bytecode.

The new release, React Native for Windows 0.64, makes it easier to use Hermes, and Microsoft says it expects projects trying Hermes to see performance increases in most cases. The support is still experimental, and Microsoft doesn't yet support Hermes debugger or Hermes in C# applications.

The new release also improves API parity with the Facebook version, with more component properties supported by other platforms now working on Windows, such as Text backgroundColor, border, and textTransform. An initial version of AccessibilityInfo is now available.

React 17 is the default supported version, and there are changes the default metro configuration to enable "inline requires", meaning this release is faster at startup by default.

Other improvements include a new workflow that makes it easier to create community modules for Windows by using a built-in template; the ability for native code to respond to the React native instance being created, loaded, or destroyed; and a new WebSocket stack. 


More Information

React Native Windows On GitHub

Related Articles

Facebook Release Hermes JavaScript Engine

Microsoft's Reactive Native For Windows  

Facebook Releases React Native

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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 23 March 2021 )