Expo CLI/Tool vs React Native CLI

Hi guys!!! Welcome back for my article series on React Native for Beginners. In the previous article which named Introduction to React Native, we talked about what is React Native. Let’s talk about which approach we should use to create our React Native project in this article.

For starting to building a React Native project we have two options. First go to the official React Native page and then go into getting started section.

Setting up the development environment — React Native

In there you can found two options that we can use to start a React Native project.

1. Expo CLI Quickstart

2. React Native CLI Quickstart

Expo CLI/Tool

Expo is a third party service. It is a free service. It gives a manage to app Development workflow.

Expo CLI has lots of convenience utility features that simplify the development of the application.

But when you use Expo CLI to develop your application you are limited to the Expo ecosystem.

React Native CLI

React Native CLI was provided by React Native team/community.

Bare Bone development (only a basic setup) — which means you get a native app and you need to install Android Studio, Xcode to build that app and you have to configure and manage a lot on your own. As you start to adding certain native device features, that can be quite complex.

But also there is a huge advantage of react-native CLI’s full flexibility. It can integrate with any Native code.

Which approach should you use

BY considering the features and pros & cons of each tool we can choose which tool that we should use for our project according to our requirement.

So, if you are a super-advanced developer and you already know that you will be building a very complex app and that you need to do a lot of manual work around the lot of fine range configuration then you definitely want a full Barebone experience on React Native CLI.

If you getting started or if you building a normal app then the Expo CLI will suitable.

And if you find out ‘Oh, I need more control’ then you can always switch from the Expo workflow to the Native workflow. Then you can have full flexibility.

This is the advantage of using expo CLI. Therefore nothing stands against getting start with expo CLI.

If you are a beginner you can be getting started with expo CLI to build your native application.

In my next article, let’s talk about how to set up your first React Native project.

Thank you for reading. I hope you have learned something. Hope to see you with the next article in the near future.

Happy coding…!!!



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Reshaka Weerasinghe

Reshaka Weerasinghe

Undergraduate at faculty of Information Technology, University of Moratuwa | Co-founder of Kannys Lab