React Native as an open-source framework for mobile application development was created by Facebook as part of its initiative to decrease dependability on HTML and increase reliance on native platforms. With this objective, Facebook built React Native to build Cross-Platform apps that can work across multiple platforms including Android, iOS and Windows. As a cross-platform app development framework React Native saves a lot of development effort and time by allowing reuse of the code. React Native framework helps to reduce the development cost by at least 40% to 50% as estimated by most developers.

Recently React Native came with the .60 update which seems to be an important one considering the range of new features and improvements offered through it. The new React Native version has come with several key improvements and enhanced features ranging from a whole pack of accessibility features to AndroidX support to by default CocoaPods to auto-linking of the OS and many others.

Considering the importance of this range of new features and improvements for the React Native app company. We need to explain these key-value additions one by one. Let’s have a start.

Accessibility Enhancements 

The new React Native 0.60 release comes with an array of crucial enhancements for the accessibility APIs available on both Android and iOS. Just because these new accessibility features directly make use of the native platform provided APIs directly, integrating them with the platform-specific technologies will be easier now.

Let’s have a look at the key accessibility feature updates to React Native 0.60.

  • Several roles that have been missing earlier are now added to the components.
  • We have a completely new Accessibility States API to ensure enhanced web support from now on.
  • Android developers now have the support of AccessibilityInfo.announceForAccessibility.
  • To deal with the question concerning accessibility corresponding to the user activities the accessibility actions now include callbacks.
  • On the iOS platform now developers now enjoy the support of iOS accessibility flags and reduce motion.
  • Among other additions, there will be a clickable prop as well as an onClick callback to facilitate actions through keyboard navigation.

New Screen

The new 0.60 release also comes with a new app screen which happens to be more user-friendly because of a host of reasons. It offers an array of effective instructions such as Documents links, editing App.js, ways to start debug menu, and ways to align with a new website redesign. There will also be a new and improved UI called “Hello world” that can help to introduce the users to the new React Native ecosystem for the native platform in an effective way.

AndroidX Support 

The new React Native 0.60 comes with the AndroidX support to allow migrating the React Native with the AndroidX or Android Extension Library. The migration will also take place for the native codes and dependencies along with it. This enhanced support will also have one problem. This change will force all React Native apps to use AndroidX. To address this problem already React Native team has devised a temporary solution called Jetifier, an AndroidX transition tool allowing easy compatibility with React Native.

Auto-linking for OS

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React Native libraries are known to offer native platform-specific code. The new update of the framework allows finding the native code for your projects. This auto-linking feature has been a major enhancement created by the CLI team of the React Native.

Inbuilt CocoaPods 

From now on, CocoaPods will be an integral part of the iOS project of React Native. iOS project. Apart from this, the internal packages have also been changed to boost compatibility with the Xcode projects and this will tremendously help in respect of troubleshooting and debugging. To incorporate this support you need to make some simple changes in your Podfile when upgrading to React Native 0.60. Since the developer team working on the new version is very much aware of the compatibility issues, they can offer more helpful patches to deal with such issues.

Lean Core Removals

Both WebView and NetInfo earlier had been put into different repositories. But with 0.60 version now we can migrate them from the React Native repository altogether. Moreover, when taking the community feedback and the policy of the App Store into consideration, geolocation has also been extracted and put into a separate repository. These new extractions will only help to make iOS integration better.

Upgrade Helper

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With the new React Native 0.60 version, we have got a great new tool referred to as Upgrade Helper to simplify the upgrade process. This new tool came as an improvement to help users of this framework with several complicated customisations and an array of brownfield apps to track the changes occurred between versions. To understand this, you can see the upgrading docs updated with the new version and give it a try for the upgrade path. Upgrade Helper comes as clean and easy way to track the changes required to switch to different React Native versions.

Conclusion

Mark Zuckerberg a few years ago said that as a company Facebook made the big mistake of relying too much on HTML compared to the native. This clearly hinted the objective of the company to work towards native development. No wonder, within a couple of years, we got React Native, the first native platform specific development framework that to a great extent replaced the reliance of web languages like HTML.

While React Native framework continues to get better and more effective than ever before, the new 0.60 updates with a range of enhancements will only push the popularity graph of the framework among cross-platform developers worldwide.