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Expo vs Vanilla React Native: What to Choose for Your Project?

Expo vs Vanilla React Native

Cross-platform apps are the need of the hour for businesses looking to expand their avenues! React Native has come up in the market as the favorite development framework among developers and it has different versions. It is easy to get confused between using Exp or Vanilla React Native for developing desired apps. Take the help of experienced developers to get React Native apps that suit the business needs.

Are you new to the building of React Native apps? Both Expo and Vanilla React Native have their functionalities and thus the selection needs to be perfect. You can set up the project easily at the time of development and start the work after collecting relevant information. Both of them have their advantages and limitations. The focus will be to ensure the swift selection of development frameworks to get cross-platform apps.

Table of Contents

What is Expo? 

Expo is referred to as the open-source toolchain developed around React Native to build functional apps. It is used for developing Android projects and native IOS apps using JavaScript. The tool is simplifying the building & testing of native applications. Expo comes with Expo SDK and thus the developers get to use multiple features of it! The tool is providing a robust and developer-friendly environment to build flexible apps.

To quickstart, use Expo – go to ‘’ and create a snack. Start the coding process and view the code snippet on the online simulator. The developer always has the option to install expo CLI on the system and thus refer to the documents for relevant steps.

Expo is easing the task of developers to build binaries for Play Store or the Apple Store. Managing the push notifications is easy with the expo and thus the projects get updated automatically. Using Expo is allowing clients to start projects without Xcode or installation. 

What is Vanilla React Native?

Initializing the native app with Vanilla and simple commands ensures ease of development. Developers get the necessary freedom to create flexible products and thus link the packages with native modules. The connections are done for modules written in React language and add-on packages to improve the app functionality.

Vanilla React Native offers the opportunity to link the packages with the modules. You need to reach out to React Native app developers to understand the difference between both.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Starting Projects with Expo

Expo is set with tools to build React Native applications as per business specifications. Start development with ease and it is among the best solutions for new developers. Expo is a convenient option to ensure a robust and convenient development workflow.

Let us look at some of the top benefits of using Expo –

  1. It is simple & fast to install.
  2. It is the utility Expo CLI that opens up easily on a new browser and also assists in the checking of app status. The tool ensures the building of apps that run on all devices and switches to development mode to publish the apps on the Expo server.
  3. The app can be installed from the Google Play Store or Apple Store on the phone. It ensures easy opening up of the projects at the time of development. Use the Expo client to send the application to others for easy review. This also results in easy testing and can view the codes in the Expo client without the creation of apk files.
  4. Developers get all the collection of ready solutions with Expo SDK. It includes a camera, notifications, accelerometer, geolocations, and others. The Expo team is regularly updating the Expo with new solutions.
  5. One of the useful features of Expo is Over the Air. It ensures the easy updating of apps without easy deployment of Apple or Google Play Store. The app also updates the new updates easily in the JavaScript code.
  6. Development of apps for IOS without macOS is easy with Expo clients and also ensures the easy testing of apps.
  7. Expo also ensures the automatic management of app signatures & certificates. The Expo SDK is easily integrating the libraries into a standard project.

There are also different drawbacks of Expo and the developers need to be aware of them. Expo is one of the useful tools to ensure the simple development of projects. Let us look at the drawback of Expo –

  • Developers are unable to add native modules in Expo projects written in Java, Swift, Kotlin, and Objective-C. It is also not possible for the packages with native languages that need relevant linking.
  • The apps built with Expo are larger in size and are built with all Expo SDK solutions.
  • There can also be problems while working with Expo clients and there can be troubles in testing the standalone app.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Starting Projects with Vanilla React Native

Use of Native Modules

The top advantage of using Vanilla React Native is that developers can link the packages with native modules easily. There is also the opportunity to implement background geolocation and compress the images easily. The React Native version can also be used to use and update the newer versions of the app.

React Native Fabric Architecture

The architecture of the React Native version is one of the best reasons to use the framework. Other versions can take much time to update and thus the new architecture comes to the best use.
Let us look at some of the drawbacks of using the Vanilla Reactive Native framework –

  • The developers are unable to create an IOS app without the Mac OS as there is the need to use Xcode for the projects.
  • Starting up the project can be a trouble if you’re switching the app development process from Expo client to Vanilla React Native.

Final Thoughts!

The selection of relevant app development framework needs to be based on the business needs. There is no size fit all solutions for app development frameworks, thus consult with a React Native app development expert. If you desire specific functionality & packages in the app then Vanilla React Native is the suitable option.

If you’re a new developer and looking for easy ways to build an app then Expo client with the desired framework for use. Take the help of a React Native app development expert to understand the app development process and come up with the best solutions. Select the framework that promises you fast development of applications.

Submitted by neha@4waytechn… on June 7, 2022


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