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· 3 min read
Luna Wei

Today we’re releasing React Native version 0.65 with a new version of Hermes, improvements to accessibility, package upgrades, and more.

What's new in Hermes 0.8?#

Hermes, Facebook’s open source JavaScript VM optimized for React Native, has been upgraded to version 0.8.1. Some of the stand-out features in this release are:

You can find the full Hermes changelog here.

Follow steps here to opt-in your app to Hermes if you haven’t already to leverage these new features and gains!

Accessibility Fixes and Additions#

Last year Facebook took the GAAD pledge to improve accessibility within React Native. 0.65 shares the results of this pledge and other accessibility wins! Some notable changes include:

  • Allow specification of high contrast light and dark values for iOS. See documentation for more details.
  • Added getRecommendedTimeoutMillis API on Android. This exposes a user’s preferred default timeout value as set in Android’s accessibility options and is for users who may need extra time to review or reach controls, etc.
  • General fixes to ensure TalkBack/VoiceOver properly announce UI states such as disabled and unselected on components.

You can follow along or contribute to our outstanding accessibility issues here!

Notable Dependency Version Updates and Gotchas#

  • react-native-codegen version 0.0.7 is now needed as a devDependency in the package.json.
  • JCenter has been sunsetted and read-only now. We have removed JCenter as a maven repository and updated dependencies to use MavenCentral and Jitpack.
  • Upgraded OkHttp from v3 to v4.9.1. See Upgrading to OkHttp 4 for more details on changes.
  • Upgraded to Flipper 0.93 to support Xcode 12.5. See Flipper changelog here.
  • Android Gradle Plugin 7 support
  • Apple Silicon requires a linker workaround. See @mikehardy’s note about this.

Thank You!#

This release includes over 1100 commits from 61 contributors. Thank you to everyone who has contributed and supported this release! You can find the full changelog here.

· 4 min read
Mike Grabowski

Today we’re releasing React Native 0.64 that ships with support for Hermes on iOS.

Hermes opt-in on iOS#

Hermes is an open source JavaScript engine optimized for running React Native. It improves performance by decreasing memory utilization, reducing download size and decreasing the time it takes for the app to become usable or “time to interactive” (TTI).

With this release, we are happy to announce that you can now use Hermes to build on iOS as well. To enable Hermes on iOS, set hermes_enabled to true in your Podfile and run pod install.

use_react_native!(   :path => config[:reactNativePath],   # to enable hermes on iOS, change `false` to `true` and then install pods   :hermes_enabled => true)

Please keep in mind that Hermes support on iOS is still early stage. We are keeping it as an opt-in as we are running further benchmarking. We encourage you to try it on your own applications and let us know how it is working out for you!

Inline Requires enabled by default#

Inline Requires is a Metro configuration option that improves startup time by delaying execution of JavaScript modules until they are used, instead of at startup.

This feature has existed and been recommended for a few years as an opt-in configuration option, listed in the Performance section of our documentation. We are now enabling this option by default for new applications to help people have fast React Native applications without extra configuration.

Inline Requires is a Babel transform that takes module imports and converts them to be inline. As an example, Inline Requires transforms this module import call from being at the top of the file to where it is used.

Before:

import { MyFunction } from 'my-module';
const MyComponent = (props) => {  const result = MyFunction();
  return <Text>{result}</Text>;};

After:

const MyComponent = (props) => {  const result = require('my-module').MyFunction();
  return <Text>{result}</Text>;};

More information about Inline Requires is available in the Performance documentation.

View Hermes traces with Chrome#

Over the last year Facebook has sponsored the Major League Hacking fellowship, supporting contributions to React Native. Jessie Nguyen and Saphal Patro added the ability to use the Performance tab on Chrome DevTools to visualize the execution of your application when it is using Hermes.

For more information, check out the new documentation page.

Hermes with Proxy Support#

We have added Proxy support to Hermes, enabling compatibility with popular community projects like react-native-firebase and mobx. If you have been using these packages you can now migrate to Hermes for your project.

We plan to make Hermes the default JavaScript engine for Android in a coming release so we are working to resolve the remaining issues people have when using Hermes. Please open an issue on the Hermes GitHub repo if there are remaining issues holding back your app from adopting Hermes.

React 17#

React 17 does not include new developer-facing features or major breaking changes. For React Native applications, the main change is a new JSX transform enabling files to no longer need to import React to be able to use JSX.

More information about React 17 is available on the React blog.

Major Dependency Version Changes#

  • Dropped Android API levels 16-20. The Facebook app consistently drops support for Android versions with sufficiently low usage. As the Facebook app no longer supports these versions and is React Native’s main testing surface, React Native is dropping support as well.
  • Xcode 12 and CocoaPods 1.10 are required
  • Minimum Node support bumped from 10 to Node 12
  • Flipper bumped to 0.75.1

Thanks#

Thank you to the hundreds of contributors that helped make 0.64 possible! The 0.64 changelog includes all of the changes included in this release.

· 8 min read
Mike Grabowski

Today we’re releasing React Native 0.63 that ships with LogBox turned on by default.

LogBox#

We’ve heard frequent feedback from the community that errors and warnings are difficult to debug in React Native. To address these issues we took a look at the entire error, warning, and log system in React Native and redesigned it from the ground up.

Screenshot of LogBox

LogBox is a completely redesigned redbox, yellowbox, and logging experience in React Native. In 0.62 we introduced LogBox as an opt-in. In this release, we’re launching LogBox as the default experience in all of React Native.

LogBox addresses complaints that errors and warnings were too verbose, poorly formatted, or unactionable by focusing on three primary goals:

  • Concise: Logs should provide the minimum amount of information necessary to debug an issue.
  • Formatted: Logs should be formatted so that you can quickly find the information you need.
  • Actionable: Logs should be actionable, so you can fix the issue and move on.

To achieve these goals, LogBox includes:

  • Log notifications: We’ve redesigned the warning notifications and added support for errors so that all console.warn and console.log messages show up as notifications instead of covering your app.
  • Code Frames: Every error and warning now includes a code frame that shows the source code of the log right inside the app, allowing you to quickly identify the source of your issue.
  • Component Stacks: All component stacks are now stripped from error messages and put into their own section with the top three frames visible. This gives you a single, consistent space to expect stack frame information that doesn’t clutter the log message.
  • Stack Frame Collapsing: By default we now collapse call stack frames not related to your application’s code so you can quickly see the issue in your app and not sift through React Native internals.
  • Syntax Error Formatting: We’ve improved the formatting for syntax errors and added codeframes with syntax highlighting so you can see the source of the error, fix it, and continue coding without React Native getting in your way.

We’ve wrapped all of these features into an improved visual design that’s consistent between errors and warnings and allows paginating through all logs in one enjoyable UI.

With this change we’re also deprecating YellowBox in favor of LogBox APIs:

  • LogBox.ignoreLogs(): This function replaces YellowBox.ignoreLogs([]) as a way to silence any logs that match the given strings or regexes.
  • LogBox.ignoreAllLogs(): This function replaces console.disableYellowBox as a way to turn off error or warning notifications. Note: this only disables notifications, uncaught errors will still open a full screen LogBox.

In 0.63, we will warn when using these deprecated modules or methods. Please update your call sites off of these APIs before they are removed in 0.64.

For more information on LogBox and debugging react native, see the docs here.

Pressable#

React Native is built to enable applications to meet user’s expectations of the platform. This includes avoiding “tells”—little things that give away that the experience was built with React Native. One major source of these tells has been the Touchable components: Button, TouchableWithoutFeedback, TouchableHighlight, TouchableOpacity, TouchableNativeFeedback, and TouchableBounce. These components make your application interactive by allowing you to provide visual feedback to user interactions. However, because they include built-in styles and effects that don’t match the platform interaction, users can tell when experiences are written with React Native.

Further, as React Native has grown and our bar for high-quality applications has gone up, these components haven't grown with it. React Native now supports platforms like Web, Desktop, and TV, but support for additional input modalities has been lacking. React Native needs to support high-quality interaction experiences on all platforms.

To address these problems, we are shipping a new core component called Pressable. This component can be used to detect various types of interactions. The API was designed to provide direct access to the current state of interaction without having to maintain state manually in a parent component. It was also designed to enable platforms to extend it's capabilities to include hover, blur, focus, and more. We expect that most people will build and share components utilizing Pressable under the hood instead of relying on the default experience of something like TouchableOpacity.

import { Pressable, Text } from 'react-native';
<Pressable  onPress={() => {    console.log('pressed');  }}  style={({ pressed }) => ({    backgroundColor: pressed ? 'lightskyblue' : 'white'  })}>  <Text style={styles.text}>Press Me!</Text></Pressable>;

A simple example of a Pressable component in action

You can learn more about it from the documentation.

Native Colors (PlatformColor, DynamicColorIOS)#

Every native platform has the concept of system-defined colors. Colors that automatically respond to system theme settings such as Light or Dark mode, accessibility settings such as a High Contrast mode, and even its context within the app such as the traits of a containing view or window.

While it is possible to detect some of these settings via the Appearance API and/or AccessibilityInfo and set your styles accordingly, such abstractions are not only costly to develop but are approximating the appearance of native colors. These inconsistencies are particularly noticeable when working on a hybrid application, where React Native elements co-exist next to the native ones.

React Native now provides an out-of-the-box solution to use these system colors. PlatformColor() is a new API that can be used like any other color in React Native.

For example, on iOS, the system provides a color called labelColor. That can be used in React Native with PlatformColor like this:

import { Text, PlatformColor } from 'react-native';
<Text style={{ color: PlatformColor('labelColor') }}>  This is a label</Text>;

Sets the color of the Text component to labelColor as defined by iOS.

Android, on the other hand, provides colors like colorButtonNormal. You can use this color in React Native with:

import { View, Text, PlatformColor } from 'react-native';
<View  style={{    backgroundColor: PlatformColor('?attr/colorButtonNormal')  }}>  <Text>This is colored like a button!</Text></View>;

Sets the background color of the View component to colorButtonNormal as defined by Android.

You can learn more about PlatformColor from the documentation. You can also check the actual code examples present in the RNTester.

DynamicColorIOS is an iOS only API that lets you define which color to use in light and dark mode. Similar to PlatformColor, this can be used anywhere you can use colors. DynamicColorIOS uses iOS’s colorWithDynamicProvider under the hood.

import { Text, DynamicColorIOS } from 'react-native';
const customDynamicTextColor = DynamicColorIOS({  dark: 'lightskyblue',  light: 'midnightblue'});
<Text style={{ color: customDynamicTextColor }}>  This color changes automatically based on the system theme!</Text>;

Changes the text color based on the system theme

You can learn more about DynamicColorIOS from the documentation.

Dropping iOS 9 and Node.js 8 support#

After over four years from its release, we are dropping support for iOS 9. This change will allow us to move faster by being able to reduce the number of compatibility checks that need to be placed in the native code to detect whether a given feature was supported on a certain iOS version. With its market share of 1%, it shouldn’t have much negative impact on your customers.

At the same time, we are dropping support for Node 8. Its LTS maintenance cycle expired in December 2019. The current LTS is Node 10 and it is now the version that we are targeting. If you are still using Node 8 for the development of React Native applications, we encourage you to upgrade in order to receive all the latest security fixes and updates.

Other notable improvements#

  • Support rendering <View /> in <Text /> without explicit size: You can now render any <View /> inside any <Text /> component without setting its width and height explicitly, which wasn’t always possible. On previous releases of React Native, this would result in a RedBox.
  • Changed iOS LaunchScreen from xib to storyboard: Starting April 30, 2020, all apps submitted to the App Store must use an Xcode storyboard to provide the app’s launch screen and all iPhone apps must support all iPhone screens. This commit adjusts the default React Native template to be compatible with this requirement.

Thanks#

Thank you to the hundreds of contributors that helped make 0.63 possible!

Special thanks to Rick Hanlon for authoring the section on LogBox and Eli White for authoring the Pressable part of this article.

To see all the updates, take a look at the 0.63 changelog.

· 5 min read
Rick Hanlon

Today we’re releasing React Native version 0.62 which includes support for Flipper by default.

This release comes in the midst of a global pandemic. We’re releasing this version today to respect the work of hundreds of contributors who made this release possible and to prevent the release from falling too far behind master. Please be mindful of the reduced capacity of contributors to help with issues and prepare to delay upgrading if necessary.

Flipper by default#

Flipper is a developer tool for debugging mobile apps. It’s popular in the Android and iOS communities, and in this release we’ve enabled support by default for new and existing React Native apps.

Screenshot of Flipper for React Native

Flipper provides the following features out of the box:

  • Metro Actions: Reload the app and trigger the Dev Menu right from the toolbar.
  • Crash Reporter: View crash reports from Android and iOS devices.
  • React DevTools: Use the newest version of React DevTools right alongside all your other tools.
  • Network Inspector: View all of the network requests made by device applications.
  • Metro and Device Logs: View, search, and filter all logs from both Metro and the Device.
  • Native Layout Inspector: View and edit the native layout output by the React Native renderer.
  • Database and Preference Inspectors: View and edit the device databases and preferences.

Additionally, since Flipper is an extensible platform, it provides a marketplace that pulls plugins from NPM so you can publish and install custom plugins specific to your workflows. See the available plugins here.

For more information, check out the Flipper documentation.

New dark mode features#

We’ve added a new Appearance module to provide access to the user's appearance preferences, such as their preferred color scheme (light or dark).

const colorScheme = Appearance.getColorScheme();if (colorScheme === 'dark') {  // Use dark color scheme}

We’ve also added a hook to subscribe to state updates to the users preferences:

import { Text, useColorScheme } from 'react-native';
const MyComponent = () => {  const colorScheme = useColorScheme();  return <Text>useColorScheme(): {colorScheme}</Text>;};

See the docs for Appearance and useColorScheme for more information.

Moving Apple TV to react-native-tvos#

As part of our Lean Core effort and to bring Apple TV in line with other platforms like React Native Windows and React Native macOS, we’ve started to remove Apple TV specific code from core.

Going forward, Apple TV support for React Native will be maintained in react-native-community/react-native-tvos along with the corresponding react-native-tvos NPM package. This is a full fork of the main repository, with only the changes needed to support Apple TV.

Releases of react-native-tvos will be based on the public release of React Native. For this 0.62 release of react-native please upgrade Apple TV projects to use react-native-tvos 0.62.

More upgrade support#

When 0.61 was released, the community introduced a new upgrade helper tool to support developers upgrading to new versions of React Native. The upgrade helper provides a diff of changes from the version you're on to the version you're targeting, allowing you to see the changes that need to be made for your specific upgrade.

Even with this tool, issues come up when upgrading. Today we're introducing more dedicated upgrading support by announcing Upgrade-Support. Upgrade Support is a GitHub issue tracker where users can submit issues specific to upgrading their projects to receive help from the community.

We're always working to improve the upgrade experience, and we hope that these tools give users the support they need in the edge cases we haven't covered yet.

Other improvements#

  • LogBox: We’re adding the new LogBox error and warning experience as an opt-in; to enable it, add require('react-native').unstable_enableLogBox() to your index.js file.
  • React DevTools v4: This change includes an upgrade to the latest React DevTools which offers significant performance gains, an improved navigation experience, and full support for React Hooks.
  • Accessibility improvements: We’ve made improvements to accessibility including adding accessibilityValue, missing props on Touchables, onSlidingComplete accessibility events, and changing the default role of Switch component from "button" to "switch".

Breaking changes#

  • Remove PropTypes: We're removing propTypes from core components in order to reduce the app size impact of React Native core and to favor static type systems which check at compile time instead of runtime.
  • Remove accessibilityStates: We’ve removed the deprecated accessibilityStates property in favor of the new accessibilityState prop which is a more semantically rich way for components to describe information about their state to accessibility services.
  • TextInput changes: We removed onTextInput from TextInput as it’s uncommon, not W3C compliant, and difficult to implement in Fabric. We also removed the undocumented inputView prop, and selectionState.

Deprecations#

  • AccessibilityInfo.fetch was already deprecated, but in this release we added a warning.
  • Setting useNativeDriver is now required to support switching the default in the future.
  • The ref of an Animated component is now the internal component and deprecated getNode.

Thanks#

Thank you to the hundreds of contributors that helped make 0.62 possible!

To see all the updates, take a look at the 0.62 changelog.

· 3 min read
Dan Abramov

We’re excited to announce React Native 0.61, which includes a new reloading experience we’re calling Fast Refresh.

Fast Refresh#

When we asked the React Native community about common pain points, one of the top answers was that the “hot reloading” feature was broken. It didn’t work reliably for function components, often failed to update the screen, and wasn’t resilient to typos and mistakes. We heard that most people turned it off because it was too unreliable.

In React Native 0.61, we’re unifying the existing “live reloading” (reload on save) and “hot reloading” features into a single new feature called “Fast Refresh”. Fast Refresh was implemented from scratch with the following principles:

  • Fast Refresh fully supports modern React, including function components and Hooks.
  • Fast Refresh gracefully recovers after typos and other mistakes, and falls back to a full reload when needed.
  • Fast Refresh doesn’t perform invasive code transformations so it’s reliable enough to be on by default.

To see Fast Refresh in action, check out this video:

Give it a try, and let us know what you think! If you prefer, you can turn it off in the Dev Menu (Cmd+D on iOS, Cmd+M or Ctrl+M on Android). Turning it on and off is instant so you can do it any time.

Here are a few Fast Refresh tips:

  • Fast Refresh preserves React local state in function components (and Hooks!) by default.
  • If you need to reset the React state on every edit, you can add a special // @refresh reset comment to the file with that component.
  • Fast Refresh always remounts class components without preserving state. This ensures it works reliably.
  • We all make mistakes in the code! Fast Refresh automatically retries rendering after you save a file. You don't need to reload the app manually after fixing a syntax or a runtime error.
  • Adding a console.log or a debugger statement during edits is a neat debugging technique.

Please report any issues with Fast Refresh on GitHub, and we’ll look into them.

Other Improvements#

  • Fixed use_frameworks! CocoaPods support. In 0.60 we made some updates to integrate CocoaPods by default. Unfortunately, this broke builds using use_frameworks!. This is fixed in 0.61, making it easier to integrate React Native into your iOS projects that require building with dynamic frameworks.
  • Add useWindowDimensions Hook. This new Hook automatically provides and subscribes to dimension updates, and can be used instead of the Dimensions API in most cases.
  • React was upgraded to 16.9. This version deprecates old names for the UNSAFE_ lifecycle methods, contains improvements to act, and more. See the React 16.9 blog post for an automated migration script and more information.

Breaking Changes#

  • Remove React .xcodeproj. In 0.60, we introduced auto-linking support via CocoaPods. We have also integrated CocoaPods into the e2e tests runs, so that from now on, we have a unified standard way of integrating RN into iOS apps. This effectively deprecates the React .xcodeproj support, and the file has been removed starting 0.61. Note: if you use 0.60 auto-linking already, you shouldn't be affected.

Thanks#

Thanks to all of the contributors that helped make 0.61 possible!

To see all the updates, take a look at the 0.61 changelog.

· 5 min read
Ryan Turner

After months of hard work from hundreds of contributors, the React Native Core team is proud to announce the release of version 0.60. This release handles significant migrations for both Android and iOS platforms, and many issues are resolved too. This blog post covers the highlights of the release. As always though, refer to the changelog for more detailed information. Finally, thank you contributors for helping us to make this milestone!

Focus on Accessibility#

There have been many improvements to the accessibility APIs, like announceForAccessibility, plus improvements to roles, action support, flags, and more. Accessibility is a complex science, but we hope these improvements make it a bit easier to be an A11Y. Be sure to check React Native Open Source Update June 2019 for more details of these changes.

A Fresh Start#

React Native's start screen has been updated! Thank you to the many contributors who helped create the new UI. This new "Hello World" will welcome users to the ecosystem in a more friendly, engaging way.

The new init screen helps developers get started from the get-go with resources and a good example

AndroidX Support#

AndroidX is a major step forward in the Android ecosystem, and the old support library artifacts are being deprecated. For 0.60, React Native has been migrated over to AndroidX. This is a breaking change, and your native code and dependencies will need to be migrated as well.

With this change, React Native apps will need to begin using AndroidX themselves. They cannot be used side-by-side in one app, so all of the app code and dependency code needs to be using one or the other.

matt-oakes on discussions-and-proposals

While your own native code will need to be migrated by you, @mikehardy, @cawfree, and @m4tt72 built a clever tool named "jetifier" to patch your node_modules. Library maintainers will need to upgrade, but this tool provide you with a temporary solution while giving them time to release an AndroidX version. So if you find errors related to AndroidX migration, give this a shot.

CocoaPods by Default#

CocoaPods are now part of React Native's iOS project. If you weren't already, be sure to open iOS platform code using the xcworkspace file from now on (protip: try xed ios from the root project directory). Also, the podspecs for the internal packages have changed to make them compatible with the Xcode projects, which will help with troubleshooting and debugging. Expect to make some straightforward changes to your Podfile as part of the upgrade to 0.60 to bring this exciting support. Note that we are aware of a compatibility issue with use_frameworks!, and we're tracking an issue with workarounds and a future patch.

Lean Core Removals#

WebView and NetInfo were previously extracted into separate repositories, and in 0.60 we’ve finished migrating them out of the React Native repository. Additionally, in response to community feedback about new App Store policy, Geolocation has been extracted. If you haven’t already, complete your migration by adding dependencies to react-native-webview, @react-native-community/netinfo, and @react-native-community/geolocation. If you'd like an automated solution, consider using rn-upgrade-deprecated-modules. Maintainers have made more than 100 commits to these repositories since extraction and we’re excited to see the community’s support!

Native Modules are now Autolinked#

The team working on the React Native CLI has introduced major improvements to native module linking called autolinking! Most scenarios will not require the use of react-native link anymore. At the same time, the team overhauled the linking process in general. Be sure to react-native unlink any preexisting dependencies as mentioned in the docs above.

Upgrade Helper#

@lucasbento, @pvinis, @kelset, and @watadarkstar have built a great tool called Upgrade Helper to make the upgrade process simpler. It helps React Native users with brownfield apps or complex customizations to see what's changed between versions. Take a look at the updated upgrading docs and try it out today for your upgrade path!

Upgrade Helper cleanly and easily shows the changes needed to migrate to a different version of React Native

A Note to Library Maintainers#

Changes for AndroidX will almost certainly require updates to your library, so be sure to include support soon. If you're not able to upgrade yet, consider checking your library against the jetifier to confirm that users are able to patch your library at build time.

Review the autolinking docs to update your configs and readme. Depending on how your library was previously integrated, you may also need to make some additional changes. Check the dependencies guide from the CLI for information on how to define your dependency interface.

Thanks#

While these are the highlights that we noted, there are many others to be excited about. To see all the updates, take a look at the changelog. As always, stay tuned for more news. Enjoy 0.60 in the meantime!

· 6 min read
Ryan Turner

Welcome to the 0.59 release of React Native! This is another big release with 644 commits by 88 contributors. Contributions also come in other forms, so thank you for maintaining issues, fostering communities, and teaching people about React Native. This month brings a number of highly anticipated changes, and we hope you enjoy them.

🎣 Hooks are here#

React Hooks are part of this release, which let you reuse stateful logic across components. There is a lot of buzz about hooks, but if you haven't heard, take a look at some of the wonderful resources below:

Be sure to give this a try in your apps. We hope that you find the reuse as exciting as we do.

📱 Updated JSC means performance gains and 64-bit support on Android#

React Native uses JSC (JavaScriptCore) to power your application. JSC on Android was a few years old, which meant that a lot of modern JavaScript features weren't supported. Even worse, it performed poorly compared iOS's modern JSC. With this release, that all changes.

Thanks to some awesome work by @DanielZlotin, @dulmandakh, @gengjiawen, @kmagiera, and @kudo JSC has caught up with the past few years. This brings with it 64-bit support, modern JavaScript support, and big performance improvements. Kudos for also making this a maintainable process now so that we can take advantage of future WebKit improvements without so much legwork, and thank you Software Mansion and Expo for making this work possible.

💨 Faster app launches with inline requires#

We want to help people have performant React Native apps by default and are working to bring Facebook's optimizations to the community. Applications load resources as needed rather than slowing down launch. This feature is called "inline requires", as it lets Metro identify components to be lazy loaded. Apps with a deep and varied component architecture will see the most improvement.

source of the `metro.config.js` file in the 0.59 template, demonstrating where to enable `inlineRequires`

We need the community to let us know how it works before we turn it on by default. When you upgrade to 0.59, there will be a new metro.config.js file; flip the options to true and give us your feedback! Read more about inline requires in the performance docs to benchmark your app.

🚅 Lean core is underway#

React Native is a large and complex project with a complicated repository. This makes the codebase less approachable to contributors, difficult to test, and bloated as a dev dependency. Lean Core is our effort to address these issues by migrating code to separate libraries for better management. The past few releases have seen the first steps of this, but let's get serious.

You may notice that additional components are now officially deprecated. This is great news, as there are now owners for these features actively maintaining them. Heed the warning messages and migrate to the new libraries for these features, because they will be removed in a future release. Below is a table indicating the component, its status, and where you may migrate your use to.

ComponentDeprecated?New home
AsyncStorage0.59@react-native-community/react-native-async-storage
ImageStore0.59expo-file-system or react-native-fs
MaskedViewIOS0.59@react-native-community/react-native-masked-view
NetInfo0.59@react-native-community/react-native-netinfo
Slider0.59@react-native-community/react-native-slider
ViewPagerAndroid0.59@react-native-community/react-native-viewpager

Over the coming months, there will be many more components following this path to a leaner core. We're looking for help with this — head over to the lean core umbrella to pitch in.

👩🏽‍💻 CLI improvements#

React Native's command line tools are developer's entry point to the ecosystem, but they had long-standing issues and lacked official support. The CLI tools have been moved to a new repository, and a dedicated group of maintainers have already made some exciting improvements.

Logs are formatted much better now. Commands now run nearly instantly — you'll immediately notice a difference:

0.58&#39;s CLI is slow to start0.58&#39;s CLI is nearly instantaneous

🚀 Upgrading to 0.59#

We heard your feedback regarding the React Native upgrade process and we are taking steps to improve the experience in future releases. To upgrade to 0.59, we recommend using rn-diff-purge to determine what has changed between your current React Native version and 0.59, then applying those changes manually. Once you've upgraded your project to 0.59, you will be able to use the newly improved react-native upgrade command (based on rn-diff-purge!) to upgrade to 0.60 and beyond as newer releases become available.

🔨 Breaking Changes#

Android support in 0.59 has been cleaned up following Google's latest recommendations, which may result in potential breakage of existing apps. This issue might present as a runtime crash and a message, "You need to use a Theme.AppCompat theme (or descendant) with this activity". We recommend updating your project's AndroidManifest.xml file, making sure that the android:theme value is an AppCompat theme (such as @style/Theme.AppCompat.Light.NoActionBar).

The react-native-git-upgrade command has been removed in 0.59, in favor of the newly improved react-native upgrade command.

🤗 Thanks#

Lots of new contributors helped with enabling generation of native code from flow types and resolving Xcode warnings - these are a great way to learn how React Native works and contributing to the greater good. Thank you! Look out for similar issues in the future.

While these are the highlights that we noted, there are many others to be excited about. To see all of the updates, take a look at the changelog. 0.59 is a huge release – we can't wait for you to try it out.

We have even more improvements coming throughout the rest of the year. Stay tuned!

Ryan and the whole React Native core team

· 5 min read
Lorenzo Sciandra

The long-awaited 0.56 version of React Native is now available 🎉. This blog post highlights some of the changes introduced in this new release. We also want to take the opportunity to explain what has kept us busy since March.

The breaking changes dilemma, or, "when to release?"#

The Contributor's Guide explains the integration process that all changes to React Native go through. The project has is composed by many different tools, requiring coordination and constant support to keep everything working properly. Add to this the vibrant open source community that contributes back to the project, and you will get a sense of the mind-bending scale of it all.

With React Native's impressive adoption, breaking changes must be made with great care, and the process is not as smooth as we'd like. A decision was made to skip the April and May releases to allow the core team to integrate and test a new set of breaking changes. Dedicated community communication channels were used along the way to ensure that the June 2018 (0.56.0) release is as hassle-free as possible to adopt by those who patiently waited for the stable release.

Is 0.56.0 perfect? No, as every piece of software out there: but we reached a point where the tradeoff between "waiting for more stability" versus "testing led to successful results so we can push forward" that we feel ready to release it. Moreover, we are aware of a few issues that are not solved in the final 0.56.0 release. Most developers should have no issues upgrading to 0.56.0. For those that are blocked by the aforementioned issues, we hope to see you around in our discussions and we are looking forward to working with you on a solution to these issues.

You might consider 0.56.0 as a fundamental building block towards a more stable framework: it will take probably a week or two of widespread adoption before all the edge cases will be sanded off, but this will lead to an even better July 2018 (0.57.0) release.

We'd like to conclude this section by thanking all the 67 contributors who worked on a total of 818 commits (!) that will help make your apps even better 👏.

And now, without further ado...

The Big Changes#

Babel 7#

As you may know, the transpiler tool that allows us all to use the latest and greatest features of JavaScript, Babel, is moving to v7 soon. Since this new version brings along some important changes, we felt that now it would be a good time to upgrade, allowing Metro to leverage on its improvements.

If you find yourself in trouble with upgrading, please refer to the documentation section related to it.

Modernizing Android support#

On Android, much of the surrounding tooling has changed. We've updated to Gradle 3.5, Android SDK 26, Fresco to 1.9.0, and OkHttp to 3.10.0 and even the NDK API target to API 16. These changes should go without issue and result in faster builds. More importantly, it will help developers comply with the new Play Store requirements coming into effect next month.

Related to this, we'd like to particularly thank Dulmandakh for the many PRs submitted in order to make it possible 👏.

There are some more steps that need to be taken in this direction, and you can follow along with the future planning and discussion of updating the Android support in the dedicated issue (and a side one for the JSC).

New Node, Xcode, React, and Flow – oh my!#

Node 8 is now the standard for React Native. It was actually already being tested already, but we've put both feet forward as Node 6 entered maintenance mode. React was also updated to 16.4, which brings a ton of fixes with it.

We're dropping support for iOS 8, making iOS 9 the oldest iOS version that can be targeted. We do not foresee this being a problem, as any device that can run iOS 8, can be upgraded to iOS 9. This change allowed us to remove rarely-used code that implemented workarounds for older devices running iOS 8.

The continuous integration toolchain has been updated to use Xcode 9.4, ensuring that all iOS tests are run on the latest developer tools provided by Apple.

We have upgraded to Flow 0.75 to use the new error format that many devs appreciate. We've also created types for many more components. If you're not yet enforcing static typing in your project, please consider using Flow to identify problems as you code instead of at runtime.

And a lot of other things...#

For instance, YellowBox was replaced with a new implementation that makes debugging a lot better.

For the complete release notes, please reference the full changelog here. And remember to keep an eye on the upgrading guide to avoid issues moving to this new version.


A final note: starting this week, the React Native core team will resume holding monthly meetings. We'll make sure to keep everyone up-to-date with what's covered, and ensure to keep your feedback at hand for future meetings.

Happy coding everyone!

Lorenzo, Ryan, and the whole React Native core team

PS: as always, we'd like to remind everyone that React Native is still in 0.x versioning because of the many changes still undergoing - so remember when upgrading that yes, probably, something may still crash or be broken. Be helpful towards each other in the issues and when submitting PRs - and remember to follow the CoC enforced: there's always a human on the other side of the screen.