Which one is better: React native CLI or Expo CLI?


If
you are stuck with the choice between Expo Cli and React Native CLI?
This is the right place that can solve all your doubts about these
two popular react native app development frameworks. I am sure at the
end, you will be able to decide which framework is better.

Introduction

The
popularity of react native app development has increased and is
prominent among top
react native app developers
. This is because React
native can support the development of cross-platform mobile
applications. Now, app development companies do not need to spend
extra bucks on hiring developer teams for different platforms. The
framework of react native also comes with open-source UI components
which provide developers the freedom of building creative UIs. They
do not need to write new codes for these UIs.

However,
the real confusion lies in the choice of expo CLI and React native
CLI. Are you new to this term? If yes, you do not need to worry. We
will explain each of these terms in this article. You will also get
strong points of comparison which can make you select the correct
tool for your next React native app.

What is called Expo CLI?

Expo
is referred to as the framework that helps you to develop React
Native applications. It backs up the app building and testing process
by providing numerous services and tools. In addition, it creates a
convenient and robust development workflow with enough flexibility.
It offers an open-source and free platform. This comprises the
libraries of Expo CLI and Expo SDK. you can start with the free Expo
Go app from the Play Store or app stores.

Expo
CLI is the command-line application that is the basic interface
between expo tools and a developer. You can use it for multiple tasks
in the project development life cycle such as viewing logs, serving
projects, opening apps on a physical device or emulator, etc.

What is called React native CLI?

React
Native CLI is defined as the in-built feature that lets you take
complete hold on the management and development of the project. You
can simply use the command, npx
react-native init <ProjectName>

to develop a project.

The
below-given command will allow you to run the built project.

//
run on all platforms

npx
react-native start

//
run on android

npx
react-native run-android

//
run on iod

npx
react-native run-ios

React
Native CLI allows you to use
react-native
ini
t
command for creating plain react native apps for independent Android
and iOS platforms. The bare react native tool offers you the benefits
of modifying native apps; however, you need to write native codes for
separate platforms.

What is the need for expo CLIand
React native CLI?

Both
React native CLIand expo CLI are needed to build React Native apps
but with a different approach. They can also be said to be
cross-platform app development tools.

May
believes that both are similar. However, the difference lies within
the development process. Both frameworks use reactive native code
structures.

Let
us jump straight into the key differences between these two
frameworks.

Lists of comparison between react
native CLIand expo cli

Adding
native modules: Expo CLI vs React Native CLI

Native
modules are the Java class that extends the
ReactContextBaseJavaModule
to execute the functionality needed by
JavaScript. You can write native modules in Swift for iOS and Java
for Android. Javascript bridging is used to convert React Native to
Java codebase. Native modules are faster compared to JS code.

If
you are comfortable writing a native module and combining it with the
developed React Native app, you should go for React Native CLI. This
task is difficult while using the expo. You can eject expo projects
but this will increase the dependency on the expo. This becomes
problematic at times. The majority of developers ran into issues
while upgrading Expo SDK from version 38 to version 39. They couldn’t
even launch the application.

When
an Expo project is ejected, a React Native CLI project is created. If
you later add a Native module and want to rebuild the project for
iOS, you must have a Mac system. Therefore, you will get a React
Native CLI project if you eject an Expo application.

Building
projects: Expo CLI vs React Native CLI

If
you are building projects with Expo, you need to register for Expo.
This can help you build an aab/apk for iOS and android. For this, you
have to take the code from your system folder and upload it into the
expo cloud platform. Expo can simplify the app-building process by
handling all the heavy lifting tasks.

On
the other hand, you need to take the entire responsibility on
yourselves, starting from writing the code and launching the
applications.

Thus
if you want to challenge yourself by learning new skills and already
have the knowledge of Kotlin or Java, you can choose React Native
CLI. For a simple and effective app-building process, go for Expo
CLI.

Skill
and knowledge requirements: Expo CLI vs React Native CLI

For
both Expo Cli and React Native CLI, you should have a robust
knowledge of plain CLI JavaScript, React CLI JS, and React Native.
Although the knowledge is enough expo, bare React Native developers
also need to learn Java.

With
Expo, you only need to install packages by using the expo
install package-name
. For bare React Native, you have
to follow the instructions provided in the package. It implies that
you have to manually add the package and add source code in the java
file.

Application
testing or sharing: Expo CLI vs React Native CLI

When
using Expo CLI, you can easily share the app with your colleagues and
supervisors with QR code-sharing scanners. However, in the case of
React Native CLI, you need to create the apk and share the same with
your supervisors or colleagues.

If
you are comfortable with the long process of app sharing and testing,
you are free to use React Native CLI. Most developers prefer Expo CLI
for a convenient app-sharing process.

Conclusion

I
would not be biased toward one framework. You can base your
preference to select any of the frameworks to build your React Native
app. But you should finalize your choice after going through the pros
and cons of React Native CLI and Expo CLI.

I
would suggest React native CLI if you have an iOS-based system. This
way you will be able to deal with the native modules of android. But,
if you are just starting your journey as an app developer, you should
select Expo CLI.

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