10 Libraries that Make React Native Development Easier and Faster

In the wake of today’s app-centric lifestyles, every business needs an app that’s affordable and quick to market. As a result of this, React Native is gaining popularity each day. It uses the ‘learn once, write everywhere’ technology that enables high-quality cross-platform app development.

If you’re starting a new project, chances are that you’ll decide to write it in React Native. To make the transition easier for you and save you the time you would spend writing certain components for your app, you can take the help of some wonderful React Native libraries that do the heavy lifting for you, making it easy to write code and saving several intense hours in the development cycle.

Now choosing the best library for your project can be a bit overwhelming and so, we researched a number of libraries to bring you only the best ones. These libraries are open-source, easy to use and super helpful. And just like we mentioned in our article, GitHub and npm are two of the greatest places to find these open source React Native libraries.

So here are 10 libraries that we think every React Native developer should know about –

1. Navigation :

Navigation is one of the most important aspects of app development. There are a number of libraries available on npm and Github that will help you with navigation. Here are a few great examples:

– react-navigation
React-navigation is one of the most popular navigation libraries in the React community and an easy-to-use navigation solution based on Javascript. This navigation library is an improved version of React Native’s Navigator, NavigationExperimental components, and Ex-Navigation

– React-native-router-flux
This library too is based on React Navigation with some added ingredients to make developers’ lives easy.  One of the most notable features of it is that it separates navigation logic from presentation.

– native-navigation
Native Navigation was developed by Airbnb and is still in its early stages. Having been built on top of the navigational components of Android and iOS, Native Navigation gives a performance that’s closer to the ‘native’ experience, as opposed to other libraries. It is one of the best options for those who feel better with JavaScript based solutions and like using native platform based components.

2. Apisauce :

Apisauce is a light-weight and fast HTTP client library that uses Axios and manages responses from APIs much better.

It is built with Axios as a base, with added flavours of customized standard error formats and request/response transformers. It is the easiest form of Axios which provides standardized errors handling. It can work on both client and server, just like Fetch.
Axios is a promise-based HTTP client for JavaScript which can be used in your front-end application as well as in your Node.js backend. With Axios, it’s easy to send asynchronous HTTP requests to REST endpoints and perform CRUD operations. There are a number of other useful features which you can explore on their GitHub page.

3. react-native-push-notifications :

React-native-push-notifications is one of the best libraries for effectively managing your app notifications. It has excellent support for React Native local and remote notifications. This library comes to your rescue when you want to manage notifications on both platforms simultaneously. In addition, it gives you features like scheduled notifications, repeat notifications based on day, week, time etc. which are not available in most other libraries.

4. react-native-vector-icons :

React-native-vector-icons is a fantastic library for adding icons to your apps including customizable icons for React Native with support for NavBar/TabBar/Toolbar Android, image source and full styling. It supports iOS, Android and Windows. It manages your buttons, logos, nav/tab bars and also allows you to import custom icon sets using glyphMap, Fontello and TTF files. With this library you can easily add icons to your project and use them in many ways.

Bundled Icon sets : –

1. Entypo by Daniel Bruce (411 icons)
2. EvilIcons by Alexander Madyankin & Roman Shamin (v1.8.0, 70 icons)
3. Feather by Cole Bemis & Contributors (v3.2.2, 240 icons)
4. FontAwesome by Dave Gandy (v4.7.0, 675 icons)
5. Foundation by ZURB, Inc. (v3.0, 283 icons)
6. Ionicons by Ben Sperry (v3.0.0, 859 icons)
7. MaterialIcons by Google, Inc. (v3.0.1, 932 icons)
8. MaterialCommunityIcons by MaterialDesignIcons.com (v2.0.46, 2046 icons)
9. Octicons by Github, Inc. (v6.0.1, 177 icons)
10. Zocial by Sam Collins (v1.0, 100 icons)
11. SimpleLineIcons by Sabbir & Contributors (v2.4.1, 189 icons)

5. react-native-config :

An app’s config is an XML file that stores any settings that you may change between deploys, be it developer environments, staging, production, or others. Apps sometimes store this config as constants in the code. This is a violation of the 12 factor, which requires strict separation of config from code. Config varies substantially across deploys while code does not.

React-native-config is one library that lets you adhere to the 12 factor while effectively managing you app Config. It helps expose the config variables to your javascript code in React Native, supporting both iOS and Android. Also, it allows you to get hot reloading.

6. react-native-animatable :

We love animations. Animations make an app attractive and vibrant. And one of the best libraries to help you add animations to your app easily is react-native-animatable.
This library is a standard set of easy to use animations and declarative transitions for React Native. It uses set of declarative and imperative transitions.

7. react-native-permissions :

Do checking and requesting user permissions for both platforms – iOS and Andriod – with different codes in React Native annoy you? React-native-permissions is here to help you with just that.

This library allows you to check and request user permissions quickly anywhere in React Native apps and supports both iOS and Android. Since user permissions are such an important part of app functionality, this particular library comes in handy to make your life easier when requesting permissions.

It currently supports the following permissions:

– Location

– Camera

– Microphone

– Photos

– Contacts

– Events

– Reminders (iOS only)

– Bluetooth (iOS only)

– Push Notifications (iOS only)

– Background Refresh (iOS only)

– Speech Recognition (iOS only)

– Call Phone (Android Only)

– Read/Receive SMS (Android only)

8. react-native-splash-screen :

Need a simple, quick and working splash screen package for your app? All you need to do is use react-native-splash-screen. It is a module for React Native which can programmatically hide and show the splash screen. It works on iOS and Android.

9. react-native-fabric :

Have you ever used any crash reporting tool? If you are working on any Native or React Native app, react-native-fabric is one of the most powerful and lightweight crash reporting solutions. It provides you crash logs and reports for your app. Also, it provides support for Fabric, Crashlytics and Answers.

10. react-native-i18n :

If you need to add support for multiple languages in your app, this library gives you unmatched ease of development, thanks to internationalization (I18n) and localization (L10n) in React Native. It’s integrated with I18n.js, which is a small library that provides I18n translations in JavaScript.

Conclusion :

So those are the 10 libraries we found to be most helpful when developing some very basic app components. Coming from recognized developers and being maintained by active communities, these libraries are secure, efficient and easy to use. So go on and speed-up your app development with the help of these libraries and share your progress with us right here.

Thanks for reading, but it’s not over yet!

React native has a vast developer community and folks from around globe are always happy to share their work. You should follow this Github repo awesome-react-native to stay updated with the newest tools and latest trends for React native. It also has rich listings for readymade components, tutorials and videos.

Vivek Aghera is a mobile app developer with Moveoapps. He uses his overarching experience in iOS Dev, React Native, Swift and Objective-C to convert ideas into code. He takes a keen interest in mobile technology trends and the latest gadgets. He has a penchant for collecting various wearable devices. Connect with him on Twitter @VvkAghera