Appboy and React Native: A Marriage Made in JavaScript [Integration Announcement]

Bring mobile marketing automation to your React Native apps

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Editor’s Note: Appboy’s director of mobile engineering, Brian Wheeler, is here to announce our React Native SDK and support of this burgeoning framework. Marketers looking for some insight into development teams and the nuts and bolts of building apps—and developers who like seamless implementations with marketing efforts—take note!

On the engineering team at Appboy we have the opportunity to interact with a lot of different technology. On the SDK side alone we are regularly interacting with all aspects of the Apple, Android, and Windows ecosystems, as well as with native web technology, Unity, Xamarin, Cordova and more. And we’re constantly evaluating new environments and platforms for opportunities to introduce the Appboy platform.

When we’re evaluating a new platform there are a lot of considerations; among them, utility is a prerequisite and maintainability is key. While React Native performs well for those criteria, it also satisfies something that we appreciate especially on our engineering team—it’s really fun.

Why React Native is fun

React Native is fun first and foremost because it’s not unfun. Here’s what I mean. When developing, you don’t have to rebuild and deploy your app after every little javascript change (cmd-R!, or even better yet, enabled Live Reload). If you hit a bug, you can ping the responsive and intelligent open source community developing React Native (driven by Facebook). And maybe most importantly, it’s not unfun because it’s not slow; there’s nothing worse than using a cool platform that does a lot of work for you but reminds you of that fact by moving at a snail’s pace.

But React Native is also fun because it’s bleeding edge, it makes coding efficient, and it’s versatile. In many ways it’s the perfect recipe for a platform—it bears the weight and stability of a product backed by a company like Facebook (who themselves dogfood React Native), but it also has the rapid development and widespread contributions that open source web-technology is known for.

Why Appboy supports React Native

We’re thrilled to be supporting React Native because it’s a platform that we believe in and want to see succeed. Let’s break down why.

React Native scorecard

Efficiency Leveraging the pool of web-technology talent to do native app development is a huge resource. Building once and deploying to multiple platforms simplifies and saves time.
Versatility All the efficiency in the world isn’t worth much if your hands are tied on what you can do. React Native makes it easy to build once and deploy everywhere, but it’s also just as easy to build central logic and delegate native tasks; anything native you can’t do in JavaScript, you can accomplish via bridging.
Escaping Update Hell Another exciting feature of React is its ability to do dynamic updates (i.e. outside of app-store update path). Formerly only possible using a web-view, React Native makes it possible to pull updates and generate native code outside of app store updates.

 

And marketers—look out! React Native has the makings of a great marketing tool. Its dynamic updates and common tech stack open the door for you to harness your existing resources to quickly modify, iterate, and test experiences, user flows, landing pages, and whatever else you’re using to engage users. We’re particularly excited about the idea of React Native modules living in apps and being owned by the marketer, allowing marketing teams to operate more independently from the schedules of their app developers.

Knowing how much utility Appboy clients get out of our platform, and knowing how much more alive and responsive and personable an application feels with a rich Appboy integration, we hope that having our solution available on React Native means that apps using it can have one less hurdle on their way to success, and one more great tool in their toolbelt.

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