React Native 0.69 - What's new?

Just as we were getting comfortable with version 0.68, within only 3 months, the developers at Meta released a new version of React Native. This version brings about several improvements and new features to the framework. We will be discussing them briefly in this article.

Support for React v18.0

React Native 0.69 is the first version with support for the latest React version. The most noteworthy new feature introduced in React 18 is Concurrent React. This allows React views to be rendered asynchronously. What this means is that previously, once the UI elements of a React application started rendering, there was nothing that could stop it, whereas now, the rendering can be paused for a while, and then be completed at a later time.  The most significant advantage gained by this is that React can now prepare multiple views without blocking the main thread, providing a smooth experience for the user. Automatic Batching enables React to group multiple state updates for a single re-render not only from React event handlers but also from promises or timeouts (which were previously not considered for batching by default.) Transitions are a new way to differentiate between urgent and non-urgent updates in React. There are several more new features introduced with this update and they are all supported in React Native 0.69. You can read more about how React 18 works in tandem with React Native here.

Switch to Hermes

Hermes is a Javascript engine for React Native that helps drastically improve the start-up times of applications. Earlier, the Hermes engine had to be installed separately in order to take advantage of its functionality, but with React Native 0.69, Hermes will be the default engine for React Native applications and it will come bundled with the library by default. You can read in-depth about this engine here.

New Architecture

This update marks the second major React Native release with support for the new React Native architecture. The rollout had begun with version 0.68 and you can read our coverage on the same here. We will be publishing blogs about all the things introduced in the new architecture and how your application will benefit from it soon.

Miscellaneous changes

  • React Native now supports iOS/tvOS SDK v12.4+ only. Older versions are deprecated.
  • Improved support for developers using Macintosh systems with Apple Silicon M1 SOCs to build React Native applications for Android.
  • This version adds a new .xcode.env configuration file for sourcing your project's environment configs.
  • Version 0.69 now uses the latest API for status bar from Android 11.
  • React Native adds support for C++ 17 in the new version.
  • Some breaking changes in this version can be found here.

Conclusion

To summarise, React Native v0.69 builds on top of the foundation that was built by v0.68. The new architecture looks promising and is sure to improve the performance of your application.

Stay tuned for more updates from PLG Works!

Harsh Siriah

Harsh Siriah

Hi, I'm Harsh! A geek with a love for dogs & mobiles.
Pune, India