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Ask HN: What popular apps were made exclusively with React Native or Flutter?
82 points by Elect2 on July 2, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 55 comments
I know some apps that are partly using RN or Flutter. But I'm interested to know what app can be made fully by RN or Flutter.

Dawn Chorus an app I worked on, which was featured on the iOS app store[1], was written completely in React Native.

Here are the App Store links:

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/dawn-chorus/id1146931666?mt=...

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.dawnchorus...

We even open sourced it: https://github.com/CMP-Studio/DawnChorus

I believe it is an example of a high fidelity and quality React Native app on two platforms.

[1] https://rubennic.com/static/img/Dawn-Chorus.png

Looks like a beautiful app. Installed and tested... snooze is not working. See the reviews // just tested it myself on Android -- snoozing once will just disable the alarm when it should ring the next time.

Unfortunately I'm not longer on the team that created the app. But feel free to create an issuie: https://github.com/CMP-Studio/DawnChorus.

Slightly off-topic, but it's super interesting to see Flutter (which seems to be by Google), use Visual Studio Code (by Microsoft) and an iPhone X simulator (by Apple) as their main demo. I guess it gets the point across.

I'm actually really happy they've invested in a vscode plugin. The Android story of being forced to use Android Studio was not fun, even considering how good Intellij is

Have you tried IntelliJ IDEA? It’s great for Flutter development.

Our site (AppBrain) indexes which Android app contain which libraries. This doesn't indicate exclusive use of a framework of course, but the trend is very clear that React Native is much more popular than Flutter. React Native has a number of 1 billion+ downloaded apps, whereas the biggest Flutter app is 1 million+. https://www.appbrain.com/stats/libraries/details/react_nativ... vs https://www.appbrain.com/stats/libraries/details/flutter/flu...

Well, I mean, considering the fact that React Native came out long before Flutter was released, it would be very surprising if Flutter superseded the amount of downloads already.

Gyroscope is one of those apps that's extremely aesthetically pleasing, but I'm always reluctant to use as an example of React Native. Mainly because none of the interactions feel "right". It's always reminded me of those highly polished Flash websites that look amazing, but something always seems off when you use them.

From the screenshots Bitesnap looks nice, but I can't seem to download it in the UK.

curious what you mean by not feeling right or seeming off? Those are very vague reasons. I'm not a user of this app, nor a developer.

To be honest, it's a vague feeling. Similar to the uncanny valley of special effects in movies.

There's a lot of UI elements that have the appearance of (heavily-stylised) native ones, but not the behaviour. You can't swipe back on screen transitions, tapping the selected tab icon doesn't scroll the screen to top, everything feels almost imperceptibly sluggish. Lots of little things like these.

until recently, airbnb made a substantial effort to integrate react native. project immaturity and a need for faster version releases necessitated maintaining an internal fork. they've since begun to move back to platform-native languages.


It’s like twitter moving off rails back in the day. That doesn’t mean it’s a bad choice for smaller projects where dev speed is more important than scallability.

My game Falcross is written entirely in RN, and I believe it is the biggest production game on either store that's full RN:

[App Store]: https://itunes.apple.com/in/app/falcross-logic-puzzles/id500...

[Google Play]: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rawrmaan.f...

Although production quality, Flutter is not even 1.0.0 so don't expect a lot of public applications yet.

There are some:


But yeah, I know a lot of developers who have started playing with Flutter in the last couple of months, so there should be a lot more later this year/next year.

RN is at 0.55-RC according to https://facebook.github.io/react-native/versions

For open source frameworks the versions do not seem to be much indication for their maturity.

(six months into a react-native project)

RN isn't production-ready/stable yet either. They're about to do a major overhaul of the internals because of fundamental flaws that have been surfaced by the community. While it's possible to use RN in production, "stable" is a laugh... there are monthly releases and almost all of them have some kind of breaking changes, so pacing RN releases is a huge fucking hassle. For example, in the release that comes out this month (currently in RC), they changed the Native Module API so if you have any native code that exposes a JS API (and who doesn't?) you have to refactor a bunch of code. And because it's JS, the only way you get compiler errors is if you're using Flow.

Also the bug introduced in 0.55.3 where deleting from TextInput a few times make it very slow.. To fix it I have to upgrade to higher version which drops support for iOS 8 !!

they broke fetch's cookiesupport in one release...

Not exactly "popular" (only 10k downloads), but my Pathfinder spell tracking app is built 100% Flutter: https://www.spelltrackerapp.com/

Don't know how you define popular but I'm pretty sure Eaze (weed delivery service) is all React Native.


The app on play store has 10m+ installs, I had to clone it to iOS and since I'm a web dev I used React Native. Haven't seen stats for sometime but I assume it has 100k+ MAU at this point.

Another one: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/in-window-social-experience-...

This is the first app I built (with a team). Development started with React Native version 0.7. And I think it's a good example of possible user interactions. Example app features:

- Gyro to "navigate" around images (looks neat and it's smooth, not sure you can do much better with native)

- Blur & parallax scrolling (On old phones (iPhone 5 and less) performance could become a little janky)

- Lists with 1000s of items (just want to say performance is good if you handle it properly)

^ Note: you need to register to see anything in this one

React Native has come a long way, but most of the stuff was already possible two years ago. Personally I never found myself in a situation where something wouldn't be possible. If it was impossible in RN then we simply made a bridge to Obj-C and boom, double the ecosystem of available libraries.

ITT: People promoting their unpopular React Native apps.

A while ago I saw on HN a postmortem on Airbnb’s use of RN for their mobile app[1]. It was an interesting read and went into quite a bit of detail.

[1]: https://medium.com/airbnb-engineering/react-native-at-airbnb...

Same preface (not exactly popular...yet) but the JQBX mobile apps: https://www.jqbx.fm are built with RN. The only "native" parts are a bridge for playing audio but I'm not sure if that's what you meant by "fully" RN or not.

I would like to know about Xamarin too if anyone has them. Particularly looking for high fidelity creative / UX

Not exclusive use, but here are some apps that contain the Xamarin code: https://www.appbrain.com/stats/libraries/details/xamarin/xam...

Our app, Sift Connect, was built entirely with React Native. I started the project with no android or iOS experience. We have a collective ~1000 daily active users and a 70 NP score.

iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sift-connect/id1213640928?mt...

Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.justsift.c...

May not be as popular anymore but Lrn app was built with RN and was featured by Apple on the home page in 110+ countries. Still has a sticky spot in the education category in 10 countries and has about half a million users. Not maintained anymore tho.

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/lrn-learn-to-code-in-html/id...

Another app that comes to my mind is from vouge. It was also featured by Apple on the home page.

Again, not exactly popular (as of yet), but our app 'Workshop' is an example of a heavily video based RN app:

- https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/workshop-go-learn/id12361257...

- https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=ws.workshop.ap...

Our last app (Chorus, a podcast player mashed up with a social network, http://chorus.am) was built entirely in react-native - with the exception of the streaming implementation. In my mind, it's a great example of the optionality that RN gives you: easy cross-platform UI dev with an escape hatch to write native code when you need to.

It's a shame expo.io doesn't provide background audio [0], they've been saying for years that "it's be supported soon" but it still isn't...

That being said, expo.io is absolutely amazing if you need to use native features through RN without touching O-C/Swift

[0] https://docs.expo.io/versions/v28.0.0/sdk/audio

I have a tiny marketplace start up and am building an iOS app for it. I know a strong dev who can build it in SWIFT + Firebase. BUT i am thinking (seeking feedback) if there are ANY advantages to using RN? I am not even considering flutter. I just want the app not to suffer from any performance issues. I am leaning towards shipping to app store ASAP. ( maybe 2-3 months)

Well the obvious advantage of using React Native is portability to Android. The less-obvious advantage is partial portability to the web (would still take additional dev work, but some code could be shared) and the ability to hire JavaScript developers instead of Swift developers, of which there are lots more.

But if it's definitely an iOS exclusive and you don't plan on scaling your dev team up massively in the future, then there's no reason not to just use Swift.

Thank you! Yeah for version 1 its iOS, most of my customers are on iphone. the other thing i need feedback on is, do i charge charge $1 to download the app or not? i do plan to charge to list your item for sale. Last i heard apple takes 22%? no way im gonna run ads on it.

Unfortunately I have no qualifications to give an opinion on that question

If you have as strong Swift dev, there is very little reason to pick React Native. You'll earn much more productivity using the knowledge the dev already has than trying to get people to learn something new.

If you had a React based web app already, and a bunch of React devs, the case for React Native is obviously stronger. And would make more sense.

There's an article from Instagram/Airbnb about RN and how some screens weren't suitable because they were too heavy like the activity feed.

As an aside, I haven't seen performance be a big factor in consumer apps. If you think of many popular products, they were kinda terrible in the beginning.

Why are you not even considering Flutter? Flutter has all the needed Firebase libraries and AFAIK better performance than RN (no bridge)

Flutter isn't yet at a 1.0 release. It looks very cool and I'm excited about it personally, but compared to React and Swift it has less stability and far less tooling support and developer knowledge. There's also reason to believe that it could be abandoned by Google down the line: it's being developed by the Dart team, but it's inherently at odds with the Android team because it circumvents their API almost entirely.

I'd do a personal project in it, but I wouldn't start a business on it right now.

Re; abandoned - yeah one never knows but Dart is a pretty integral part of Google these days with Adwords being built on it. Also I think that Google knows it will lose some developers to multi-platform solutions like this, so they might as well lose them to their own alternative (than say, react native).

As for tooling support - what's missing? It has had hot reload since the start and there's the Flutter plugin for IntelliJ IDEA (can be used with the free Community Edition btw) which includes everything you expect from IDEA in addition to things like Flutter Inspector etc. https://flutter.io/inspector/

Is there a larger question about how many cross-platform, non-hybrid applications are out there and which is the best stack for doing likewise? The field includes: Flutter, NativeScript, React Native, Ruby Motion, Xamarin, KikApp (PHP), PyMob and Kivy (python), RubyMotion (Ruby)... and of course C++.

Also Cordova/Ionic

That would be hybrid but I gather from the question that there's a goal to avoid that stack.

Our app, CompanyCam, is entirely React Native. We did write some bridges for our camera, but you can still lay it out in React Native so its mainly React Native.

For those that have used both Flutter and RN (or NativeScript), which did you end up preferring? What would you use for your next project?

Myntra (India's largest fashion ecommerce portal) has both the Android and iOS apps built with RN

Go90 the free streaming video app from Verizon (that is being sunsetted on 31 July) is built in RN

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