It is difficult to overestimate the importance of knowledge. Every day brings something new or unfamiliar that broadens our expertise. Railsware is a big proponent of knowledge development, and we enjoy sharing what we know with the broader community.
Why React Native?
As exciting as all this is, we’ve just grazed the surface of RN’s advantages. Other reasons why startups opt for this framework (according to its official title) include a single codebase for multi-platform development, hot reload, reduction of development time/costs, etc. But if you’re here, you probably already know that React Native is a solid technology.
Which is why you want to learn how to use it. Of course, as with any new skill, it’s going to take effort to learn. You’ll need to process a lot of tutorials, textbooks, video materials, and other references to study RN. Luckily, Railsware is here to ease you into it with our recommended reading list.
Learning React Native
It’s likely that engineers with a background in building native or web apps are the most interested in this technology. Those who are novices in this field should read some elementary mobile app/application development books before diving deeper.
Before picking up a print or digital publication, we recommend checking out the official React Native tutorial. Since this framework comes from the same-name JS library that we reviewed in our React vs. Angular blog post, reading the tutorial can’t hurt. Moreover, both technologies have much in common.
By the way, don’t give in to your desire to start practicing right away when doing the tutorials. These are only appetizers, while books are the entree. So, let’s check out our menu.
Best books on React Native
Suitable for: Experienced engineersEric Masiello’s work targets experienced readers. JS knowledge is the key to understanding this text. Beginners might have comprehension difficulties. Hence, it is better for the readers to be at home with React Native development nuts and bolts. The publication aims to increase the reader’s proficiency by introducing Flux app architecture, native RN components/APIs, as well as the Redux state container. You can skim around and still gain sufficient expertise to write multi-platform products by leveraging a single JS codebase.Customer feedback: The readers are mostly satisfied with body text and straightforward writing style. The only negative review is from a reader who was unaware of the hardware prerequisites (Macbook), these are irrelevant to the quality of the content.
Suitable for: Entry-level to experienced engineersMr. Boduch has written on JS. Now, he wants to share his expertise in creating mobile apps. In fact, RN was a trigger to refocus his attention from web to mobile. The body text consists of 26 chapters. This learning React Native book is divided into 3 parts, with the framework appearing in the second of these. This section describes shaping layouts with Flexbox, mapping capabilities, and miscellaneous features. The core audience is JS engineers with different levels of expertise. However, readers will find knowledge of ECMAScript version 6 helpful in understanding the material.Customer feedback: Boduch’s book received positive user feedback. However, some of them expressed their concern regarding its up-to-dateness in the near future. The framework is evolving quickly, which may make this reference irrelevant in the coming years.
Suitable for: Entry-level to experienced engineersStudying technology through the lense of case-study increases the information’s accessibility. Unlike the title listed above, this reference has only nine chapters that cover three hands-on case-studies oriented primarily at React Native for iOS development. Case-study No.1 describes an elementary checklist app. The readers are expected to teach themselves to shape buttons, tailor animated elements, handle navigation, etc. Case-study No.2 increases in the degree of complexity. It covers the creation of a budgeting app and lays emphasis on advanced functionality. Eventually, you’ll end up with coupling the third-party Facebook SDK with your project. The final chapters go over deployment procedures including the allocation on digital distribution services (app stores).Customer feedback: Customers are split into two camps. One camp claims that it’s a must-have reference with easy-to-understand content for beginners. Another camp is dissatisfied with the code samples and complains about some inconsistencies. Everyone is entitled to express their own opinion, but most of the feedback is positive.
Suitable for: Entry-level to experienced engineersVladimir Novik can boast terrific expertise in architecting top-of-the-line web products. His acquaintance with RN began in 2015, and eventually gave rise to this astonishing publication. The twelve chapters are akin to twelve disciples that are ready to bring you through the React Native fundamentals. The body text contains comprehensive information on debugging, implementing Flexbox, incorporating external modules, animating components, app allocation on digital distribution services, and much more. The high point is a case-study on cloning a famous online news and social networking service. Can you guess which?Customer feedback: Another book with contradictory feedback. Despite mostly positive reviews, you might encounter some users complaining about textual and code errors. Code samples inside are unicolored, which could be inconvenient during study sessions.
Suitable for: Experienced engineersArranged like a textbook, this publication introduces 8 different React mobile development examples. They are organized by order of complexity, starting from a fool-proof shopping list app. The final project is an e-commerce case-study, which currently enjoys huge demand on the market. Other examples include a 2D game, messenger, apps for car booking and sharing pictures, an RSS reader, and a guitar tuner. Be prepared to enhance your expertise by leveraging native elements, implementing Redux, connect external APIs, etc. The work is aimed at JS experts who want to learn how to use RN to build applications from the ground up.Customer feedback: The quality of Emilio Rodriguez Martinez’s work is undisputed. Customers unanimously consider it to be a great and well-structured manual.
Suitable for: Entry-level to experienced engineersThis prominent work appeared back in 2015, when the community has just begun to work with React Native. Pioneering is a heavy burden. Release No.2 is an updated version that fits both web developers and native app engineers who are discovering the ocean of products for mobile OS. It presents the fundamentals, and then gradually transitions the reader to the creation of a full-scale product. You’ll need sufficient JS skills to complete the tasks. According to the preface, readers will experience full code reuse between platforms when making a project!Customer feedback: Perhaps the best publication for getting started with RN. B. Eisenman put in a lot of effort into introducing this technology to the public, and it shows. Learning React Native is likely to be a classic for years to come.
Suitable for: Entry-level to experienced engineersMeet another React Native ebook that’s not on Amazon. Currently, the fifth revision has been expanded by one chapter. This work is not just an accumulation of guidelines. Every chapter contains a complete case-study that implements the concepts described in practice. The principal author, Devin Abbott, helped write the official documentation for RN.If this reference sparks your interest, you need to know the JS basics, but expertise in React is not obligatory. As present, eleven chapters shape the body text, two of which are dedicated to core components and core APIs split into two parts each. Your journey will take 515 pages and over 1K lines of code. The publisher claims that even mobile app illiterates will be able to to create beautiful products after completing the material.Customer feedback: To believe the reviews on the official website, it is top-notch work. We have no reason to doubt this because the team of authors is highly impressive. It was impossible for us to find negative or contradictory feedback about this work. Let’s hope this reflects reality and not the outcome of a great marketing campaign.
Suitable for: Experienced engineersThe most interesting thing about this publication is that it is still unreleased. In fact, it will be available in September 2018. You won’t find any reviews, opinions or actual feedback. Amazon shows only the cover (depicting a barefoot man with a sword and shield) and the writer – Nader Dabit. Nevertheless, we managed to find the table of content and some info about what to expect under the cover.Nader’s work will contain two parts and 12 chapters. The first part is dedicated to getting started with React Native and tailoring your first app. From chapter 4 on, the emphasis is laid on styling, navigation, leveraging iOS-specific components, etc. Fans of Star Wars will be pleasantly surprised by a themed app example in chapter 6. Keep in mind that most likely no Android examples will be available, as the focus is on the React Native iOS.Customer feedback: As you may have realized, no feedback is available until the work comes out. And judging based on the one chapter that you can download for free would be bad manners. Let’s wait for the release.
Not by book alone
Railsware is a cutting-edge company, which means that we keep up with the times. Books remain the primary source of knowledge about this technology. Nevertheless, we can’t help but give a shout out to one of the most popular RN video courses out there.
Suitable for: Entry-level to experienced developersThis video guide is rather recent (pub date – April 2018) but has already garnered quite a following. Its author, Maximilian Schwarzmüller, did a great job putting together over 15 hours of video lessons. The guide starts with theoretical concepts and moves towards hands-on implementation of the framework’s capabilities. During the course, the readers will be building a real mobile application for sharing pictures. But do not expect an easy ride – trickier projects such as maps, camera, user authentication, server connection, and other interesting capabilities are included. And, naturally, the final step deals with product deployment.Customer feedback: Max has won an audience with his React courses. His work on RN is expected to succeed as well. Its 4.7 star rating on Udemy is an accurate indicator of the course’s quality.
React Native is an amazing solution which we already reviewed in comparison with Ionic. Numerous prominent names like Skype, Instagram, and Tesla have turned RN to good account. All the publications above complete for the title of the best React Native book, but it’s up to you to decide which of them is worth investing your time in. Railsware wishes you success in all your educational endeavors.