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React Native for Android is opensourced by Facebook

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Facebook today announced the release of React Native for Android, a new open-source software project intended to speed up the process of making sophisticated native apps for Android using JavaScript. The release of the framework comes six months after Facebook open-sourced React Native for iOS, which has been widely tested out.

Facebook started out on React with an eye toward making its own developers more productive, as a better alternative to client-side MVC frameworks, server-side rendering, and its own XHP technology. Engineers could move faster with it and had more fun with it, Facebook engineering manager Tom Occhino told VentureBeat in an interview today. Facebook open-sourced React in 2013, allowing developers outside the company to more efficiently build web apps.

Facebook has since focused more and more of its attention on mobile, reflecting the consumer shift from desktop to mobile — hence the rise of React Native. The iOS version enables people who know JavaScript, but not Apple programming languages like Objective-C and Swift, to build iOS apps. And those who are familiar with those tools can use React Native to build apps that work on Android. Now Facebook is going in the opposite direction — those developers who know Java and the Android stack can more rapidly build apps for iOS, thanks to React Native for Android being built on JavaScript. Effectively they can reuse far more code than before.

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