Why React Native?

React Native allows you to create cross-platform applications with Javascript, eliminating the need to deal with separate codebases for Android/iOS platforms.

React Native lets you build mobile apps using JavaScript — but, unlike other JavaScript app building frameworks, a React Native app is a real mobile app using real iOS and Android native components. The tooling and ecosystem around React Native are the best of both worlds — the proven, efficient developer experience of working with React, and the user experience of the native mobile platforms.

Before React Native, it was a requirement to know languages like Swift and Java (generally considered to be more difficult) to build mobile applications. Now, with React Native, it's easier than ever to get started in mobile app development thanks to the amount of resources available and size of the developer community.

If you've developed web applications with React already, cool! React Native is very similar. Some major differences are:

  • Since you're building mobile applications, you won't be viewing your projects in the browser but instead you'll use Expo (or phone simulators like XCode or Android Studio).
  • There are no CSS files.
  • Certain HTML elements are not available to use (but there are React Native equivalents).
  • Different routing/navigation options.

If you haven't used React before, that's okay too! You don't need to write a single line of code to build a screen in Draftbit so don't be afraid to jump in and start learning.

For further reading, check out the React Native Documentation.

Why Expo?

Expo is a free and open source toolchain built around React Native to help you build native iOS and Android projects using JavaScript and React. Expo is a layer on top of React Native that allows us to do things like easily work with the native APIs of the phone's operating system like the camera, GPS, photo library and more, live preview Draftbit apps during development, publish apps over the air in real time, and much more.

If you haven't downloaded the Expo app yet, you can download it on the App Store or Play Store now.

Expo gives you access to a variety of tools to make React Native development faster and easier. The main tool Draftbit uses is Live Preview, which makes it possible for you to view what you're building in Draftbit on your phone in realtime.

While you're using Draftbit, you'll see QR codes appear that you scan with your phone's camera if you're using an iPhone, or the Expo app itself if you're using an Android.

Expo CLI

In order to continue working on your project outside of the Draftbit builder, you'll need to set up Expo CLI on your computer. All you have to do is open up your terminal and run yarn global add expo-cli or npm install -g expo-cli.

Why doesn't my app in the browser (Web Preview) match my app in Live Preview?

Web Preview is but the native version (on Live Preview) will generally depict your app in the most accurate manner. Here are some things you may encounter when viewing your app between the two:

  • Small visual discrepancies
    Properties like fonts, line heights, can be calculated differently between Live Preview and Web Preview.
  • Certain components will not appear in the browser
    You will be alerted to the components and prompted to view them in Live Preview

If you are experiencing Web Preview/Live Preview issues that fall outside of the ones listed above, please feel free to reach out to our team for assistance.

Can I put my app on the App Store/Google Play Store?

Yes, you're able to deploy apps you build in Draftbit to the App Store/Google Play Store.

To do so, check out Expo's documentation on Building Standalone Apps and Deploying to App Stores which will give you instructions on how to generate native binaries and provides you with tips on getting your app ready for approval.

How do I request a feature?

Are we missing a critical capability or feature for you? If so, please head over to the Roadmap and see if it's already been requested.

If it has, please upvote the topic and add a comment to let us know any additional thoughts or clarifications that are specific to you.

If it hasn't, create a new request and let us know what you're looking for and any background or details.

When will I get a beta invite?

Draftbit is now in open beta! To get your free Draftbit account, simply visit Draftbit.com

How do I report a bug or issue?

Sorry to hear you've found a bug or issue. The easiest way to report a bug to us is to head over to the Help category of our Community and create a topic with your bug/issue.

By creating a topic, you'll get notified as we address these issues automatically.

If the issue is more complex, or you're not sure how to describe it, just shoot us an email [email protected] and we'll be happy to take a look!

How much does Draftbit cost?

Please visit your account's pricing page for pricing information.

How do I cancel my account?

Please visit your account page to upgrade or downgrade your plan.

If you wish to delete your account entirely, fill out this Account Deletion Form. Once we've received the results, we'll process your request and confirm your account and/or apps have been deleted. This could take up to 72 hours.

Can I share my Draftbit app with others?

If you want to share a visual preview of the screen you're working on now, you can share your progress and changes live to as many people as you want through our Live Preview. Using the QR code generated for each project, you can have as many people as you want to follow along as you build.

You can also share your project by publishing your project on the web. Doing so generates a unique URL that you can send to collaborators, clients, and friends that will allow them to view your project on an Android/iOS simulator.

I didn't mean to delete my app. Can I get it back?

Yes, it is possible for us to recover deleted applications. Please contact us and we will be able to help you. Please note, apps deleted a long time ago may not be recoverable.

Additional Resources