Microsoft and Facebook announce UWP support for open source React Native

Laurent Giret

Facebook F8 developer conference is currently underway, and Microsoft has just announced via blog post today that it’s adding Universal Windows Platform support for the open source framework React Native. If you’re not familiar with it, React Native is a framework for building native apps using React, which is a javascript library for creating user interfaces. The framework focuses on efficiency, to allow developers to “learn once, write everywhere.”

React Native is the fastest growing open source projects on GitHub and Facebook currently uses the framework in multiple production apps. Microsoft believes that the new UWP support will enable even more opportunities for developers familiar with the framework:

The new UWP support extends the reach of these native apps to a new market of 270 million active Windows 10 devices, and the opportunity to reach beyond mobile devices, to PCs, and even the Xbox One and HoloLens. For Windows app developers, it also means an opportunity to embed React Native components into their existing UWP apps and to leverage the developer tools and programming paradigms that React Native offers.

Microsoft will also help the React Native community to build and deploy apps faster by providing open source tools and services to create React Native apps. A new React Native extension for Visual Studio Code will bring developers an intuitive tool to author and debug React Native apps, and an open source service called CodePush will be able to push updates directly to users.

The F8 conference schedule app was built using React Native.
The F8 conference schedule app was built using React Native.

While Microsoft will provide with this release, initial platform support in a standalone GitHub repository, the company added that “moving forward, we will work to add additional capabilities and bring our implementation into alignment with the original project.” Lastly, Microsoft announced that it would share more details about building the F8 Developer Conference app for Windows 10 using React Native at the free Decoded Conf in Dublin on May 6th.