Could you introduce your app in a few sentences?
BlaBoo app is for your babies or children to learn words, or for you to learn foreign languages. It supports English, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian, French and Indian(Hindi).
BlaBoo includes the illustrations of the words. If your babies/children touch the illustrations, they can hear the voice of the words, so they can learn new words with the pronunciation by themselves.
You can download BlaBoo on iOS and Android
I made BlaBoo alone as a hobby for my son. In my case, I’m Korean and I married Japanese, so I want my son to learn both the father’s and the mother’s language so I made this app for me and my son.
Therefore, I think BlaBoo is helpful for people who are in a similar situation as I am.
What made you decide to use/switch to React Native?
I love to work efficiently (work less, get more results). It’s the perfect solution for me to use React Native because I just need one source code base for both the iOS and Android platform. Before, I used Angular and PhoneGap, which are good solutions but had performance issues. And the learning curve is also low for me because I use React.js of front-end web development.
Have your tried other cross platform technologies before using React Native?
I have experience developing an app using Angular and PhoneGap 4 years ago. At that time, I think it was a good solution for me because I could make the app to using JS. however, it had performance issues so it was good for hobby projects but not good for work.
React Native is good for hobby projects and work I think. There are no performance issues in my experience, but React Native frequently has version updates. So that makes it a bit risky for work as well. However, I think the risk is tolerable given that one developer can develop for both platforms quickly.
What has your experience been working with React Native in terms of development speed?
React Native has a huge community and many open source libraries. I used many libraries to make BlaBoo app features. For example, BlaBoo has TTS(Text To Speech), which lets a user hear the pronunciation when they touch the illustration. I use the react-native-tts library for this feature and that library allowed me to develop the TTS feature in just a few minutes.
I made BlaBoo after working. After working, I used one hour or two hours to develop it and it took one week. This app is simple so maybe takes less time than other apps, but React Native definitely saved me a lot of time.
I wrote about what libraries I use to develop BlaBoo in my blog . if you want to know more detail about what I use, please read it.
How has adopting React Native affected developer productivity?
Before I started using React Native, I had many ideas but I couldn’t make build them. But now that I use React Native, I can make own my app from my idea in my spare time. So I don’t wait for other people to make the app which I or my friends need. I make it.
At work, I suggested a new service and made a prototype in React Native. That suggestion was impressive because my manager and boss could see product works fine. Now I am developing it as a real product with React Native.
I hope my salary goes up next year.^^
Which tools, libraries and frameworks are part of your development process with React Native?
I use VSCode and TypeScript to develop. And I use many open source libraries! (Thanks opensource contributors!)
If you want to know the opensource libraries that I use, please come and see my blog
What are some things that you don’t like about React Native or that need to be improved?
Stability. With each React Native release, there are problems, so it’s scary to update to a newer version.
Anything else you would like to mention?
One developer, One app. You can make apps from your own idea very easily. Go ahead and try React Native!