Extending React Native capabilities by adding native extensions
Callstack made the perfect staff augmentation partner. Their engineers were well versed in all things React Native and proved to be a crucial part of our mobile app relaunch project.
The client had a conventional mobile application for platforms – iOS and Android. They decided for a complete restart with a brand new design. The client built a prototype in React Native just to prove that this idea might be correct. Then we joined the project to help make this dream happen. We have been there from the very beginning to help solve the various issues which came along with the React Native project where we have a strong level of expertise.
As the client introduced us to their app, customers, and requirements, we had to make decisions about crucial points of the future app:
The application had to be ready for various resolutions – it needed to support tablets and mobiles. Also, because the new design of the app contains impressive and sophisticated gesture and controls, we had to come up with a good abstraction – a declarative animation approach.
Our client already had working solutions to handle things like video playback and push notifications on the native side, so we decided not to force them to change their current approach, but rather port their current solutions to the JS world as native modules.
We’ve created a private implementation of Brightcove player to match the needs of our client, including additional functionality, for example, stopping background music to let the user listen to video sound only.
This approach allows having updates to your application, without the need for sending it to the Store for review (thanks to OTA (Over the air) updates for React Native).
React Native gives the great opportunity of combining the power of native code and the composability of React components and we managed to benefit from this.
Our client had a working website written in React and a GraphQL based backend. The client side was using react-apollo, which allowed us to handle all of the communication with the API and state management via GraphQL higher order components and also reuse some code from the website.
We also knew that we’d be working with a team of less technical people like designers, testers and product owners. It was clear to us that we need a great continuous integration and delivery system, so everyone had a clear idea in what shape the app is.
We set up an environment that is friendly for both developers and the other team members. As soon as pull requests pass the checks and are merged to the main branch, our alfa deployment tasks are invoked – and soon deployed and distributed via the App Center to testers (notifying them along the way).
We have also implemented Google Analytics and Crashlytics to precisely measure the app's performance. Finally – we managed to profile the app via the native IDEs, eliminate the bottlenecks and submit the app to AppStore and Google Play.
We’ve helped our client to successfully deliver the app for both platforms, meeting the deadline.
Overall, the launch was really successful – our client was happy with the outcome and the cooperation and app users are happy with our work.