Expo & The Big Bad Bare Workflow

I thought I would put down a few thoughts to help you now that you are about to start using the Expo service for your React Native App. First of all, let me start with what an excellent service they are providing for us. Honestly, most of us developers would pay for what they are offering free. Ok, but let me stay on task here. If you are thinking about starting a new project with Expo and are contemplating the Managed Workflow or the Bare Workflow, let me make your choice easy for you. Bare it all baby…Bare it all.

I know what you are thinking…

“But I read the Expo docs and it sounds like I am going to have to do so much more work to get my app to work…and I have to manage all that signing certificate stuff with Apple and signing key stuff with Android myself, and I don’t know how to do that.”

Ok…fair enough, I hear your concerns and I’m here to tell you I already took the path you are about to take and wish my future self was there to tell me to Bare It All.

While Expo Managed Workflow is an amazing service, there are some shortfalls, one major one being no In-App Purchases (IAP). I don’t know about you but this is major, but, even knowing this I still went with the Managed Workflow telling myself …

“It’s no problem, I just start with this Managed Workflow, and if my App is doing well and I want IAPs then by then Expo is sure to support it down the road or worst case scenario, I will switch over to the Bare Workflow then.”

Yup! This was actually my thinking. Does it sound familiar? Well, the harsh truth is that I created my app “EveryQuote” (check it out at everyquoteapp.com if you like) with the Managed Workflow, and only 5 months later, I am going through the painstaking process of converting it over to the Bare Workflow because I really need the IAP.

As it turns out, the Bare Workflow was made out to be a bigger badder meaner workflow than it actually is (Sandlot much?!). When I started I was overwhelmed to take on such a task but as I worked with it, and learned the process of it, it actually works out way more to your benefit. There are only about 4 limitations with using the Bare Workflow versus the Managed Workflow, and there are very easy workarounds for all of them. I hope to cover these work arounds in future posts so subscribe to get notified if you are interested.

So, what’s my point?! Bite the bullet now, and Bare It All with the Bare Workflow from the start. You will still have access to the majority of Expo’s amazing modules, plus the benefits of using modules that requires native code. Its the best option in my opinion while getting the best of both worlds.

Additionally, when I say bite the bullets, its barely a bite (think The Sandlot). Both Apple and Android have come a long way in making it easier to publish an app. They take are of most of it for you, and if you are lost there is lots of documentation online that can help. Alternatively, send me a message and let’s see if we can get you all straightened out! Till next time happy coding and avoid the Slashbrackets!

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