A list of common questions about Expo and related services.
In addition to the questions below, see the forums for more common questions and answers. Some of this information is repeated from earlier sections of the introduction but we include it here for comprehensiveness.
Expo is an open-source framework for apps that run natively on Android, iOS, and the web. Expo brings together the best of mobile and the web and enables many important features for building and scaling an app like live updates, instantly sharing your app, and web support. The
expo npm package brings these features to any React Native project. Learn more about what Expo offers.
Yes, Expo is used by top companies worldwide, serving hundreds of millions of end users. See our showcase to learn more.
Yes, the source for Expo Go can be found in the expo/expo GitHub repository in the
android directories. The Expo Go app is also built with Expo and React Native!
Expo and Expo Application Services (EAS) are developed by 650 Industries. 650 Industries is a California-based company that was founded by Charlie Cheever and James Ide.
When Expo was first created, React Native had yet to be publicly released. This means there were no third-party packages. To make the developer experience of React Native reasonable, we created several libraries to achieve common functionalities. Many of these libraries have since been forked and modified to meet various needs. We welcome users to mix and match whichever custom native code they need to make their app great.
The Expo SDK is well tested, written in TypeScript, documented, and built for Android, iOS, and the web. Every module in the Expo SDK works together to ensure versioning always matches. This creates a nice upgrading experience.
The Expo SDK is also written with the Expo native API to make contributing, maintaining, and understanding easier.
Many popular web packages such as three.js or Firebase work with Expo and React Native. Check out the Expo examples to learn more.
You can use native Android and iOS libraries with Expo by creating a custom native module with Swift and Kotlin. Many popular libraries already have custom native modules. Check out our React Native directory to learn more.
Expo is a framework for React Native, which is a library for building Android and iOS apps. React Native is similar to
react-dom for web development, enabling you to run React on a particular platform, but it has a few key differences:
<View />instead of
<div />. Native components are more performant than the DOM and provide a much nicer user experience.
navigator.geolocation, you use
expo-locationto access the user's location. Custom native APIs are similar to browser APIs except you have full control over them. This means you can access new features before they are available in the browser.
In the same way React.js frameworks help users create larger websites with ease, Expo helps users create larger apps with ease. Expo provides a suite of well-tested React Native modules that run on Android, iOS, and the web. Expo also provides a suite of tools for building, deploying, and updating your app.
expo package provides a suite of features that make it easier to develop, and scale complex React Native applications. You can install
expo in nearly any React Native app. The
expo package is not required to use Expo Application Services (EAS) or React Native, but it is highly recommended. Learn more about what Expo offers.
expo npm package and CLI work with any React Native app. Expo Application Services (EAS) also works with all React Native apps with first-class support for builds, updates, app store submissions, and more.
The Expo platform is free and open source. This includes the libraries that make up the Expo SDK and the Expo CLI used for development. The Expo Go app, the easiest way to get started, is also free from the app stores.
Expo Application Services (EAS) is an optional suite of cloud services for React Native apps, from the Expo team. EAS makes it easier to build your app, submit it to the stores, keep it updated, send push notifications, and more. You can use EAS for free if the Free tier quotas are sufficient for your app. More information is available on the pricing page.
To use any custom native code, you can create a development build. We do recommend using the modules in the Expo SDK when possible for easier upgrades and improved developer experience.
Yes! All Expo tools and services work great in any React Native app. For example, you can use any part of the Expo SDK, expo-dev-client and EAS Build, Submit, and Update — they work great! Learn more about installing
expo in your project, adopting prebuild, and setting up EAS Build.
The fastest way to share your project is to publish with EAS Update and launch in a development build. This gives your app a URL; you can share this URL with anybody who has the development build for iOS or Android. URLs can also be opened in Expo Go for Android.
When ready, you can create a production build (.ipa and .aab) to submit to the app stores. You can build your app in a single command with EAS Build and submit it to the stores with EAS Submit.
You can also use internal distribution to share your app with ad-hoc or enterprise provisioning on iOS and an APK on Android.
Traditionally you needed a Mac to develop iOS apps, but you can use EAS Build to build your app in the cloud. You can also use EAS Submit to submit your app to the stores. Testing can be done on a physical iOS device using Expo Go or a development build.
Expo SDK supports Android 5+ and iOS 13+.
Expo adds features and functionality to React Native projects, with very minimal overhead. You can use any custom native code with Expo by creating a development build. We offer a local and cloud solution for creating development builds.
Previously Expo had large native binary sizes and didn't support custom native code without "ejecting". These issues went away in December 2020 when we released EAS Build which supports any React Native app. The concept of "ejecting" was replaced by the popular Expo Prebuild feature which has been around since SDK 41 (April 2021). The
expo eject command was fully deprecated in Expo SDK 46 (August 2022).
Expo eject was replaced by the popular
npx expo prebuild command which continuously generates native projects for you based on the libraries in your project and the Expo config (app.json). Learn more in the Expo Prebuild documentation.
expo eject library, authors can configure their libraries to work with Expo Prebuild by creating a config plugin. This means you can use any library with Expo Prebuild. You can also use any custom native code with Expo Prebuild by creating a development build.
Expo CLI can be used simultaneously with React Native CLI. Expo CLI provides the same core functionality as React Native CLI, and additional functionality like automatic TypeScript setup, web support, auto installing compatible libraries, improved native build commands, tunneling, prebuild, and more.
Regardless of which CLI you use, you can use any part of the Expo SDK and Expo Application Services with your project.
Before you dive into writing some code, you'll need to install tools as mentioned in the Installation to get started.