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Discussion on: Will Apple forbid Cordova, React Native, Native Script and similar technologies?

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andrewrothman profile image
Andrew Rothman

I don't think they can ban solutions like React Native.

React Native doesn't run in a webview, so that part should be okay. As far as I know, React Native loads JavaScript code, runs it via the platform provided JavaScriptCore, and via "magic" renders native platform UI using UIKit on iOS.

If the code is all local and bundled with the app, I don't see that being against the rules, but I could be wrong.

That, plus many major apps are already using React Native. Some of the main Facebook app is written in React Native, as well as some of their others. I think I heard most of the Facebook Ads Manager and Groups apps are written in React Native. Discord uses it as well.

They could change the guidelines for large-scale apps. They've done this before, but given the above I don't think it's likely they would do this with React Native:

slashgear.com/apple-waives-30-cut-...

I'd love to hear some more thoughts on this. Thanks for the writeup!

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clsource profile image
Camilo Author

Thanks for your reply. Reading this website appstorereviewguidelineshistory.com/ is clear that section 4.7 was present in previous years with small fixes on each year. That would mean that this rule is not heavily enforced and may be depend on the mood of the reviewer and your luck to be aproved, which is basically a normal app review process.

But is probable that many apps will be forced to be PWA converted since they will not meet the desing guidelines of minimum functionality and app like aesthetic.

There was an issue in Mac Appstore for electron apps. github.com/electron/electron/issue..., they, for a long period of time could send their apps using private apis (A not heavily enforced rule). But Apple changed and become more strict, so electron was forced to solve that issue with private apis.

My opinion is that projects that exposes native APIs to Javascript Core will continue to be accepted, but Apple could change and be more strict about this rule in the future.

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andrewrothman profile image
Andrew Rothman

It's definitely possible they might change their rules or their enforcement of the rules. I think it's great to raise awareness of that possibility.

I worry that people won't try React Native or Flutter, to experience some of its benefits, because they're concerned that Apple will start only accepting native apps. I see a lot of hate for React Native, some of which I think is totally justified, but less praise as of recent. I think the RN team has some issues that need to be solved, but I like the option they're proposing and I think they got a lot right as well.

Apple recently introduced a change in WebKit to clear localStorage after 7 days of inactivity under certain use cases. It's great for user privacy, but not so great for PWA devs. I'm hoping they continue to support PWA features going forward, as I'd love for PWAs to grow as an even more viable alternative. I've been working on / using some myself and I'm excited for that future.

webkit.org/blog/10218/full-third-p...