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Craigslist Launches Mobile App

piannaf profile image Justin Mancinelli ・2 min read

Woke up this morning to news that Craigslist launches an official app for iOS; it became the 10th most-downloaded app in the Shopping category one day after launch.

It was also released for iOS and Android at the same time (though Android in Beta) so I (naturally for me) wondered if it was a native app.


10th most downloaded and great ratings for iOS.

App Store Ratings for iOS app

More than 10,000 installs on Android and terrible ratings.

Play Store Ratings for Android app

From my quick scanning of the reviews on Android, a lot of people are disappointed that it requires connecting to a Google account (even if you already have a Craigslist account) and frustrated that the search results on the website are different from in the app (even to the point that some things don't show up in the app with the same search string).

Is it native?

I signed up for the Android beta, installed the app, and opened it in Dexplorer before even opening the app.

Tell-tale signs that React Native is in use.

Libs folder

Confirmation that the app is React Native

Main Activity

No, I don't consider React Native to be native. On the scale of web to native, it is almost in hybrid tools territory.

React Native tends to perform better on iOS than Android, though Hermes is supposed to narrow that gap. But given the negative Android reviews are mostly not about performance, that doesn't seem to be the issue.


I don't have an iOS device to compare personally. Maybe the feature set is different on each platform, or maybe iOS users are sufficiently different from Android users.

Can anyone comment on why iOS might have such higher ratings than Android?

Is anyone better at reverse engineering to see how well they are using React Native? Maybe it's just a shell for webviews in which case this app is even further in hybrid territory than other React Native apps.

Craigslist keeps things quite simple as a website, any ideas why they wouldn't go the PWA route?

Discussion (3)

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erikezambrano profile image
Erik Zambrano

While the iOS app just released yesterday (version 4.7.15), in the iOS version history it shows they've been working on the iOS app for a year (version 4.2.10).

Personally, as an iOS user I'd also rate it highly because a. I have an affinity for the brand 2. the app > Craigslist's mobile website and 3. I get to the 'aha moment' very quickly on the app (just a few taps and I'm on the free section on Craigslist where people give away free stuff).

Feels pretty responsive and native on iOS, although the design is circa Microsoft Windows phone 2002 (very tile-y, modular).

piannaf profile image
Justin Mancinelli Author

Thanks! I fully expected the UI to be 90s/2000s given their history. Didn't notice the version history, good eye. Something interesting going on there.

lqmiku profile image
Pedro Miku

Hey, I am an iOS reverse engineer.
If you have something in need like this, UI analysis or just want to know some tricks, that other apps is using, consider me a good option, cause I'm professional.