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React Native, Facebook’s framework for building native apps using React is now available as a new version.The version 0.56, is a fundamental building block towards a more stable framework: leading to a better July 2018 (0.57.0) release. This was a long-awaited release with a lot of discussion between “waiting for more stability” versus “testing led to successful results so it can push forward“. The ride to release was not smooth but eventually with dedicated community communication the react native 0.56.0 release was stabilized.

The major changes include:

Support for Babel 7

The version 0.56 now allows support for the latest version of Babel. Babel is the transpiler tool that allows React Native to use the latest features of JavaScript. Babel 7 hosts a variety of important changes and the React team will now allow Metro, the JavaScript bundler for React Native to leverage its improvements.

Modernizing Android support

React Native has added updates to Android support for faster builds. It will also help developers comply with the new Play Store requirements coming into effect next month. Version 0.56 now supports Gradle 3.5, Android SDK 26, Fresco to 1.9.0, and OkHttp to 3.10.0 and the NDK API target to API 16.

Interested developers can follow the discussion on Android developments in the dedicated issue list.

New Node, Xcode, React, and Flow

Node 8 is now the standard for React Native and React is also updated to v16.4. Version 0.56 has dropped support for iOS 8, making iOS 9 the oldest iOS version that can be targeted.

Also, the continuous integration toolchain has been updated to use Xcode 9.4, ensuring that all iOS tests are run on the latest developer tools provided by Apple.

They have also upgraded to Flow 0.75 to use the new error format and also created types for many more components.

YellowBox is replaced with a new implementation that makes debugging easier.

For the complete release notes, you can reference the full changelog. Also, keep an eye on the upgrading guide to avoid issues moving to this new version.

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