How I created my first React Native iOS/Android App

I created a mobile app for a local youth group in Hollywood, for a summer camp that they put on every year.

The leaders wanted to cut back on wasted paper and have something that could facilitate conversations with the teenagers, so they asked me to build an app for them.

This was the first app that I built that would be used by dozens of people and I had a deadline of 4 months to figure it out.

I had completed maybe one tutorial for React-Native before and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, but I said yes anyway!

I sketched out a basic layout of what each of the screens should look like and what the features would be, and it was approved by the leaders.

I decided to use Expo to assist with building the app and I found some tutorials for an app that did some things like what I wanted.

I learned how to use Tab Navigator in app and, I picked up a little bit of Redux along the way.

With Redux I was able to maintain the state of the whole app, namely for a screen where students would write answers to group discussion questions and their answers would be saved below the questions.

I also used Firebase to set up authentication for the app.

Finally, I was able to publish the app first, to the Play Store, where it went through without fail.

Then I published it to the Apple App Store, where initially it was rejected. I had to make the metadata more specific for the app and then it was accepted! You can view my initial reaction here.

I was able to deliver the app on time and it was used successfully. The leaders and the teenagers loved it!

I am proud of this app, because at the beginning I didn’t know how to build a mobile app, but through this process I was able to learn about development, time management and delivering results on time.