React Native developers are wincing, though
Discord might be best known as an advanced IRC for gamers and the Perpetually Online, but it’s got a mass appeal with over 100 million Android downloads. While the app has an excellent rating on the Play Store, one common concern is the late arrival of new features when compared to the iOS or desktop clients. However, that’s set to change soon, as the Discord Android app is getting an under-the-hood overhaul.
Discord has announced on its official blog that the Android app is being rewritten in React Native. The iOS version of Discord has been on React Native since 2015, while the desktop version uses React and Electron in its framework. This means that new features and updates will roll out nearly simultaneously across all three platforms and Android users won’t be waiting around for new features iPhone owners get to have. Additionally, the design and UI elements are expected to be more aligned across the three versions. New Android users will notice a larger font size when they install the app for the first time, whereas existing users will be able to toggle the font size in their app’s settings. The payoffs are about as obvious as what’s leading to them: a reduced codebase means developers are able to push out updates faster.
However, some users are highly concerned about the changes. Those who had enrolled in beta testing for the revamped app have mentioned that it is slow to run. Additionally, a few developers who have worked with React Native claim that it tends to be littered with bugs. That said, numerous popular apps including Facebook, Instagram, Microsoft Office, and the Xbox Game Pass use the language (so says React Native) and if those companies can make okay-functioning Android apps with it, then why not Discord?
The updated Android app for Discord has already started rolling out and will arrive globally within a few weeks.