React Native Glossary

Building applications with React Native requires a high-level understanding of mobile development on Android and iOS devices in addition to React and React Native fundamentals. This glossary of terms will serve as a helpful reference when working across these environments.


Android App Bundles (AABs) are a new format for publishing applications on Android. AABs can contain multiple APKs. Since August 2021, Google Play requires AABs for new apps.


Android Package Kits (APKs) are an older format for publishing applications on Android.

build.gradle #

A build.gradle file contains all of the information for Gradle to compile Android apps, including dependency resolutions and tasks to process the source.

Gradle #

Gradle is an automated build tool that is used to compile Android apps from source code. It is configured in build.gradle files and run through a wrapper: gradlew/gradlew.bat.

Hermes #

Hermes is a mobile-optimized JavaScript engine that is included in React Native builds for Android and iOS.

Info.plist #

The information property list or Info.plist is an XML file that contains all of the configuration data for your application. You can update these values directly or through the Xcode UI.

JavaScriptCore/JSCore #

JavaScript Core or JSCore is a JavaScript engine that is included on iOS devices. It was included in Android builds to run JS code by React Native versions prior to 0.60. It has since been replaced with Hermes.


Software Development Kits (SDKs) are bundles of code to add to your application. Third parties will often have an SDK to integrate with their service.

Psalm 19:14 (SDG)

About the author

My name is Sean McPherson, and I am a software engineer interested in all areas of front-end development. Here I write articles about programming for developers of all levels, and occassionally other topics.

Currently I work for and live with my lovely family in Pittsburgh, PA.