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13 best React Native debugging tools

Ramakrishnan Rangarajan
~ 12 min read | Published on May 29, 2024


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13 best React Native debugging tools

Setting out on a smooth development path with React Native? Now, we'll take you on a tour of the debugging world and give you a detailed look at 13 React Native debugging tools. Explore the realm of debugging with our in-depth tutorial on the 13 most important React Native debugging tools. Discover new things, make sure your troubleshooting procedure is sound, and expand your coding skills as we guide you through this blog, which is intended to improve your React Native development efforts. Now let's examine the debugging tools for React Native!

What are React Native debugging tools?

Debugging tools for React Native are specialised software programmes designed to assist developers in identifying and resolving problems that arise in their React native applications. Debugging is a breeze with React Native debugging tools. With the aid of these tools, developers may improve the debugging process, promote flawless app performance, and guarantee an excellent user experience. Many helpful features are included in the debugging tools for React Native. Now, let's discuss a couple of them.

Features of React Native debugging tools

Here are some features of React Native debugging tools.

  • Component inspection: Users may see the component tree with React Native debugging tools to pinpoint rendering and state management problems.
  • Prop and state monitoring: To troubleshoot data flow and unexpected state behaviour, users can utilise these tools to track prop and state changes in real-time.
  • Breakpoint setting: With the help of React Native debugging tools, users can go through the code line by line and pause the execution of the code at certain locations to inspect the current state of the application.
  • Error reporting and logging: With the help of React debugging tools, users may effectively debug apps by capturing and displaying errors and logs generated during app execution.
  • Network traffic inspection: These tools assist users in keeping an eye on network requests and responses to spot difficulties with data fetching, network connectivity, and API calls.
  • Performance profiling: With the help of React Native debugging tools, users may identify performance bottlenecks and optimise resource utilisation to enhance app performance.
  • Remote device management: With the use of these technologies, users can remotely monitor and control their devices to perform operations such as programme restarts, cache cleanups, and update installations.

In essence, React Native debugging tools come with a heap of features that help users solve a variety of problems and offer sheer ease of convenience to them. Let’s now go over the benefits that these tools offer, shall we?

Benefits of React Native debugging tools

  • Improved code quality: Debugging tools for React Native assist developers in finding and resolving defects early in the development cycle, preventing the emergence of significant problems later on. introduction of subsequent, more complicated, and challenging problems. This simplifies reliable application stability and code quality.
  • Reduced development time: By concentrating on the debugging process and assisting developers in promptly resolving issues, React Native debugging tools can dramatically reduce development time. As a result, developers are free to concentrate on adding new features and improvements rather than spending time finding and fixing faults.
  • Enhanced user experience: These debugging tools ensure that programmes are free from defects and performance concerns, which makes the user experience more seamless and pleasurable. Customer satisfaction, loyalty, and engagement are all directly impacted by user experience.
  • Proactive problem detection: Debugging tools for React Native may closely examine the behaviour of applications in real time, enabling developers to address possible problems before they become significant concerns. Their methodology helps avoid unwelcome downtime and ensures that the programme is consistently dependable.
  • Improved performance:  These technologies optimise resource utilisation and increase application responsiveness by quickly identifying and resolving performance issues.

Next up- we will be looking at why we should make use of React Native debugging tools.

Why use React Native debugging tools

  • Prevent unexpected downtime: Debugging tools for React Native proactively watch over the behaviour of applications and alert developers to possible issues, helping to avert unwelcome interruptions and downtime.
  • Improve user experience: These tools make sure that apps are free of bugs and performance problems, which makes for a smoother and more pleasurable user experience. When there are fewer hiccups, delays, or crashes, user pleasure and loyalty soar.
  • Facilitate collaboration: Debugging tools for React Native can promote developer cooperation by offering a common platform for examining and troubleshooting application code. This encourages a more effective development approach based on problem solving and teamwork.
  • Improved debugging efficiency: Debugging efficiency is greatly increased with React Native debugging tools, which automate and streamline the debugging process. By identifying the underlying cause of problems early on, developers can spend less time debugging and more time on productive tasks. Faster development cycles and lower total development costs are the results of this.
  • Real-time insights into application behavior: With the help of these real-time insights into application behaviour tools, developers can keep an eye on network activity, performance indicators, and component interactions. With this real-time view, developers can see possible issues before they become serious disruptions and can take proactive steps to stop them from getting worse.
  • Support for cross-platform development: Cross-platform development is supported with React Native debugging tools, which let developers debug applications that run on iOS and Android smartphones. Because of its adaptability, debugging tools for different platforms can be used on the same platform, which streamlines development and lowers the learning curve.
  • Enhanced learning and problem-solving skills:  Debugging tools for React Native provide developers with much-needed insights into locating, examining, and fixing software bugs.

Hence, React Native debugging tools help with the development process to a massive extent. These tools are much needed if you want to build React native applications that offer fidelity and the convenience of no bugs in addition to an immaculate user experience. 

Let’s now have a look at a comparison between Built In and Third Party React Native debugging tools. Gaining an understanding of both is paramount in attaining an in depth insight into these tools. Let’s hop right into it!

Built-in vs third-party React Native debugging tools

Robust debugging tools are typically necessary to navigate the complexity of app development. Deciding between integrated and third-party debugging tools is a crucial issue for React Native developers.

Pre-installation ease and smooth development environment integration are provided by integrated React Native debuggers. Their low weight guarantees little influence on the functionality of the software. Nevertheless, their functions are frequently constrained, making thorough examination and troubleshooting difficult.

Third-Party Response On the other hand, native debugging tools offer an extensive feature set that enables developers to explore the finer points of their apps. With these tools, accurate debugging and performance optimisation are made possible, from sophisticated breakpoint setting to granular component analysis.

Although third-party solutions provide improved functionality, there are extra steps involved in installation and configuration. Furthermore, how they use resources may affect how well an app performs, thus careful debugging and economical use of resources must be balanced.

The choice between the built-in and third-party React Native debugging tools ultimately comes down to the developer's individual requirements and tastes. The integrated debugger is an appropriate option for anyone looking for basic debugging features inside the comfortable development environment. However, third-party tools provide an unmatched level of control and insight for developers that require in-depth analysis and sophisticated debugging approaches.

We're going to examine 13 React native debugging tools now. We shall discuss their features, benefits, drawbacks, and cost arrangements. So without further ado, let's get started!

13 React Native debugging tools

1: Zipy

Zipy is a state of the art debugging tool that offers functionalities that are of great help with a variety of needs. It offers functionalities related to session replay, user monitoring, API performance, user identification, and- most importantly, error debugging. It fosters a streamlined approach to error management with their Errors page, offering a snapshot of JavaScript and API errors, including user impact and location. It helps users delve into trends and patterns on the Error Analytics dashboard, breaking down errors by type, user, and environment. 

Now where does Zipy figure in the vast pool of React Native debugging tools? It carries out the following functionalities with sheer ease: 

  • ANR logs: It enables users to proactively detect all instances of Application Not Responding (ANR) and optimize their app's responsiveness to ensure a smoother user experience.
  • ADB logs: Zipy enables users to access all ADB (Android Debug Bridge) logs seamlessly and sees to it that there is optimal performance by effortlessly tracing and troubleshooting various app issues.
  • Crash logs: Zipy enables users to efficiently capture and analyze crash logs during Android app debugging. It enables them to identify root causes of crashes, enabling prompt corrective actions to enhance app stability.
  • Custom logs and exceptions: Zipy helps optimize Android app debugging with custom logging for specific events or conditions. Users have the freedom to choose the approach with which they can enhance performance and address unique app requirements.
  • Network calls: Zipy enhances network efficiency with comprehensive monitoring of network calls. Analyze requests, response times, and identify potential bottlenecks for improved app performance.
  • Report a bug: Zipy ensures simplified bug reporting with the help of session links that come with comprehensive insights, streamlining communication with developers and product teams without the need for exhaustive explanations.

As far as pricing is concerned, Zipy offers a free plan up to 1000 sessions in a month. The starter plan costs $39 a month billed annually. The growth plan costs $79 a month billed annually. For enterprise plans you can reach out to their team. 

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2: React Native Debugger 

React native debugger Dashboard

React Native Debugger is a very helpful React native debugging tool for React developers, for it offers immaculate debugging and optimization capabilities that provide assistance to React Native apps. It integrates with tools like Chrome DevTools with sheer ease, thus ensuring a debugging environment that offers convenience.

React Native Debugger has a very helpful feature in its arsenal. It can debug the Redux store- thus providing great help when state related concerns need to be handled- especially when you are making use of applications that are largely dependent on state management. Not only that, React Native debugger helps with the inspection of the component hierarchy, and it gives a detailed visualization of the component tree of the app. This is largely helpful when you have to analyze what causes errors to go wrong.

For optimal outcomes, it's recommended to use React Native Debugger alongside other tools like Chrome DevTools. When you streamline collaboration with similar React Native debugging tools, you are presented with a detailed look at the application, and in depth performance optimization for React applications is ensured. This is a free to use React debugging tool.

3: Expo

Expo - Syntax

One of the best-maintained and most user-friendly React debugging tools available is Expo. In terms of creating React native applications, it establishes new benchmarks. It includes an extensive set of tools that make it incredibly simple for developers to set up and manage React Native projects, doing away with the requirement for Xcode or Android Studio.Additionally, Expo makes the most of React Native's many advantages by including a long range of capabilities like camera access and push notifications. Real device testing is also included with this React debugging tool, which frees developers from the limitations of physical devices or developers.

As far as pricing is concerned, there are two pricing plans in place. First up, a Production plan that costs 99 dollars a month. The second is the Enterprise plan that costs 999 dollars a month.

4: Metro Bundler

Metro Bundler Native CLI

Metro is among the best React Native debugging tools available. In applications using React Native, it functions as a JavaScript bundler. It creates a single JavaScript file that contains all of the separate JavaScript files by accepting options and an entry file as inputs. Metro performs the bundling process—combining multiple JavaScript files into a single file—during the execution of a React Native project.Metro is committed to improving the React Native community's developer experience. Understanding how annoying it is for developers to wait for app reloads following code changes, Metro places a high priority on speed, aiming for sub-second reload cycles, quick startup times, and effective bundling.

Since its creation, Metro has been used at Meta, where its scalability and stability have been thoroughly tested on a large codebase, demonstrating its ability to manage thousands of modules in a single application. In keeping with the idea that simplicity inspires action, Metro is made to work with any React Native project without the need for further setup or configuration, guaranteeing a fluid and integrated experience right from the start. This open source debugging tool is available for free.

5: Flipper

Flipper working with Native

One of the best React Native debugging tools available is Flipper. Through an easy-to-use desktop interface, this tool enables developers to debug their iOS, Android, and React Native apps with ease. It offers a wide range of tools for analysing, monitoring, and managing the behaviour of apps, and its plugin API allows for even more extension and customisation.

Flipper is hugely helpful with iOS and Android mobile app development, offering an enviable list of tools for seamless debugging, visualization, and control of app behavior. Its intuitive desktop interface and extensible plugin architecture empower developers to create custom tools tailored to their specific needs. With its open-source nature and MIT license, Flipper has a collaborative community in place where developers can contribute to its ongoing improvement and unlock the full potential of mobile app development. It is a free to use open source platform.

6: Visual Studio Code

Visual Studio Code by Microsoft is a notable React Native source code editor, providing a free and open-source platform compatible with JavaScript, TypeScript, and Node.js. It extends its support beyond React Native by accommodating languages such as C++, C#, PHP, Python, Java, and runtime environments like UNITY .NET. To tailor it for React Native development exclusively, installation of the 'React Native - Full Pack package' is necessary.

One of Visual Studio Code's standout features is its robust debugging support, enhancing the speed of your edit, compile, and debug loop through the use of VS Code's built-in debugger.

Debug effectively with crash, ANR (application not responding), ADB (Android Debug Bridge), and custom logs.

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7: Reactotron

Reactotron is a versatile suite of React Native debugging tools for macOS, Windows, and Linux, offering a comprehensive set of features for inspecting React Native apps. It empowers developers to view application state, monitor API requests and responses, perform quick performance benchmarks, and track global errors with source-mapped stack traces. Additionally, Reactotron facilitates Redux state hot swapping, saga tracking, image overlay in React Native, and Async Storage tracking in React Native. 

Reactotron's powerful features include quick performance benchmarking, tracking global errors with source-mapped stack traces, tracking Async Storage in React Native, subscribing to parts of the application state, hot-swapping the app's state using Redux or mobx-state-tree, and displaying image overlays in React Native.

As an open-source project, Reactotron is freely available and adds no bloat to production builds.

8: Nuclide

Nuclide Code

Nuclide stands out as a meticulously tailored integrated development environment (IDE) tool designed to elevate project coding for developers. It comes with essential features that React debugging tools must possess, such as health statistics, working sets, quick open, context view, a debugger, remote development, and a task runner, Nuclide provides a comprehensive toolkit for building robust and scalable applications.

In addition to its rich feature set, Nuclide offers valuable development assistance through features like auto-complete, inline errors, and jump-to-definition. Supported by a vibrant community of developers, Nuclide ensures accessibility and provides built-in support to aid developers in resolving issues efficiently. Nuclide offers built-in support for the React Native framework, enabling developers to create native iOS and Android applications using JavaScript, Flow, and the React UI library. This streamlines development by leveraging the familiarity and capabilities of JavaScript and React in the mobile app development realm.

9: Remote Redux Devtools

Remote Redux DevTools empowers developers to remotely debug their Redux store, a centralized state management library that simplifies and streamlines application state management. By connecting to the store remotely, developers gain valuable insights into the current state, actions, and history of the store, facilitating early bug detection and a deeper understanding of state updates.

The tool creates a network connection to the store, empowering developers to examine the store's contents, dispatch actions, and undo or redo previously dispatched actions. This capability is essential for debugging live applications, providing developers with a thorough understanding of the application's state and the sequence of actions that influenced it.

Remote Redux DevTools particularly shines in React Native mobile application development projects, enabling developers to debug the store on a device without the hassle of connecting to a physical device or emulator. This capability saves significant time and effort in the long run, enhancing development efficiency. The tool's setup is straightforward, requiring only package installation and store configuration. It’s a free to use tool.

10: React Navigation

React Navigation - Code

React Navigation streamlines the navigation setup for React Native apps, providing a toolkit to effortlessly construct navigation stacks, tabs, and drawers. Notably, the library supports deep linking, enabling developers to generate links that directly open specific screens within their app.

What sets React Navigation apart is its remarkable customizability. Developers can tailor navigation structures to harmonize with their app's design and effortlessly adjust navigation elements in response to any design modifications.

With widespread adoption in diverse apps, React Navigation stands out as an excellent choice for developers aiming to deliver a seamless navigation experience for their users. It’s a free to use tool.

11: Jest

Jest - Syntax

Jest stands as one of the leading React Native debugging tools in the market, empowering developers to craft and execute valuable tests for their React Native code. Equipped with a user-friendly toolkit, Jest streamlines the testing of components, actions, and reducers, enhancing the overall testing experience. It offers seamless collaboration with fellow developer tools like Enzyme which fosters in-depth testing of component behavior.

Now where does Jest figure in the world of React Native projects? Well, it proves fruitful by helping developers identify problems before the app is released to users, thus saving loads of time and effort and streamlining better application quality.

To leverage Jest effectively, it is advisable to create tests for a substantial portion of the codebase. This ensures thorough testing, early bug detection, and ultimately contributes to the overall robustness of the app. It’s a free to use tool.

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12: React Native CLI

React Native CLI - Instructions

This React Native tool serves as a primary choice for developing React Native apps and also doubles as a debugging tool when needed. The React Native CLI is instrumental in retrieving pertinent information about the dependencies and libraries employed in the app. This data proves valuable for debugging instances where bugs arise from discrepancies in the versions of tools used during app development. It’s a free to use extension for React.

13: Xcode

Xcode, an integrated development environment (IDE) specifically designed for macOS, encompasses a comprehensive suite of software development tools meticulously crafted by Apple.

Xcode's Debugging View Hierarchies tool provides a valuable means for examining and analyzing the view hierarchy. By pausing the application, Xcode generates an interactive 3D representation of the currently selected window, facilitating the detection and resolution of subtle UI issues. These issues may include misaligned text, labels, graphics, or images. XCode is free to use.

Selecting the right React Native debugging tool

Choosing the correct React debugging tools is important so that you can go about the identification and resolution of problems in an efficient manner, and can also streamline a smooth development process and high quality application. We must keep a lot of things in mind while selecting the right React debugging tools- let’s now go over some of them.

  1. Features and functionality: Assess the range of features offered by React Native debugging tools in the market, considering their ability to address your specific debugging needs. Make sure to prioritize React debugging tools that give detailed support for component inspection, state management debugging, network request monitoring, and performance profiling.
  2. Ease of use and integration: Analyze the ease of use and smoothness of the integration offered by each tool. Choosing React Debugging tools that are easy to learn will help you understand their functionality at a much faster pace than you might allocate for a more complex tool. Following this, you can smoothly integrate those React debugging tools into your workflow. 
  3. Compatibility and platform support: Ensure that the chosen tools are compatible with your operating system, development environment, and React Native version. Make sure to have a go at React debugging tools that offer support for a range of platforms, like macOS, Windows, and Linux.
  4. Community and support: Assess the level of community engagement and support available for each one of these React debugging tools. Active communities and comprehensive documentation prove to be of great help when encountering issues or seeking guidance.
  5. Open source vs. commercial: Consider the benefits and drawbacks of open-source versus commercial debugging tools. Open-source React Native debugging tools offer flexibility and customization, while commercial React Native debugging tools may provide more polished features and dedicated support.
  6. Performance and overhead: Thoroughly analyze the performance impact of each tool on your development environment. Choose React Native debugging tools that are optimized for performance to avoid causing a negative effect to your development workflow.
  7. Future development and roadmap: Evaluate the ongoing development and roadmap of each tool. Choose React Native debugging tools with active development and a clear roadmap to ensure they remain relevant and aligned with your future needs.
  8. Community feedback and reviews: Read reviews and feedback from other developers who have used these React Native debugging tools. Doing this can give a good look at their real-world performance and usability.
  9. Personal preferences and experience: Ultimately, the choice of React Native debugging tools should align with your personal preferences and experience. Try out a diverse mix of tools so that you can gauge which ones will best suit your workflow and debugging style.

All in all- choosing the right React Native debugging tools might be a time consuming process, but it is one that would bear fruit, for taking your time to choose the right tools will ensure that you have an accurate assessment of the market and would pick the React Native debugging tools that are best for your purposes. 

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The landscape of mobile app development is constantly changing, and React Native has now become a powerful framework which helps with the making of cross-platform applications that offer native-like performance. However, with the complexity of building and maintaining sophisticated mobile apps, the need for effective React Native debugging tools becomes paramount.

Do not worry, for the market encompasses a wide platter of React Native debugging tools that come with a diverse set of functionalities and capabilities. Be it detailed performance profiling, in depth inspection of components, these tools ensure that developers can gauge and sort out problems in a quick and seamless manner, thus fostering a smooth development process and a high quality application.

When you are choosing the right React Native debugging tools, it is important to take into account many factors like feature set, ease of use, platform compatibility, community support, and performance impact. Taking a good, hard look at these factors will help developers to select tools tailored to their specific needs and preferences.

As React Native continues to evolve, the demand for robust debugging tools will only increase. Efficient React Native debugging tools help developers with the streamlining of workflows, enhancing productivity, and provision of solid mobile apps.

Read our comprehensive guide on react native debugging for more insights.

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