Expo is a complex wrapper around react-native which handles many complex tasks that need to be handled manually otherwise. It's a pretty nifty tool that can be used to quickly set up a react native application and then used to quickly deploy to android or iphone stores.

It also allows for continuous deployments, so anyone in the world can scan a code with the expo app and use it just like that!

Pros

  • Allows rapid development and setup, requires much less time to see something than native react-native development setup
  • Abstracts away a lot of pain points that could potentially slow down development
  • Build tools give the flexibility to deploy on both Android and iOS (without needing Apple devices)

Cons

  • Potentially limiting for large projects, anything more than a beginner project would be hindered by the limitations of expo and eventually you'd have to eject out of it -- Ejecting has its own overhead but is great if you started from expo
  • The abstractions of expo may be too much and hide away too much of the necessary complexity that a person needs to get acquainted with
  • There are hard limitations on what expo can achieve, many of the advanced features like WebRTC, Push Notifications via third party services, etc. are not available in expo