Expo.io – Building Android and iOS Apps using React Native Made Easy
I have used MIT's AppInventor in class rooms. All non-professional programmers appreciate how easy it is to use AppInventor to create apps. I have also seen lot of professionals using it to create one time use apps including me. It's a great tool except you can't generate an iOS app.
If you don't have a phone then you can try web embedded emulator. For most things it works. But the best experience would be with a phone and browser.
Let's say you are an advanced developer and want to build apps to publish in markets. Then you need a desktop development environment. You will need to install Expo desktop development tool called XDE and Expo mobile app which you have already installed.
Create the project. It gives you a basic structure. You can edit using any editor that you love. Use the URL to open the project on Expo App. I prefer LAN because its fast. You can try tunnel if you want to share with a friend temporarily. You can also install Android and iOS emulators to test. But I use their Expo app for testing. It fast and works perfectly fine. Once you are done. To share it with the world you can click share. It gives you an URL that you can share it with friends with Expo app.
You can also build Android or iOS binaries for the markets. But for that you need to go one more step and install the node package exp. Once you install you can build the binaries. Everything that you can do with XDE - Expo desktop development can also be done with exp. If you like command line then you can skip XDE and install exp.
So in the next class. Its going to be React Native with Expo.