Chapter 25. Mobile Application Distribution

In my high school in the mid-1990s, it was all the rage to download games for your TI-81 graphing calculator. Someone would get ahold of a copy of a game and then it would spread like wildfire, each of us taking turns connecting our calculator to another with a cord in order to load the game. Having a game on your calculator was a way to fill the hours in the back of a class or study hall while maintaining the appearance of doing schoolwork. As you can imagine, however, this distribution method was slow, requiring two students to remain connected for several minutes while others waited. Today, our digital pocket computers are capable of much more than my humble graphing calculator, in part because we can easily extend their capabilities through installable third-party applications.

With our initial application development complete, we can now distribute our application so that others may access it. In this chapter we’ll look at how to configure our app.json file for distribution. We’ll then publish our application publicly within Expo. Finally, we’ll generate application packages that can be submitted to the Apple or Google Play stores.

app.json Configuration

Expo applications include an app.json file, which is used to configure application-specific settings.

When we generate a new Expo application, an app.json file is automatically created for us. Let’s take a look at the generated file for our application:

  "expo": {
    "name" ...

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