Plugins are not new to NativeScript, but up until now developers were only able to expose native Android and iOS APIs by creating npm modules. With the 1.2 release we’re taking this a step further by allowing you to package native libraries and frameworks in the plugin. The improved plugin mechanism now respects Android libraries added to platforms/android and platforms/android/libs and also provides support for dynamic iOS libraries (*.framework).
This means that your NativeScript apps can now leverage an entire ecosystem of native iOS and Android frameworks and SDKs. Facebook, Twitter, Google Play Services, Telerik native UI, you name it. If you’re thinking of something that will fit your application scenario, there’s probably a library for it already available. In fact we often hear from developers is that there are just too many APIs and SDKs out there, and it’s nearly impossible to sort through the mess.
This is the main reason why we will soon be launching a dedicated hub for NativeScript plugins. We hope that it will help developers to cut through the clutter and will become an integral part of their workflow. The promise here is that every plugin submitted will be verified and approved by the NativeScript team.
The marketplace will be released end of September which is also when the 1.4 release is scheduled for. We have a good plan in place for initially seeding the marketplace with plugins but we really want this to be a community effort. NativeScript is still new and there’s a big opportunity for you to fill the missing parts by leveraging the power of existing native libraries. Creating a plugin is really easy and straightforward. Just check this article or the code of an existing one. Don’t forget that sharing a plugin with the community is good for your karma :) If you’re not into developing plugins but need a particular functionality, feel free to post your idea on the NativeScript ideas portal and maybe someone else can help you with the implementation.