The Latest Batch of NativeScript Plugins

By
TJ VanToll

The NativeScript community has been hard at work creating NativeScript plugins. In fact, we now have over 100 NativeScript plugins up on npm.

Let’s look at the last few plugins released.

Firebase

Do you want to use Firebase to store your backend data? Well then NativeScript plugin extraordinaire Eddy Verbruggen has a plugin for you.

You can download the plugin, and go through Jen Looper’s tutorial to see how it all works. Then you can build slick, live-updating apps like this one to impress your friends.

Contacts

Ever wanted to access a user’s contacts in a NativeScript? Wait no more, as Ryan Lebel has just released a contacts plugin. He’s looking for help on the Android implementation, in case you’re looking for a fun weekend project.

Messenger

Do you need to send SMS messages from you NativeScript app? Great! You can use Ryan Lebel’s messenger plugin to do so. Just require() the plugin and call its send() method:

var messenger = require( "nativescript-messenger" );
var numbers = ["905-454-1234", "905-454-4321", "905-929-1122"];
messenger.send(numbers, "My message", "Subject of Message");

 

Snackbar

Are you using a material design in your Android app? Do you want an easy way to create snackbars? Good news—Brad Martin has created a plugin for you.

Note: If you no idea what a snackbar is—which, by the way, I totally didn’t—check out Google’s docs for some examples.

The plugin is called nativescript-snackbar and it makes creating a snackbar as simple as running the following code:

var snackbar = require("nativescript-snackbar");
snackbar.simple("I Love NativeScript!");

 

The result looks something like this:

Tip: Brad also has a really nice post on how to use a snackbar in your NativeScript app. You should totally read it.

Local notifications

Do you want to send notifications in your app, but not go through the hassle of setting up push notifications? Well of course you do, and Eddy Verbruggen—again—has a plugin for you: local notifications.

Tip: By the way, if you do want to go through the hassle of sending true push notifications, we have a plugin for that too. Plugins for all the things!

The plugin is super easy to setup and use. Download the plugin from npm, check out the documentation, or even clone Eddy’s sample app.

Android Wear

Does your NativeScript app need the ability to communicate with an Android Wear? Of course it does, and Peter Messenger is here to help you out with a plugin. Check out Peter’s blog for more information on the plugin, including a nice guide to the process he went through to build it.

Building plugins

Do you want to build your own plugin and earn the glory that comes with it? Great! Building a NativeScript plugin can be a fun way to learn a bit about iOS and Android.

Check out our plugin documentation, as well as our documentation on accessing native APIs in JavaScript. You may also find it helpful to refer to a handful of existing plugins as a reference. For instance the NativeScript flashlight plugin provides a super simple API so that you can see how plugins work.

If you’re looking for ideas for plugins to create, try referring to issues that have an “up-for-grabs” label on the main NativeScript GitHub repo. You can also look over existing Cordova plugins and try to recreate those in NativeScript. It’s fun—really.

Happy plugin-ing!


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