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Next.js 15 Release Candidate: Key Features and Enhancements

The Next.js 15 Release Candidate (RC) is now available, offering developers a sneak peek into the latest features and improvements before the upcoming stable release. This early version introduces several significant enhancements across various aspects of the framework, ensuring better performance, easier maintenance, and more efficient development processes.

Highlights of Next.js 15 RC

React 19 RC Support

Next.js 15 RC now supports React 19 RC, which includes new features designed for both client and server environments. This integration allows developers to experiment with the latest React APIs, including Actions, which streamline client-server interactions. However, be mindful that some third-party libraries might not yet be compatible with React 19.

Experimental React Compiler

The React Compiler, a new experimental tool developed by the React team at Meta, is now supported in Next.js 15. This compiler enhances your code by applying automatic optimizations, reducing the need for manual memoization.

Improved Hydration Error Handling

Building on the improvements introduced in Next.js 14.1, the Next.js 15 RC further enhances error messages related to hydration errors. These messages now provide more detailed insights and actionable suggestions, making debugging faster and more straightforward.

Updated Caching Defaults

Next.js 15 introduces changes to its caching strategy, shifting from caching fetch requests, GET Route Handlers, and client navigations by default to not caching them. This update aims to improve performance and reduce unexpected behavior. Developers can still opt into caching as needed using specific configuration options.

Partial Prerendering (PPR)

Partial Prerendering (PPR) allows for a mix of static and dynamic rendering on the same page. This feature, introduced in Next.js 14, is now more flexible with the experimental_ppr route config option, enabling incremental adoption. By setting this option, you can wrap dynamic components in a Suspense boundary for more efficient rendering.

New next/after API

The new next/after API allows developers to execute code after a response has been sent, ideal for non-critical tasks like logging and analytics. This API ensures these secondary tasks do not delay the primary response, enhancing the user experience.

Updated create-next-app

The create-next-app utility has been revamped with a new design and additional features. Notably, it now includes a prompt for enabling Turbopack during local development and an --empty flag to start projects with a minimal setup, making it easier to get started on new projects.

Bundling External Packages

Next.js 15 enhances the bundling process of external packages. In the App Router, external packages are bundled by default, while the Pages Router requires specifying packages to bundle. The new bundlePagesRouterDependencies option in the Pages Router unifies this behavior, ensuring consistent performance improvements across your application.

Next.js 15 RC brings a host of new features and improvements designed to make web development more efficient and enjoyable. By exploring these enhancements, developers can provide valuable feedback to the Next.js team and prepare their projects for the stable release.

How to Get Started with Next.js 15 RC

To try out the Next.js 15 RC, you can install it along with React 19 RC using the following command: npm install next@rc react@rc react-dom@rc

Stay tuned for the Next.js 15 General Availability (GA) announcement

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