How to do navigation in React native web in 2020

“React Native for Web” makes it possible to run React Native components and APIs on the web using React DOM.

It is as simple as that!!
So, if you have an app and you want to build a web version of it, or if you are planning to build a website along with an app, you should definitely learn React native web.

Setting up navigation in reactnativeweb is challenging as the navigation system works quite differently in apps vs browser.

In this article, we’ll set up the most popular react-navigation on to react-native-web.

Using React navigation in react native web

React navigation is the most famous library for navigation in reactnative. In this section, we’ll try to integrate react-navigation in reactnativeweb.

Prerequisite

For this setup, we’ll be using expo as the platform on which we’ll be building our reactnative app, which will run on android, ios, and the web.
Make sure you have expo-cli installed already.

To set up your codebase using expo, check this GitHub link [master branch]. Simply clone the branch and do run expo start

If you are looking for a quick code, then you can check this GitHub link [NOTE: the branch is reactnavigationsetup and not master.]

Installation

Run the following command to install reactnavigation along with other needed packages including reactnavigationstack.


expo install react-navigation react-native-gesture-handler react-native-reanimated react-native-screens


npm i react-navigation-stack
npm i @react-navigation/web

Check your package.json files to ensure all of the above packages are installed, make sure reactnavigation is version 4+. If you are wondering, why did we use expo instead of NPM/yarn while installing reactnavigation, then the reason is that expo would look for the correct version of the reactnavigation libraries that’d work with the expo version that’s installed in your project.

If you look into the printed console it uses NPM underneath.

Create a few screens

Now, let’s set up a few screens to test our navigation flow:

  • Profile screen
  • Post screen

// feed screen

import React from 'react';
import {View, Text, StyleSheet, Button, Platform} from 'react-native';

export default class Feed extends React.Component {

    render() {
        return <View style={styles.container}>
            <Text>This is the feed screen</Text>
           <Button
                    title="Go to Profile"
                    onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Profile')}
            />


        </View>
    }
}

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
    container: {
        flex: 1,
        justifyContent: 'center',
        alignItems: 'center',
    }
})

The above is the code for FeedScreen, which is a simple text, and a button. The button when clicked should go directly to the profile screen.


// Profile screen

import React from 'react';
import {View, Text, StyleSheet, Button, Platform} from 'react-native';

export default class Profile extends React.Component {

    render() {
        return <View style={styles.container}>
            <Text>This is the profile screen</Text>
            <Button
                title="Go to Feed"
                onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Feed')}
            />

        </View>
    }
}

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
    container: {
        flex: 1,
        justifyContent: 'center',
        alignItems: 'center',
    }
})

The Profile screen is the same as the Feed screen. Both the screens have a button which takes to the other screen.


Let’s also create stack navigation to connect these two screens together:

// Home.js, just a name of the stack navigation

import {createStackNavigator} from 'react-navigation-stack';
import {createAppContainer} from 'react-navigation';

import Feed from "../screens/Feed";
import Profile from "../screens/Profile";


const Home = createStackNavigator(
    {
        Profile: Profile,
        Feed: Feed,
    },
    {
        navigationOptions: {
            headerTintColor: '#fff',
            headerStyle: {
                backgroundColor: '#000',
            },
        },
    }
);

const container = createAppContainer(Home);

export default container;

Since the object that’s passed to CreateStackNavigator Profile comes first, the Profile screen is the default screen of this stack navigator.

Now, in the App.js file, simply render the Home Navigation.


// App.js

export default function App() {
  return (
    <View style={styles.outer}>
      <Home/>
    </View>
  );
}

Just run the app using command expo start , and it should launch the expo bundler for you.

If you press i to launch the Expo app in the IOS simulator in the terminal, the following screen comes up on display, if everything goes well.

When you click on the Go to Feed button, it should take you to the feed screen.

To run the same setup on to the web, simply press w in your terminal, it will launch the web app in your default browser.

The click functionality also works on the web as well. The top border is for the screen title, you can add it by adding navigationOptions to the feed and profile screen like this.


export default class Feed extends React.Component {
    static navigationOptions = {
        title: "Feed"
    }
...

But there is one problem with the web navigation, the URL doesn’t change when you go from the profile to the feed screen.
In the web navigation, it is extremely important to have the change in page reflecting in the URL as well.

In the app, there is no way a user can directly jump to a screen other than the default screen, but in the browser it is possible, a user can enter a URL.

The good part of reactnavigation is that it supports URL updates when the screen changes. The way navigationOptions is added inside the screen class similarly you can also add title.


export default class Feed extends React.Component {
    static navigationOptions = {
        title: "Feed"
    }

    static path = "feed";

    render() {
...

For the profile screen, you can keep the path as empty static path = "".


When you go to http://localhost:19006/feed, the web app would understand that you want to go to the feed screen and will render that for you. Try going to http://localhost:19006/feed directly, and it should render the feed page for you.

But when you click on the Go to Feed button, the URL won’t change.

There are a few other things that we need to do to make this work:
@react-navigation/web also provide Link module which gets converted into a tag on to the web.

And, this module doesn’t work when you try to run the app. So, we use Platform module provided by reactnative to differentiate between web and app.


// feed screen

import React from 'react';
import {View, Text, StyleSheet, Button, Platform} from 'react-native';
import {Link} from "@react-navigation/web";

const isWeb = Platform.OS === 'web';


export default class Feed extends React.Component {
    static navigationOptions = {
        title: "Feed"
    }

    static path = "feed";

    render() {
        return <View style={styles.container}>
            <Text>This is the feed screen</Text>
            {
                !isWeb ? <Button
                    title="Go to Profile"
                    onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Profile')}
            />:  <Link routeName="Profile">Go Profile</Link>

            }


        </View>
    }
}

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
    container: {
        flex: 1,
        justifyContent: 'center',
        alignItems: 'center',
    }
})

Here, we are conditionally rendering the Link and the Button.

You need to do similar changes for the Profile screen as well. Also, in the navigation container, instead of createAppContainer you need to use createBrowserApp for the web.

Here is the code for the navigation:


// Home.js, just a name of the stack navigation

import {createStackNavigator} from 'react-navigation-stack';
import {createAppContainer} from 'react-navigation';
import {createBrowserApp} from '@react-navigation/web';

import Feed from "../screens/Feed";
import Profile from "../screens/Profile";
import {Platform} from "react-native";

const isWeb = Platform.OS === 'web';


const Home = createStackNavigator(
    {
        Profile: Profile,
        Feed: Feed,
    },
    {
        navigationOptions: {
            headerTintColor: '#fff',
            headerStyle: {
                backgroundColor: '#000',
            },
        },
    }
);

const container = isWeb ? createBrowserApp(Home): createAppContainer(Home);

export default container;

Try running the app in the browser, Go to feed button click should change the URL to http://localhost:19006/feed.

Also, the app should be running fine on the simulators as well.

In the following videos, I have done the walkthrough of the reactnavigation setup on react native web.

What is difference between ReactJS and react native?

The main difference is that ReactJs is used to make websites, whereas React Native is used to make mobile applications. ReactJS is a tool you add to your website, whereas React Native is used to build your mobile apps from the ground up.

Who is using react native?

10 Amazing Apps that are Built using React Native
Facebook Ads Manager. Ads Manager is the first full React Native, cross platform app built by Facebook. .
Bloomberg. Bloomberg app provides global business and finance news to the users. …
AirBnB. Another popular app that’s built with React Native is AirBnB. …
Gyroscope. …
Myntra. …
UberEats. …
Discord. …
Instagram.

Is react hard to learn?

At it’s core, react is a user interface library that makes it easy to template our dynamic HTML using the JavaScript programming language. Because this is what React is, there are a couple of pretty intuitive things that probably makes sense to have a solid grasp on before you even start thinking about React.

What is native web?

native application is a software program that is developed for use on a particular platform or device. … Native apps can provide optimized performance and take advantage of the latest technology, such as a GPS, compared to web apps or mobile cloud apps developed to be generic across multiple systems.

How create Android App With react native?

Install React App Creator and Create A React Native App
To install it, type this command in your App projects folder. Then create a React Native App using this command. That command will create a React Native app then install all required modules. The app or project folder will contain these folders and files.

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