{{announcement.body}}
{{announcement.title}}

Navigation in a React Native Web Application

DZone 's Guide to

Navigation in a React Native Web Application

In this article, we discuss how to add navigation to a React Native web application with npm's react-navigation module.

· Web Dev Zone ·
Free Resource

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

Setting up navigation in  react–native–web  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 React Native 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 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).

You may also like: A Look at React Native and React.js.

Installation

Run  the following command to install  reactnavigation along with other necessary packages, including react-navigation-stack.
Shell




x


1
expo install react-navigation react-native-gesture-handler react-native-reanimated react-native-screens
2
 
3
npm i react-navigation-stack
4
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 react–navigation," then the reason is that expo would look for the correct version of the react–navigation 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.

installing necessary dependencies

Installing necessary dependencies

Create a Few Screens

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

  • Profile screen
  • Post screen
JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
27
 
1
// feed screen
2
 
3
import React from 'react';
4
import {View, Text, StyleSheet, Button, Platform} from 'react-native';
5
 
6
export default class Feed extends React.Component {
7
 
8
    render() {
9
        return <View style={styles.container}>
10
            <Text>This is the feed screen</Text>
11
           <Button
12
                    title="Go to Profile"
13
                    onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Profile')}
14
            />
15
 
16
 
17
        </View>
18
    }
19
}
20
 
21
const styles = StyleSheet.create({
22
    container: {
23
        flex: 1,
24
        justifyContent: 'center',
25
        alignItems: 'center',
26
    }
27
})


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

JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
26
 
1
// Profile screen
2
 
3
import React from 'react';
4
import {View, Text, StyleSheet, Button, Platform} from 'react-native';
5
 
6
export default class Profile extends React.Component {
7
 
8
    render() {
9
        return <View style={styles.container}>
10
            <Text>This is the profile screen</Text>
11
            <Button
12
                title="Go to Feed"
13
                onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Feed')}
14
            />
15
 
16
        </View>
17
    }
18
}
19
 
20
const styles = StyleSheet.create({
21
    container: {
22
        flex: 1,
23
        justifyContent: 'center',
24
        alignItems: 'center',
25
    }
26
})

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:
JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
27
 
1
// Home.js, just a name of the stack navigation
2
 
3
import {createStackNavigator} from 'react-navigation-stack';
4
import {createAppContainer} from 'react-navigation';
5
 
6
import Feed from "../screens/Feed";
7
import Profile from "../screens/Profile";
8
 
9
 
10
const Home = createStackNavigator(
11
    {
12
        Profile: Profile,
13
        Feed: Feed,
14
    },
15
    {
16
        navigationOptions: {
17
            headerTintColor: '#fff',
18
            headerStyle: {
19
                backgroundColor: '#000',
20
            },
21
        },
22
    }
23
);
24
 
25
const container = createAppContainer(Home);
26
 
27
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.

JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
 
1
// App.js
2
 
3
export default function App() {
4
  return (
5
    <View style={styles.outer}>
6
      <Home></Home>
7
    </View>
8
  );
9
}


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 the display, assuming everything goes well.

Profile screen demo

Profile screen demo

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.

application running in web

Application running in web

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:

JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
 
1
export default class Feed extends React.Component {
2
    static navigationOptions = {
3
        title: "Feed"
4
    }


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 react–navigation is that it supports URL updates when the screen changes. The way navigationOptions is added inside the screen class, you can also add a title.

JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
 
1
export default class Feed extends React.Component {
2
    static navigationOptions = {
3
        title: "Feed"
4
    }
5
 
6
    static path = "feed";
7
 
8
    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 provides a Link module that gets converted into an a tag on to the web.

This module doesn’t work when you try to run the app. So, we use Platform module provided by react–native to differentiate between web and app.

JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
39
 
1
// feed screen
2
 
3
import React from 'react';
4
import {View, Text, StyleSheet, Button, Platform} from 'react-native';
5
import {Link} from "@react-navigation/web";
6
 
7
const isWeb = Platform.OS === 'web';
8
 
9
 
10
export default class Feed extends React.Component {
11
    static navigationOptions = {
12
        title: "Feed"
13
    }
14
 
15
    static path = "feed";
16
 
17
    render() {
18
        return <View style={styles.container}>
19
            <Text>This is the feed screen</Text>
20
            {
21
                !isWeb ? <Button
22
                    title="Go to Profile"
23
                    onPress={() => this.props.navigation.navigate('Profile')}
24
            />:  <Link routeName="Profile">Go Profile</Link>
25
 
26
            }
27
 
28
 
29
        </View>
30
    }
31
}
32
 
33
const styles = StyleSheet.create({
34
    container: {
35
        flex: 1,
36
        justifyContent: 'center',
37
        alignItems: 'center',
38
    }
39
})


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:

JavaScript
xxxxxxxxxx
1
31
 
1
// Home.js, just a name of the stack navigation
2
 
3
import {createStackNavigator} from 'react-navigation-stack';
4
import {createAppContainer} from 'react-navigation';
5
import {createBrowserApp} from '@react-navigation/web';
6
 
7
import Feed from "../screens/Feed";
8
import Profile from "../screens/Profile";
9
import {Platform} from "react-native";
10
 
11
const isWeb = Platform.OS === 'web';
12
 
13
 
14
const Home = createStackNavigator(
15
    {
16
        Profile: Profile,
17
        Feed: Feed,
18
    },
19
    {
20
        navigationOptions: {
21
            headerTintColor: '#fff',
22
            headerStyle: {
23
                backgroundColor: '#000',
24
            },
25
        },
26
    }
27
);
28
 
29
const container = isWeb ? createBrowserApp(Home): createAppContainer(Home);
30
 
31
export default container;


Try running the app in the browser. The 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.


Further Reading

Topics:
react native ,react ,javascript ,mobile app ,tutorial

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

{{ parent.title || parent.header.title}}

{{ parent.tldr }}

{{ parent.urlSource.name }}