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This guide covers the various navigation components available in React Native. If you are just getting started with navigation, you will probably want to use
Navigator. If you are only targeting iOS and would like to stick to the native look and feel, check out
NavigatorIOS. If you are looking for greater control over your navigation stack, you can't go wrong with
Navigator can easily be adapted to render different components based on the current route in its
renderScene function. It will transition new scenes onto the screen by sliding in from the right by default, but you can control this behavior by using the
configureScene function. You can also configure a navigation bar through the
Check out the Navigator API reference for specific examples that cover each of these scenarios.
NavigatorIOS uses routes to represent scenes, with some important differences. The actual component that will be rendered can be specified using the
component key in the route, and any props that should be passed to this component can be specified in
passProps. A "navigator" object is automatically passed as a prop to the component, allowing you to call
pop as needed.
NavigatorIOS leverages native UIKit navigation, it will automatically render a navigation bar with a back button and title.
Check out the
NavigatorIOS reference docs to learn more about this component.
You may also want to check out react-native-navigation, a component that aims to provide native navigation on both iOS and Android.
NavigatorIOS are both stateful components. If your app has multiple of these, it can become tricky to coordinate navigation transitions between them. NavigationExperimental provides a different approach to navigation, allowing any view to act as a navigation view and using reducers to manipulate state at a top-level object. It is bleeding edge as the name implies, but you might want to check it out if you are craving greater control over your app's navigation.
You can import
NavigationExperimental like any other component in React Native. Once you have that, you can deconstruct any additional components from
NavigationExperimental that you may find useful. Since I am feeling like building navigation stacks today, I'll go ahead and pick out
As I said earlier,
NavigationExperimental takes a different approach than
NavigatorIOS. Using it to build a navigation stack requires a few more steps than the stateful components, but the payoff is worth it.
Create a new component for your application. This will be the top-level object, so we will define the initial state here. The navigation state will be defined in the
navigationState key, where we define our initial route:
Alright, now we have a simple stateful component that doesn't do much at all. We can change that. Our initial state contains one route, and the current index. That looks suspiciously just like our initial route definition in Navigator. Do you remember which actions its navigator object provided?
Push and pop, of course. That seems pretty straightforward to implement. I promised you earlier we would be using reducers to manage state at the top-level object. Sit tight.
NavigationExperimental comes built-in with a some useful reducers, and they are all available as part of NavigationStateUtils. The two we will be using right now are called -- yep -- push and pop. They take a navigationState object, and return a new navigationState object.
We can use them to write our
_onNavigationChange function which, given a "push" or "pop" action, will reduce the state accordingly.
Cool. I'm getting the hang of this. This is the heart of NavigationExperimental. We are only handling two actions here, but a more complex application could also take into account a "back" action (e.g. Android back button), as well as handle the transition between several tabs in a tabbed application.
I am still missing the initial scene that will be rendered (as well as the actual navigator that will wrap it, but let's not get ahead of ourselves).
First I want to define a Row component out of convenience. It displays some text and can call some function when pressed.
Now I will define my actual scene. It uses a scroll view to display a vertical list of items. The first row displays the current route's key, and two more rows will call our theoretical navigator's push and pop functions.
Now that I have defined the state and a function to manage it, I think I can go ahead and create a proper navigator component now. While I'm at it, I'll render my scene after configuring it with the current route's props.
That's it -- so close to the finish line I can smell it. Let's plug our new navigator into our top-level component:
We're done! Bask in the glory of NavigationExperimental.
(Oh yes, sorry about that -- here's our missing imports and styles.)
You are now an expert navigator. Take a look at NavigationExperimental in UIExplorer to learn how to implement other types of navigation hierarchies, such as a tabbed application with multiple navigation stacks.
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