React to React Native

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How to convert from React to React Native


Converting from React to React Native involves adapting web-based React code to mobile-based React Native code. This guide assumes you're proficient in React but new to React Native. Below, we outline key conversion aspects, focusing on optimizing your code for mobile platforms.

Understanding Differences Between React and React Native

React: A Brief Overview

React is a JavaScript library used for building user interfaces specifically for web applications. It allows you to create reusable UI components.

React Native: A Brief Overview

React Native, on the other hand, is a framework for building mobile applications using React. It uses native components such as View, Text, and Image instead of traditional HTML tags like div, span, and img.

Setting Up Your React Native Environment

Before converting your React code, ensure your React Native environment is set up. You’ll need:

  1. Node.js
  2. Watchman (for macOS users)
  3. The React Native CLI or Expo CLI (Expo is recommended for beginners)

Converting Components to React Native

Replacing HTML Elements

React uses HTML tags, while React Native uses native components:

  • Replace <div> with <View>
  • Replace <span> with <Text>
  • Replace <img> with <Image>

Similarly, other HTML elements like <button>, <input>, and <ul> need to be replaced with their React Native equivalents or custom components.

// React code
    <h1>Hello, World!</h1>
    <img src="logo.png" alt="Logo" />

// React Native code
import { View, Text, Image } from 'react-native';

    <Text style={{fontSize: 24}}>Hello, World!</Text>
    <Image source={require('./assets/logo.png')} style={{width: 200, height: 200}} />

Adapting Styles with Flexbox

React Native does not support traditional CSS. Styling is done using JavaScript objects and relies heavily on Flexbox for layout.

// React CSS
const styles = {
    container: {
        display: 'flex',
        justifyContent: 'center',
        alignItems: 'center'
    text: {
        fontSize: '24px'

// React Native Stylesheet
import { StyleSheet } from 'react-native';

const styles = StyleSheet.create({
    container: {
        flex: 1,
        justifyContent: 'center',
        alignItems: 'center'
    text: {
        fontSize: 24

Handling Navigation

React applications often use React Router for navigation, whereas React Native uses libraries like React Navigation or native navigators.

// React Router
import { BrowserRouter as Router, Route } from 'react-router-dom';

    <Route path="/" component={Home} />
    <Route path="/about" component={About} />

// React Navigation
import { NavigationContainer } from '@react-navigation/native';
import { createStackNavigator } from '@react-navigation/stack';

const Stack = createStackNavigator();

    <Stack.Navigator initialRouteName="Home">
        <Stack.Screen name="Home" component={HomeScreen} />
        <Stack.Screen name="About" component={AboutScreen} />

Managing State

State management libraries like Redux work for both React and React Native. However, you might need to ensure performance optimization for mobile applications.

// Common Redux Usage in both React and React Native
import { createStore } from 'redux';
import { Provider } from 'react-redux';

const store = createStore(reducer);

<Provider store={store}>
    <App />

Handling Network Requests

For API calls, you can use the same libraries like Axios or Fetch in both environments without modification.

// Common usage in both React and React Native
import axios from 'axios';

    .then(response => console.log(
    .catch(error => console.error(error));

Using Device Features

React Native has specific APIs to access device features like the camera, GPS, and more. Libraries like react-native-camera or expo-location may need to be integrated.

// Accessing camera using React Native
import { RNCamera } from 'react-native-camera';

<RNCamera style={{ flex: 1 }} type={RNCamera.Constants.Type.back} />


Converting from React to React Native requires understanding the differences between web and mobile development paradigms. By replacing HTML elements with native components, adapting styles, managing state correctly, and leveraging device-specific features, you can effectively create a seamless mobile experience. This guide serves as a foundation, but further exploration of React Native’s extensive documentation will be beneficial for more complex requirements. Happy coding!

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