Using React-Navigation in React Native

I read about react-navigation and was curious how it compares to ex-navigation. In this post I will be creating the same application I created in my previous post about ex-navigation but using react-navigation instead. Do note that react-navigation has taken a lot of inspiration from ex-navigation and NavigatorExperimental hence it does have similar APIs. React-navigation is still in beta and API’s may change up to the final release.

Like any other react native project using the react-native-cli create a new react native project.

react-native init reactnavigationexample

We will install react-navigation by running the following command

yarn add react-navigation


npm install --save react-navigation

Now create a new file called NavigationContainer.js

import React from "react";
import { StackNavigator } from "react-navigation";
import HomeScreen from "./HomeScreen";
import AboutScreen from "./AboutScreen";

const navigationContainer = StackNavigator({
  Home: { screen: HomeScreen },
  About: { screen: AboutScreen },

export default navigationContainer;

We will be using StackNavigator from react-navigation and define a new constant with the routes in our application.

In the HomeScreen.js we will use the following code.

import React from "react";
import { View, Text, TouchableOpacity } from "react-native";

const HomeScreen = ({ navigation: { navigate } }) => (
    <Text>Home Screen</Text>
    <TouchableOpacity onPress={() => navigate("About")}>
      <Text>Go to About</Text>

HomeScreen.navigationOptions = {
  title: "Home",

export default HomeScreen;

Using ES6 Destructuring syntax (which is equivalent to props.navigation.navigate) we call the navigate function and pass the name of the route we want to navigate to. This name is the key of the routes defined in the StackNavigator function in the NavigationContainer.js. Next thing is we will create a new file AboutScreen.js.

import React from "react";
import { View, Text } from "react-native";

const AboutScreen = () => (
    <Text>About Screen</Text>

AboutScreen.navigationOptions = {
  title: "About",

export default AboutScreen;

navigationOptions are set of options that are provided for the header such as the title, adding right button and more. Check out the for more information.

react-navigation is quite similar to ex-navigation and removes the complexity and boilerplate code that NavigationExperimental has.

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