Setup React-Native for iOS and Android on Mac with VS Code

The very first step to start development in React-Native is to install the right tools to setup the environment correctly. I’m working on MacOS Catalina and I already have Xcode 11 installed on my machine which is one of the pre-requisites to run the iOS App.

Install the following dependencies for React-Native:

NodeJS: https://nodejs.org/en/download/

The recommended way to install Node is using Homebrew from your Terminal:

brew install node

Watchman: In react-native, Watchman watches the source code for any changes and rebuilds them.

brew install watchman

Install XCode from App Store.

Cocoapods: This is the Dependency Manager for iOS & Mac projects.

sudo gem install cocoapods

This requires you to enter system password.

Install Visual Studio Code for Mac from here. You might face issues on Mac OS Catalina to run VS Code due to Notarization requirements. You can check out this post for more details.

Create the folder inside say your Documents folder on your Mac as below:

mkdir Apps

Open VS Code and open New Terminal and type the following command to create a new React-Native App:

react-native init MyApp
cd MyApp
cd ios
pod install

Come back to the MyApp folder and run the below command to run your App in the iOS simulator:

react-native run-ios

This will install and launch the App in your iOS simulator. The first time might be very slow. It might be helpful to launch your simulator beforehand.

Running on Android:

Install the Android Studio from here, which will install the Android SDK and the required emulator. I’m using the Android 10 emulator for Pixel XL.

react-native run-android

Open the MyApp folder in VS Code to make further changes.

Issues

Running the Android App causes issues while launching the Emulator. The error message is: React Native adb reverse ENOENT

Starting with macOS Catalina, your Mac uses zsh as the default login shell and interactive shell. You can make zsh the default in earlier versions of macOS as well.

So on your Mac:

1 – Open your .zshrc file:

open ~/.zshrc

2 – if .zshrc file doesn’t exist, you need to create one & open again(Step 1)

touch ~/.zshrc

3 – Add this to your .zshrc file

export ANDROID_HOME=/Users/<username>/Library/Android/sdk
export PATH=/Users/<username>/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools:$PATH

4 – Save and close

5 – Compile your changes

source ~/.zshrc

& make sure to restart your terminal.

Run the command in the Terminal and you’ll see something like below if everything is fine:

adb

Android Debug Bridge version 1.0.41

Version 30.0.0-6374843

Installed as /Users/<username>/Library/Android/sdk/platform-tools/adb

You can also run the code in your VS Code Terminal and see the same output.

The path to Android SDK is available in the Configure button -> SDK Manager (at the bottom right) when you launch Android Studio.