Up and Running
The aim of this first guide is to get an Expo application up and running as quickly as possible.
At this point we should have XDE installed on our development machine and the Expo client on an iOS or Android physical device or emulator. If not, go back to the Installation guide before proceeding.
Alright, let’s get started.
Create an account
Upon opening XDE you will be prompted for a username and password. Fill this in with your desired username and password and hit continue — if the username isn’t already taken, then we will automatically create the account for you.
Creating the project
Project and select
New Project, then choose the
Tab Navigation option since that will give us a good starting point, then enter the name of your project in the dialog that pops up. I’ll call mine
first-project, and press create.
Next, choose where to save the project. I keep all of my fun projects in
~/coding, so I navigate to that directory and press open.
XDE is now initializing a new project in selected directory: it copies a basic template and installs
When the project is initialized and ready to go you will see the message “React packager ready” in the XDE logs.
Note: If you are on MacOS and XDE gets stuck on “Waiting for packager and tunnel to start”, you may need to install watchman on your machine. The easiest way to do this is with Homebrew,
brew install watchman.
Open the app on your phone or simulator
You’ll see that XDE shows you a URL like
http://4v-9wa.notbrent.mynewproject.exp.direct:80- feel free to open this up in your browser, you will see that it serves up some JSON. This JSON is the Expo manifest. We can open our app by opening the Expo app on our phone typing this URL into the address bar. Alternatively, press
Share, enter your phone number, and press
Send Link. Open the message on your phone and tap on the link to open it in Expo. You can share this link with anybody else who has the Expo app installed, but it will only be available as long as you have the project open in XDE.
To open the app in the iOS simulator you can press the
Device button and choose
Open on iOS Simulator (macOS only). To open the app in the Android emulator, first boot it up and then press
Open on Android.
Making your first change
screens/HomeScreen.js in your new project and change any of the text in the
render() function. You should see your app reload with your changes.
Can’t see your changes?
Live reload is enabled by default, but let’s just make sure we go over the steps to enable it in case somehow things just aren’t working.
First, make sure you have development mode enabled in XDE.
Next, close the app and reopen it.
Manually reloading the app
You have created a new Expo project, made a change, and seen it update.
Read about the Expo SDK to learn about some useful APIs we provide out of the box.
Join us on Slack to get your questions answered.