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Turbo Native Modules

caution

This documentation is still experimental and details are subject to changes as we iterate. Feel free to share your feedback on the discussion inside the working group for this page.

Moreover, it contains several manual steps. Please note that this won't be representative of the final developer experience once the New Architecture is stable. We're working on tools, templates and libraries to help you get started fast on the New Architecture, without having to go through the whole setup.

If you've worked with React Native, you may be familiar with the concept of Native Modules, which allow JavaScript and platform-native code to communicate over the React Native "bridge", which handles cross-platform serialization via JSON.

Turbo Native Modules are the next iteration on Native Modules that provide a few extra benefits:

  • Strongly typed interfaces that are consistent across platforms
  • The ability to write your code in C++, either exclusively or integrated with another native platform language, reducing the need to duplicate implementations across platforms
  • Lazy loading of modules, allowing for faster app startup
  • The use of JSI, a JavaScript interface for native code, which allows for more efficient communication between native and JavaScript code than the bridge

This guide will show you how to create a basic Turbo Native Module compatible with React Native 0.70.0.

caution

Turbo Native Modules only work with the New Architecture enabled. To migrate to the New Architecture, follow the Migration guide

How to Create a Turbo Native Module​

To create a Turbo Native Module, we need to:

  1. Define the JavaScript specification.
  2. Configure the module so that Codegen can generate the scaffolding.
  3. Write the native code to finish implementing the module.

1. Folder Setup​

In order to keep the module decoupled from the app, it's a good idea to define the module separately from the app and then add it as a dependency to your app later. This is also what you'll do for writing Turbo Native Modules that can be released as open-source libraries later.

Next to your application, create a folder called RTNCalculator. RTN stands for "React Native", and is a recommended prefix for React Native modules.

Within RTNCalculator, create three subfolders: js, ios, and android.

The final result should look like this:

TurboModulesGuide
β”œβ”€β”€ MyApp
└── RTNCalculator
β”œβ”€β”€ android
β”œβ”€β”€ ios
└── js

2. JavaScript Specification​

The New Architecture requires interfaces specified in a typed dialect of JavaScript (either Flow or TypeScript). Codegen will use these specifications to generate code in strongly-typed languages, including C++, Objective-C++, and Java.

There are two requirements the file containing this specification must meet:

  1. The file must be named Native<MODULE_NAME>, with a .js or .jsx extension when using Flow, or a .ts, or .tsx extension when using TypeScript. Codegen will only look for files matching this pattern.
  2. The file must export a TurboModuleRegistrySpec object.
NativeCalculator.ts
import type { TurboModule } from 'react-native/Libraries/TurboModule/RCTExport';
import { TurboModuleRegistry } from 'react-native';

export interface Spec extends TurboModule {
add(a: number, b: number): Promise<number>;
}

export default TurboModuleRegistry.get<Spec>(
'RTNCalculator'
) as Spec | null;

At the beginning of the spec files are the imports:

  • The TurboModule type, which defines the base interface for all Turbo Native Modules
  • The TurboModuleRegistry JavaScript module, which contains functions for loading Turbo Native Modules

The second section of the file contains the interface specification for the Turbo Native Module. In this case, the interface defines the add function, which takes two numbers and returns a promise that resolves to a number. This interface type must be named Spec for a Turbo Native Module.

Finally, we invoke TurboModuleRegistry.get, passing the module's name, which will load the Turbo Native Module if it's available.

caution

We are writing JavaScript files importing types from libraries, without setting up a proper node module and installing its dependencies. Your IDE will not be able to resolve the import statements and you may see errors and warnings. This is expected and will not cause problems when you add the module to your app.

3. Module Configuration​

Next, you need to add some configuration for Codegen and auto-linking.

Some of these configuration files are shared between iOS and Android, while the others are platform-specific.

Shared​

The shared configuration is a package.json file that will be used by yarn when installing your module. Create the package.json file in the root of the RTNCalculator directory.

package.json
{
"name": "rtn-calculator",
"version": "0.0.1",
"description": "Add numbers with Turbo Native Modules",
"react-native": "js/index",
"source": "js/index",
"files": [
"js",
"android",
"ios",
"rtn-calculator.podspec",
"!android/build",
"!ios/build",
"!**/__tests__",
"!**/__fixtures__",
"!**/__mocks__"
],
"keywords": ["react-native", "ios", "android"],
"repository": "https://github.com/<your_github_handle>/rtn-calculator",
"author": "<Your Name> <[email protected]_provider.com> (https://github.com/<your_github_handle>)",
"license": "MIT",
"bugs": {
"url": "https://github.com/<your_github_handle>/rtn-calculator/issues"
},
"homepage": "https://github.com/<your_github_handle>/rtn-calculator#readme",
"devDependencies": {},
"peerDependencies": {
"react": "*",
"react-native": "*"
},
"codegenConfig": {
"name": "RTNCalculatorSpec",
"type": "modules",
"jsSrcsDir": "js",
"android": {
"javaPackageName": "com.rtncalculator"
}
}
}

The upper part of the file contains some descriptive information like the name of the component, its version and its source files. Make sure to update the various placeholders which are wrapped in <>: replace all the occurrences of the <your_github_handle>, <Your Name>, and <[email protected]_provider.com> tokens.

Then there are the dependencies for this package. For this guide, you need react and react-native.

Finally, the Codegen configuration is specified by the codegenConfig field. It contains an array of libraries, each of which is defined by three other fields:

  • name: The name of the library. By convention, you should add the Spec suffix.
  • type: The type of module contained by this package. In this case, it is a Turbo Native Module; thus, the value to use is modules.
  • jsSrcsDir: the relative path to access the js specification that is parsed by Codegen.
  • android.javaPackageName: the package to use in the Java files generated by Codegen.

iOS: Create the podspec file​

For iOS, you'll need to create a rtn-calculator.podspec file which will define the module as a dependency for your app. It will stay in the root of RTNCalculator, alongside the ios folder.

The file will look like this:

rtn-calculator.podspec
require "json"

package = JSON.parse(File.read(File.join(__dir__, "package.json")))

folly_compiler_flags = '-DFOLLY_NO_CONFIG -DFOLLY_MOBILE=1 -DFOLLY_USE_LIBCPP=1 -Wno-comma -Wno-shorten-64-to-32'

Pod::Spec.new do |s|
s.name = "rtn-calculator"
s.version = package["version"]
s.summary = package["description"]
s.description = package["description"]
s.homepage = package["homepage"]
s.license = package["license"]
s.platforms = { :ios => "11.0" }
s.author = package["author"]
s.source = { :git => package["repository"], :tag => "#{s.version}" }

s.source_files = "ios/**/*.{h,m,mm,swift}"

s.dependency "React-Core"

s.compiler_flags = folly_compiler_flags + " -DRCT_NEW_ARCH_ENABLED=1"
s.pod_target_xcconfig = {
"HEADER_SEARCH_PATHS" => "\"$(PODS_ROOT)/boost\"",
"OTHER_CPLUSPLUSFLAGS" => "-DFOLLY_NO_CONFIG -DFOLLY_MOBILE=1 -DFOLLY_USE_LIBCPP=1",
"CLANG_CXX_LANGUAGE_STANDARD" => "c++17"
}

s.dependency "React-Codegen"
s.dependency "RCT-Folly"
s.dependency "RCTRequired"
s.dependency "RCTTypeSafety"
s.dependency "ReactCommon/turbomodule/core"
end

The .podspec file has to be a sibling of the package.json file and its name is the one we set in the package.json's name property: rtn-calculator.

The first part of the file prepares some variables we will use throughout the rest of it. Then, there is a section that contains some information used to configure the pod, like its name, version, and description. Finally, we have a set of dependencies that are required by the New Architecture.

Android: build.gradle, AndroidManifest.xml, a ReactPackage class​

To prepare Android to run Codegen you have to create three files:

  1. The build.gradle with the Codegen configuration
  2. The AndroidManifest.xml file
  3. A java class that implements the ReactPackage interface.

At the end of these steps, the android folder should look like this:

android
β”œβ”€β”€ build.gradle
└── src
└── main
β”œβ”€β”€ AndroidManifest.xml
└── java
└── com
└── rtncalculator
└── CalculatorPackage.java

The build.gradle file​

First, create a build.gradle file in the android folder, with the following contents:

build.gradle
buildscript {
ext.safeExtGet = {prop, fallback ->
rootProject.ext.has(prop) ? rootProject.ext.get(prop) : fallback
}
repositories {
google()
gradlePluginPortal()
}
dependencies {
classpath("com.android.tools.build:gradle:7.1.1")
}
}

apply plugin: 'com.android.library'
apply plugin: 'com.facebook.react'

android {
compileSdkVersion safeExtGet('compileSdkVersion', 31)
}

repositories {
maven {
// All of React Native (JS, Obj-C sources, Android binaries) is installed from npm
url "$projectDir/../node_modules/react-native/android"
}
mavenCentral()
google()
}

dependencies {
implementation 'com.facebook.react:react-native:+'
}

The AndroidManifest.xml​

Second, create an android/src/main folder. Inside that folder, create a AndroidManifest.xml file, with the following code:

AndroidManifest.xml
<manifest xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
package="com.rtncalculator">
</manifest>

This is a small manifest file that defines the package for your module.

The ReactPackage class​

Finally, you need a class that extends the TurboReactPackage interface. To run the Codegen process, you don't have to completely implement the package class: an empty implementation is enough for the app to pick up the module as a proper React Native dependency and to try and generate the scaffolding code.

Create an android/src/main/java/com/rtncalculator folder and, inside that folder, create a CalculatorPackage.java file.

CalculatorPackage.java
package com.rtncalculator;

import androidx.annotation.Nullable;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.NativeModule;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactApplicationContext;
import com.facebook.react.module.model.ReactModuleInfoProvider;
import com.facebook.react.TurboReactPackage;

import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.List;

public class CalculatorPackage extends TurboReactPackage {

@Nullable
@Override
public NativeModule getModule(String name, ReactApplicationContext reactContext) {
return null;
}

@Override
public ReactModuleInfoProvider getReactModuleInfoProvider() {
return null;
}
}

The ReactPackage interface is used by React Native to understand what native classes the app has to use for the ViewManager and Native Modules exported by the library.

4. Native Code​

For the final step in getting your Turbo Native Module ready to go, you'll need to write some native code to connect the JavaScript side to the native platforms. This process requires two main steps:

  • Run Codegen to see what it generates.
  • Write your native code, implementing the generated interfaces.

When developing a React Native app that uses a Turbo Native Module, it is the responsibility of the app to actually generate the code using Codegen. However, when developing a TurboModule as a library, we need to reference the generated code, and it is therefore, useful to see what the app will generate.

As first step for both iOS and Android, this guide shows how to execute manually the scripts used by Codegen to generate the required code. Further information on Codegen can be found here

caution

The code generated by Codegen in this step should not be committed to the versioning system. React Native apps are able to generate the code when the app is built. This allows an app to ensure that all libraries have code generated for the correct version of React Native.

iOS​

Generate the code - iOS​

To run Codegen for the iOS platform, we need to open a terminal and run the following command:

Running Codegen for iOS
cd MyApp
yarn add ../RTNCalculator
cd ..
node MyApp/node_modules/react-native/scripts/generate-artifacts.js \
--path MyApp/ \
--outputPath RTNCalculator/generated/

This script first adds the RTNCalculator module to the app with yarn add. Then, it invokes Codegen via the generate-artifacts.js script.

The --path option specifies the path to the app, while the --outputPath option tells Codegen where to output the generated code.

The output of this process is the following folder structure:

generated
└── build
└── generated
└── ios
β”œβ”€β”€ FBReactNativeSpec
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ FBReactNativeSpec-generated.mm
β”‚ └── FBReactNativeSpec.h
β”œβ”€β”€ RCTThirdPartyFabricComponentsProvider.h
β”œβ”€β”€ RCTThirdPartyFabricComponentsProvider.mm
β”œβ”€β”€ RTNCalculatorSpec
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ RTNCalculatorSpec-generated.mm
β”‚ └── RTNCalculatorSpec.h
└── react
└── renderer
└── components
└── rncore
β”œβ”€β”€ ComponentDescriptors.h
β”œβ”€β”€ EventEmitters.cpp
β”œβ”€β”€ EventEmitters.h
β”œβ”€β”€ Props.cpp
β”œβ”€β”€ Props.h
β”œβ”€β”€ RCTComponentViewHelpers.h
β”œβ”€β”€ ShadowNodes.cpp
└── ShadowNodes.h

The relevant path for the Turbo Native Module interface is generated/build/generated/ios/RTNCalculatorSpec.

See the Codegen section for further details on the generated files.

note

When generating the scaffolding code using Codegen, iOS does not clean the build folder automatically. If you changed a the Spec name, for example, and then run Codegen again, the old files will be retained. If that happens, remember to remove the build folder before running the Codegen again.

cd MyApp/ios
rm -rf build

Write the Native iOS Code​

Now add the Native code for your Turbo Native Module. Create two files in the RTNCalculator/ios folder:

  1. The RTNCalculator.h, a header file for the module.
  2. The RTNCalculator.mm, the implementation of the module.
RTNCalculator.h​
RTNCalculator.h
#import <RTNCalculatorSpec/RTNCalculatorSpec.h>

NS_ASSUME_NONNULL_BEGIN

@interface RTNCalculator : NSObject <NativeCalculatorSpec>

@end

NS_ASSUME_NONNULL_END

This file defines the interface for the RTNCalculator module. Here, we can add any native method we may want to invoke on the view. For this guide, we don't need anything, therefore the interface is empty.

RTNCalculator.mm​
RTNCalculator.mm
#import "RTNCalculatorSpec.h"
#import "RTNCalculator.h"

@implementation RTNCalculator

RCT_EXPORT_MODULE()

- (void)add:(double)a b:(double)b resolve:(RCTPromiseResolveBlock)resolve reject:(RCTPromiseRejectBlock)reject {
NSNumber *result = [[NSNumber alloc] initWithInteger:a+b];
resolve(result);
}

- (std::shared_ptr<facebook::react::TurboModule>)getTurboModule:
(const facebook::react::ObjCTurboModule::InitParams &)params
{
return std::make_shared<facebook::react::NativeCalculatorSpecJSI>(params);
}

@end

The most important call is to the RCT_EXPORT_MODULE, which is required to export the module so that React Native can load the Turbo Native Module.

Then the add method, whose signature must match the one specified by the Codegen in the RTNCalculatorSpec.h.

Finally, the getTurboModule method gets an instance of the Turbo Native Module so that the JavaScript side can invoke its methods. The function is defined in (and requested by) the RTNCalculatorSpec.h file that was generated earlier by Codegen.

info

There are other macros that can be used to export modules and methods. You view the code that specifies them here.

Android​

Android follows similar steps to iOS. We have to generate the code for Android, and then we have to write some native code to make it work.

Generate the Code - Android​

To generate the code for Android, we need to manually invoke Codegen. This is done similarly to what we did for iOS: first, we need to add the package to the app and then we need to invoke a script.

Running Codegen for Android
cd MyApp
yarn add ../RTNCalculator
cd android
./gradlew generateCodegenArtifactsFromSchema

This script first adds the package to the app, in the same way iOS does. Then, after moving to the android folder, it invokes a Gradle task to create the generated code.

note

To run Codegen, you need to enable the New Architecture in the Android app. This can be done by opening the gradle.properties files and by switching the newArchEnabled property from false to true.

The generated code is stored in the MyApp/node_modules/rtn-calculator/android/build/generated/source/codegen folder and it has this structure:

codegen
β”œβ”€β”€ java
β”‚ └── com
β”‚ └── calculator
β”‚ └── NativeCalculatorSpec.java
β”œβ”€β”€ jni
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ Android.mk
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ CMakeLists.txt
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ RTNCalculator-generated.cpp
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ RTNCalculator.h
β”‚ └── react
β”‚ └── renderer
β”‚ └── components
β”‚ └── RTNCalculator
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ ComponentDescriptors.h
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ EventEmitters.cpp
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ EventEmitters.h
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ Props.cpp
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ Props.h
β”‚ β”œβ”€β”€ ShadowNodes.cpp
β”‚ └── ShadowNodes.h
└── schema.json

Write the Native Android Code​

The native code for the Android side of a Turbo Native Module requires:

  1. to create a CalculatorModule.java that implements the module.
  2. to update the CalculatorPackage.java created in the previous step.

The final structure within the Android library should look like this:

android
β”œβ”€β”€ build.gradle
└── src
└── main
β”œβ”€β”€ AndroidManifest.xml
└── java
└── com
└── rtncalculator
β”œβ”€β”€ CalculatorModule.java
└── CalculatorPackage.java
Creating the CalculatorModule.java​
CalculatorModule.java
package com.rtncalculator;

import androidx.annotation.NonNull;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.NativeModule;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.Promise;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactApplicationContext;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactContext;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactContextBaseJavaModule;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactMethod;
import java.util.Map;
import java.util.HashMap;

public class CalculatorModule extends NativeCalculatorSpec {

public static String NAME = "RTNCalculator";

CalculatorModule(ReactApplicationContext context) {
super(context);
}

@Override
@NonNull
public String getName() {
return NAME;
}

@Override
public void add(double a, double b, Promise promise) {
promise.resolve(a + b);
}
}

This class implements the module itself, which extends the NativeCalculatorSpec that was generated from the NativeCalculator JavaScript specification file.

Updating the CalculatorPackage.java​
CalculatorPackage.java
package com.rtncalculator;

import androidx.annotation.Nullable;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.NativeModule;
import com.facebook.react.bridge.ReactApplicationContext;
+ import com.facebook.react.module.model.ReactModuleInfo;
import com.facebook.react.module.model.ReactModuleInfoProvider;
import com.facebook.react.TurboReactPackage;

import java.util.Collections;
import java.util.List;
+ import java.util.HashMap;
+ import java.util.Map;

public class CalculatorPackage extends TurboReactPackage {

@Nullable
@Override
public NativeModule getModule(String name, ReactApplicationContext reactContext) {
+ if (name.equals(CalculatorModule.NAME)) {
+ return new CalculatorModule(reactContext);
+ } else {
return null;
+ }
}


@Override
public ReactModuleInfoProvider getReactModuleInfoProvider() {
- return null;
+ return () -> {
+ final Map<String, ReactModuleInfo> moduleInfos = new HashMap<>();
+ moduleInfos.put(
+ CalculatorModule.NAME,
+ new ReactModuleInfo(
+ CalculatorModule.NAME,
+ CalculatorModule.NAME,
+ false, // canOverrideExistingModule
+ false, // needsEagerInit
+ true, // hasConstants
+ false, // isCxxModule
+ true // isTurboModule
+ ));
+ return moduleInfos;
+ };
}
}

This is the last piece of Native Code for Android. It defines the TurboReactPackage object that will be used by the app to load the module.

5. Adding the Turbo Native Module to your App​

Now you can install and use the Turbo Native Module in your app.

Shared​

First of all, we need to add the NPM package which contains the Component to the app. This can be done with the following command:

cd MyApp
yarn add ../RTNCalculator

This command will add the RTNCalculator module to the node_modules of your app.

iOS​

Then, you need to install the new dependencies in your iOS project. To do so, run these commands:

cd ios
RCT_NEW_ARCH_ENABLED=1 bundle exec pod install

This command will look for all the dependencies of the project and it will install the iOS ones. The RCT_NEW_ARCH_ENABLED=1 instruct Cocoapods that it has to run some additional operations to run Codegen.

note

You may have to run bundle install once before you can use RCT_NEW_ARCH_ENABLED=1 bundle exec pod install. You won't need to run bundle install anymore, unless you need to change the Ruby dependencies.

Android​

Android configuration requires to enable the New Architecture:

  1. Open the android/gradle.properties file
  2. Scroll down to the end of the file and switch the newArchEnabled property from false to true.

JavaScript​

Now you can use your Turbo Native Module calculator in your app!

Here's an example App.js file using the add method:

App.js
/**
* Sample React Native App
* https://github.com/facebook/react-native
*
* @format
* @flow strict-local
*/
import React from 'react';
import { useState } from 'react';
import type { Node } from 'react';
import {
SafeAreaView,
StatusBar,
Text,
Button
} from 'react-native';
import RTNCalculator from 'rtn-calculator/js/NativeCalculator.js';

const App: () => Node = () => {
const [result, setResult] = useState<number | null>(null);
return (
<SafeAreaView>
<StatusBar barStyle={'dark-content'} />
<Text style={{ marginLeft: 20, marginTop: 20 }}>
3+7={result ?? '??'}
</Text>
<Button
title="Compute"
onPress={async () => {
const value = await RTNCalculator.add(3, 7);
setResult(value);
}}
/>
</SafeAreaView>
);
};
export default App;

Try this out to see your Turbo Native Module in action!