Emmanuel Etukudo I am a full-stack developer with more than five years of experience, with a preference for JavaScript, Node.js, Go, React, Redux, and MongoDB.

Building a splash screen in React Native

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Building Splash Screens In React Native

Editor’s note: This splash screen React Native tutorial was last updated on 9 November 2022 to include information such as how to change the splash screen background color in iOS and Android apps.

In this tutorial, we’ll demonstrate how to build and display a splash screen in React Native. We’ll walk you through how to build stunning welcome displays for both iOS and Android apps using react-native-splash-screen.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is a splash screen?

The splash screen is the first screen that appears before the user accesses the rest of your app’s functionalities. A splash screen is arguably the best way to make your mobile application’s brand name and icon stick in the user’s subconscious.

In web applications, we use preloaders to inform animations to keep users entertained while server operations are being processed. As straightforward as this sounds, it’s a critical tool to build and retain your user base.

There are many benefits to creating a splash screen in React Native. Imagine, for example, that you’re preloading data from an API. You’ll want to show a loader while the user is waiting; showing a loader as soon as the app starts helps you present an organized, well-designed display to your user while they wait for the app to initialize.

React Native splash screen example

For this react-native-splash-screen demo, we’ll build a splash screen for both Android and iOS. The tutorial will walk you through how to prepare the right image sizes, update the necessary files, and hide the splash screen on the app load. The finished app will look like the screenshot below:

React Native Splash Screen Example

To follow along with this React Native splash screen tutorial, you should have:

  • Familiarity with CSS, HTML, JavaScript (ES6)
  • Node.js and Watchman installed on your development machine
  • iOS Simulator or Android Emulator for testing
  • A code editor installed in your development machine (e.g., VS Code)
  • A basic understanding of React/React Native

Let’s get started!

Why image size matters for splash screens

Creating a splash screen for a mobile application is a bit tricky and you don’t want to risk having display issues on some devices due to inconsistencies in your splash screen resolutions. For instance, the Android device’s requirements are totally different from that of iOS. Most experienced designers can create the required splash screen resolutions for both devices from scratch.

However, there are lots of available third-party tools that can help you create a splash screen for both Android and iOS. In this tutorial, we will be using the App Icon Generator, an online platform for creating icons and images for Android and iOS apps.

Before you proceed, make sure you have a high-definition, 2,000-by-2,000px (72 PPI) image ready. You can clone the complete source code for these tutorials on GitHub.

Building a React Native splash screen

First, head over to Appicon. Drag your image on the box provided, select 4x as your base size, select iOS, and Android, and click generate. This process should take approximately two minutes to complete, depending on your internet speed:

App Icon Generator

Next, extract the downloaded file and copy the iOS and Android folder to the assets folder located in the assets directory of the starter project you cloned:

React Native Splash Screen Assets

Building a splash screen in React Native requires some fine-tuning. To begin, follow the steps below.

Run each command in your terminal (on mac) or command prompt (on Windows):

  • npm i to install all the dependencies that are included in the starter file.
  • npm i react-native-splash-screen --save to install the RNSplashscreen package
  • cd into the iOS directory and run pod install  to link all dependencies.

Navigate back to the root directory of the project.

Build a splash screen for iOS in React Native

Navigate to iOS > SplashScreen, open AppDelegate.m and add the code #import "RNSplashScreen" (on line 6) and set the splash screen to show by default RNSplashScreen show (line 41) see the comments in the code below for reference:

#import "AppDelegate.h"
#import <React/RCTBridge.h>
#import <React/RCTBundleURLProvider.h>
#import <React/RCTRootView.h>
// Import RNSplashScreen
#import "RNSplashScreen.h"
#ifdef FB_SONARKIT_ENABLED
#import <FlipperKit/FlipperClient.h>
#import <FlipperKitLayoutPlugin/FlipperKitLayoutPlugin.h>
#import <FlipperKitUserDefaultsPlugin/FKUserDefaultsPlugin.h>
#import <FlipperKitNetworkPlugin/FlipperKitNetworkPlugin.h>
#import <SKIOSNetworkPlugin/SKIOSNetworkAdapter.h>
#import <FlipperKitReactPlugin/FlipperKitReactPlugin.h>
static void InitializeFlipper(UIApplication *application) {
  FlipperClient *client = [FlipperClient sharedClient];
  SKDescriptorMapper *layoutDescriptorMapper = [[SKDescriptorMapper alloc] initWithDefaults];
  [client addPlugin:[[FlipperKitLayoutPlugin alloc] initWithRootNode:application withDescriptorMapper:layoutDescriptorMapper]];
  [client addPlugin:[[FKUserDefaultsPlugin alloc] initWithSuiteName:nil]];
  [client addPlugin:[FlipperKitReactPlugin new]];
  [client addPlugin:[[FlipperKitNetworkPlugin alloc] initWithNetworkAdapter:[SKIOSNetworkAdapter new]]];
  [client start];
}
#endif
@implementation AppDelegate
- (BOOL)application:(UIApplication *)application didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:(NSDictionary *)launchOptions
{
#ifdef FB_SONARKIT_ENABLED
  InitializeFlipper(application);
#endif
  RCTBridge *bridge = [[RCTBridge alloc] initWithDelegate:self launchOptions:launchOptions];
  RCTRootView *rootView = [[RCTRootView alloc] initWithBridge:bridge
                                                   moduleName:@"MySplashScreen"
                                            initialProperties:nil];
  rootView.backgroundColor = [[UIColor alloc] initWithRed:1.0f green:1.0f blue:1.0f alpha:1];
  self.window = [[UIWindow alloc] initWithFrame:[UIScreen mainScreen].bounds];
  UIViewController *rootViewController = [UIViewController new];
  rootViewController.view = rootView;
  self.window.rootViewController = rootViewController;
  [self.window makeKeyAndVisible];
  // Set the splash screen to show by default.
  [RNSplashScreen show]; 
  return YES;
}
- (NSURL *)sourceURLForBridge:(RCTBridge *)bridge
{
#if DEBUG
  return [[RCTBundleURLProvider sharedSettings] jsBundleURLForBundleRoot:@"index" fallbackResource:nil];
#else
  return [[NSBundle mainBundle] URLForResource:@"main" withExtension:@"jsbundle"];
#endif
}
@end

Here, we made two significant changes to the AppDeligate file. First, we imported the RNSplashScreen we installed earlier into the AppDeligate.m. Next, we set the RNSplashScreen to show by default with the code [RNSplashScreen show].

Next, open up the project workspace in Xcode, click images, right-click anywhere below Appicon, and select New Image Set. Set the image name to splash, open the assets folder, and navigate to the iOS folder. Drag the three images in the iOS over the three boxes on Xcode named 1x, 2x, and 3x:

React Native Splash Screen Images

Next, select LaunchScreen.storyboard. Select View Controller Scene > View Controller > View, select the SplashScreen and Powered by React Native labels, and press DELETE on your keyboard.

Next, select View and click the ruler icon at the top right section of your Xcode. Uncheck the Safe Area Layout Guide option, click on the plus icon +, type image view in the objects search input field, and then drag the image view to the View canvas:

React Native Splash Screen: Editing The Launch Screen

Now that we have our image view set up, click the image property icon and change the image to splash. Set the content mod to aspect fit, as shown below:

React Native Splash Screen: Xcode

Changing splash screen background color for iOS

The next question you might ask is “How do I change the splash screen background color in React Native?” To enforce a consistent background for the splash screen in iOS, scroll down to where you have the background and select Custom from the dropdown. In the popup, select the desired color for the splash screen. In this example, we selected white:

Splash Screen Background Color

To confirm your application can run successfully, run a build from Xcode. You should see something like this:

React Native Xcode

Building a splash screen for Android

Now let’s demonstrate how to build a splash screen for Android in React Native.



Navigate to Android > App > src > Main Folder and open up MainActivity.java. Update MainActivity.java to use react-native-splash-screen with the code below:

package com.mysplashscreen;
import android.os.Bundle; // here
import com.facebook.react.ReactActivity;
import org.devio.rn.splashscreen.SplashScreen; // here
public class MainActivity extends ReactActivity {
  /**
   * Returns the name of the main component registered from JavaScript. This is used to schedule
   * rendering of the component.
   */
  @Override
  protected String getMainComponentName() {
    return "MySplashScreen";
  }

  @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
        SplashScreen.show(this);  // here
        super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
    }
}

Next, create a file called launch_screen.xml in app/src/main/res/layout (create the layout folder if it doesn’t exist). Then, add the code below to the launch_screen.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<RelativeLayout xmlns:android="http://schemas.android.com/apk/res/android"
    android:orientation="vertical" android:layout_width="match_parent"
    android:layout_height="match_parent">
    <ImageView android:layout_width="match_parent" android:layout_height="match_parent" android:src="@drawable/launch_screen" android:scaleType="centerCrop" />
</RelativeLayout>

Note: The android:src="@drawable/launch_screen" is equivalent to <img src="your_image" /> in HTML so be sure to replace the launch_screen with the actual name of the image you generated from Appicon.

Changing splash screen background color for Android

Like for iOS apps, you also need to know how to change the splash screen background color for Android apps.

First, copy all the assets for Android into the res folder. Then, create colors.xml in the values folder and add a color called primary_dark in app/src/main/res/values/colors.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<resources>
    <color name="primary_dark">#000000</color>
</resources>

Open the Android folder in Android Studio, open AVD, and run your application as shown below. If everything is set up correctly, you should see a result similar to the following screenshot:

React Native Splash Screen: LaunchScreen Android

Hiding the splash screen after the app loads

To hide the splash screen on app load, you’ll need to do two things:

  1. Import the react-native-splash-screen package into the root component (App.js) of your React Native app
  2. Use useEffect() to hide the splash screen with the code below:
/**
 * Sample React Native App
 * https://github.com/facebook/react-native
 *
 * @format
 * @flow strict-local
 */
import React, { useEffect } from 'react'; //import useEffect();
import { View } from 'react-native';
import { Login } from './screens';
import { NavigationContainer, DefaultTheme } from '@react-navigation/native';
import SplashScreen from "react-native-splash-screen"; //import SplashScreen
const App = () => {
  const theme = {
    ...DefaultTheme,
    colors: {
      ...DefaultTheme.colors,
      border: "transparent",
    }
  }
  useEffect(() => {
    SplashScreen.hide(); //hides the splash screen on app load.
  }, []);

  return (
    <NavigationContainer theme={theme}>
      <View style={{ flex: 1 }}>
        <Login />
      </View>
    </NavigationContainer>
  );
};
export default App;

As noted above, I’m using @react-navigation/native to navigate from one screen to the other. For example, after login, you may wish to display the dashboard or home screen. @react-navigation/native is one of React Native’s core packages for navigation. For a deeper dive, check out our comprehensive guide to using React Navigation.

After the app loads, the application will display the login page which is the index screen. See the screenshot below for reference:

React Native Splash Screen Login Page

Conclusion

Virtually any mobile application needs a splash screen. Knowing how to build a splash screen for cross-platform apps is a foundational skill that can help you take a step forward in your mobile development career.

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Emmanuel Etukudo I am a full-stack developer with more than five years of experience, with a preference for JavaScript, Node.js, Go, React, Redux, and MongoDB.

9 Replies to “Building a splash screen in React Native”

  1. Logrocket articles are usually so good but I feel this one is not up to the usual quality – in that it is not simple to follow along. Small example is your final code in App.js uses react-navigation but there has been no instruction to import this or learn how to use it first. The other thing is simply replacing the standard AppManifest with your copied code is not great form an instructional point of view – What did all the other default code do that we have now deleted? There are many small things like this that just make it a bit harder that the usual tutorials. Don’t want to knock what is otherwise a very useful tutorial but I think a review and minor edit would be helpful

  2. Thanks for the tutorial, small remark though. Inside launch_screen.xml it should be

    android:src=”@drawable/splashscreen”

    instead of

    android:src=”@drawable/launch_screen”

    1. isn’t it depend on name of your image? as recommended the name should be similar to your splash screen image name

  3. I don’t understand if you mean to copy the ENTIRE android and iOS folders into assets or just an empty Android and iOS folder? That seems weird to copy the entire thing in there.

    1. Someone else posted this exact tutorial and I found out on GitHub that RNSplashScreen show has a bug and didn’t ever and will never work. Were you able to actually get it to work?

  4. I can’t update my MainActivity.java for which the code showed here. React Native updated and it has more codes on this file, and if i update as showing here, it crashes.

  5. is there a way to edit the status bar style to the light content instead of the dark one here for iOS?

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