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iOS Guides
React Native

Can I Integrate SDL into a React Native App?

SDL does work and can be integrated into a React Native application.

Please follow the React Native Getting Started guide for how to create a new React Native application if you need one. To install SDL into your React Native app, you will need to follow the React Native Native Module's guide to integrate the SDL library into your application using React Native's Native Modules feature. You must make sure you have Native Modules installed as a dependency in order to use 3rd party APIs in a React Native application. If this is not done your app will not work with SmartDeviceLink. Native API methods are not exposed to JavaScript automatically, this must be done manually by you. Then see the SDL Installation Guide for more information on installing SDL's native library.


This guide is not meant to walk you through how to make a React Native app but help you integrate SDL into an existing application. We will show you a basic example of how to communicate between your app's JavaScript code and SDL's native Obj-C code. For more advanced features, please refer to the React Native documentation linked above.

Integration Basics

Native API methods are not exposed automatically to JavaScript. This means you must expose methods you wish to use from SDL to your React Native app. You must implement the RCTBridgeModule protocol into a bridge class (see below for an example). Please follow SmartDeviceLink Integration Basics guide for the basic setup of a native SDL ProxyManager class that your bridge code will communicate with. This is the necessary starting point in order to continue with this example. Also set up a simple UI with buttons and some text on the SDL side.

Creating the RCTBridge

To create a native module you must implement the RCTBridgeModule protocol. Update your ProxyManager to include RCTBridgeModule.

#import <React/RCTBridgeModule.h>

@interface ProxyManager : NSObject <RCTBridgeModule>

<#Proxy Manager code#>


An RCT_EXPORT_MODULE() macro must be added to the implementation file to expose the class to React Native.

@implementation ProxyManager

<#Proxy Manager code#>


Before you move forward, you must add #import "React/RCTBridgeModule.h" to your Bridging Header. When creating a Swift application and importing Objective-C code, Xcode should ask if it should create this header file for you. You can create this file manually as well. You must include this bridging header for your React Native app to work.


class ProxyManager: NSObject {

<#Proxy Manager Code#>


Next, to expose the above Swift class to React Native, you must create an Objective-C file and wrap the Swift class name in a RCT_EXTERN_MODULE in order to use the Swift class in a React Native app.

#import "React/RCTBridgeModule.h"

@interface RCT_EXTERN_MODULE(ProxyManager, NSObject)


Emitting Event Notifications to JavaScript

Inside the ProxyManger class, post a notification for a particular event you wish to execute. The 'Event Emitter' class, which you will see later in the documentation, will observe this event notification and will call the React Native listener that you will set up later in the documentation below.

Inside the ProxyManager add a soft button to your SDL HMI. Inside the soft button handler, post the notification and pass along a reference to the sdlManager in order to update your React Native UI through the bridge.

SDLSoftButtonObject *softButton = [[SDLSoftButtonObject alloc] initWithName:@"Button" state:[[SDLSoftButtonState alloc] initWithStateName:@"State 1" text:@"Data" artwork:nil] handler:^(SDLOnButtonPress * _Nullable buttonPress, SDLOnButtonEvent * _Nullable buttonEvent) {
    if (buttonPress == nil) { return; }

    NSDictionary *userInfo = @{@"sdlManager": self.sdlManager};
    [[NSNotificationCenter defaultCenter] postNotificationName:<#Notification Name#> object:nil userInfo:managers];

self.sdlManager.screenManager.softButtonObjects = @[softButton];
let softButton = SDLSoftButtonObject(name: "Button", state: SDLSoftButtonState(stateName: "State", text: "Data", artwork: nil), handler: { (buttonPress, butonEvent) in
    guard buttonPress == nil else { return }

    let userInfo = ["sdlManager": self.sdlManager]
    NotificationCenter.default.post(name: NSNotification.Name(rawValue: <#Notification Name#>), object: nil, userInfo: managers)

self.sdlManager.screenManager.softButtonObjects = [softButton];

Create the EventEmitter Bridge Class

Create the class that will be the listener for the notification you created above. This class will be sending and receiving messages from your JavaScript code (React Native). The required supportedEvents method returns an array of supported event names. Sending an event name that is not included in the array will result in an error. An "event" is sending a message from native code to React Native code.

#import <React/RCTEventEmitter.h>
#import <React/RCTBridgeModule.h>
#import <Foundation/Foundation.h>


@interface SDLEventEmitter : RCTEventEmitter


#import "SDLEventEmitter.h"
#import "ProxyManager.h"
#import <React/RCTConvert.h>
#import <SmartDeviceLink/SmartDeviceLink.h>

@implementation SDLEventEmitter


- (instancetype)init {
    self = [super init];
    // Subscribe to event notifications sent from ProxyManager
    [[NSNotificationCenter defaultCenter] addObserver:self selector:@selector(getDoActionNotification:) name:<#Notification Name#> object:nil];

    return self;

// Required Method defining known action names
- (NSArray<NSString *> *)supportedEvents {
    return @[@"DoAction"];

// Run this code when the subscribed event notification is received
- (void)getDoActionNotification:(NSNotification *)notification {
    if(self.sdlManager == nil) {
        self.sdlManager = notification.userInfo[@"sdlManager"];

    // Send the event to your React Native code with a dictionary of information
    [self sendEventWithName:@"DoAction" body:@{@"type": @"actionType"}];

class SDLEventEmitter: RCTEventEmitter {

    override init() {
        // Subscribe to event notifications sent from ProxyManager
        NotificationCenter.default.addObserver(self, selector: #selector(doAction(_:)), name: Notification.Name(rawValue: "<#Notification Name#>", object: nil)

    // Required Method defining known action names
    override func supportedEvents() -> [String]! {
        return ["DoAction"]

    // Run this code when the subscribed event notification is received
    @objc func doAction(_ notification: Notification) {
        if self.sdlManger == nil {
            self.sdlManager = notification.userInfo["sdlManager"]

        // Send the event to your React Native code with a dictionary of information
        sendEvent(withName: "DoAction", body: ["type": "actionType"])


The above example will call into your JavaScript code with an event type DoAction. Inside your React Native (JavaScript) code, create a NativeEventEmitter object within your EventEmitter module and add a listener for the event.

import { NativeEventEmitter, NativeModules } from 'react-native';
const  { SDLEventEmitter } = NativeModules;

const testEventEmitter = new NativeEventEmitter(SDLEventEmitter);

// Build a listener to listen for events
const testData = testEventEmitter.addListener(
        () => SDLEventEmitter.eventCall({
            "data": {
                "low": "77",
                "high": "87",
                "currentTemp": "82",
                "rain": "50%"

Exposing Native Methods to JavaScript

The last step is to wrap any native code methods you wish to expose to your JavaScript code inside RCT_EXPORT_METHOD for Objective-C and RCT_EXTERN_METHOD for Swift. We've seen above how native code can send notifications to your JavaScript code, now we will see how your JavaScript code can send notifications into your native SmartDeviceLink code. Inside the SDLEventEmitter.m file add the following method:

RCT_EXPORT_METHOD(eventCall:(NSDictionary *)dict) {
    [self.sdlManager.screenManager beginUpdates];

    self.sdlManager.screenManager.textField1 = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"Low: %@ ºF", [RCTConvert NSString:dict[@"data"][@"low"]]];
    self.sdlManager.screenManager.textField2 = [NSString stringWithFormat:@"High: %@ ºF", [RCTConvert NSString:dict[@"data"][@"high"]]];

    [self.sdlManager.screenManager endUpdatesWithCompletionHandler:^(NSError * _Nullable error) {
        if (error != nil) {
        } else {

If you're making a React Native application and using native Swift code, you will need to create the Objective-C bridger for the SDLEventEmitter class you created above. Wrap the method(s) you wish to expose in a RCT_EXTERN_METHOD macro inside your wrapper class. This wrapper will allow the JavaScript code to talk with your native code.


Make sure you add #import "React/RCTEventEmitter.h" to the apps bridging header.

#import "React/RCTBridgeModule.h"
#import "React/RCTEventEmitter.h"

@interface RCT_EXTERN_MODULE(SDLEventEmitter, RCTEventEmitter)

RCT_EXTERN_METHOD(eventCall:(eventCall: (id)dict))


Add the following method to SDLEventEmitter.swift:

@objc func eventCall(_ dict: NSDictionary) {
    let data = dict["data"]! as! NSDictionary
    self.sdlManager.screenManager.textField1 = "Low: \(data["low"]!) °F")"
    self.sdlManager.screenManager.textField2 = "High: \(data["high"]!) °F")"

By now you should have a basic React Native application that can send a message from the Native side to the React Native layer. If done correctly the application should update the SDL UI when clicking the soft button on the head unit. The above documentation walked you through how to send a message to React Native and receive a message containing data back.

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