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Can I test native features of React Native apps?

Short answer: no.

React Native Testing Library does not provide a full React Native runtime since that would require running on physical device or iOS simulator/Android emulator to provision the underlying OS and platform APIs.

Instead of using React Native renderer, it simulates only the JavaScript part of its runtime by using React Test Renderer while providing queries and fireEvent APIs that mimick certain behaviors from the real runtime.

This approach has certain benefits and shortfalls. On the positive side:

  • it allows testing most of the logic of regular React Native apps
  • it allows running test on any OS supported by Jest, or other test runner, e.g. on CI
  • it uses much less resources than full runtime simulation
  • you can use Jest fake timers

The the negative side:

  • you cannot test native features
  • certain JavaScript features might not be perfectly simulated, but we are working on it

For instance, react-native's ScrollView has several props that depend on native calls. While you can trigger onScroll call with fireEvent.scroll, onMomentumScrollBegin is called from the native side and will therefore not be called.

Should I use/migrate to `screen` queries?

There is no need to migrate existing test code to use screen-bases queries. You can still use queries and other functions returned by render. In fact screen hold just that value, the latest render result.

For newer code you can either use screen or render result destructuring. However, there are some good reasons to use screen, which are described in this article by Kent C. Dodds.