Live Reload

Live Reload is an optional part of Reactant UI. Thanks to it, you don’t need to recompile the whole application and find the screen you’re working on to test it. It will almost magically show new changes right after you save them. Take a look at the following video where we build a simple login screen from scratch.


To enable Live Reload capabilities, you have to add the following dependency to your Podfile into your application’s target.

pod 'ReactantLiveUI', :configuration => 'Debug'

Notice the :configuration => 'Debug'. This means that the ReactantLiveUI will be linked only to your Debug build configuration. This is important to not carry this code into your release build.

Afterwards, run pod install to install it, then open your project and locate the Generate Reactant UI build phase we set up in the Reactant UI introduction. On the last line, where you run the reactant-ui command, add a parameter --enable-live. The line should look similar to the following one:

"$PODS_ROOT/ReactantUI/.build/debug/reactant-ui" generate --enable-live --inputPath="$PROJECT_DIR/Application/" --outputFile="$SRCROOT/Application/Generated/GeneratedUI.swift" --xcodeprojPath="$PROJECT_DIR/ReactantUI.xcodeproj"

Last step, open your AppDelegate.swift and in application(_:didFinishLaunchingWithOptions:) method add this line:

activateLiveReload(in: window)

This activateLiveReload(in:) method gets generated by the reactant-ui command and you need to give it an instance of your key UIWindow. If you followed our Reactant Architecture Guide, you should have access to it in the AppDelegate.swift.


After the installation, you can build and run your application on iOS Simulator and edit your XML files containing the UI. You’ll see it reload instantly after saving.

NOTE: Support for Live Reload is currently limited to iOS Simulator. We plan to add support for running on physical iOS devices in the near future.

Error screen

If you change your UI XML file in a way that’s not compatible with Reactant UI, you’ll see a red error screen to know what’s wrong.

ReactantLiveUI error screen

Debug menu

ReactantLiveUI also comes with a debug menu. At this moment it allows preview and reloading all XML UI files. To open it, press Cmd+D shortcut.

ReactantLiveUI error screen


ReactantLiveUI allows you to show a list of all view components in your codebase that use Reactant UI and lets you preview each one of them.

ReactantLiveUI error screen

In this list you can select a specific view component and have it displayed. This will allow you to preview parts of your application without the need to go through the whole application to find it.

Reload files

When you create new .ui.xml file, ReactantLiveUI doesn’t know about it until you either build and run the app again, or run the Reload files through the Debug menu.