Running React Native With Expo Offline

As you may or may not know, my wife and I are spending the year traveling around the world with our kids, having left on our journey in December ’17 intending to return in December of ’18 having completed a full circumnavigation of the globe.

This nearly constant state of travel leaves me with a spotty connection at times. As you can imaging, this poses an issue for projects built with the always-on Expo. If you’re not familiar with Exp, it’s a great tool set to get up and running with React Native apps more quickly (there are some limitations but that’s a story for another time).

Completely undocumented, and unknown to the Expo community at large, is the ability to run Expo offline. One would think passing the flag --dev --lan to Expo would provide exactly what it indicates, dev mode over lan, but it does not. You need to pass the super obvious --offline flag instead, which does exactly as it suggests, runs Expo completely offline.