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Load a published update with expo-dev-client and EAS Update

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Learn how to use the expo-dev-client library to preview a published EAS Update inside a development build.

expo-dev-client library allows launching different versions of a project by creating a development build. Any compatible EAS Update can be previewed in a development build.

This guide walks through the steps required to load and preview a published update inside a development build using the Extensions tab or constructing a specific Update URL.


What is an Extensions tab

When using the expo-updates library inside a development build, the Extensions tab provides the ability to load and preview a published update automatically.

Preview an update using the Extensions tab


Make non-native changes locally in your project and then publish them using eas update. The update will be published on a branch.


After publishing the update, open your development build, go to Extensions, and tap Login to log in to your Expo account within the development build. This step is required for the Extensions tab to load any published updates associated with the project under your Expo account.


After logging in, an EAS Update section will appear inside the Extensions tab with one or more of the latest published updates. Tap Open next to the update you want to previous.

In the Extensions tab, you can view the list of all published updates for a branch. Tap the branch name in the Extensions tab.

Preview an update using the Expo dashboard

You can also preview an update using the Expo dashboard by following the steps below:

  • Click the published updated link in the CLI after running the command to publish an update. This will open the update's details on the Updates page in the Expo dashboard.
  • Click Preview. This will open the Preview dialog.
  • To preview the update, you can either scan the QR code with your device's camera or select a platform to launch the update under Open with Orbit.

Construct an update URL

As an alternative to the methods described in the previous sections, you can construct a specific URL to open your EAS Update in the development build. The URL will look like the following:


# Example

Let's break this URL to understand what each part does:

Part of URLDescription
slugThe project's slug found in the app config.
://expo-development-client/Necessary for the deep link to work with the expo-dev-client library.
?url=Defines a url query parameter.
https://u.expo.dev/675cb1f0-fa3c-11e8-ac99-6374d9643cb2This is the updates URL, which is inside the project's app config under updates.url.
/group/47839bf2-9e01-467b-9378-4a978604ab11The group ID of the update.

Once you've constructed the URL, copy and paste it directly into the development build's launcher screen under Enter URL Manually.

Alternatively, you can create a QR code for the URL and scan it using your device's camera. When scanned, the URL will open up the development build to the specified channel.


See a working example

See a working example of using expo-dev-client with EAS Update.