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NativeScript Core

Using Plugins

NativeScript plugins are npm packages with some added native functionality. Therefore, finding, installing, and removing NativeScript plugins works a lot like working with npm packages you might use in your Node.js or front-end web development.

Tip: Alternatively, you can search, install, and remove plugins with NativeScript Sidekick. Sidekick also offers starter kits, single page templates, cloud-based builds for iOS and Android, and app store publishing.

Finding plugins

Because NativeScript plugins are npm packages, you can find NativeScript plugins on npm’s own site by searching for “nativescript-plugin-name”. For example a search of “nativescript accelerometer” would point you right at the NativeScript accelerometer plugin.

The NativeScript team also maintains an official marketplace, which displays a filtered list of NativeScript-related plugins from npm. A search for “accelerometer” on the plugins marketplace will point you at the plugin you need.

If you don’t find a plugin you need try asking for help on the NativeScript community forum. The NativeScript team and community may be able to help find what you’re looking for.

Also, make sure to look through the NativeScript core modules, which ship as a dependency of every NativeScript app. There’s a chance that the functionality you need is built in. If you’re still not finding what you need, you can request the plugin as an idea on the NativeScript community forum, or you can take a stab at building the plugin yourself.

Installing Plugins

Once you’ve found the plugin you need, install the plugin into your app using the tns plugin add command.

tns plugin add <plugin-name>

For example, the following command installs the NativeScript camera plugin.

tns plugin add nativescript-camera

The installation of a NativeScript plugin mimics the installation of an npm package. The NativeScript CLI downloads the plugin from npm, and adds the plugin to the node_modules folder in the root of your project. During this process, the NativeScript CLI adds the plugin to your project’s root package.json file, and also resolves the plugin’s dependencies (if any).

Removing Plugins

To remove a NativeScript plugin from your project, run the following command from your command line.

tns plugin remove <plugin-name>

For example, the following command removes the NativeScript camera plugin.

tns plugin remove nativescript-camera

As with installation, the removal of a NativeScript plugin mimics the removal of an npm package.

The NativeScript CLI removes any plugin files from your app’s node_modules folder in the root of your project. The CLI also removes any of the plugin’s dependencies, and also removes the plugin from your project’s root package.json file.