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NativeScript Core

Getting Started

Welcome to the NativeScript Getting Started Guide. In this tutorial you'll use NativeScript, a cross-platform JavaScript framework for building native mobile apps, to build an iOS and Android app from scratch.

TIP: If you’re a video learner, the third-party site NativeScripting has a free video course that walks you through this guide step by step.

What is NativeScript?

NativeScript logo

NativeScript is a free and open source framework for building native iOS and Android apps using JavaScript and CSS. NativeScript renders UIs with the native platform’s rendering engine—no WebViews—resulting in native-like performance and UX.

NativeScript provides a best-of-both-worlds development experience. The NativeScript cross-platform JavaScript modules give you the convenience of writing iOS and Android apps from a single JavaScript codebase, while the NativeScript runtimes give you the power of accessing native APIs, SDKs, and frameworks when you need them—all without needing to open Xcode or Android Studio.


This guide assumes that you have some basic knowledge of JavaScript, CSS, and your development machine’s terminal. More specifically:

  • JavaScript: You should know basic JavaScript concepts, such as how functions, if statements, and loops work.
  • CSS: You should know how to write simple CSS selectors, and know how to apply CSS rules as name/value pairs.
  • The terminal: You should know how to open a terminal or command-line prompt on your development machine, how to change directories, and how to execute commands.
  • A text editor or IDE: You should know the basics of your text editor or IDE of choice. You can use any text editor to build NativeScript apps.


In order to start this tutorial you need to have the NativeScript CLI (command-line interface) installed on your development machine, which you can do using the link below.

TIP: Setting up your machine for native development can be tricky, especially if you’re new to mobile development. Here are a few tips you might find useful.

  • You can complete a version of this tutorial in NativeScript Playground. NativeScript Playground is a browser-based environment that lets you develop apps without needing to configure your local development environment.
  • NativeScript Sidekick is a one-click setup experience for macOS, Windows, and Linux. Sidekick installs the NativeScript CLI and required dependencies for macOS and Windows - and offers starter kits, cloud-based builds for iOS and Android, and app store publishing. Install Sidekick and resume your tutorial with the CLI pre-installed for you.
  • If you get stuck going through the installation process, the NativeScript community forum is a great place to get help.

With that out of the way, let’s get started building apps with NativeScript!