How to autoFocus a TextInput field within a Modal in React-Native

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Using the autoFocus prop with TextInputs in React-Native is normally straightforward. However, I’ve noticed that attempting to autoFocus TextInput fields contained within the simple <Modal/> component that comes with React-Native, or the 3rd party react-native-modal doesn’t seem to work. I think the problem likely has to do with how the <Modal/> component is designed. You typically embed the <Modal/> on a screen and just toggle the value of a prop whenever you want to show or hide it. And for whatever reason, this doesn’t seem to play well with autoFocus.

But fret not! Over on Stack Overflow I discovered an excellent work-around from Saleel. Saleel suggests that instead of using autoFocus, give your TextInput a ref, and then use that ref from within the Modal’s onShow method to call the TextInput’s .focus() method:

onShow={ () => { this.textInput.focus(); }}>
{/* Adapted From: */}
<KeyboardAvoidingView style={{}}>
ref={ (input) => { this.textInput = input; }}
placeholder=" Enter Text Here"
onChangeText={ (text) => console.log(text) }
value={ null } />
onPress={ () => console.log("do stuff...") } />