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ReactJS vs. React Native: What's the Difference?

ReactJS vs. React Native: What's the Difference?

18 Mar 2024
Beginner
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14 min read

React vs React Native: An Overview

The Facebook platform develops React and React Native and has gained huge popularity in a short time. React is also known as React JS, which is a JavaScript library to build single-page web apps.On the other hand, React Native is a React JS-based framework for designing mobile apps. Moreover, with reusable components, we can develop native mobile applications.

React and React Native are the two most popular technologies in the Software development industry. Although these two technologies look similar, despite this they have so many differences.As we know, most cousins or siblings have common characteristics and similar facial features. However, they have as many differences as they have similarities.The same equation will be applied to React Vs. React Native. In this React Tutorial, let’s understand the difference between React and React Native. To enhance your knowledge further in React, you must definitely consider enrolling in our React JS Certification Training.

What are ReactJS and ReactNative?

React Js:

  • ReactJs is an open-source JavaScript library extensively used in single-page app development services. It is one of the popular libraries for building UI or front-end for web applications and Android applications. Initially, It was developed and backed by Facebook in 2011 and has gained huge popularity since then.
  • It allows programmers to develop fast, adaptive, and intuitive mobile and web applications. Also, it ensures them to automate the designing process. By utilizing its characteristics, ReactJS programmers can build whatever they want without any rules.
  • The developers can easily integrate plugins or libraries with existing code projects. It also enables developers to develop simple web applications.
  • By leveraging React JS development services, you will be able to satisfy your customer’s requirements by offering them Progressive Web App Development, Single-Page Apps, and static websites.

React Native:

  • It is nothing but a Native Mobile Development Library. It’san open-source JavaScript-based framework developed by Facebook to meet its growing demand for mobile needs.
  • It is a hybrid mobile app framework, that allows us to develop mobile applications with a single codebase. This JavaScript framework lets us build mobile apps that render natively across different platforms like iOS and Android.
  • It allows us to develop cross-platform applications for every platform such as Windows, Android, and iOS.
  • React Native utilizes the base abstraction of React.Js. But only the library components are distinct. Despite having a similar nature at the core, the difference between React JS and React Native is substantial. However, both technologies are great in their respective usage.
  • React Native development cost varies on the functionalities of the app requirements.

Read More - React Interview Questions For Experienced

React Native Vs ReactJS: Working:

In this section, we will get an idea of how React Native and React Js actually work.React uses the Virtual DOM to create amazing UX, while React Native uses APIs to render UI components that can be used again for both Android and iOS platforms. Let's see in-depth.

1.) Virtual DOM (ReactJs)

  • The Document Object Model (DOM) is an essential programming interface that represents a web document and its content. The total capacity of libraries and frameworks to manage the DOM has a significant impact on how they are used and displayed in the end.
  • It is a game-changer for React. It is a virtual representation of the real DOM.
  • Virtual DOM manages quick updates while creating dynamic UIs.
  • Virtual DOM is speedy, has enhanced performance, and better user experience than real DOM updates.

Example:

function scholarhat()
{
const element = (
<div>
<p> Learning Platform </p>
</div>
ReactDom.render(element, document.getElementById(‘root’));
}
setInterval (scholarhat,1000);

2.) Native APIs (React Native)

  • React Native uses Java APIs to render Android components, native Application Program Interface (API), and Objective-C to write iOS components when rendering UI components.
  • Following that, JavaScript is used to construct the remaining code and personalize the app for each platform, enabling maximum component reusability and code sharing.
  • React Native doesn’t depend on CSS and HTM like ReactJs does. Hence, we have to create style sheets in JavaScript to style the components of React Native. However, it may look similar to CSS, but it is not the same.

Example:

import React, { component } from ‘react’;
import {text, view} from “react-native”;
export default class HelloWorldApp extends component
{
render()
{
return
{
<view>
<text> Learning Platform </text>
</view>
}
}
}

Read More - React JS Roadmap For Beginners

When to use ReactJS?

ReactJS is best suited for web development projects that require dynamic and interactive user interfacing built on thebeat of JavaScript. A few common use cases for ReactJS incorporate:

1.) Single-page applications (SPAs):

ReactJS is well-suited for building single-page applications, where the complete UI can update dynamically without requiring a full page refresh.

2.) Complex web interfacing:

It makes it simple to construct complex client interfacing by breaking them down into smaller, reusable components.

3.) Large-scale web applications:

ReactJS has been battle-tested at scale and is utilized by many large companies for their web applications. This implies that it incorporates a demonstrated track record of being able to handle complex and requesting use cases.

4.) Responsive web plan:

ReactJS permits developers to construct responsive and versatile user interfacing that is incredible on any device, from desktop computers to portable phones.

When to use React Native?

React Native can help build solutions for a wide range of projects and issues within the mobile application development space. A few of the most commonly use cases :

1.) Cross-platform development:

It may be an extraordinary choice for building cross-platform applications because it permits developers to write a single codebase that runs on both iOS and Android. This could essentially decrease the time and resources required for development and maintenance.

2.) Cost-effectiveness:

It allows for quicker and more effective development, which can result in taking a toll on savings compared to traditional native app development. Typically due to the ability to reuse code over platforms and the ease of development given by the React framework.

3.) Speedier time-to-market:

It also can assist you get your app to market quicker than traditional local development, because it requires less time to develop, test, and launch. This may be particularly vital for start-ups and businesses that ought to rapidly approve their thoughts and pick up traction.

4.) Iterative development:

It is used for iterative development, meaning that developers can build, test, and iterate on their apps more quickly and effortlessly than with traditional native development strategies.

5.) Local functionality:

React Native provides access to native APIs and platform-specific highlights, so developers can build apps that look and feel like traditional native apps while still taking advantage of the benefits of a single codebase.

Benefits and Limitations of ReactJS and react native

1.) React:

ReactJs is the right library for you, If you plan to develop a great user interface for your project, One of the amazing features ReactJs offers is that React can execute on the client side while being rendered on the server side.

Hence, ReactJS not only improves programmer efficiency but also gives them more options to use while creating fundamental abstractions. In short, it's useful for both lower-level elements such as clickable buttons, and higher-level elements such as dropdowns.

2.) React Native:

React Native implements a different approach to maximize the efficiency of a developer. The components you might use in iOS and Android have counterparts for a similar appearance and feel in React JS. Reusable native components are the fundamental blocks of React Native. The components are compiled directly into native code. Therefore, the applications will have the amazing look, feel, functionality, and speed of a native application, distinguishing React native from other mobile app development frameworks.However, React Native developers can easily integrate native codes like Java, Swift, and Objective-C into the framework to get a customized look.

Technology Base React and React Native

1.) React:

It is just a JavaScript library. Therefore, to become a master at ReactJs, we just have to learn and understand JavaScript. If you get proper knowledge of technical documentation, you can become a React developer in a while.It focuses on developing intuitive UIs for the web using JavaScript.

2.) React Native:

It is a framework that uses React.Js to create mobile UI. Since it inherits all the functionalities of ReactJs, it also offers many advantages and uses declarative components such as React.Precisely, It is not a pure JavaScript framework. It combines Java, Objective-C, Objective-C++, and C++ code. Therefore, it’s essential to learn and have a good command of the used languages to build a React Native application.

Feasibility of React and React Native

1.) React:

It blends HTML and JavaScript technologies. React Js has been determined that this is mostly done to integrate CSS, which removes various challenges associated with CSS development, such as global namespace and variable/scope isolation.

2.) React Native:

If you want to add more components and features to your existing app without changing the whole code then ReactNative allows you to add various native components to existing app code.

Compatibility of React and React Native

1.) React:

It was created with the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) factor in mind, where in it renders on the user’s server using Node.

2.) React Native:

Besides, React Native is exclusively designed to develop a mobile UI. It means, that aside from being entirely UI-driven, React Native works more like a JavaScript library rather than a framework. As a result, the UI is incredibly responsive, giving the apps a smoother feel and faster loading times.

syntax of React and React Native

1.) React:

Using React, we can write code in JavaScript. Thereafter, React.Js renders Html-like components with <p>, <div>, <h1>, etc. tags. We may use JSX - a special syntax extension for JavaScript. TheJSX is a syntax similar to a template language that doesn’t distinguish between markup and logic. That means you're writing markup in JavaScript, which can appear to be inappropriate at first glance, but React claims that it's not as terrible as it appears. However, after compilation, there will be no JSX code. There will be only regular JavaScript functions and objects.

2.) React Native:

It has a specific syntax. Here, React Native renders native components with <view>, <text>, <images>, etc. instead of rendering HTML-like components.

The Advantages: React Native

  • In React Native, To avoid separate development, the logic layer can be reused to build the same app for both Android and iOS.
  • It renders some code components with native APIs.
  • If you know JavaScript, then you can easily work with React Native.
  • To repair old applications, we only need to add React Native UI components, and there is no need to rewrite them.
  • React Native helps in creating an effective user experience without much effort.

React Native VS React.js: Difference in a Nutshell

CategoryReact JSReact Native
PurposeDeveloping web applicationsDeveloping native mobile applications for Android and iOS
Target PlatformWebMobile (Android +iOS)
LanguageJavaScriptJavaScript
ArchitectureVirtual DOMNative components and APIs
UI ComponentsHTML and CSS-based componentsNative components
PerformanceFast and efficientFast and efficient, but may not be as fast as native development
Cross-Platform DevelopmentNo, only cross-browserYes, for both Android and iOS
DebuggingEasy and straightforwardCan be more difficult due to native code integration
CustomizationHigh level of customization optionsLimited customization options compared to native development
Community SupportLarge and established communityGrowing community with support from Facebook

React Native VS React.js: Applications:

Popular applications using React and React.js

React Native VS React.js: Applications:

Summary:

From this article, we have learned about the difference between React And React Native, How React and React native work, React Native Applications, Advantages, and many more things. However, to simplify development and up your game, learn the intricacies of React JS from React JS Training Certification with ScholarHat and level up as a React Developer.

FAQs

Q1. Are ReactJS and React Native the same?

React is known as ReactJs, which is a JavaScript library to build single-page web applications. Besides, React Native is a React JS-based framework to design mobile apps. 

Q2. Should I start with React Native or ReactJS?

React is considered more efficient and effective as compared to React Native in displaying dynamic content as it uses a virtual DOM.

Q3. Is React Native frontend or backend?

React is most suited for UI-focused frontends

Q4. Why React is called native?

 It's based on React, Facebook's JavaScript library for building user interfaces, but instead of targeting the browser, it targets mobile platforms.

Q5. Is React Native faster than React?

ReactJS is considered more efficient than React Native when displaying dynamic content

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About Author
Shailendra Chauhan (Microsoft MVP, Founder & CEO at Scholarhat by DotNetTricks)

Shailendra Chauhan is the Founder and CEO at ScholarHat by DotNetTricks which is a brand when it comes to e-Learning. He provides training and consultation over an array of technologies like Cloud, .NET, Angular, React, Node, Microservices, Containers and Mobile Apps development. He has been awarded Microsoft MVP 8th time in a row (2016-2023). He has changed many lives with his writings and unique training programs. He has a number of most sought-after books to his name which has helped job aspirants in cracking tough interviews with ease.
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