• Technology

Reactjs vs React Native – Which is the Best Option to Consider For Mobile Apps?

  • Felix Rose-Collins
  • 5 min read
Reactjs vs React Native – Which is the Best Option to Consider For Mobile Apps?

Intro

The team at Facebook needed something to build a high-performing and dynamic UI so they came up with ReactJS in 2011. This development platform is a javascript library that consists of the speed of javascript and has an innovative way of rendering pages.

The platform became an immediate success and with its growing popularity, the team at Facebook open-sourced ReactJS two years after its initial release. And in 2015, Facebook launched React Native.

Now, both platforms have many similarities and differences. But here the question is which one of them will be more suitable for the development of mobile apps. And for that, one has to surf through a detailed comparison between ReactJS and React Native. Nowadays, businesses tend to hire ReactJS developers in India for their software projects but before doing that, they must know what these platforms are and what their capabilities are.

Therefore, in this blog on ReactJS vs React Native, we are going to discuss the basics of this platform, its pros, and cons and then we will look at the key factors that distinguish these platforms. And at last, we will conclude which one of these platforms is more suitable for mobile app development. So to know your answer and make an informed choice, you must read the entire blog through to the end.

Reactjs

Reactjs is a JavaScript library. It allows you to declaratively create an app, or any part of it, and then manipulate its appearance on the fly. You can build apps that look exactly like they run in your browser with the same code that you write in Reactjs.

Reactjs is made up of two parts: the template language and the virtual DOM diffing algorithm. The first is used for creating virtual components which can be rendered by the framework at runtime; this allows us to create reusable UI elements that don't need to be created from scratch every single time. The second part is responsible for comparing different versions of these components and updating their DOM accordingly when needed.

Reactjs was built by Facebook engineers and has been open-sourced under MIT/BSD license since 2013.

Pros of Reactjs:

  • You can create dynamic UIs using the virtual DOM, which makes your application load faster. The virtual DOM also makes your code easier to maintain because you don't have to worry about updating entire components at once if they're affected by changes in your data or some other part of your UI.
  • The lack of complex syntax makes it easier for beginners to understand how things work in Reactjs compared with other frameworks such as Angular or Ember.
  • It’s easy to learn because it uses only JavaScript and HTML, so you don’t have to learn any other language.
  • It has a slight learning curve, so you can start building websites right away without having to spend time relearning how to program.
  • The language is modern and popular, so many tools out there make development easier.
  • The community around React is large and active with lots of online resources that can help you learn more about React or build your app from scratch.

Cons of Reactjs:

Reactjs does not provide any specific view layer implementation. Instead, it relies on some implementations of Virtual DOM for rendering functionality. These implementations vary in terms of performance and capabilities.

React Native

React Native is a fast, lightweight, and flexible framework that allows developers to create apps for iOS, Android, and the web. This means that you could potentially build an app for any of these platforms with a single code base. You’ll also have the ability to share components between the various platforms.

This is a very popular option for those who want to learn how to create mobile apps without having to spend time learning Objective-C or Java. It’s also an option that’s accessible to most developers, whether they have some experience with React or not.

React Native includes React, ReactDOM, and JSX rendering components that are developed using the same API as JavaScript. It also offers a building block approach to mobile app development. The idea is to use JavaScript as the main language for the front end of your app and to build native components using React Native.

Pros of React Native:

  • Code reuse: The learnings from ReactJS can be used in React Native. As per the official documentation, “React Native uses the same core APIs as React to render views and manage state”.
  • Portability: The same code can be used for both native apps and web apps with React Native. This helps developers to work on both platforms without any code duplication or compilation/translating issues.
  • Fast performance: The performance of a mobile app built with react-native is similar to that of a native app built with Xcode or Android Studio (depending on your build system). This means that you don’t need to compromise on the performance of your app while porting it from one platform to another one.
  • Large community: React Native has an incredibly large community of developers who are constantly creating new libraries, tools, and plugins for React Native which make it easier to work with. As well as this many third-party services offer great value add such as integrating with Stripe or Firebase or implementing authentication via Google authentication.
  • Short learning curve: React Native uses JavaScript as its primary language, so if you already know JavaScript then you’ll feel right at home when working with React Native. Furthermore, since it works through JavaScript, you can use most of your existing knowledge when learning React Native if you need to!

Cons of React Native:

  • Compatibility with other platforms is still an issue. Android support is coming soon, but iPhone support has been delayed until 2020.
  • It's not just about building apps anymore; it's about writing apps that look like native apps. That means you need to use the same UI guidelines and design standards as iOS/Android developers have used for years.

Key differences between Reactjs and React Native

Reactjs and React Native are two different but related JavaScript frameworks for building user interfaces.

The first thing to understand is that React Native isn't just a fork of ReactJS, it's the same framework with a new UI library called RN (React Native) that provides access to native APIs from JavaScript. This means that you can write apps in ReactJS and run them on iOS and Android without having to rewrite your code to target iOS or Android separately.

React Native supports only one main thread at a time while ReactJS supports multiple rendering threads. This means that in some cases you might need to wait for your data changes before updating the UI or performing other tasks completely out of order.

Another key difference between React Native and React is that React Native uses the same APIs as React, but is designed to target multiple platforms: iOS, Android, and desktop.

We can also distinguish that Reactjs uses JSX syntax while Reactnative uses swift syntax.

React Native also has an advantage over React in that it allows you to create single-page apps with more features than those offered by AngularJS or Vue.js. This includes things like push notifications and data binding, which are not available in Angular or Vue.js but are available in React Native.

Conclusion

We know that React Native is used to build native, cross-platform mobile applications whereas ReactJS is used to create high-performing user interfaces.

We saw that React Native and ReactJS are both very similar platforms. It possesses all the syntax and principles of React and their learning curves are similar too. The differences occur at the development platform. While React uses virtual DOM to generate browser code, React Native utilizes Native APIs to build components for mobile applications.

With React, if you know HTML or CSS, you are good to go but with React Native that is not the case, you need to know the React Native syntax. You must understand how to use animated APIs to create various components for your native apps.

From all the discussion above, we conclude that ReactJS is an ideal choice for the development of high-performing, dynamic and responsive user interfaces for your websites while React Native is perfect for the development of native mobile applications.

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