React vs React Native: Which One to Choose and Why?

React vs React Native

So you’ve decided to create a mobile/web app. Great! Now you must be confused about which technology to use for your web/app development project.

If you are, then you’re not the only one. With so many options available, deciding which route to take can be challenging, but it’s great that you’ve narrowed it down to React vs React Native you’re on the right track.


React vs React Native Overview

React (or React JS) and React Native sharing the same name are not coincident. Facebook introduced both languages, and both have open-source frameworks working with JavaScript. But, developers use each of them to different ends.

So, if you’re planning to build a Web Application, you must go with React JS, and if you want to develop a Mobile Application for your project, React Native would be your best choice.

But that is not enough, right? Before starting your project, you need to know all the details about React JS vs React Native.

Let’s dive deeper into how these two technologies differ and what you should know in detail to make an informed decision. In this article, you will learn:

  • History of React and React Native
  • What is React JS?
  • Features of React (React JS) – What makes it so popular?
  • What is React Native?
  • Features of React Native – What makes it so popular?
  • React (React JS) vs. React Native: What’s the difference?
  • Which is better, React or React Native?


History of React and React Native

React was created by Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Facebook. He was influenced by XHP, an HTML component framework for PHP. It was first deployed on Facebook’s newsfeed in 2011 and later on Instagram in 2012.


React vs React Native trends

Source: Google Trends


React Native, on the other hand, was introduced by Facebook in 2015 as a way to improve mobile app user experience (UX). React Native uses the same design as React, but instead of using web components, it uses native components. This makes React Native apps look and feel more like native apps.

Now that you have a crisp history of React and React Native let’s dive into each technology to see what they can do.


What is React (React JS)?

React is an open-source JavaScript library for building user interfaces (UIs). It was created by Facebook in 2011 and is used in some of its products, including Instagram and WhatsApp. Many major companies, such as Netflix, Airbnb, Yahoo Mail, and Dropbox, also use React. 

React is a JavaScript library for building UIs. The primary purpose of React development is to be fast, simple, and scalable. It works only on user interfaces in the application. If you want to use React for a website, you would still need something else like Node.js on the backend.

The secondary purpose of using React is to build large applications with data that changes over time. When the data changes, React will update the component automatically. This makes your web app more responsive and fast.


Features of React (React JS) – What makes it so popular?

As you must be aware of its popularity, we would like to share some of the features that make React so popular:


Features of React


Virtual DOM

React uses a virtual DOM. The virtual DOM is a JavaScript representation of the actual DOM. React will calculate what changes need to be made in the real DOM and make those changes for you. This means your web app will be much faster because React is doing the work behind the scenes.

Component-Based Architecture

React lets you make an app based on small, reusable pieces called components. This makes your code easy to read and maintain because each component has a particular logic written in JS.

JavaScript XML or JSX

JSX is a syntax extension of JavaScript. It lets you write HTML in the same file as your JavaScript code. This makes your code easy to read and understand.

React is Declarative

React is declarative, which means that it makes code easy to read and understand. React will automatically update the component when the data changes. This makes your web app more responsive and fast.

One-Way Data Binding

React uses one-way data binding. This means that the data is passed from parent to child components only. The child component cannot change the data. This makes your code more stable and easy to debug.

React is Open Source

React is open source, meaning anyone can use it for free.

SEO Friendly

React is SEO friendly compared to other JavaScript frameworks. React loads on the server first and then renders components to the browser, making it easy for search engine crawlers to access and index your content.

Now that we know React inside out, let us understand React Native.


What is React Native?

React Native is a framework for building native mobile apps using React. It was created by Facebook in 2015 and is used by large companies such as Skype, Tesla, and Walmart.

React Native is also a JavaScript framework for writing real, natively rendering mobile applications for iOS and Android. It’s based on React but targets mobile platforms instead of the browser.

In other words, with React Native, you can write code once and ship it to both iOS and Android devices. Mobile Applications built using React Native will have 100% native UI and will not suffer from limitations associated with other frameworks. 


Features of React Native – What makes it so popular?

Everyone prefers React Native because of its faster approach to mobile app development and flexibility towards code sharing. The apps made with React Native are high-quality and have a better look and feel. The features of React Native are as follows:


Features of React Native


Write the code once and use it anywhere:

The code written using React Native can be used for both iOS and Android platforms. This is because React Native uses compatible JavaScript code with both platforms.

Faster Mobile App Development:

React Native uses the JavaScript bridge to communicate with native UI components. This helps in faster development as there is no need to recompile the code. The changes can be instantly seen on the screen, saving time.

UI Focused:

React Native is UI focused. Mobile app developers can easily create a high-quality and attractive user interface using React Native.

High Performance:

The apps made with React Native are high performing. They use the native components of the platforms to work smoothly on all types of devices.

Support from React Native Community: 

React Native has a large community of developers who are always ready to help. The community is active and supports React Native through various channels.

Hot Reloading:

This feature allows you to save time by reloading the app automatically every time the code is changed. This means you do not have to recompile the code every time there is a change.

3rd party plugin support:

React Native supports the use of third-party plugins. This helps in adding native functionality to the app quickly and easily.

Tried & Tested:

React Native has been used by big companies like Facebook, Skype, Walmart, etc., to build their mobile apps. This proves that React Native is a reliable and trusted framework.

Now that we know the features of React Native let us see how it compares to ReactJS.


react native development


What is the difference between React (React JS) and React Native?

Differences between React and React Native can be summarized in the following points:

difference between react and react native


Advantages Between React and React Native

React (React JS)

  1. It is a JavaScript library used for making User Interfaces
  2. Web Development
  3. It uses HTML tags like <div>,<h1>, etc., for making the UI
  4. It uses virtual DOM to render browser code, making it faster by avoiding extra memory consumption.
  5. CSS is used for creating styling
  6. CSS can enable possibilities of animations
  7. It is very easy to implement, and no hardcore experience is required
  8. Advantages of the device hardware or features are less
  9. High-performing, dynamic, and responsive UI for web interfaces
  10. Highly cost-effective

React Native

  1. It is a whole framework used for mobile app development
  2. Mobile App Development
  3. It uses an in-built tag. like <View>, <Text>,<image>,etc., for making the UI
  4. It uses native APIs to render components on mobile.
  5. A stylesheet is used for creating styling 
  6. Animated API is used to enable animation across different components
  7. It is quite a complex programming language, and a good experience is required to implement it.
  8. Advantages of device hardware or feature are huge
  9. Give mobile apps a truly native feeling
  10. Quite costly


Disadvantages Between React and React Native

As we say, every coin has two faces. So, React and React Native also has some disadvantages that we should know before using them.

React (React JS)

  • The browser support is low as it uses modern JavaScript concepts.
  • The HTML syntax makes the code look cluttered and messy.
  • JSX extension needs to be configured while working.
  • Team extension may bring extra expenditures to project owners.
  • Fast development may not be suitable for large projects.
  • Lack of proper documentation.

React Native

  • It has a low-performance rate on older devices as it uses the native components of the device.
  • It has a steep learning curve as it is quite a complex programming language.
  • The hot reloading feature does not work well with iOS devices.
  • External libraries have to be used due to the lack of native components in React Native.
  • Facebook can suspend some developers if they somehow violate the patent (Facebook has a unique patent for the technology)


Read Also:-  Angular vs React – Best JavaScript Development Framework?


Which is better, React or React Native?

As we can see, both React and React Native have their own set of pros and cons. So, it all comes down to what you want to achieve with your project.

When to use React JS?

Most web developers familiar with React JS recommend using it for projects where you want to achieve:

  • High performance on the web interface
  • A dynamic and responsive user interface
  • An easy-to-implement programming language
  • If your existing code base is getting out of hand

When to use React Native?

If you want to create a mobile app, then React Native is your best choice. It will give your app a truly native feeling. React Native is recommended when you want to achieve:

  • A truly native app for Android and iOS
  • High performance on mobile devices
  • A custom design that looks like on both platforms
  • A complex programming language

Technologies in the developer world are changing rapidly. It can be challenging to keep up with the new trends and advancements. But, as a developer, it is also essential to have a formal overview and technical skill-set of the changes in the industry.


Hire React Developer



Until now, it must be clear why React is the preferred front-end UI development tool, right? Now you have to decide whether you want to work on React or React Native. You can make informed decisions depending on the business demand and the project requirements. 

If you are looking for someone who can help you develop a high-quality app using React Native or a heavily loaded web app using React. We have a team of skilled React developers who can make your dream project a reality.

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