What is the Difference between React and React Native? Definition, Advantages & Disadvantages

What is the difference between React and React Native

Are you a non-programmer exploring the tech world? Then it must be difficult for you to figure out what is React and React Native. Confused? The problem is that the names themselves and the difference between React and React native actually cause confusion among us in the technological community. When a non-programmer hears the terms React and React Native, people frequently assume that React Native is a development of React technology. If they are just starting out, novice developers might even take the same thing into account. 

Some of the most well-known and commonly used mobile apps and websites are currently powered by ReactJS and React Native. The model was sound, but a revolution in the user interface was required. ReactJS was implemented for Facebook’s timeline in 2011, which was a significant advancement. After Facebook bought Instagram in 2012, ReactJS was also utilized for their timeline. And, now most of organizations are looking for react native development company for hire.

Are the difference between React and React Native causing you any confusion? Which of them is superior? Can React Native code from React be reused? Let’s explore the solutions in this article comparing React and React Native.

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“The biggest mistake we made as a company was betting too much on HTML as opposed to native”. – Mark Zuckerberg, 2012

Definitions: React and React Native

What is the difference between React and React Native_1

A JavaScript library called ReactJS supports both front-end and server applications. It can also be used to design user interfaces for websites and apps for mobile devices. React Native on the other hand is a cross-platform mobile framework that is used to create apps and webpages with the help of ReactJS. To learn the difference between React and React Native, we need to learn what React and React Native is. 

What is React?

In a nutshell, React is a Library for front-end development.

An open-source JavaScript library called React, sometimes known as ReactJS, is used to create single-page web apps. It is one of the most used libraries for creating the UI (front end) of online and mobile applications. It was created in 2011 with Facebook’s support and has grown in popularity ever since.

React enables the creation of lightweight, flexible, and user-friendly mobile and web apps. They can also automate the designing process thanks to it. ReactJS developers can create anything they want without following rigid guidelines by making use of its features. Developers working with ReactJS can quickly add libraries or plugins to their programs. They may also create quick, scalable, and straightforward web apps thanks to it. React’s introduction to front-end programming brings back the sorely missed server-side logic.

What is React Native? 

In a nutshell, React native is a native mobile development library

React Native is a JavaScript-based open-source framework that was created by Facebook to satisfy the company’s expanding mobile demands. With the hybrid mobile app framework React Native, you can create mobile apps from a single codebase. With the help of this JavaScript framework, you can create mobile applications that run seamlessly on iOS and Android. 

Can we now create a mobile app that runs on both iOS and Android OS using a single framework? Yes! You can create cross-platform applications with React Native for Windows, Android, and iOS. So another framework for creating cross-platform applications is now available.

How do React and React Native work?

It is important to focus on how React and React Native work to understand the difference between React and React native Amazing user experiences are created by React using the Virtual DOM, while React Native renders UI components that can be reused on both the Android and iOS platforms by utilizing APIs.

Virtual DOM for React

An important programming interface that defines a web document and its content is called Document Object Model (DOM). The final way libraries and frameworks are utilized and displayed is greatly influenced by their ability to control the DOM.

For React, virtual DOM is a game-changer. It is an electronic rendition of the actual DOM. It implies that while designing dynamic UIs, Virtual DOM manages rapid updates. The major distinction is that Virtual DOM updates outperform Real DOM updates in terms of speed, performance, and user experience.

Native APIs for React Native

Additionally, React Native renders UI components using native Application Program Interface (API), Objective-C-written iOS components, and Java APIs for Android components. The remaining code is then built using JavaScript to customize the app for each platform and allow for the greatest possible component reuse and code sharing.

ReactJS makes use of CSS and HTML, whereas React Native does not. As a result, to style the React Native components, JavaScript style sheets are required. But even though it resembles CSS, it is not the same.

What is the Difference between React and React Native?

What is the difference between React and React Native_2

As we all know, most siblings share similar qualities and functions so as React and ReactJS. They will acknowledge, though, that their contrasts outnumber their commonalities. Yes, and that’s why are focused on understanding the difference between React and React native. 

Installation Process

There is a difference between React and React Native in the installation process: 

React:

As we have learned, ReactJS is all about the library. Insert the React library into the HTML page and you are all set to go. 

Here is what to write in the <script> tag:

<script src="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/umd/react.development.js"<crossorigin></script>
<scriptsrc="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/umd/react-dom.development.js"<crossorigin></script>

Done! Bundler can be used to manage big projects. Webpack may already be set up to bundle to your application if you utilize tools for new projects like Next.Js, the create-react-app command, or the Gatsby framework. You must make sure that Webpack is configured if not.

React Native

You need a programming environment like Xcode for iOS or Android Studio for Android in order to create an app utilizing React Native. Other tools, such as Node, the React Native CLI, JSDK Watchman, etc., must be installed, nevertheless. Following installation, you may start a new project with the React Native Command Line Interface and run it on real mobile devices or an emulator.

ReactJS to React Native conversion is a relatively simple process. In fact, if you are familiar with the JavaScript and React libraries, you will quickly grasp how the React Native framework works. 

Work Efficiency

The difference between React and React Native in terms of work efficiency is remarkable: 

React:

React is the ideal library for you if you want to create an incredible user interface for your project. React’s ability to run on the client side while being displayed on the server side is one of its outstanding characteristics.

React increases developer productivity while also providing them with more tools for developing core abstractions. It’s useful for both lower-level items like clickable buttons as well as higher-level elements like dropdowns, to put it briefly.

React Native:

To maximize a developer’s efficiency, React Native uses a distinct strategy. ReactJS has analogs for the components you may use in iOS and Android to achieve a comparable look and experience. React Native’s building blocks are reusable native components. These parts are directly compiled into native code. As a result, React native sets itself apart from other mobile app development frameworks by giving the app the incredible look, feel, functionality, and speed of a native app.

Technology

The technology behind React and React Native makes the difference between React and React native in the first place.

React:

Just a JavaScript library, React. So all you need to do to master ReactJS is learn and comprehend JavaScript. You can quickly learn how to use technical documents and work as a React developer. React focuses on creating user-friendly web user interfaces using JavaScript.

React Native: 

React.Js is a framework that is used to build mobile user interfaces using React Native. Since it employs declarative elements like React and inherits all of ReactJS’ functionalities, it has several benefits.

React Native is specifically not a JavaScript framework. Java, Objective-C, Objective-C++, and C++ code are all included. As a result, it’s crucial to understand and be proficient in the languages used to create React Native applications.

Syntax

The syntax makes the obvious difference between React and React native:

React:

JavaScript code can be written using React. After that, react. Js produces HTML-like elements using tags like <p>, <div>, and <h1>. You can utilize JSX, a unique JavaScript syntax extension.

A template language-like syntax that doesn’t distinguish between markup and logic is called JSX. That implies that you’re creating JavaScript markup, which at first appearance could seem inappropriate, but React contends that it’s not as bad as it seems. After compilation, JSX code won’t exist. There will only be standard JavaScript objects and functions.

React Native:

You must be familiar with React Native’s particular syntax if you want to use it. Instead of generating HTML-like components in this case, React Native renders native components with <view>, < text>,  <pictures>, etc.

We have seen how the code logic differs in the part above to display “Hello World.” We can therefore conclude that since React Native doesn’t use HTML, it is not recommended for web development. Because React Native tags like <view> and <text> compile into native languages, you can create apps for mobile devices (Android, iOS), wearables, TVs, augmented reality, and many more platforms. This implies that you are unable to utilize any library that produces HTML, SVG, or Canvas.

Components

Components also make the difference between React and React native. 

React:

A component-based library is React. A JavaScript class that delivers a React element and establishes the visual style of a specific user interface element is known as a component. “Function components” and “class components” are the two distinct types of ReactJS components. If you employ JavaScript function components:

function Welcome(props)

{
return <h1> Hello, {props.name} </h1>;
}

Additionally, ES6 classes can be used to define the same component:

class Welcome extends React. Component

{
render()
{
return <h1> Hello, {this.props.name} </h1>;
}
}

In reality, an app with similar functionality may be made using both sorts of components. Class components have more features than function components do. However, when using functional components, the readability of the code captures everyone’s attention. Developers can write fewer codes thanks to it. As a result, the software is performing really well.

React Native: 

React Native contains Native components and Native modules, as we mentioned earlier, which enable developers to create apps. Native UI elements are ready-to-use, practical widgets. They are either included with the platform or available as third-party libraries. In UI explorer, you may find out if you need a specific component. Additionally, you can design a unique component and use it again throughout the program.

When React Native is unable to provide the requested functionality or module, a Native Module is a collection of JavaScript functions that support platform API. You are able to create your own module using some GitHub tools.

Related: Mobile App Design: Why It’s Important and Where to Order it

ReactJS Vs React Native [Table Format]

It is difficult to discuss all the differences between React and React native in one article. I have discussed five of the most important differences between ReactJS and React Native in the previous section. Find out the difference between React and React Native in a nutshell in this table:

Sl.ReactReact Native
1ReactJS was first released in 2013.The first version of React Native was 2released in 2015.
2It is employed in the creation of web applications.It is employed in the creation of mobile applications.
3It can be used with any platform.It is not cross-platform.Execution across all platforms requires more work.
4HTML tags are used.HTML tags are not utilized.
5For animations, it makes use of a JavaScript library and CSS.It has built-in libraries for animation.
6It may make use of code components, which helps you save a ton of time.Reusing React Native UI modules & components enables hybrid apps to render natively.
7The browser code is rendered in this using the Virtual DOM.In this, Native renders code for mobile applications using its API.
8React-router is used to navigate between web pages.The Navigator library for mobile applications is already built-in.
9The level of security is great.Compared to ReactJS, it offers less security.

Advantages of Using React and React Native

Regardless of the difference between React and React Native, there are lots of advantages to using both React and React Native:

Advantages: React

  1. Easy to Learn and Use: Learning and using ReactJS is considerably simpler. Any developer with experience in JavaScript can pick up React with ease and begin building web applications.
  2. It’s Getting Simpler to Create Dynamic Web Applications: It was difficult and required complicated coding to explicitly construct a dynamic web application with HTML, but ReactJS made it simpler. It offers more functionality with less coding.
  3. Reusable Components: Each of the various components that make up a ReactJS web application has its own logic and controls. Wherever you need them, you can reuse these parts. Reusable code makes it simpler to create and update your apps.
  4. Performance Improvement: The virtual DOM in ReactJS makes it perform better. The React Virtual DOM is a representation of the DOM found in web browsers, and it exists entirely in memory. As a result, we didn’t write directly to the DOM while creating a React component. Instead, we create virtual components that when activated, transform into the DOM, resulting in a faster and more fluid performance.
  5. Support for Practical Tools: ReactJS offers a set of practical tools that help developers comprehend and complete their work more quickly. You can also choose certain components, check and update their current Props, and State.

Advantages: React Native

  1. Cross-Platform Usage: It offers the “Learn once, write everywhere” feature. It functions on iOS and Android-powered mobile devices.
  2. Class Performance: The React Native code is compiled into native code, enabling it for both operating systems and ensuring that it works identically on both platforms.
  3. JavaScript: Native mobile apps are developed with JavaScript expertise.
  4. Community: We can find any answer we need thanks to the vibrant ReactJS and React Native communities.
  5. Hot Reloading: Modifications to your mobile app’s code will be immediately apparent while being developed. The business logic’s reflection is live refreshed on screen if it is modified.
  6. Getting Better Over Time: The community is always developing the best practices, and some iOS and Android features are currently unsupported.
  7. Native Components: If we wish to add native functionality, which is not yet designed, we will need to write some platform-specific code.
  8. Existence is Questionable: Because Facebook retains the authority to halt the project at any point, its existence is uncertain as it develops this framework. It is unlikely to occur as React Native gains popularity.

Disadvantages of Using React and React Native

When you are comparing the difference between React and React Native, you have to go through the disadvantages too:

Disadvantages: React

  1. The rapid rate of development: As we are all aware, frameworks change quite quickly. The developers do not feel confident relearning the new procedures on a frequent basis. With all the ongoing upgrades, it could be challenging for them to adapt to all these changes.
  2. Poor Documentation: React technologies update and advance so quickly that there isn’t enough time to create adequate documentation. To get around this, developers create their own instructions as new tools and versions are included in their ongoing projects.
  3. View Section: Only the UI Layers of the app are covered by ReactJS. To obtain a full toolkit for project development, you must still select a few other technologies.
  4. SEO-Friendly Frameworks: Traditional JavaScript frameworks have a problem with SEO. This issue is solved by ReactJS, which makes it easier for developers to be found on different search engines. The virtual DOM will be rendering and returning to the browser like a typical web page thanks to the fact that ReactJS applications can operate on the server.
  5. Test coverage: ReactJS applications are simple to test. It provides a platform where programmers may test and debug their codes using native tools.

Disadvantages: React Native

  1. React Native is Still New: React Native is a newcomer to programming on the iOS and Android platforms and is still in the development stage, which could have a detrimental effect on the apps.
  2. Learning is Tough: React Native is difficult to learn, especially for someone new to the world of app development.
  3. It Lacks Security Robustness: React Native is an open-source framework and JavaScript library, which leaves a security robustness gap. React Native is not recommended by experts when building banking and financial apps with extremely private data.

Which is Better React or React Native? 

ReactJS and React Native are key pillars for both app and web development, and they are both gaining ground steadily because of their adaptable functionality and expanding ecosystem of libraries. 

Although ReactJS is essentially a JavaScript library and React Native is the whole framework, the two work in harmony because the former forms the core of the latter. React Native is perfect for giving your mobile apps a native feel, just as ReactJS is ideal for building mobile apps with high functionality and complicated calculations. Hence, despite the difference between React and React Native, we need both of them depending on the project requirements and the capability of the developers. 

Related: How To Turn On Developer Mode On Chromebook: Quick and Easy Way!

Final Note: 

Finally, you are at the end of the article, reading the difference between React and React native. Now, what are your takeaways? Have you found the solution you are looking for? Despite the difference between React and React Native, we need both of them in the tech world. Every development tool or framework has some limits, and ReactJS and React Native are no exception. Because of this, it is wise to list the advantages and disadvantages of both of these technologies before making a choice based on your objectives and desired results.

FAQs

Q1. Should I learn React or React Native?

In some ways, building native mobile apps using React Native is quite similar to building online apps with React. It’s worthwhile to become familiar with React initially if you don’t already have a lot of technical expertise and web development experience.

Q2. Why use React Native instead of React?

For mobile apps, React Native is fantastic. It offers a sleek, fluid, and responsive user experience while drastically cutting down on load times. React Native allows developers to create apps far more quickly and affordably than they could with native development, all without sacrificing functionality or quality.

Q3. Which is easy ReactJS or React Native?

ReactJS is a lot simpler to understand and use than other programming languages. Any developer with experience in JavaScript can pick up React with ease and begin building web applications.

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