Comparing frameworks NativeScript vs React Native in JavaScript Mobile App Development
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By: Sagar Sharma

Comparing frameworks NativeScript vs React Native in JavaScript Mobile App Development

In today’s scenario, it is very difficult to find people without using a mobile phone and especially, without using an app. Most developers prefer JavaScript mobile app development because it is a great and understandable platform for app users. To explore what kind of role JavaScript plays in NativeScript Vs React Native platforms, you need to know about key factors that influence them highly. Several statistical reports state that native mobile apps are simple and quick to develop and at the same time, adaptive as well. Let us see what is React Native and NativeScript, and how effective they are individually in detail in the following sections.

Rather than calling NativeScript and React Native as platforms, the correct term would be mobile app development frameworks. You apply either of these frameworks on both Android and iOS platforms according to compatibility, necessity, and audience range.

Mobile App Development in JavaScript

JavaScript is a front-end programming language that developers use to create a mobile app. With JavaScript, you can rewrite the server-side code to backend tasks effortlessly. Moreover, if you expect your app to show better performance, then JavaScript is a convenient and workable language.

Although there are multiple languages available to develop a mobile app, most developers go for JavaScript because of the following reasons:

  • It is one of the easiest languages that offer the best learning curve.
  • You can easily store the bandwidth range while executing on the client-side.
  • You can create and use dynamic animations in your mobile app with JavaScript.
  • It offers fast and systematic development and allows you to run a streamlined mobile app development process.
  • Moreover, JavaScript offers to create a plethora of framework development tools such as Ionic, PhoneGap, jQuery, React Native, NativeScript, and Tabris.js.

Apart from the aforementioned benefits, developers go fond of JavaScript as it is a rich front-end platform that provides offline support in the community. To conclude, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript are wrapped together in a native application without having any need to change NativeScript and React Native.

How do we define NativeScript?

In 2014, Progress Software Corporation introduced the open-source framework NativeScript for developing mobile apps. The released framework NativeScript supports JavaScript, Angular, Vue.Js coding for app development.

Using a single codebase, you can develop native mobile apps for both Android and iOS. You can experience a native app–like performance and get direct access to all iOS and Android APIs. Developers find NativeScript to be an easy framework because without putting in much effort for building user interfaces and WebViews, you can develop an app with JavaScript, CSS, and Native UI markup.

Few examples of apps developed using NativeScript are Strudel, a dating app; Bitpoints, the crypto-currency wallet; Daily Nanny, the photo-sharing app for older people, etc.

What is React Native?

React Native, released in the year 2015 by Facebook, is a cross-platform mobile app development framework like NativeScript and supports app development in both Android and iOS platforms. It integrates the best elements of native development with React and provides the top-notch JavaScript library for developing convincing user interfaces. The specialty of React Native is you can use the native components of one platform in another platform without any change and alter the app according to Android or Ios.

Some existing examples of apps created using React Native, which you can find in Google Play Store and Apple Store, are Instagram, Bloomberg, Pinterest, Skype, Tesla, Uber, Walmart, Vogue, Townske, Salesforce, etc.

If you look at the statistics of NativeScript Vs React Native comparison, React Native has proven to be the best and adaptive in mobile app development.

NativeScript Vs React Native

Till now we saw the basic explanation of NativeScript and React Native. Now let us dive deep into the topic and understand which helps you under which conditions.

1. Learning contour

Developers can easily adapt to JavaScript because it is a flexible language that mends with both NativeScript and React Native frameworks. Even if you have minimal experience using JavaScript, you can easily move on working with these frameworks. Moreover, if you have prior experience working with Angular, you definitely will not find it difficult to use NativeScript because of its extensive integration with Angular CLI, code development, router support, etc.

Along with using JavaScript, developers can also code using TypeScript, which is an open-source programming language, on both NativeScript and React Native. You also have Flow, a programming language by Facebook, of course, used when you develop an app with React Native framework.

2. Development tools

NativeScript takes the help of Angular or Vue.js for developing high-engaging user interfaces. It allows you to develop light-weight mobile apps that do not screw up your phone with unwanted or huge space. If you have previously used Vue.js for the web, then NativeScript-Vue.js also act similarly. It is all about using a direct plugin before you begin with the app installation factors and writing codes for your app’s front-end templates with NativeScript modules.

React Native uses Flexbox, which works in the same way as it functions in CSS on the web, giving you a step-by-step picture of your improvements on the app. The distinct difference is with both NativeScript and React Native you can use JavaScript for rewriting is defining objectives and properties of styles; which later retranslates to CSS origin.

Additionally, you can debug both the frameworks using Chrome Developer Tools. The best thing with React Native is users can take benefit of React Native Debugger and Reactotron, whereas sometimes, NativeScript users use the Visual Studio code NativeScript extension.

3. Third-party plugins

As mentioned previously, NativeScript comes with a ready-to-use plugin and so installation becomes easy before you get into framework development. If you do not wish to use the inbuilt plugin, you can choose from a plethora of plugins available in the NativeScript marketplace, as it is available as open-source.

React Native does not have any dedicated marketplace or community for providing plugins. But you can extend the default components by searching for React Native packages in the NPM registry. But often developers prefer real native code for gaining access to the desired platform.

4. Performance

NativeScript uses a single-threaded model whereas React Native uses a multi-threaded architecture. By using React Native’s Multi-threaded architecture, UI of the mobile apps will not get interrupted. Where else, in NativeScript UI may get stuck while executing JS code.

NativeScript supports only in allowing fast access to native APIs and React Native works on individual threads though it is built in multiple. NativeScript uses Google’s V8 on Android whereas React Native uses Hermes on Android and Apple’s JSCore on iOS.

5. Community/Forum

NativeScript, being open-source, has an enlarged community to support developers and clarify their doubts through experts’ opinions. But it lacks in performance when compared with React Native. To support this point, in a statistical report by NPM, React Native has got more user downloads up to 300,000 whereas NativeScript has only 10,000 user downloads.

Just like that, the US-based global software company Github which is well-known for bringing the world’s developer community under one platform has React Native ratings with 80,000 stars and NativeScript framework with 60,000 stars from the developers around the world. Hence, React Native is popular for its performance and flexible usage than NativeScript.

Conclusion:

Hoping the aforementioned points would have given you some clarity on the comparison of NativeScript Vs React Native, which is very important for you, as a developer, to know. This article not only showcases the major differences between both NativeScript and React Native frameworks but also the importance of JavaScript mobile app development, which is followed in the latest trend. If you have any queries or require any technical support on JavaScript mobile app development, feel free to shoot us with your questions to our technical agents.

Frequently asked questions

1. Which one is better–NativeScript or React Native?

If you want your app to be more impressive and provide the best user interface experience, React Native would be your uncompromising choice because it concentrates more on styling the components of each platform (Android and iOS) and providing an exceptional native look and feel to your app.

2. Does NativeScript really provide a native platform?

NativeScript totally depends on how you write a complete cross-platform mobile application with JavaScript, Angular, or TypeScript. It allows fast accessing of native platform APIs on both Android and iOS platforms.

3. Why should I prefer to React Native for developing a mobile application?

Be it technology, usage, performance, features, flexibility, and compatibility, React Native takes the crown when compared with NativeScript. React Native provides the best user interface than you get from NativeScript because NS runs the plugin once and distributes it to multiple features.

4. How much do I need to spend on building a React Native app?

Again, the cost of building a mobile app through React Native, can be a little expensive but not as you think. Be specific as to what you want to bring into the app, whether it is going to be simple or complex, how many resources and timeline required, etc. A mobile app development company can help you out with this.

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