ReactJS Vs React Native - A Complete Expert Analysis

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By: Sagar Sharma

ReactJS Vs React Native - A Complete Expert Analysis

Both ReactJS and React Native are currently powering several popular and commonly used mobile applications and websites by people around the world. Though, React Native is almost similar to ReactJS, even in its workflow and syntax but their components are entirely different when compared with React.

Take a look over the upcoming sections of this blog, it will decode the key differences between ReactJS and React Native and gives app developers complete knowledge.

Table of Contents

  • What is ReactJS?
  • Features of ReactJS
  • Advantages of Using ReactJS
  • Drawbacks and Limitations of Using ReactJS
  • What is React Native?
  • Features of React Native
  • Advantages of Using React Native
  • Drawbacks and Limitations of Using React Native
  • Difference between React JS and React Native
  • Factors That Differentiate React JS and React Native
  • Comparison of ReactJS and React-Native in-terms of Simple Coding
  • Which is better-React or React Native?

What is React.JS?

React.JS is a JavaScript (JS) library that allows creating superfast and interactive user interfaces in mobile and web apps. As a developer, if your concern is particularly about the application’s view layer, then React.Js development is the best fit for you since it is an open-source library that serves as a component-based and front-end library as well.

React.JS naturally has the capability of parting the user interface (UI) into multiple components that makes it easier for coding to debug. Therefore this makes each component unique in terms of property and function.

Features of React JS

#1: JSX

React JS has JavaScript XML which is an extension of JavaScript and is used as syntax similar to how XML or HTML is used. This syntax when used is processed into JS calls of React framework. With extending ES6, React JS allows HTML like the text to go along with JS. Those who use JS need not use JSX necessarily, but if you use React JS, it is required.

#2: Components

We already know that React JS is full of multiple components and each component has its own logic and controls. You can use these components many times in your coding, especially when you work on large scale projects.

#3: Single data binding

One-way/single data binding gives complete control over your application and React JS is designed in the same manner following unidirectional data flow. More than a single data binding requires additional features to support the application since components keep changing but the data within them cannot be changed.

Therefore, React JS follows the Flux pattern that maintains the unidirectional data flow, making the application you develop to be more flexible and result in maximum efficiency.

#4: Virtual DOM

A virtual DOM functions similar to a one-way data-binding that represents the original DOM of the object. In case you make any changes in the web application, with the help of virtual DOM, the entire UI is re-rendered, thereby checking the difference between the previous DOM and the new one.

#5: Simplicity

React JS uses JSX as the coding platform that makes the application simple and easy for developers to code. Since it is a component-based approach, it provides the flexibility of reusing the code as per your need. This is how it is simple to use and easy to learn as well.

#6: Performance

Developers think that compared to other frameworks in the market, React JS is far much better to use because of its exceptional management of applications through virtual DOM. The DOM is a cross-platform and programming API that manages codes with HTML, XML, or XHTML.

Virtual DOM protects DOM from writing the code directly to it, and therefore, virtual components that turn into the DOM ensure the smoother and faster performance of React JS.

Advantages of Using React JS

#1: Better user experience with Virtual DOM in React

The main challenge with traditional DOM architecture is the way its processes keep changing in terms of user inputs, queries, etc. Therefore a server is required to constantly check the difference caused by these changes to provide the proper response. To do this, the traditional DOM has to update its trees of the whole document but might be challenging.

React manages to increase the speed of updates with the use of virtual DOM that provides a better UX to your application.

#2: Saves time with reusing React Components

Reusing components in React is the biggest plus with using the platform for app development. Developers find it easy since the same code can be applied wherever they need within the app architecture which saves a huge time in app development.

#3: Stability in codes due to unidirectional data flow

React.JS follows a single-way data binding and ensures changes made in child structures do not affect their parents, by using downward data binding.

#4: Constantly developing framework

React.JS is an open-source framework developed by Facebook with a lot of useful applications and additional tools from off-company developers. Therefore, developers get great community support while working with React.JS.

To learn about the more benefits of ReactJS, visit Why to Use React for Web Development and How Using React JS Can Add Value to Your Website?

Drawbacks and limitations of using React.JS

#1: Overhead costs and time

It becomes a frequent necessity for developers to download another react-enabled library, since the components may not match with the existing components used by React.JS, thereby resulting in increased overhead costs and time.

#2: Learning curve

Compared to React Native, developers may take more time to learn and adapt to React.JS, and therefore, new developers may find it hectic to create an app using React.JS.

#3: External library support

React.JS supports only very few native libraries although it gets support from several external and third-party libraries. External libraries can help developers to make use of both HTML and CSS features and create it into JSX.

But many developers fail to understand that doing so is involved with high complexities and steep learning curves as well.

What is React Native?

React Native is a JavaScript (JS) framework for developing real-time and natively rendering mobile applications for both Android and iOS. It was developed based on React, the best web app framework for producing single-page applications and which is Facebook’s JS library for creating attractive user interfaces.

Instead of targeting the web browser, React Native focuses on mobile applications. Along with the ability to create a native look and feel like applications using React Native, you can also share the codes you write between Android and iOS platforms and develop codes simultaneously as well.

React Native development basically supports app development in cross-functional platforms and has great potential to diversify to any future platforms as well.

Features of React Native

#1: Programming Language

React Native allows you to create native apps using JS, and apps that are developed through React Native can function on both the devices and platforms without negotiating on speed, efficiency, and quality.

Like how you develop effective and attractive web apps using React, React Native also lets you create mobile applications with the same quality and design. This is highly possible to React since it allows you to compose a rich mobile user interface (UI) from declarative components.

JS is an easy-to-learn language that anyone who comes with basic knowledge of web development can work on it. Therefore, it makes their job easy to work on React Native and quickly adapt to the mobile app framework.

#2: UI Focussed

React Native is very popular among developers who want to create quick mobile applications. React Native builds a hierarchy of UI elements to create a strong JS code, saving your time by providing a new way to build apps.

It allows customization in developing UI blocks using JS since it uses the fundamental UI building blocks by default in developing Android and iOS applications.

#3: Development Time

As we aforementioned, React Native allows you to develop mobile apps considerably in a very short time compared to other mobile app frameworks.

#4: Tested and Trusted

Many start-up companies prefer developing mobile apps using React Native because of its exceptional and user-friendly UI/UX features and the time is taken for development. Companies such as Walmart, Facebook, UberEats, Myntra, and more have developed their apps through React Native.

#5: Third-party Library Support

JavaScript is an ocean; therefore, it has great library support from the community and third-party as well. This helps developers extensively to choose and use features of their choice in mobile app development.

#6: Reusable components

React Native provides you with the facility of building blocks that can be reused any number of times as per your coding requirement. The components of React Native can be used to compile directly to native apps since it offers mobile app development on cross-platform services.

Advantages of Using React Native

#1: Cost-effective & re-usage of code

With React Native you can easily perform code deployment between two platforms because it provides flexible reuse of code service.

#2: Performance in mobile environments

React Native is a super-fast mobile app framework that performs exceptionally well in mobile environments compared to other web app frameworks. With using JavaScript for the development of coding, React Native stands out and supports start-up companies or fresher developers with a big hand in mobile app development.

#3: Hot Reload

Hot reload is one of the considerable benefits of React Native which is based on hot module replacement (HMR) that succeeds the first reload option and provides the same sequence of actions as the previous one.

#4: Live Reload

Live reload ensures reading and compiling a file that can be altered by developers anytime in front of a simulator. Moreover, it automatically reloads the app from the starting phase.

#5: React Similar Architecture

Like how React provides a modular and intuitive interface, React Native also provides the same benefits. React Native has a flexible environment for developers so they can easily update web apps whenever needed. Software testers can easily understand code logic for developing test scenarios in less time.

Drawbacks and Limitations of Using React Native

#1: The Pace of Development

Though React is a fast-moving framework, it becomes necessary for developers to update their knowledge with constantly changing technology. Some developers might not be comfortable with such a pace, and we should also understand that React’s core API has become more stable and seldom changeable.

#2: Poor documentation

With the constant releases of new tools in React Native, the problem arises when documentation backtraces. Though new libraries like Redux and Reflux are supporting to accelerate the work of a library or improve the complete React ecosystem. Therefore, finally, developers struggle with integrating these tools when using ReactJS.

#3: SEO hassle

There have been several statements of concern from developers that Google and other search engines lack indexing dynamic web pages poorly. Anyhow proper testing is required to ensure your app makes it out with SEO in Google.

Difference between React.JS and React Native

React JS is purely a JavaScript library that supports both front-end and backend in application development. It is used to create an effective user interface for mobile apps and websites. React Native is a cross-platform mobile framework that makes use of React JS for developing websites and applications.

The best part with React Native is it compiles to native app components which enable developers to produce mobile applications that can function well on multiple platforms such as Android, iOS, and Windows in JS.

In this blog, we will see the prominent factors that differentiate React JS vs React Native.

Factors That Differentiate React JS and React Native

#1: Setup and Bundling

React Native is a framework where React JS is a JS library that you can make use of for your website. If you are developing a new application with React JS, you will be required to choose a bundler like Webpack and identify which modules are needed to develop the application.

React Native has everything you need; therefore, you may not be likely to look for anything more. It is easy to set up and super fast in performance as well. It utilizes only one command line to execute in the terminal and then you are good to go.

#2: DOM Styling

React Native provides alternative components that work similar to HTML and does not use HTML for rendering the app. These components map the original real native iOS or Android UI components that are rendered on the app.

Most components available in React Native can be translated to something similar in HTML. Since your code cannot be rendered on an HTML page, you will not be able to reuse any libraries that you have already used with React JS which is highly capable of rendering any kind of HTML, Canvas, or SVG.

#3: Animation and Gestures

React Native provides a new way to animate different components of your app with JS. You will have to use the Animated API offered by React Native, which is the recommended way to animate a component. It lets you create different kinds of animations, based on the velocity connected to a gesture and can be used with various types of Easing.

React Native also provides Layout Animation which is very simple to use for transitions but currently works only for iOS and does not support Android. Moreover, React Native has a web API called the PanResponder that is similar to the JS touch events.

#4: Navigation

Many developers get confused initially when looking for navigation between HTML pages and think react-router can be the best choice. But in fact, React Native has a Navigator component that makes your job easy.

Like web apps, mobile apps do not have plenty of scenes executed in different directions. The Navigator component may initially seem to be complicated to use but provides you with everything you need to manage the transition between HTML pages.

#5: Platform-specific code

If you implement the same design for your app on multiple platforms with the same set of code, sometimes it can be confusing. React JS cannot give you the clarity of which code is used for which platform. Moreover, though you can apply the same code for Android and iOS apps, remember that the user interface and user experience looks different.

Therefore, if you want to reuse the code for multiple platforms define a universal design so that it stays intuitive and does not confuse with both platforms. In case you wish to define an independent set of codes for each platform, you will have a different DOM, stylesheets, and unique logic and animations for UI/UX guidelines, which is possible through React Native.

The upcoming table illustrates the basic difference between the React and React-Natives in-terms of their features.

Sr. No.FeaturesReactReact Native
1PlatformWebAndroid, iOS, JS
3Mode of presentationHTML, CSSNative components
4ArchitectureVirtual DOMVirtual DOM + Bridge Technology
5Mode of AnimationCSSNative
6Development StyleCSSJS Stylesheets


Comparison of ReactJS and React-Native in-terms of Simple Coding

Unlike the React JS, React Native doesn’t have any HTML elements for enhancing the presentational view. However, React Native has several components that suit a lot of developing mobile applications. The below mentioned simple coding elaborate it clearly.

Coding on React JS


Coding on React Native


The above coding example clearly showcases that React Native is not for designing web elements and by using React Native one can’t design the elements in a similar way which are styled by using React JS.

Which is better-React or React Native?

These are the straight simple differences to know of React vs React Native.

React JS

  • You can create flawless websites, web apps, single-page applications, etc. endlessly with React JS.
  • React JS creates a UI hierarchy with the JS library.
  • React functions on a virtual DOM which is faster than the conventional refresh model. Virtual DOM refreshes only a part of the page instead of refreshing the entire page.
  • React takes complete responsibility for rendering UI components and is considered as the V part of MVC architecture.
  • React is exceptional in reusing components that are the basic units of UI, thereby supporting in saving coding time.
  • It is simple and easy to learn as well with great community support.

React Native

  • React Native as a framework helps in creating cross-platform native apps. By creating splendid native apps,
  • you can run the same apps on Android and iOS as well.
  • React Native supports all features of React JS and allows developers to produce native apps in a web-style approach.
  • If you are a front-end developer, with learning React Native, you can easily become a mobile developer.
  • Both React JS and React Native are considered important pillars when it comes to the development of web or mobile applications because of this wide range of flexible functionalities and an array of evolving libraries.

Final Verdict

React JS vs React Native is hard to predict which one is better; it’s truly upon the mode of usage. Depending on which platform and what kind of application you wish to develop, both React JS and React Native can act efficiently. However, React Native has great features that React JS has and lets you develop dynamic applications in no time.

Frequently Answered Questions

1. Which should I choose between React JS and React Native?

React Native comes with all features inbuilt thereby making your job easy in terms of coding. It has all features similar to React JS and lets you develop extraordinary applications with great UI/UX.

2. When not to use React Native?

React Native lacks in the following:

  • Native libraries
  • A loosely held abstraction layer
  • More initializing time
  • Licensing and patenting issues

If your app requires any of these facilities, then do not choose to React Native.

3. When not to use React JS?

These are the limitations of React JS:

  • Overhead costs and time
  • Learning curve
  • External library support
  • Long data hierarchy

4. What kind of apps can I develop using React Native/React JS?

Here is the list of apps in the market developed using React JS and React Native. Maybe this can give you an idea.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Netflix
  • New York Times
  • WhatsApp
  • Myntra
  • Discovery VR
  • Discord
  • Airbnb

5. How much does it cost to develop an app with React / React Native?

Primarily, features of an app and UI/UX decide the cost of a React/React Native app. Therefore, you decide the compatible platform develop your app along with its features, which help you decide the cost.

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