React vs React Native: What’s the Difference? 3 React vs React Native: What’s the Difference?
Review: 5 - React vs React Native: What’s the Difference?

Do you have difficulties choosing between React vs React Native? Or, maybe, struggle to understand the differences between the two? Let’s take a closer look at both of them and try to get an idea of what they actually are and when to use them.

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Yuliia Dobrokhod for Fireart Studio

React and React Native have the same origin — both were launched by Facebook almost a decade ago. Since then, they have been rapidly gaining popularity. And today, both remain among the most used technologies for developing apps and web interfaces.

What is React?

React or React.js is one of the most popular open-source JavaScript libraries. It mainly helps build user interfaces based on UI components

One of the reasons React is so popular is that it supports both frontend and backend. With React, you can develop simple single-page or complex mobile or web applications and combine it with other libraries. That’s why this tool is broadly used by developers in start-ups as well as in large companies, making the React community one of the biggest in the IT industry.

Benefits of React

Last year, a survey on Stack Overflow showed that React had surpassed other frameworks by popularity. Today, more than 40% of engineers use it for creating interacting interfaces.

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The most commonly used web frameworks

There’s got to be some valid reasons for that. Let’s explore them together.

Reusable Components

When working with React.js, you create small individual pieces of code called components, and then you can use them again in other bits. It makes your work efficient and saves you a lot of time and, therefore, money. It is also much simpler to make changes in such code.

More Speed and Efficiency with DOM

React’s virtual DOM or Document Object Model is faster than the ordinary full refresh model because the virtual DOM refreshes only parts of the page. It means that it can improve the performance of highly loaded applications. As a result, you reduce potential inconvenience and enhance the user experience. 

From a business point of view, it’s an essential aspect, as it gives you one of the most crucial advantages — speed.

Clean and Responsive UI

The user interface is something you can’t neglect nowadays. Apps and websites that provide an exciting user experience have more chances of getting new clients and success. React is one of the best tools for creating engaging interfaces with exceptional quality.

SEO-friendly

React.js brings many benefits not just to developers but also to business owners. A fast rendering of web pages is among them, allowing your site to rank higher on Google. And that is the gateway to success.

Usage of React

Since we’ve learned the principal advantages of React.js, we now can dive a bit deeper into the subject and point out some use cases of this popular framework.

React would be a perfect choice for:

  • building a fast, responsive, and user-friendly single-page application or website;
  • creating interacting and engaging UI;
  • developing scalable and quick-loading web apps;
  • ensuring stable, faster, and easier coding.

What is React Native?

React Native is a cross-platform framework used for developing native apps and websites with the help of React.js.

Since its launch back in 2015, it has become one of the most beloved frameworks among professional developers. Today, some of the world’s leading mobile applications are supported with its help.

Benefits of React Native (RN)

There are several reasons for the slashing success of RN.

It Works on Different Platforms

With this framework, companies can write code only once and then use it to run on different platforms like Android, iOS, or Windows. For a business, it means huge savings in time and resources.

It Is Easy to Learn

All programmers who have previously worked with JavaScript will have no trouble learning React Native. Especially if they were already familiar with React.js. And that allows a front-end developer easily turn into a mobile developer.

It Allows Fast and Efficient Development

In fact, RN has all the benefits of React mentioned above. The most important ones are the high-speed and agile development processes. When developers use previously created components to implement some feature, it takes much less time and effort to release it eventually.

It Offers Many Free Ready-to-Use Libraries

As React Native is an open-source platform, it allows developers to use plenty of UI libraries and other frameworks for free. And that put us back again to saving time — you don’t need to build some new features or components from scratch. You can simply use one of the already existing libraries.

These were some vital benefits of React Native, making this framework more and more preferred among the IT community today.

Usage of React Native

So, there are plenty of reasons to use RN in your company. It’s kind of a one-box solution for almost any kind of business. It allows you to create native applications for different platforms, such as iOS, Android, and Windows, with the same code base. At the end of the day, it’s the perfect framework for building a fast, stable, and user-friendly application.

And today, such prominent players as Tesla, Skype, Instagram, and Airbnb use React Native to develop their mobile apps and maintain them. 

Limitations of React

After comparing React Native vs React, we’ve recognized their strengths. But despite their general admiration, both still have some weaknesses. Let’s tackle those of React first.

  • Lack of sufficient documentation. Although the React community is growing really fast, there is still a need for more detailed documentation.
  • Dependence on external libraries. React has few native libraries. That’s why developers need to use external ones. As a result, they can not avoid learning JSX — a special syntax extension for creating JavaScript objects, and that might be confusing at first.
  • Concentration on UI. Unfortunately, you can’t build an entire app only with the help of React.js. Later on, you would need some other languages as well.

Limitations of React Native

Now, let’s take a look at some disadvantages of React Native:

  • It lacks native libraries. This framework relies mainly on external libraries. It makes running an app more complicated if it has some heavy functionalities.
  • It holds abstraction layers loosely. When there are CSS stylesheets or HTML tags in a framework along with JavaScript code, they are rather loosely held. Although it gives programmers more freedom, it also brings plenty of unforeseen issues or bugs.

It needs versatile developers’ expertise. While building an application, a programmer will definitely need to switch between the native code and JavaScript. Moreover, they probably should have a solid knowledge of Android or iOS mobile development.

Main Differences between React and React Native

Now that we know all the pros and cons of both, we can shortly sum up the differences between React and React Native.

React React Native
  • Is an open-source JavaScript library.
  • Can be executed on any platform.
  • Is perfect for creating responsive and engaging UI layers.
  • Provides high levels of security.
  • It’s an entire framework.
  • Should be adapted to a specific platform by developers
  • Aimed at developing cross-platform apps with beautiful UI, provided with the help of React.js. 
  • Offers a lower level of security 

Are You Looking for React or React Native Developers? — Feel Free to Contact Fireart!

After we have compared React vs React Native in this article, it becomes obvious that both of them are here to stay.

So if you’re looking for experienced React or React Native developers, do not hesitate to write us! We’ll help you and your business to reach your most ambitious goals.

What to choose?

So, the main difference between React and React Native is that the first one is a library, and the second one is a framework.

Considering all their pros and cons, today, there’s no better option for building a fast, scalable, high-performance app than to do it with React Native. And React.js native library will guarantee you a beautiful and interactive UI.


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