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

  • By Gaurav G.
  • July 5, 2022
  • 361 Views

With so much already going on in our lives, the inability to differentiate between similar-sounding names will only accelerate our problems. This blog provides a detailed examination of how React and React Native differ from one another.

It will not be surprising if people belonging to the non-technical field or developers who are just getting acquainted with new technologies get confused between react native and react development. If you are someone who is facing the same issue, help yourself out by reading this blog. It introduces you to the two hot technologies in the field of app development: React and React Native. So, let’s eliminate any chances of confusion by getting to know more about both these technologies.

An Introduction to React and React Native

React and React Native, two technologies developed by Facebook, have successfully won the hearts of several users in a very short period of time. React, also known as React JS, is a JavaScript library that is used to create web applications on a single page. React Native, on the other hand, is a framework based on React JS and is used in the design of mobile apps. The reusable components enable users to reuse them in the development of native mobile applications.

• React development, as a JavaScript library with reusable components, is used in the creation of app skeletons. React Native development, however, is meant for building mobile applications that consist of reusable components.

• Unlike React, which is an open source JS library used to build UIs in web applications, React Native only uses JavaScript to develop rich mobile UIs using declarative components.

• React and React Native, as technologies that are outperforming other existing development technologies, are unaffected by the distinction between websites and web applications.

Having introduced you to the basics, let us now get started with a detailed study of React Native and React development.

What is React Development?

React, or ReactJS, is a front-end development framework used in the development of single-page web apps. It is an open-source JavaScript library used in the development of UIs for mobile and web applications.

Developed by Facebook in the year 2011, React development helps in the development of efficient, smooth-functioning, and adaptive mobile and web applications. Moreover, the designing process can also be automated with the help of ReactJS. With Reach development, one does not need to think about rules. They can easily combine existing codes with libraries or plugins to create simple, well-functioning web apps.

As React Frontend development came to the forefront, server-side logic once again made its presence felt. With React, the development of progressive web applications, static websites, and single page development became a reality.

What is React Native Development?

React Native is an open source framework based on JavaScript that was developed by Facebook to serve the mobile needs of the masses. As a hybrid framework for mobile applications, React Native development is capable of developing mobile apps using a single codebase and working across various platforms, including Android, Windows, and iOS.

This may come to you as a surprise, but it is true that you can now build mobile applications within a single framework that will work efficiently on iOS as well as Android. This feature is known as “cross-platform development.” However, the cost of React Native development depends upon the app’s functionality.

Despite using different library components but the same base abstraction as React, React Native is starkly different from ReactJS. Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged how crucial each of them is in development.

The Workings of React and React Native

If your heart is seeking an answer as to what lies behind the stage of React as well as React Native, here’s an end to your questions.

For the creation of a prolific UX, React development uses Virtual DOM and React Native sources the APIs to arrive at UI components that will exhibit cross-platform developments.

What is the Virtual Document Object Model (DOM) in React development?

When the programming interface enters the picture, it becomes clear how important DOM is as a representation of web documents. When libraries or frameworks are capable of managing the DOM, the impact on display is magnanimous. However, the virtual DOM is an absolute favourite of React developers. This means that developing dynamic UIs is no longer a lengthy process. The Virtual DOM enables users to have a smooth user experience, enjoy quick updates, and work efficiently.

What are Native APIs Used in React Native Development?

With the help of Java APIs, React Native renders native Application program interface (API), Android components and Objective-C to incorporate iOS components. After that, the remaining code is constructed and the app personalised for each platform which in turn translates to the ability of being reused and shared.

Whereas ReactJS does not require CSS and HTML, React Native does, thereby necessitating the creation of style sheets in JavaScript if you wish to style components. Although it may appear similar to CSS, it is definitely not the same.

 React Native, in the same way, uses <p> against <text> and <div> is used in React while in React Native,  <view>  is used.

Underneath is a real time  example to ease your understanding of ReactJS. 

Function tick()

{

       Const element = (

           <div>

                 <p> Hello World </p>

             </div>

               ReactDom.render(element, document.getElementById(‘root’));

}

setInterval (tick,1000);

In React Native,

Import React, { component } from ‘react’;

Import {text, view} from “react-native”;

Export default class HelloWorldApp extends component

{

      Render()

              {

                    Return

                         {

                            <view>

                                  <text> Hello World </text>

                              </view>

                            }

                }

}

For running a React native app, there must be an Android Studio in the case of Android and Xcode in the case of iOS. You must, therefore, decide beforehand if you wish to run an app on the device directly or if you wish to use the simulator.

app Development

What is the Difference Between React and React Native?

While there are a few similarities between both React and React Native development, they are also extremely varied in their behaviour and properties.

Process of Installation

React Development:

This JavaScript Library requires users to integrate React library with  <script> tag in the HTML page. 

You are now done and can integrate the first React component with your HTML website.

Instruments such as Next JS, Gatsby framework and create-react-app command can be used to in new projects are indications that Webpack has been configured for bundling in the application. Else, make sure to configure the Webpack because bundlers like Roll-up and Browserify are helpful in bringing together all the code enabled files within a large file.

React Native Development:

Developing an app with the use of React Native requires users to have Android Studio and Xcode for Android and iOS, respectively. Installation of tools like JSDK Watchman, Node, or React Native CLI can be followed by the creation of new projects in the command line interface of React Native. You can then execute it with the help of your device or a mobile emulator.

Clearly, the shift from React to React Native and developing your own native app is not too difficult to accomplish.

Efficiency

React development:

Developing a user interface of your choice is now a reality. While you are on the server side, React allows you to execute on the client side. It offers fundamental abstractions and helps in achieving efficiency. You can use it both at the level of clickable buttons and at a higher level, such as dropdowns.

React Native Development:

If you are seeking to improve efficiency, React Native will help you do so by adopting a distinct approach. For the same appearance and performance in ReactJS, one can find counterparts in React Native. It is different in its use of reusable native components as its basic blocks, which are later combined to achieve efficiency, feel, display, and great functionality. It has the capability of integrating native codes like Swift, Java, and Objective C, creating a customised look.

Technological Foundation

React Development:

If you wish to get started with ReactJS or if you want to start your career as a Ruby developer, learning JavaScript is a must as it will help you develop intuitive UIs.

React Native:

It uses the mobile user interfaces in ReactJS, which allows it to use the features of ReactJS to its advantage. Unlike React development, however, React Native is a framework that combines C++, Java, Objective-C, and Objective-C++. In order to use React Native, you must have a grasp of all these languages.

Feasibility of Each Type

React Development:

As a blend of HTML and JavaScript, ReactJS works towards integrating CSS, and this helps in eliminating problems like scope isolation and global namespace in CSS development.

React Native Development:

With React Native, you can incorporate features into an already existing app without having to change the complete code. If you have a hybrid app developed through Cordova or Ionic, you can easily reside the Ionic-based code along with a plugin integration.

Compatibility

React Development.

If you wish to render your server using Node, you can rest assured that the search engine optimization factor in ReactJS will ease your work.

React to Native Development:

Designed essentially to operate as a mobile UI, React native functions like a JavaScript Library and not like a framework. Consequently, the apps developed are smooth functioning.

Syntax Used

React Development:

React can be used to write codes in JavaScript, post which it will render the <p><div> and <h1> HTML components. A special syntax extension called JSX does not differentiate between logic and markup, much like a template language. After the compilation is done, you can enjoy the functions of JavaScript as JSX code will not appear. 

React Native Development:

In web development, if you wish to render components instead of HTML like components, you can rely upon <view><text><images> and other likes in React Native. The “Hello world” example above illustrates the variety in code logic. Developing TVs, smartwatches, AR and mobile apps, therefore, is no longer a big deals. You can compile tags into native languages, but can not use a library that would render types of Canvas, SVG or HTML.

Component

React development:

A component delivers a react element and defines parts of UIs with the aid of JavaScript. React is a component based library that compromises of two components- 1. function components

2. class components.

Here is how to use function components in JavaScript-

function Welcome(props)
{
    return <h1> Hello, {props.name} </h1>;
}

Using ES6 classes, it is also possible to define the same component.

class Welcome extends React.Component
{
   render()
     {
          return <h1> Hello, {this.props.name} </h1>;
     }
}

The usage of both these components will create similar functionality in apps. Whereas class components are known to offer more features, functional components offer better code readability. This means that you can enjoy good app performance by writing fewer lines of code.

React Native development:

You can use the native UI components in React Native or find one in the UI Explorer, which will enable you to reuse components and customise your own components with a single command as well. As a set of JavaScript functions, what a native module does is that it supports the platform API when React Native does not support the feature needed. GitHub can also help you create a new module, and the CLI will set up simple example modules in the case of iOS and Android.

Navigation

React Development:

The React Router Library in ReactJS enables you to navigate click events. React Router v5’s release introduced the feature of accessing historical instances.

React Native Development:

Instead of offering a reaction router, React Native enables you to use a unique library navigator which can manage transitions between distinct displays. You can also find React Native navigation, which helps navigate across cross-platforms.

Storage

React Development:

Since local storage lacks any expiry date, it is preferred by ReactJS for storage and management of data even when the browser is not open.

React Native Development:

Alongside local data storage libraries, React Native also has a default set of AsyncStorage.

Native code, containing particular formats for small values and individual files for large values, offers backing to AsyncStorage. On the Android platform, AsynStorage either uses SQLite or RocksDB. AyncStorage is enough for the development of React native apps, but storage of data can also be achieved by using Redux or libraries in Realm or SQLite.

• Search Engine Optimization

React Development:

Keeping in mind the SEO aspects, ReactJS was chosen because of the intuitive user interface it offers. However, for the Google bot to notice the presence of a web page, it is important to properly index the web page. This is known as SEO.

React Native Development:

SEO has no role in React Native development.

The Advantages of React Development:

• To learn ReactJS, you can easily obtain web resources or books that will assist you in grasping the concepts in a very short period of time, especially if you are familiar with Javascript.

• In ReactJS development, a single component can be reused, making app development easier.

• Because ReactJS can provide a virtual DOM, efficiency is significantly improved.

The Advantages Of React Native Development

• React Native uses Javascript as well, but with more flexibility.

It offers code reusability and cross-platform building of apps.

• Because it is distributed across multiple apps, React Native does not necessitate extensive debugging or optimization.

The Disadvantages of React Development:

• The use of the JavaScript XML or JSX extension in React allows users to write HTML codes, which some people dislike. Moreover, it is different to learn.

• Any changes to the React library will necessitate users performing constant updates, which can be a time-consuming process.

• Plugins or third-party module integration can increase the code’s complexity.

The Disadvantages of React Native Development:

• Including too many features can reduce efficiency due to a lack of native modules or reliance on a third party. Furthermore, the development of customised modules must use a separate codebase for RN, Android, and iOS.

• While it allows for cross-platform development, it also necessitates frequent updates.

• Because JavaScript is used, the loading time in React Native development is long.

Conclusion

What should you learn—ReactJS v/s React Native?

A close look at the performance of both prompts that although they vary in end product platforms, their method of working is similar. If you can learn either of the two, learning the other will be easy. But in order to learn React Native, knowledge of ReactJS is a must.

This extent of knowledge, however, may not be sufficient to get started with app development. So, if you wish to proceed with garnering more knowledge and start your journey of React development, you can breath with relief as the best App development company is here to help you. For any queries, feel free to contact us.

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Gaurav G.

Gaurav heads global operations at Sterling Technolabs as its CEO and leverages his leadership skills to make Sterling Technolabs the most sought-after Web and App Development Company. His mindset and creative vision have been a reason for building great partnerships in the tech-powered world. Outside of work, Fauxy & Oscar- two amazing pups have his attention.
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