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October 23rd, 2020

React JS vs. React Native: Everything that You Wanted to Know


With the challenge to develop a top-notch, highly dynamic, and user-friendly app that reacts and renders data as per user requirements in minimal time, the social media giant – Facebook – came up with React.

And that’s how the name for the globally popular library came up. This library was brought into the picture in 2011 with its development roots in JavaScript and XHP symbiosis. Due to this radical implementation that offers high performance and incredible responsiveness to the user, it is being taken up as a framework in suitable scenarios.

However, Facebook dealt with a two face challenge – to create interactive UI interfaces for the web app and mobile app development as well. And it is correct to say that it achieved both of the goals. So, read on to find out all about React and its subordinates.

First Things First

Before we dive into the what, why, and how of React, we need to establish a common and clear understanding. The most important one being – React is an open-source library. It can be used for developing web-based as well as mobile-based applications. And for meeting the requirements of these two platforms, React has evolved and further segregated.

React JS is the library primarily known for developing single-page websites, whereas the React Native framework is implemented to create mobile-based applications. They both are based on React and serve different purposes.

Understanding React JS

As mentioned earlier, React JS is based on JavaScript, but JavaScript lacks the power to render dynamic and highly responsive web pages. Hence, a revolutionary development approach was taken up.

Along with JavaScript, the developers used XHP symbiosis to develop a library that renders data and desired pages in no time. It is extremely reliable in creating UI of web-based applications.

Apart from that, React JS uses the ideology of creating an application skeleton through reusable components. This approach assists the developers in creating a faster and robust application.

Advantages and Examples of React JS

Some of the commonly known reasons which make React JS a preferred choice for developing web applications are:

  • Easy to Learn: Since React JS is based on JavaScript, it is easy for any developer familiar with the latter to learn and create web pages in the former.
  • Dynamic Web Pages: Before React JS was introduced, it was tricky to develop dynamic web pages using simple HTML. And that is the biggest hurdle React JS has come over. These pages can be developed with simple code, and in less time as React, JS handles the complexity.
  • Implements Reusable Components: The logic behind reusable components is that the developers can now write separate web pages, and while they may, some use common features. This reusable code helps in easier development as well as maintenance. Some of the applications developed using React JS are Apple Music, Spotify, and Facebook web app.

Understanding React Native

React Native is the framework that is favoured for developing mobile-based applications. To be more specific, it is a hybrid development framework that uses native application development and JavaScript UI development.

This framework allows up to 95% of the code reusability, where computationally complex implementations are made using native mobile development modules. The native look and feel can be easily developed with React libraries, which are advanced enough to build a cross-platform mobile app.

Advantages and Examples of React Native

  • Leverage of JavaScript Programming Language: Indeed, JavaScript is one the fastest and developer-preferred languages globally, with more than 60% of developers using it to date. The benefits of this language were earlier limited to web apps only, but with React Native, they are now accessible and implemented for mobile-based applications.
  • Improved App Performance: Code components of React Native directly connect with desired iOS and Android components in a different thread, enhancing the app’s performance.
  • Supports Debugging: In the latest release, React Native now allows its users to debug the code and fix the issue before any planned release. It includes the capability to view crash reports, network request performance, and interact with the device database. Some of the applications developed using React Native are the Facebook mobile app, Walmart, Airbnb, Instagram, and Tesla.

React JS vs. React Native

It is evident from the information you have gone through so far that React JS is a popular choice among developers for creating interactive and highly responsive web pages. While on the other hand, React Native is a favourable option that allows code reusability and enhanced UI of the mobile-based applications.

Let’s have a look at a couple of comparable features and understand how ReactJS and react-native differ:

DOM (Domain Object Model): This element plays a colossal role in displaying the application’s elements at runtime. So, React JS uses its Virtual DOM for better performance, where the need to refresh pages after every change is removed. This is one of the primary reasons for better application rebuilding and performance.

In React Native, the use of native API is made to load UI elements and components. Being a hybrid product, it uses the features of React and React DOM for achieving this.

Navigation: React JS is primarily powered by the React library and which in turn is implemented using JavaScript. The flow is relatively simpler and quite ideal to create dynamic web pages to meet today’s user end requirements.

React Native is all about the native devices for each mobile handset. With the focus to deliver a better phone performance, the preliminary JavaScript is deployed on the devices using native support code. The deployment of native screens also enriches this.


React JS and React Native are both good at their jobs at their levels. It’s just that you need to know which application you are going to build, and alongside, the choice with React library gets clear. And the best of all is that this superior library, which is less than a decade old, is the fastest of the majority of them. It renders the application, either web-based or mobile-based, in 2/3rd’s of the time compared to the other traditional implementation tools.

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