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NativeScript vs React Native: A Head-To-Head Comparison


February 14, 2023


March 11th, 2024

The number of smartphones is estimated to reach 7.7 million by 2027.

The smartphone market revenue projections are estimated to be $792.51 billion by 2029.

These figures are quite tempting for any entrepreneur seeking to enter the business world with a vision of success in the next five years or more. Apart from that, mobile app development can be yet another ROI-increasing opportunity for small businesses apart from giants (regardless of business niches).

Leveraging mobile computing as a business opportunity is the broader idea. It involves various attributes starting with choosing the appropriate tech stack. The right tech stack can make or break the growth trajectory of any business.

The first step to choosing the right tech stack is opting for a cross-platform mobile app. It can increase the target users multi-fold due to combining the users of all platforms – Android, iOS, and Windows, unlike native apps.

Up next is the choice of the right framework to develop the cross-platform app. To make the right decision it is inevitable to know everything regarding the framework – features, advantages, cons, similarities, and differences.

For two popular frameworks – NativeScript and React Native, we have compiled a detailed comparison guide to help you with your decision. Before comparing these two frameworks, let us first learn more about these frameworks individually (features, advantages, and more).

What is NativeScript?

Developed by Progress Telerik, NativeScript is an open-source, JIT-compiled, cross-platform JavaScript that developers use to build mobile apps for Android and iOS platforms without requiring any platform-specific language expertise.

“Liberate your development by using platform APIs directly without leaving your [love] of JavaScript.” Source: nativescript

It is hard to let go of using JavaScript for some seasoned developers. With NativeScript you do not have to make that choice. Using it developers can build cross-platform mobile apps using TypeScript, JavaScript, Vue.js Angular, or JavaScript-related language in a nutshell to provide a native app user experience. Apart from using V8 engine runtime, it renders applications outside WebView leaving no scope for performance issues.

Empower JavaScript with native APIs.

What is React Native?

React Native (also known as RN) is an open-source, cross-platform mobile app development or UI software JavaScript-based framework. It was started as an internal Hackathon project by Meta Platforms, Inc. (previously Facebook) in 2013 to find a solution to the requirement of two separate codebases for Android and iOS platforms. It was made open and available to developers worldwide in 2015.

Developers can use this framework to develop natively rendered applications for iOS, Android, Web, and Universal Windows Platform (UWP/Windows) platform without losing touch with the Native app user experience.

React Native combines the best parts of native development with React!

React Native has been all the hype lately because it relieved the mobile app developers from coding separately for mobile and desktop app development for all device types. So, the developer no longer must develop an Android app in Kotlin or Java while an iOS app in Objective C or Swift programming language. This does not mean it will restrict React Native developers from writing native code wherever needed.

It can be better understood by the following quote from React Native’s official website.

Learn once, write anywhere!

This JavaScript-based mobile app framework works on the above principle enabling developers to utilize their existing JavaScript knowledge to build robust, stable, scalable, native-looking, and high-performing mobile applications.

Now that we have understood these frameworks briefly, let us understand the NativeScript alternatives and React Native alternatives.


NativeScript vs React Native: The Best Alternatives

Looking for alternatives is not a sign that any of these frameworks are not worth using for your project. It means that these frameworks lack some functionalities and features that are fruitful for some specific requirements of your mobile app development project.

Let us find out some of the top alternatives of these two mobile frameworks that every mobile app development company can consider for their tech stack.

NativeScript Alternatives Popular React Native Alternatives
Ionic Flutter
React Native Cordova
Flutter Xamarin
Xamarin Ionic Framework
Apache Cordova NativeScript
QT Onsen UI
Framework7 Codename One
Onsen UI Tabris Framework
Capacitor QT
PhoneGap Apache Cordova

NativeScript vs React Native: Companies Using Them

The trustworthiness of any framework or programming language is visible from their showcase of the companies (emerging start-ups to well-established giants) using them for years. In the case of React Native vs NativeScript, here is the list of the top fifteen companies using these frameworks.

Companies Using NativeScript Companies Using React Native
GeekyAnts Walmart
Navadra Microsoft
FinTech Consortium Meta
Whoz.com Shopify
Monogramm Tesla
Zege Technologies Tableau
Beachy Salesforce
TurkDevOps Uber
Workbox Bloomberg
Zdravel Instagram
Cuponet Uber Eats
Traverse LLC PUMA
Organaza.com Pinterest
Ably SDKs Flipkart

React Native vs NativeScript: Advantages of Each Framework

Advantages of NativeScript Advantages of React Native
Write once, run everywhere Learn once write everywhere
Use of a single codebase to develop mobile apps Time and resource savings
Angular, typescript, and JavaScript support Live and hot reloading
Supports present/existing native libraries Accessibility to intelligent debugging tools
Native UI rendering without WebViews Straightforward learning curve
Latest and upcoming mobile OS version compatibility App Store or Play Store approval is not required for the app update
Uses Command Line Interface (CLI) Uses Virtual DOM
Zero-day access to the entire native APIs Over-the-air (OTA) updates
60FPS performance Save on development cost
Support for native iOS and Android hardware and UI components Nemours “ready-to-go” templates
Powerful data visualization with native UI tools Faster time to market
Support for Vue.js Compatible with third-party plugins

Top Industries using NativeScript

If your business falls in any of the below industry categories, then you can consider using NativeScript for mobile app development.

  • Information and Technology Services
  • Computer Software
  • Financial Services
  • Higher Education
  • Marketing and Advertising
  • Hospital and Health Care
  • Insurance
  • Automotive
  • Telecommunications

Top Industries Using React Native:

If you are considering mobile application development and are not sure whether to select React Native, then you can consider finding out if your company belongs to any of these industry categories. If yes, then React Native is the right choice for your project.

  • Information and Technology Services
  • Computer Software
  • Social Media
  • Marketing & Advertising
  • Fintech App Development and Financial Services
  • Hospital and Healthcare

NativeScript vs React Native: A Comprehensive Comparison

Most entrepreneurs seek data-backed decisions for every crucial decision as this one. To ensure you have extensive knowledge of both frameworks, we have weighed them on various parameters in the following table.

Parameters NativeScript React Native
Creator Progress Telerik Facebook (now Meta)
Release Year 2014 2015
Nature of apps Natively rendered mobile apps Cross-platform native mobile apps
Language Support A mixture of JavaScript and a special markup language, JSX JavaScript and a subset of CSS
Performance Comparatively slow due to divided components Performs well due to the use of Virtual DOM
Documentation Easy to understand Lacks details leaving beginners confused
Thread model Single-threaded model Multi-threaded architecture
Application Size Compact Huge
Bundler Webpack Metro
Platform Support Android, Android TV, iOS, macOS, tvOS, Web, Windows, and UWP Apple iOS and Android
Web application development Only possible with Angular + NativeScript or NativeScript-Vue Yes
Native functionality access Native API access through JavaScript Native modules
Code Sharing Lesser code sharing due to component styling for individual platforms Increased code sharing as code is written once
Debugging Hard Easy
Plugin Marketplace No official plugin marketplace Has an official marketplace of plugins
Community Bigger and mature Comparatively smaller
Popularity Most popular Not so popular
Synchronicity Mostly asynchronous Synchronous

The Concluding Thoughts

We know how difficult it can be to choose a framework for your mobile application as it is a kind of decision that you would make once in the development process. To help you ease the decision-making, here are some recommendations for when to opt for React Native or NativeScript.

Choose React Native if:

React Native is the most popular cross-platform mobile app development platform after Flutter according to a 2021 developer survey as mentioned in Statista. It indicates that developers are choosing it often (for various reasons). Here are some such development requirements.

  • If your developers are familiar with React.js.
  • If you want a platform with cross-platform compatibility
  • If you want to build an MVP.
  • If you want to build real-time apps.
  • If you want to leverage live and hot reloading.
  • If you want a quicker development process

Choose NativeScript if:

Though NativeScript may not be as popular as React Native according to that survey, it sure has its strong fan base. Here is when the developer opts for NativeScript and so can you.

  • If your developers have prior knowledge of Angular and Vue.js
  • If your priority is to develop a cross-platform app.
  • If you want to dodge performance-related issues.
  • If you wish to use re-usable templates and plugins to develop extensible APIs
  • If you want to save considerable development costs and time.
  • If you want to eliminate the requirement of WebViews to develop engaging and accessible UIs.

The ball is in your court now!

Other cross-platform frameworks are worth comparing with these two frameworks. One such framework is Ionic. You can read our comparison guide React Native vs. NativeScript vs. Ionic to get a better idea of these three frameworks.

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