Go Green One tree
One life

React vs React Native: How React Is Different From React Native?


February 23, 2022


February 21st, 2024

React and React Native both are immensely popular and widely used technologies developed and maintained by Meta and the community (formerly Facebook). While both these technologies have the same names and origins, both are different and used for different purposes.

In this article, we are talking about React Native vs Reactjs and outline the difference in React and React Native.

Let’s start with the introduction of both these technologies.

What Is React JS?

React is also known as Reactjs or React.js.

React is a free and open-source front-end JavaScript library. It is mainly used for building user interfaces based on UI components. React is also used as a base in the development of single-page applications (SPA) and mobile apps.

React web framework is designed specifically for building user interfaces and frontend parts for web applications. Thus, it requires additional libraries to build an end-to-end application.

React was created by Jordan Walke, a software engineer at Facebook. It was open-sourced at JSConf US in May 2013.

Also Read: ReactJS Developer: Role, Responsibilities, Skills, Salary And Lot More

What Is React Native?

React Native is an open-source UI software framework created by Meta Platforms, Inc. It enables developers to use React to build truly native apps for Android, iOS, macOS, Web, Windows, and UWP.

It is popular for its native development capabilities and cross-platform features that make development faster, easier, and cost-effective.

It offers a fully-native experience using a core set of platform-agnostic native components. React components interact with native APIs and wrap native code using React’s declarative UI paradigm and JavaScript.

React Native has been successful at raising the bar for cross-platform mobile app development with its powerful features.

A lot of developers around the world use React Native for native mobile app experiences that are easy to build, scale, and deliver.


React vs React Native: What Is the Difference Between React JS and React Native

Before we begin, let us first clarify the fundamental concept.

React Native is based on React.

React targets web whereas React Native targets mobile app development using React. However, Meta and the community have extended this technology to desktop and virtual reality, making React Native’s many platform vision a reality.

Highlighting Key Difference:

  • Architecture:

One of the key differences between React Native and React lies in its architectural design. React makes use of Virtual DOM. Simplifying this, React makes it easy for the pages to be rendered with subcomponents that are changed or updated.

React creates an in-memory data structure cache, computes the resulting difference, and then updates the browser’s DOM. This selective rendering of changed subcomponents makes React super fast. This process is called reconciliation.

React Native does not work this way. It doesn’t manipulate the DOM through the Virtual DOM. Instead, it runs in the background process and communicates with the native platform through serialized data over an asynchronous bridge.

  • Library vs Framework:

ReactJS is a library and not the whole framework. React is fundamentally a JavaScript library to create a smooth, high-performing, and engaging UI layer of an application. It is specifically designed for building a user interface. React Native is the framework and focuses on app development that runs on many platforms.

React Native is a platform to build native apps using JavaScript.

  • Animations:

When we talk about React js and react native difference, animations are on the list. React offers more animations using CSS and JavaScript libraries. React Native, on the other side, depends on API and a built-in library for animation.

  • User Interface:

React Native does not use HTML tags. In React Native, JavaScript threads are used to manipulate native views and almost every HTML tag has an equivalent React Native component.

React, on the other side, uses HTML tags. ReactJS renders HTML to the web page by using ReactDOM. It uses JSX, JavaScript XML which makes it easier to write or add HTML in React.

  • Styling:

ReactJS makes use of CSS for Styling whereas React Native styling has a similar syntax to CSS for styling elements.

In React Native, you can style your applications using JavaScript and StyleSheet. A StyleSheet is an abstraction similar to CSS Stylesheets.

  • Security:

React JS provides high security compared to React Native as React Native deals with native APIs to render platform-specific views and build cross-platform apps.

React vs React Native: A Quick Comparison

Parameters React React Native
Initial Release 2013 2015
Focus Area Mainly for web development Targets mobile apps and cross-platform app development
Developers Meta and Community Meta and Community
Platform Web Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, UWP, VR
Type Library Application Framework
App Performance JavaScript library for web Close to native apps
Development Model Free and Open-source Free and Open-Source
UI rendering DOM Platform-specific APIs
Security Optimum Low
Learning Curve Steep Easy
Code Reusability Due to virtual DOM Cross-platform and provides maximum reusability by partially sharing the code between platforms
Used By Uber, Yahoo, Airbnb, Facebook, Shopify, Amazon, Udemy, Pinterest, Netflix, and many more Instagram, Facebook, Coinbase, Tableau, Oculus, FlipKart, Discord, Skype, Tesla, Bloomberg, Walmart, Wix.com, Salesforce, and so on.

We have seen how React And React Native are similar and also discussed the difference between React and React native.

React is the heart of React Native and we can say that React Native is just an extended part of React.

React Native vs React: Advantages and Disadvantages

Now, let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of both these technologies so you will have a better idea of their usage and applications.

Advantages of React

  • Powerful JavaScript library for creating beautiful UIs
  • Reusable components that help create web apps faster
  • High-performance web apps
  • Great community support
  • Easy to learn and use
  • Component-based architecture
  • A wide range of additional libraries and extensions
  • SEO-friendly functionalities
  • Faster loading of web pages
  • One-way (unidirectional) data binding

Advantages Of React Native:

  • Cross-platform compatibility
  • JavaScript to build native apps
  • Hot Reloading for instantly viewing the changes
  • Faster and efficient UI development
  • Modular architecture for separation of concerns
  • Reliable, flexible, and supports many platforms
  • Easy access to third-party libraries and pre-built components
  • A large community of developers

Each framework or technology has its pros and cons. Let’s see the limitations of each.

Disadvantages Of React:

  • It is just a library, not a full-featured framework
  • Constant evolvement and changes in React make developers regularly relearn things
  • Not proper documentation
  • JSX is not preferred by several developers due to its complexity

What Are The Disadvantages Of React Native?

  • Debugging issues due to different environments package compatibility
  • Lack of custom modules
  • Native resources are still required
  • Steep learning curve
  • Low security due to JavaScript
  • A small number of libraries and ready-made components

Also Read: React Native Developer: Skills, Responsibilities, Salary, Interview Questions And More

React Native vs Reactjs: Which Is Better?

The answer is quite clear as the usage of both these technologies is different. React is used for building powerful, reliable, and feature-rich web applications, and React Native which is based on React, is used for cross-platform app development.

React and React Native – both power many world-famous applications and are widely used to create modern, scalable web and mobile apps.

React has played a crucial role in the increased popularity of JavaScript for frontend development. It is supported by contributions from individuals and leading organizations around the world.

It is one of the big open-source communities in the development world to make app development faster, efficient, and secure.

spec author logo

SPEC INDIA, as your single stop IT partner has been successfully implementing a bouquet of diverse solutions and services all over the globe, proving its mettle as an ISO 9001:2015 certified IT solutions organization. With efficient project management practices, international standards to comply, flexible engagement models and superior infrastructure, SPEC INDIA is a customer’s delight. Our skilled technical resources are apt at putting thoughts in a perspective by offering value-added reads for all.

Delivering Digital Outcomes To Accelerate Growth
Let’s Talk
Delivering Digital Outcomes To Accelerate Growth
Let’s Talk