React vs React Native: Which One Is Better For Your Project?

In the ever-evolving world of app development, React and React Native are two of the best frameworks you have to consider when developing apps. Both React and React Native utilize JavaScript, boast passionate communities and offer robust features for building UI. Don’t know which framework to choose? You’re not alone. In this blog, we’ll delve into the comparisons of React vs React Native, in order to help you make an informed decision. So now, let’s get started!

React vs React Native: Which One Is Better For Your Project?

#1 React vs React Native: Short Introduction

Developed by Facebook, React and React Native have gained a large amount of fan base just in a short period of time. For those who don’t know, React is also known as ReactJS – a JavaScript library aimed at building single-page web applications (SPAs). React Native is built on React JS to create mobile apps, allowing for the use of reusable parts to make native mobile apps.

While React is a library with reusable components for laying out app frameworks; React Native is specifically aimed at crafting native mobile apps using similar components. React focuses on crafting web app interfaces, whereas React Native targets mobile app development for platforms like Android, iOS, and Windows. React uses a blend of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript for dynamic user interfaces, but React Native relies on APIs and native UI elements for mobile app construction.

React.js employs a virtual DOM for browser code rendering, in contrast, React Native taps into Native APIs for mobile component rendering. Learning React might be challenging due to its reliance on various libraries, but React Native tends to be more straightforward if you’re already familiar with React and JavaScript basics.

React, an open-source JavaScript library is used for developing web app interfaces. On the other hand, React Native enables the creation of rich mobile interfaces with JavaScript. Both are key players in the tech field, extensively used for web and mobile apps. The distinction between web apps and websites doesn’t impact the end user.

#2 What is React?

React, also known as ReactJs, is a free JavaScript library widely used for creating single-page applications. It’s a favorite tool for designing the user interfaces of both web and mobile apps. Facebook launched React in 2011, and it has been popular ever since.

React makes it easier for developers to create fast, responsive, and user-friendly apps for both mobile and web. It also simplifies the design process, allowing developers the freedom to build as they please without strict guidelines.

Developers using ReactJs can add on plugins or libraries to their existing projects smoothly. This flexibility helps in creating web applications that are quick, scalable, and straightforward. React introduced a way to incorporate server-side logic into front-end development, enhancing the capabilities of web apps.

Using React JS for your development projects means you can meet your customers’ needs more effectively, by providing them with progressive web apps, single-page applications, and even simple static websites.

#3 What is React Native?

React Native is a free framework created by Facebook for making mobile apps, using JavaScript. It’s special because it lets you write one set of code to make apps that work on both iOS and Android. You might be wondering, is it really possible to use just one framework to make apps for both iPhone and Android? If you haven’t been keeping up with our articles, you might not know this yet. But the short answer is yes, it’s totally possible!

React Native lets you create apps that work on multiple platforms, including Windows, Android, and iOS, introducing another option for building apps that run everywhere.

It builds on the foundation of React.Js, yet it uses different library components. Even though React JS and React Native share a lot in common, like siblings, there are significant differences between them, which we’ll explore later. Both technologies excel in their respective fields. Also, the cost to develop a React Native app depends on what features the app needs.

> Related: Flutter vs React Native: Which One is Better For Your Project?

#4 React Native vs React: How Do They Work?

You might be curious about what makes React and React Native tick behind the scenes. React uses something called a Virtual DOM to deliver great user experiences, whereas React Native uses special APIs to create reusable UI components for both Android and iOS devices.

  • Virtual DOM in React

The Document Object Model (DOM) is a crucial concept that represents web pages and their content. The way libraries and frameworks handle the DOM significantly affects how web content is shown and interacted with.

React’s Virtual DOM is a big deal because it’s like a lightweight copy of the actual DOM. It allows React to make fast updates and create dynamic user interfaces efficiently. The key advantage here is speed – Virtual DOM updates are faster, improving performance and user experience over traditional DOM updates.

  • Native APIs in React Native

React Native, on the other hand, uses specific programming interfaces called APIs to display Android and iOS components. It utilizes Java for Android and Objective-C for iOS components. Then, JavaScript comes into play to build the rest of the app, making it easy to customize for each platform while reusing as much code and components as possible.

Unlike React, which uses CSS and HTML for styling, React Native requires you to use JavaScript to style components. While the styling might look similar to CSS, it’s not quite the same. Also, when it comes to elements, React Native uses different tags like `<Text>` instead of the `<p>` tag used in React, and `<View>` instead of `<div>`.

Example For React

function tick()
const element = (
<p> Hello World </p>
ReactDom.render(element, document.getElementById(‘root’));
setInterval (tick,1000);

Example For React Native

import React, { component } from ‘react’;

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

export default class HelloWorldApp extends component
Hello World

> Related: Top 5 Popular Backend for React Native

#5 React vs React Native: Key Comparisons

a. React vs React Native: Installation Process

  • React

From what we’ve learned in this blog, React is a JavaScript library. You just need to add the React library to your HTML page by including it within a `<script>` tag.

<script src=""<crossorigin></script>

Here is the result:

You’re now ready to make your first React Component and add it to your HTML site. For big projects, you can use a tool called a bundler. Tools such as Next.js, the create-react-app command, or the Gatsby framework already have something called Webpack set up to organize your project’s files. If you’re not using these tools, you’ll need to set up Webpack yourself. Bundlers take all the files with code in them and put them into one big file. There are other bundlers out there too, like Rollup or Browserify, that you can use.

  • React Native

To build an app with React Native, you’ll need a setup like Android Studio for Android apps or Xcode for iOS apps. 

You’ll also have to get some other tools ready, such as Node, the React Native Command Line Interface (CLI), and JSDK Watchman. Once you’ve got everything set up, you can start a new project using the React Native CLI and run it on an emulator or your own phone or tablet.

If you’re already used to React JS and its JavaScript libraries, picking up React Native won’t be too tough. You could be on your way to making your first native app in just a few months.

b. React vs React Native: Efficiency

  • React

Thinking about making a great user interface for your project? ReactJs could be your go-to. It has this cool ability to run in the user’s browser while actually being put together on the server. It’s not just about making things easier for developers; it also opens up a whole range of options for creating basic building blocks like buttons, as well as more complex stuff like dropdown menus.

  • React Native

React Native takes a slightly different tack to boost what developers can do. It’s got this neat trick where the building blocks you’d use for creating apps on iOS and Android look and feel the same as they do in React JS, thanks to reusable components that turn directly into the native code of the phone. This means apps made with React Native not only look and feel like they were made specifically for your device but also work super smoothly. Plus, if you want to tweak things even more, you can throw in some native code like Java or Swift to really make it your own.

c. React vs React Native: Technology Base

  • React

React is essentially a library in JavaScript, meaning mastering ReactJs mainly involves getting a good grip on JavaScript. By understanding technical documentation well, you can quickly become proficient in React. The main goal of React is to create smooth and interactive web interfaces using JavaScript.

  • React Native

React Native is a framework built on React.Js, aimed at crafting interfaces for mobile apps. It shares ReactJs’s features and benefits, including the use of declarative components.

However, React Native isn’t just about JavaScript; it also incorporates Java, Objective-C, and C++ code. So, having a solid understanding of these languages is crucial for developing apps with React Native.

> Related: Angular vs React: The Frontend Framework Showdown (2024 Edition)

d. React vs React Native: Feasibility

  • React

React, also called React JS, mixes HTML with JavaScript. It mainly does this to work better with CSS, solving some common CSS issues like global names and keeping variables/scopes separate.

  • React Native

Want to enhance your app by adding more parts and functions without redoing all the code? React Native is your go-to.

With React Native, you can introduce different native elements into your app’s current code. So, if your app was made using Ionic and Cordova, you can still use that Ionic code just by adding a plugin.

e. React vs React Native: Compatibility

  • React

React JS was designed keeping Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in mind. It works by rendering pages on the user’s server through Node, which helps in improving the visibility of websites in search engine results.

  • React Native

On the other hand, React Native is specifically crafted for creating mobile app interfaces. It’s more focused on user interface design and functions more like a collection of JavaScript tools than a full-blown framework. This focus on the UI makes apps built with React Native respond quickly and load faster, leading to a smoother user experience.

f. React Native vs React: Syntax

  • React

With React, you can write your application using JavaScript. Then, React.Js turns your code into HTML-like elements such as paragraphs (<p>), divisions (<div>), and headings (<h1>) through something called JSX. JSX is a bit like a mix of code and markup language, allowing you to write your user interface components directly within JavaScript. It might seem odd to mix HTML with JavaScript at first, but React shows that it works out quite well.

Once your code is compiled, there won’t be any JSX left. It all becomes regular JavaScript functions and objects.

  • React Native

Moving on to React Native, it’s a bit different. React Native doesn’t use those HTML-like elements. Instead, it uses native components like <view>, <text>, and <image> to render parts of your mobile app. This means instead of creating web pages, you’re building mobile app interfaces that can run on Android, iOS, smartwatches, TVs, and even in augmented reality.

Because of this, React Native doesn’t use HTML. This is why it’s not suitable for web development but perfect for creating mobile apps. When you use <view> and <text> in React Native, they turn into the native components of whichever platform your app runs on.

So, you can’t use any libraries meant for HTML, SVG, or Canvas graphics with React Native, since it’s all about those native components.

g. React Native vs React: Components

  • React

React uses components, which are pieces of code, to build parts of a user interface. Think of a component like a recipe that tells React how to display a certain section of the screen. In ReactJs, there are two main types of these recipes: function components and class components.

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

When you’re using function components in JavaScript:

class Welcome extends React.Component
return <h1> Hello, {} </h1>;

In fact, you can achieve the same app functions using both kinds of components. While class components come with extra features, functional components are known for being easier to read. They let developers write less code, leading to better app performance.

  • React Native

React Native includes Native components and modules, helping developers build apps more efficiently. Native UI components are like ready-made building blocks, available directly from the platform or through external libraries. If you need a specific type of block, you can look it up in the UI explorer, or even make your own and use it in different parts of your app.

When React Native doesn’t have a feature you need, Native Modules come into play. They are collections of JavaScript functions that tap into the platform’s API. You can even craft your own module using tools found on GitHub. You can also quickly generate a native view component with just one command, and there’s a CLI tool that helps set up basic modules for both Android and iOS.

h. React Native vs React: Navigation

  • React

When you’re working with React.Js to create an app, it’s important to know about the react-router library, which lets you navigate pages by clicking. With the introduction of React Router version 5, a handy tool called the useHistory hook came along, making it easy to manage your app’s navigation history.

  • React Native

On the other hand, React Native works a bit differently and doesn’t use react-router. Instead, it has its own system called Navigator for moving between screens. There’s also another tool called React Native Navigation, specifically designed to handle navigation in a way that feels right on both Android and iOS devices.

i. React Native vs React: Storage

  • React

In React, data is often saved using something called local storage, which keeps the data even after you close the browser window because it doesn’t have an expiration date.

  • React Native

React Native, on the other hand, typically uses something called AsyncStorage for storing data. Plus, there are additional libraries that help with data storage. 

On iPhones and iPads (iOS devices), AsyncStorage is supported by underlying native code. This native code stores small bits of data in a specific way and larger chunks of data in separate files.

On Android devices, AsyncStorage might use RocksDB or SQLite for storage, depending on what’s available on the device.

For most React Native apps, AsyncStorage does the job. But sometimes, you might need different ways to store data, especially when dealing with larger or more complex data. Here are a couple of options:

  • If you’re using Redux for state management, you can integrate it with redux-persist to store your data.
  • For direct storage on the device, you can use databases like Realm or SQLite through additional libraries.

k. React Native vs React: Search Engine-Friendly

  • React

When you’re working on a React.Js app, remember that how well it shows up in search results (SEO) is important. The main aim of React JS is to create a smooth and constantly updating user interface based on how users interact with it.

But, remember that search engines like Google use bots to scan web pages, and these bots don’t see web pages the same way humans do. So, it’s important to set up your web page properly to make sure these bots notice your app.

Thankfully, React JS comes with a bunch of tools and libraries that can help make your app more search engine-friendly.

  • React Native

On the other hand, React Native is all about building mobile app interfaces and doesn’t directly involve SEO. It’s up to us, the developers, to craft the native UIs effectively.

#6 React vs React Native: Advantages

  • React

  1. Easy to Learn

Starting with ReactJs is pretty straightforward. There’s a ton of tutorials, how-to articles, and documentation available online to get you up to speed quickly. If you know the basics of JavaScript, picking up React JS will be a breeze.

  1. Reusable Pieces

When building an app with ReactJs, you can use the same pieces, known as components, over and over. Each piece has its own set of rules and display, and you can reuse these rules whenever needed. This makes building apps quicker and more efficient.

  1. Virtual DOM

The Virtual DOM is a cool feature of React that boosts performance. It updates a lightweight version of the real DOM, making things run smoother and faster, which improves the app’s performance and user experience.

  • React Native

  1. Easy to Learn and Use

React Native, similar to React.Js, is based on JavaScript, making it familiar and easy for developers. This means they can create apps more comfortably, with lots of flexibility, and improve their app-making skills along the way.

  1. Code You Can Use Again

A big plus of React Native is its ability to let developers make apps that work on both Android and iOS with just one set of code. This saves time and effort since the same code can be used for different platforms.

  1. Fewer Mistakes

When you use React Native to launch an app across different platforms, you’ll find fewer bugs and issues. This is because React Native apps need less tweaking and fixing, making the whole process smoother.

#7 React vs React Native: Disadvantages

  • React

  1. JSX in React

React uses something called JSX, which mixes JavaScript with a markup language similar to HTML. Some developers find JSX challenging and not very beginner-friendly because it’s a bit different from regular HTML coding.

  1. Regular Updates to the Library

A big issue for developers is keeping up with the constant updates to React. These updates can slow down the development process. But, the good news is that most of these updates now focus on enhancing libraries and other parts of React, which generally makes the code stronger and more stable.

  1. Using External Modules

React allows the use of many external modules and plugins, even though it doesn’t have many built-in ones. Developers can weave HTML and CSS into JSX, despite this adding a bit of complexity, thanks to these third-party integrations.

  • React Native

  1. Limited Custom Features

When an app has a lot of features, its development can slow down because there aren’t enough built-in options and it relies too much on outside add-ons. Also, making a special feature means working on three separate sets of codes (for React Native, iOS, and Android) instead of just one.

  1. Regular Updates

The team behind React Native is always improving it, adding new components that work like native ones, boosting its speed, and making better custom features.

But, frequent updates aren’t really a bad thing. However, when compared to more established app development tools that work across different platforms, developers need to keep this in mind.

  1. Starting Up Takes Time

One common problem with React Native is that apps take a while to start. This delay is mainly because the JavaScript part of the app needs more time to get going.

#8 React Native vs React: Which One Is Better?

So, you should now have a good understanding of React and React Native. Although they target different platforms, React and React Native share similar development philosophies and principles. Mastering one of these frameworks, React or React Native, can make it easier to learn the other. But, when it comes to building React Native apps, knowing React is essential. Yet, that’s not all. Delving deeper into native app development is crucial since React Native has its limitations in this area.

If you’re considering creating a web or mobile app, you might think about hiring developers skilled in React or React Native. This could bring certain benefits to your project down the line. However, this isn’t a strict requirement. If you’re familiar with JavaScript, picking up React should be straightforward. Ready to get started? If you’re in the market for dedicated developers, the skilled team at AMELA Technology – a top-notch mobile app development firm – is sure to impress you. Contact us through the following information:

  • Hotline: (+84)904026070 
  • Email: 
  • Address: 5th Floor, Tower A, Keangnam Building, Urban Area new E6 Cau Giay, Pham Hung, Me Tri, Nam Tu Liem, Hanoi

Editor: AMELA Technology

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