React Js Vs React Native

React Js Vs React Native


React.js and React Native, despite sharing common parentage and technology, have distinct differences. React.js, a JavaScript library by Facebook, is for building reusable UI components for web development, while React Native, founded later, is for cross-platform mobile app development with native app quality. React.js uses JSX, promotes component-based architecture, and leverages virtual DOM for enhanced performance. On the other hand, React Native uses JavaScript to create native-feel mobile apps for both Android and iOS platforms. While both follow React's component-based architecture and share similar life cycles, React Native utilizes native APIs, whereas React.js relies on virtual DOM and CSS components for web UI.

There is usually widespread confusion on what is the difference between React.js and React Native, especially among novice developers. 

The reason is, that React and React Native share the same parents, even similar names, as well as a common technology backbone. But that doesn’t mean that there are no differences. However, to understand them, we first need to have a basic knowledge of both frameworks.

React.js was an initiative by the Facebook team in 2011 to create a dynamic UI that is highly responsive and has high performance. React Native was founded 4 years later to address a cross-platform application that can code more efficiently and faster than native applications.

In simple words, React.js is for web development, and React Native is for mobile application development. But, let’s take a detailed analysis.

What is React.js?

React.js is a JavaScript library used for developing reusable UI components, created by the Facebook team in 2011.

It is basically a JavaScript library built to create user-friendly and responsive UI components. They are commonly known as React. This library is responsible for the rendering of UI components. It is mainly used to support both front-end and server-side operations. 

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Some important terms associated with React.js is states, props, functional programming, and component hierarchy.

There are different features for React.js. Some of them are,

  • JSX − JSX is the syntax extension of JavaScript. It is not necessary to use JSX to React development, but it is recommended as a good practice.

  • Components − React is all about components. Everything inside a react is a component. The concept of components will help you code more easily when working on large-scale projects.

  • Unidirectional data flow and Flux − React is easier because it implements one-way data flow.  Flux is a pattern that helps to keep your data unidirectional.

In React, it uses JSX instead of regular JavaScript for templating. JSX allows HTML quoting and uses these HTML tag syntaxes to render subcomponents. This HTML syntax is processed into JavaScript calls of React Framework. We can also code with pure old JavaScript.

The main advantage of using React.js is that it uses virtual DOM (Document Object Model - which is a language-independent and cross-platform interface that treats an HTML or XML document as a tree structure wherein each node is an object representing a part of the document) which is a JavaScript object. This will enhance apps performance since JavaScript DOM is faster than regular DOM. React can be used on the client and server side as well as with other frameworks. The components concept improves the readability of the code.

What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source JavaScript mobile framework built by Facebook. It enables the developer to code for cross-platform applications with the quality of native apps.

React Native has influenced the mobile development industry very much. Applications like Facebook, Instagram, Skype, etc was built using React Native. We can see the rich UI and smooth animation support of React Native in each of these apps.

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React is the key to driving React Native. The idea behind React Native was to help web developers to code for mobile applications easily. In other words, web developers can now easily create native-feel mobile applications with their well-known library, JavaScript.

React Native helps you create real and amazing mobile apps with the help of JavaScript only, which is supportable for both Android and iOS platforms. The main aim behind React Native is to code once and make it available for iOS and Android platforms, which helps to save a lot of development time.

Found and backed by Facebook, React Native has very large communities that provide support for this framework. 

Coding with React Native is so simple. There are many UI libraries available today that has every component of React native libraries customized.  Also, many code editors like the premium Visual Studio Code now supports React Native extension making it more code friendly.

The deployment of Android apps should be done via Android Studio and iOS via Xcode just as in case of native apps. Also, React Native gives us the freedom to code natively too. Facebook App is built on such a method.

To be a great React Native developer, one should have some knowledge in new JavaScript ES6 — the most recent version of the language. Since ReactJS is the core of React Native, understanding of the former is key. It would be nice if you have little knowledge of Node.js and then you can finally start your adventure with React Native.

When we start a new project in React Native,  we will get a few developer tools from React without installing anything. With this, we can set up a basic project without struggling more. Hot Reloading is an option, which helps you to see small UI changes in our app.  For bigger changes, there is a Live Reload option which reloads the entire application on saving. 

React Native has an efficient library called Animated which provides smooth animations. It also provides LayoutAnimation which is now supported by iOS only. By applying it to a View you enable the touch handler on it. Touch handler can be enabled on React native by applying it to a view.

Another important feature of React Native is the Chrome dev tools, which inspects network request and display consoles and helps us to do debugging.

React.js Vs React Native

React.js and React Native are almost the same in every manner. React Native is built on React.js. Hence,  developers can find more of React in React Native.

React.js library is a JavaScript library that brought together a new way of rendering pages at the speed of JavaScript which in turn leads to responsive and dynamic user input.

React Native, on the other hand, is a JavaScript programming language used for cross-platform mobile application development.  It was also developed and launched by the Facebook team in 2015 and is now the trending and most popular development framework among app developers.

React Native gets all the advantages of React.js. React.js and React Native both follow the component-based architecture. Both of them use the same React components.

Both React.js and React Native use Redux for common state management. Redux is a standalone library that can be used with any UI application. The official React binding library used to combine React or React Native with Redux is “React Redux”. React Redux helps React components read data from a Redux store, and dispatch actions to the store to update data.

The life cycle of React.js and React Native are the same. Life cycle methods are as follows:

  1. Initialization is the phase where the developer has to define the initial states and props of the React component. This is generally done in the constructors. 

  2. Mounting is the phase where the initialization of the component is completed. The component is mounted on the DOM and rendered for the first time on the webpage. The two mounting methods of React are “componentWillMount()” and “componentDidMount()”.

  3. Updation is a JS library that helps create Active web pages easily. Active web pages are those specific pages which behave according to its user. It reflects changes in the value of state or props according to the user's behavior. The main Updation methods are “componentWillReceiveProps()”,“componentWillUpdate()”,“componentDidUpdate()”,  and “setState()”.

  4. Unmounting is the phase of the lifecycle of the component where unmounting from component happens. “componentWillUnmount()” is the method used in Unmounting.

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Although React.js and React Native use JavaScript libraries, there are some main differences between the same. Let us have a small comparison between React.js and React native.

  • React Native is a framework whereas React.js is a JavaScript library.

  • React Native consist of native libraries for creating mobile applications. React.js, on the other hand, is used for creating user-interface for large web applications.

  • React Native uses Native API for rendering components on mobile, while the browser code in react is rendered through virtual DOM.

  • React uses Stylesheets for building UI and do not use CSS. Meanwhile, React.js uses CSS components.

  • React Native has inbuilt features, and hence the result of React Native will be far better than React.js. Meanwhile, React.js web applications mainly rely on CSS.

  • React Native uses a third-party library for react-navigation whereas React.js uses React-Router for navigation.

  • React Native is compatible with all platforms (iOS, windows, android) and hence it requires some platform-specific codes for designs. But, React.js is a single piece of code that runs everywhere.

  • React Native does not require any third party library tools for its development process. But, React.js is not a framework. Therefore, it requires third-party library tools for the development process.

  • React Native doesn't use HTML.


React is best for building high performing, dynamic, responsive UI for web interfaces, while React Native is meant to give mobile apps a truly native feel. React.js is the soul of React Native.

React was developed to render web UI components more quickly and efficiently. Its popularity among industry leads a way to develop a highly user-friendly mobile framework. Hence, React Native was developed. Both of them met user expectations and is still growing with the flow. 

Both React and React Native has a very promising future. Since all of its basic components are built-in JavaScript, they have a large community and can easily get support from these communities. There are many libraries for both of them to simplify our developments, just like templates.


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Meet Sharoon Shaji, a talented writer who enjoys baking and taking pictures in addition to contributing insightful articles. He contributes a plethora of knowledge to our blog with years of experience and skill.

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