ReactJS VS React Native

React and React Native are very much similar, yet they are different from each other. Let’s see how they both differ from each other by understanding the basics of ReactJS and React Native and their respective features. Please share your views also by adding comments on this post.

What is ReactJS?

  • ReactJS is a open-source JavaScript library developed by Facebook and is used to build User interfaces for web applications.
  • It is the most popular JavaScript front-end library, having a strong foundation and a large community supporting it.
  • In ReactJS everything is a component. Each component has state and props. These components are integrated together to build bigger or real-time applications, where data changes frequently.
  • Advantage of using the component is that you can change any component at any time, without affecting the rest of the application.
  • Each time any data is added/updated, react automatically updates the specific component whose state has actually changed.

What is React Native?

  • React Native is a cross-platform mobile application development framework open-sourced by Facebook. It uses JavaScript as a based language.
  • React Native architecture heavily relies on JavaScript run-time environment architecture also known as JavaScript bridge.
  • It uses a JavaScript bridge to communicate with the native modules. The JavaScript code is compiled into native code at the run time.
  • React Native uses flux architecture from Facebook.
  • With React Native, the developer is just provided with UI rendering and device access modules.
  • For native features, React native is heavily dependent on third-party libraries and modules.

Features of ReactJS?

  • JSX (JavaScript XML – It’s having XML/HTML type syntax).
  • VirtualDOM – It’s a node tree that lists the elements and their attributes and content as Objects and their properties. ReactJS render() function creates node tree out of React’s component.
  • Testability – ReactJS views can be used as functions of the state. State is an object which determines how a component will render and behave.
  • Server-side rendering – allows you to pre-render the initial state of your React component at the server-side only.
  • One-way data binding – ReactJS follows uni-directional data flow for one-way data binding. So data flows in a single direction which gives you better control over it.
  • Simplicity – The use of JSX makes the application really simple and easy to understand.

Features of React Native?

  • Write once and use everywhere – It’s react native base feature. It means code written in React Native can be used in any of mobile platforms to build native applications or applications that work on multiple platforms.
  • Language – It makes use of JavaScript which is one of the most popular and widely used web development languages.
  • Community support – React Native has a diverse community, that even hosts international meet-ups.
  • Plugins – React Native allows you to add plugins and third-party packages.
  • Live reload – React Native’s live reload feature assists developers while creating the application. With this feature, a developer will be able to modify the code and can see the changes simultaneously.
  • Testing – React Native allows cost-efficient testing and provides few unit testing functionalities through JavaScript frameworks and snapshot testing can be done using tools like Jest etc.

ReactJS vs React Native

  • Application types and usage
    • ReactJS is used to develop web applications, whereas React Native is used to develop Mobile applications. Web applications created using ReactJS are Facebook, Netflix, etc. Mobile applications created using React Native are Instagram, Facebook, Airbnb, etc.
  • Setup and bundling
    • ReactJS is a library of JavaScript, so it needs multiple tools for setup and bundling, whereas React Native is a framework of JavaScript and it comes with all the essentials that you need to set up and for the development of the application.
  • Live/hot reload
    • Live reload is the feature that allows you to code, as well as see the modifications in your application simultaneously. React Native supports live reload, where ReactJS doesn’t support live reload feature.
  • Template rendering
    • Both ReactJS and React Native uses JSX for the development of views and templates but ReactJS is much better when it comes to styling your application’s UI using CSS, whereas React Native uses Native platform APIs for styling.
  • Learning curve
    • ReactJS is not very difficult to learn but React Native is much easier to learn because you can make use of ready-made components in React Native, whereas in ReactJS you have to code them yourself.