Since both technologies share the same name, React JS and React Native, business owners frequently mix them up. But there is a definite distinction between them. Both of these technologies have distinct functions.
React JS is utilized to create innovative user interfaces for mobile and web development services. While React Native is a hybrid platform for creating mobile apps.
Both of these technologies have a fascinating past that can be explored. Facebook was developing a high-performing dynamic UI in 2011. Their objective was to update the news feed so that consumers could use the chat feature at the same time.
He put the XHP, an HTML component library for the PHP, into the JS coordinate system and created FaxJS. Later, this became the prototype for React JS.
Facebook discovered React JS worked more quickly than any other implementation as they developed the technology. In 2011 and 2012, they utilized it on the Facebook website and Instagram. Facebook made ReactJS open-source later in 2013.
The same team created React Native two years later. It is a hybrid platform for creating mobile apps that are based on the ideas of React JS.
As we have said, both technologies have a clear difference. So further in this article, we will discuss how these two differ and what you should know to make an informed choice.
What is React JS
Advantages of React JS
In React JS, an actual DOM object is represented by a virtual DOM. React JS creates a virtual version of DOM. When any alteration happens, it matches the state of both the versions and updates only changed elements, aiding in the app’s speed.
Unidirectional data binding
Unidirectional data flow is a one-way data flow. In this architecture, the data moves in only one way when taken across other parts of the app. React JS uses a unidirectional or one-way data flow process to share data throughout the app.
In this way, data can only flow from the parent to the child components, not the other way. One-way data flow ensures better control over the data flow by making sure child components don’t modify data on their own.
Components are reusable bits of code that make the core part of the React JS library. These code bits can be divided into separate and reusable code parts. And these reusable code parts make code maintenance easier, which helps carry out react JS web development seamlessly.
React JS has a big community of developers who continually contribute to the ecosystem. The community keeps adding tools, libraries, IDEs, web browser extensions, code editors, and much more to the React JS ecosystem. And these tools help creators to save time and resources when building apps.
React JS is renowned for its faster performance, all thanks to the virtual DOM and server-side rendering it uses. Virtual DOM and server-side rendering have enabled companies to create interactive apps. Developers can build high-performing websites and apps at lightning-fast speed.
What is React Native
It uses a similar design as React JS, allowing you to create a rich mobile UI from reusable components. However, React Native uses native APIs to render apps, unlike React JS, which uses virtual DOM.
Advantages of React Native
Hot reloading feature
Hot reloading allows you to view changes you have made in the code without reloading the entire app. Whenever you make any changes in your code in React Native, all you have to do is save your code.
React Native can track which files have been modified since the last saved state and only reloads those files. Hot reloading makes the mobile app development process faster and saves time across the end-to-end development cycle.
In-built UI libraries
React Native in-built UI libraries are a set of ready-made interface elements and APIs that you can use to create apps. UI libraries like Expo, Shouten, etc., save you time creating essential features from scratch.
This allows you to complete an MVP project in a matter of weeks, saving time and resources on various aspects of the development phases.
Modular and intuitive architecture
React Native has a modular programming architecture system. This architecture lets you separate different code blocks and merge them into a separate module. This feature also opens up the opportunity for you to dig into other developers’ code and choose modules that you can use in other projects or improve their projects. Thanks to this architecture, updating apps also becomes easier.
Since 2020, React Native has offered support for Flipper – a mobile app debugging tool. Flipper has a bunch of tools that help developers carry out debugging for Android and iOS applications. So when you hire a React JS programmer, this will help them deliver your app faster.
React Native also offers native modules written in Objective-C and Java. These modules can help build native-like features on iOS and Android apps.
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Both technologies have emerged from the same but serve different purposes. However, there are some similarities and differences you should know before you pick one of them for your project. The below table gives a shoulder-to-shoulder comparison of React JS and React Native.
|React Native is a framework for creating cross-platform mobile applications.
|React JS uses virtual DOM to render components.
|React Native uses native APIs to render components on mobile.
|The applications built with React JS render HTML in UI.
|The applications built with React Native use JSX to render UI.
|In React JS, CSS is used for styling.
|In React Native, styling is done using stylesheets.
|In React JS, animation can be achieved by CSS.
|In React Native, animation can be achieved by native APIs.
And lastly, which is one to use?
Now you may have a clear idea about both React and React Native. Both React JS and React Native are vital keystones of web and mobile app development. But they both serve different purposes.
So, if you plan to develop a website or web app, React JS would be your choice. Similarly, React Native would help in your mobile app development process.