DataHouse Asia. Tech Development

In the app development industry, React JS and React Native are popular technologies. They have a word added to them that makes them look similar. As a result, it is understandable if you become confused. Trying to figure out what the difference between React Native and React is? You have landed on the right page if you are still confused.

Before we get into the details, let’s trace back the history of these two tech options. React JS was developed by Meta Platforms Inc (Meta) – formerly Facebook Inc, to address its need for a dynamic and high-performing User Interface (UI). With the React JS library, Jordan Walke and his team from Meta combined the speed of JavaScript with a novel way to render pages. This enabled responsive and dynamic user interaction. Almost two years after React JS was opened sourced, the team released React Native, which aims to give mobile apps a truly native feel (designed to run on a particular operating system for optimum performance).

React JS

A front-end development library

In other words, React JS renders UI components for web and mobile apps by creating a hierarchy of UI components. The server-side and frontend components are both supported. Developers can benefit from React JS in a number of ways. Mobile and web applications can be developed quickly, adaptively, and intuitively as a result of it. The process of designing can also be automated. React JS is allowing developers to build anything they want without adhering to rigid rules. As well, developers can integrate various of plugins or libraries into their existing code. Moreover, it allows them to design and build web applications that are simple, scalable, and quick to develop. The development of Progressive Web Apps, Single-Page Apps, and static websites using React JS allows you to satisfy the needs of your customers.

React Native

A native mobile development library

Using JavaScript, React Native builds native applications. The React Native framework compiles to native app components, which allows developers to build native mobile applications from the same codebase. Native mobile apps that run on iOS, Android, and Windows can be developed using this JavaScript framework.

React Native uses the core abstraction in React JS, however, the components of the library are different. Despite an inherently similar nature, the distinction between React JS and React Native is substantial. React Native comes with all the advantages that React JS offers that concentrate primarily on a better user interface. Development of native applications typically means inefficiency, slower deployment time, and less development productivity. With React Native, developers will achieve higher speed, responsiveness, and agility of web app development complemented with effectual processing and the best user experience in the hybrid space. Furthermore, there is no need to create the same app for iOS and Android separately, as React Native allows developers to re-use the common logic layer.

The Main Differences

  • React JS is a JavaScript library of reusable components designed to create application skeletons, while React Native is designed to construct native mobile applications with reusable components.
  • React JS is an open-source JS library for building UIs for web applications; in addition, React Native is used to build a rich mobile interface out of declarative components using only JavaScript.

The Limitations

React JS
  • Overall costs may increase due to the need to add more reactive libraries for a better UI.
  • Longer learning curve compared to React Native, which can have an effect on development time. In particular, React JS has only a limited set of native libraries. Now, external libraries can help the developer to use HTML and CSS functionality and integrate it into JSX, which has its complexities and steep learning curve.
  • Data navigation in React JS is challenging and complex. For instance, React JS does not support parallel data processing, unlike other JS script tools.
React Native
  • Mobile app development done using React Native is very hard to debug as these apps are built using Java, C/C++, JavaScript, etc. Therefore, developers need to have a good knowledge of the platform’s native language.
  • Highly complex mobile applications are not recommended to be built with React Native. Examples include several screen transitions, animations and interactions.
  • The quick update of the framework often makes developers do not have enough time to adapt to changes. There are cases where developers cannot write codes solely for React Native because they must write additional codes for incompatible components.

Which and When?

Which one should you choose?

Both technologies are masters in their respective usage. Due to their adaptable functionalities and developing ecosystem of libraries, React JS and React Native are key pillars for app and online development and are gaining popularity by the day.

React JS is best when you want to create a quick and reliable user interface for your website. It is mostly used for web development, saving developers’ time with reusable components and quick rendering.

React Native, which is primarily used for mobile development, works well when you want to construct a mobile application for different operating systems. It saves developers’ time with pre-built components and code that can be reused across many platforms.

Although they are both JavaScript tools, they have different functions. Depending on the kind of product you intend to create, you shall select one over the other. Every development tool or framework has some limitations, and React JS and React Native are no exceptions. Because of this, it is wise to list the advantages and disadvantages of both of these technologies before making a choice based on your objectives and desired results.


Still confuse? Let’s talk specifically about your project and let us help you to better understand if React JS or React Native is the best fit for your case.

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