React Vs React Native- All The Key Differences Explained

React Vs React Native- All The Key Differences Explained


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React vs React native is a common topic of conversation among developers. Developers like to compare and differentiate between several languages to have a better understanding of their functions. ReactJS and React Native are both frameworks based on JavaScript, developed by Facebook to develop mobile and web applications more effectively. Since their inception, they both have proved to be powerful forces with unmatched functionalities. Many popular websites and applications are built in them.

One of the key difference between them is that React is mostly associated with web development while React Native has emphasis on mobile frameworks. However, the differences are deeper than this and often, even the experienced developers aren’t clear in the React vs React Native argument. So why not we dig deeper and cover the major differences between these two to find out which one will be more suitable for our projects.

What Is React?

react vs react native- all the key differences explained

React(ReactJS) was the first one to get conceptualized. Facebook was struggling with some issues on the site and needed javascript to be faster and easier, and thus ReactJS was created. React is an open source library which simplifies javascript development. It supports frontend by creating interactive UIs. It can render components when the data is updated, user can interact with each feature, and for developers, it makes it easy to debug the codes and find error, if its there. 


  • >Speed: ReactJS has a Document Object Model (DOM) feature, that greatly enhances application performance. ReactJS first creates an in-memory data cache that computes differences, then updates the browser in the DOM. A programmer might think that the entire page is getting rendered, but actually only the changed components get rendered. This feature gives an edge to React by providing speed, minimum update time and higher performance while developing apps.

  • >Component Based Framework: It is one of the best features of ReactJS as it can be divided into multiple components. It takes out smaller pieces from a large UI and converts them into independent micro systems. You can also reuse the components, saving yourself a lot of time. Thus, if some small section of a code needs changes, only that component will be used and changed, rather than taking the whole program out.

  • >ReactJS Boosts SEO:  ReactJS provides server-side rendering, which helps in SEO optimization. It allows fast indexing of the content at the server level which boosts the SEO of the page and attracts traffic. Thus, more leads for your business. It also guarantees a low bounce rate from the user. For the difference between React vs React Native, React has an advantage here, as it allows a page to render faster. 

  • >Ecosystem: ReactJS has a huge community of developers that provides an ecosystem of valuable solutions, tools, libraries, frameworks, browsers, extensions and many more features for development processes.

What Is React Native?

After creating React for their UIs, Facebook planned to enhance its abilities and create a framework for mobile apps, preferably for cross-platform frameworks on Android, windows, iOS, etc. and thus, React Native came to the picture. Today, React Native is the most popular choice for app development. While React has great benefits, React Native has more functionalities and broader range. React Native actually implements ReactJS to build components while developing a cross-platform application. Let’s talk about some of its features.


  • Code Usability: One  major USP of React Native is that it can generate platform-specific code. Its framework automatically detects which platform it is running in and generates code accordingly. Another advantage it presents is that you can use the same code in multiple platforms. It allows code reusability and same code can be used for iOS, Android and also web based platforms. It even provides API integration in multiple mobile platforms.

  • Hot Reloading: This feature gives liberty to the developers to modify and tweak user interface without any form of losses on any code. Development also takes less time and it can also reload a mobile app automatically. It saves time and makes the process fast.
  • UI Libraries: React Native offers great customizability and interactivity in its UI. It has many UI based libraries that allow smooth user experience. Some libraries like Expo, Shoutem, etc saves time and allowing more focus on innovations. They also help in reducing code density.

  • User Interface: It supports 2 UI features-
  • >Responsive UI– React Native provides a native-like feature that allows development of application in any platform using a single code base. It even allows the same on any size of screens as well. This improves user experience and interactivity.
  • >Declarative UI– It is a very simple feature. React Native renders content by returning a component called JSX(JavaScript XML). It is mixed with custom tags for React components. This little features saves the programmers from performing micro operations while changing contents. 

React VS React Native: Differences

React vs React Native: Syntax

React utilises javascript to code. To render, it uses HTML and JSX syntax extension. React utilizes JSX syntax which does not differentiate between logic and markup. While using ReactJS, React is the base component of React DOM.

React Native has its own specific syntax. React Native doesn’t utilize HTML hence is inappropriate for web development but provide fantastic rendering in mobile apps. Here in Native, React is the base component of React Native. It means that the syntax and workflow remains similar but they both utilize different components.

React vs React Native: Animation

ReactJS implements CSS to provide more high level animation than React Native. React Native, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on CSS but on APIs to produce animation. Native has built-in animated API and libraries for animation. 

We can use CSS on React Native also, to enhance the animation style. Anyways, both provide flexibility and reusable codes and components to improve functionality. They are both used in web and mobile app development also.

React vs React Native: Mobile apps

ReactJS is most often associated with the front end. It builds remarkable UIs, provide easy learning curve, and simplifies complex computations. Both React and React Native can be used for cross platform applications.

React Native has an upper hand in mobile app development as it was specifically made for this. It provides better support in standard computations also and can reduce code density by 95%. 

React vs React Native: Components and Libraries

ReactJS is only a JavaScript library at base. For coding it requires CSS and JavaScript. So it has a lot of limitations while React Native is a full fledged framework with in-built APIs and libraries to build cross platform apps. 

ReactJS has DOM as base to render components and browser codes. The apps it develops utilises HTML while rendering UI and CSS to stylize them. React Node, on other hand, utilises native APIs to render components and JSX to render UI. Instead of CSS, it uses a stylesheet for creating style in Native.

If you need to build a dynamic, highly responsive and interactive UI for web interfaces, then Reactjs is the best option.

If your need is to build high performing mobile apps and give cross platform applications a native feeling, then choose React Native.

Which is better React or React native?

Both React Both Reactjs and React Native are important pillars for app and web development, and due to their flexible functionalities and an evolving eco-system of libraries, they are gaining momentum with each passing day.

While Reactjs is basically a JavaScript library and React Native is the entire framework, the former is the heart of the latter, and compliments each other.

If Reactjs is optimal for creating apps with high functionality and complex calculations, then React Native is ideal to give a native feeling to your mobile apps.

Every technology or framework in the developer universe has some limitations, and so does Reactjs and React Native. This is why, it is advisable to map the pros and cons of both of these technologies, and then make an informed decision based on the priorities and expected outcome.


React vs React Native, whatever you choose will depend upon your requirements. They both are open-source projects that have unique features for different use cases, both are equipped with exceptional capabilities that allow developers to introduce ease of development, high performance etc. 

If you are further interested in React vs React Native, and want to know the differences in deep, you can contact here. Optymize is a talent marketplace where you can find and hire best developers for your software projects. We can assist you in any project related to Blockchain, IoT, Web development, data science and many more. If you are looking to hire developers, then click here.



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