React Native vs React.js: Everything You Need To Know

React Native vs React.js: Everything You Need To Know

January 15, 2019 0 By Ideaction
Reading Time: 3 minutes

If you are in the process of developing a mobile app, then you’ll likely hear the terms React.js and React Native. If you are not a software dev, then these terms are likely to mean nothing to you.

However, one crucial aspect of successful app development is communication between the client and the development team. That’s why it’s important to understand certain term. A developer, as an expert, won’t always be able to explain them in a simple enough way for someone not as familiar with their field.

We will get to delve deeper in the meaning behind React.js and React Native a bit further on. In the meantime, let’s start with JavaScript, because that’s where our story starts.

What Is JavaScript

JavaScript is an advanced programing language. Together with HTML and CSS, it is one of the core language of the Internet. Because it allows web pages to be interactive, most web pages and web-based apps use JavaScript.

As it became increasingly popular in the web 2.0 era, a need for more complex uses of JavaScript arose. In order to allow developers to develop dynamic interfaces easier, JavaScript libraries were created. JavaScript libraries are pre-written code that developers can easily integrate into applications.

Some JavaScript libraries a classified as frameworks. A framework represents a reusable software environment that provides certain functionality within a larger platform. Through allowing developers to change the basic functionality, a framework facilitates software development.

In this way, React.js is a JavaScript library, while React Native is a framework. However, the differences go beyond that.

What Is React.js

React.js is a JavaScript library that helps build interactive user interfaces. React was developed by Facebook, but it is open-source and developers can use it for other websites and apps.

One of the main features of React.js is that developers can create large applications that can change data without reloading the page. For example, you are looking at your Facebook page and see that the number of likes on a post went up. This is possible due to React.js.

Each element of the user interface in React uses smaller elements called components. The changes of data without reloading the entire page are possible because each component can change on its own. In addition, components allow apps build with React to be scalable.

What Is React Native

As stated earlier, React Native is a framework. It represents a conceptual platform where code has generic functionality. Developers can modify the code based on their needs and requirements.

In this way, React Native is based on React.js. The difference is that, while React.js provides functionality for web browsers, React Native allows writing native apps. Native apps are those that require to be installed on a mobile device.

Benefits of React.js and React Native

Because React Native uses React.js, it means that it allows web developers to write native mobile apps. Another benefit of React Native is that the code is shareable across platforms. One app written with React Native can run on both Android and iOS devices. In turn, this allows companies to save costs on app development.

Moreover, developers praise React.js and React Native for their stability, because of the way data nodes are connected to each other. Moreover, because Facebook is behind React and it’s an open-source library, it is continuously developing and growing.

The Drawbacks of React.js and React Native

On the one hand, React.js and React Native provide developers with an easy way to create beautiful and functional web pages and apps. At the same time, businesses can save costs by having a single app developed across multiple operating systems.

However, on the other hand, apps built with React Native have limited functionality compared to native apps built with other frameworks. In addition, there is a high chance of errors and bugs that might appear on one platform.

React.js also has its limitations and disadvantages. One of them is the poor documentation. Because everything moves so fast and new tools come often quickly, there is not enough information for developers on how to implement them. Therefore, some developers have complained about not being able to catch up.

Should You Go For It?

If you run a small or medium-sized business and are in need of a website or an app, React.js and React Native are nifty tools that can get you what you require at an affordable cost.

However, you must also evaluate the cost of building an app through other platforms. Native apps built specifically for Android and iOS devices will have more functionality. If you are still going with React Native, then make sure that the app runs smoothly not only on different operating systems, but also on different devices.

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