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ReactJS and React Native – the two incredibly popular technologies in the app development industry. Both these tools have similar names, are launched by Facebook, and have maintained their fan bases since their launch. However, many in the ecosystem are still not clear about the clear differences between Reactjs and React Native. Of course, it’s clear that one is a web framework while the other is a mobile framework. But apart from that, how are they different? In this article, we will look into the advantages and limitations of both platforms and outline the key difference between ReactJS and React Native.
What is ReactJS?
Jordan Walke, who was a software engineer at Facebook, developed it. Initially, it was developed and maintained by Facebook and was later used in its products like WhatsApp & Instagram. Facebook developed ReactJS in 2011 for the newsfeed section, but it was released to the public in May 2013.
What is React Native?
Facebook developed the React Native in 2013 for its internal project Hackathon. In March 2015, Facebook announced that React Native is open and available on GitHub.
Advantages of ReactJS
Following are the main advantages of ReactJS:
- Creating Dynamic Web Applications Becomes Easier: To create a dynamic web application specifically with HTML was tricky, which requires complex coding, but React JS solved that issue and makes it easier. It provides less coding and gives more functionality.
- Reusable Components: A ReactJS web application is made up of multiple components, and each component has its logic and controls. These components can be reused wherever you need them. The reusable code helps to make your apps easier to develop and maintain.
- Performance Enhancement: ReactJS improves performance due to virtual DOM. The React Virtual DOM exists entirely in memory and is a representation of the web browser’s DOM. Due to this, when we write a React component, we do not write directly to the DOM. Instead, we are writing virtual components that react will turn into the DOM, leading to smoother and faster performance.
- The Support of Handy Tools: ReactJS supports a handy set of tools which make the task of the developers understandable and easier. It also allows you to select particular components and examine and edit their current Props and State.
Where ReactJS Lags Behind?
Following are the main areas where ReactJS lags behind:
- The high pace of development: As we know, the frameworks continually change so fast. The developers are not feeling comfortable to re-learn the new ways of doing things regularly. It may be hard for them to adopt all these changes with all the continuous updates.
- Poor Documentation: React technologies updating and accelerating so fast that there is no time to make proper documentation. To overcome this, developers write instructions on their own with the evolving of new releases and tools in their current projects.
- View Part: ReactJS covers only the UI Layers of the app and nothing else. So you still need to choose some other technologies to get a complete tooling set for development in the project.
- Scope for Testing the Codes: ReactJS applications are easy to test. It offers a scope where the developer can test and debug their codes with the help of native tools.
Advantages of React Native
Following are the main advantages of React Native:
- Cross-Platform Usage: It provides the facility of “Learn once write everywhere.” It works for both platform Android as well as iOS devices.
- Class Performance: The code written in React Native is compiled into native code, which enables it for both operating systems as well as it functions in the same way on both the platforms.
- Community: The large community of ReactJS and React Native helps us to find any answer we require.
- Hot Reloading: Making a few changes in the code of your app will be immediately visible during development. If the business logic is changed, its reflection is live reloaded on screen.
- Improving with Time: Some features of iOS and Android are still not supported, and the community is always inventing the best practices.
- Native Components: We will need to write some platform specific code if we want to create native functionality, which is not designed yet.
- Existence is Uncertain: As Facebook develops this framework, its presence is uncertain since it keeps all the rights to kill off the project anytime. As the popularity of React Native rises, it is unlikely to happen.
Where React Native Lags Behind?
Following are the main areas where React Native lags behind:
- React Native is Still New and Immature: React Native is a newbie in Android and iOS programming languages and is still in its improvement stage, which can have a negative impact on the apps.
- Learning is Tough: React Native is not easy to learn, especially for a fresher in the app development field.
- It Takes More Time to Initialize: React Native takes a lot of time for initializing the runtime even for the hi-tech gadgets and devices.
Key Difference Between ReactJS and React Native
These are the key difference between ReactJS and React Native:
|It is used for developing web applications.||It is used for developing mobile applications.|
|It can be executed on all platforms.||It is not platform independent. It takes more effort to be executed on all platforms.|
|It uses React-router for navigating web pages.||It has a built-in Navigator library for navigating mobile applications.|
|It uses HTML tags.||It does not use HTML tags.|
|It can use code components, which saves a lot of valuable time.||It can reuse React Native UI components & modules which allow hybrid apps to render natively.|
|It provides high security.||It provides low security in comparison to ReactJS.|
|In this, the Virtual DOM renders the browser code.||In this, Native uses its API to render code for mobile applications.|
After going through every nook and corner of the frameworks in detail, a question must be striking in your mind, Reactjs or React Native, which is better?
One must first understand the fact that both Reactjs and React Native are significant focal points for both web and app development. Moreover, due to their flexible functionalities, both platforms are gaining momentum with each passing day.
Every framework or technology has its set of merits and shortcomings. For example, React Native is optimal to give a native feel to the mobile apps. When we look at Reactjs, it can be used to develop apps used for complex calculations and high functionality.
Another question that might strike your mind- can you reuse Reactjs code in React Native?
The answer to this is, yes it is possible as React Native under a horizon uses the same codes which are used for the web.