React.js vs React Native - Choosing the Right Tool for Your App
Choosing the right technology for your future app can be frustrating. Fortunately, the wide set of available development tools can be easily classified by the purpose and the use case.
What is the right choice?
There are different programming languages, frameworks, and libraries for web and mobile applications but sometimes it is quite easy to mix them up because of the almost similar names.
This is just the case with React.js and React Native which are two fundamentally different technologies. Let’s draw a clear line between them and understand when to use React.js library and when React Native framework is the right choice.
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Library vs framework difference
To better answer questions "How does React Native work?" and "Why to use React.js?", let’s get started with fundamentals.
- React Native is a mobile application
- React.js is a web
So, the core difference in the use case becomes immediately clear but what’s the difference between a framework and a library?
To put it simply, a web or mobile development framework is a skeleton that helps developers build an app, according to the business logic scenarios by combining ready-made or created from scratch parts, elements and modules. The library, in turn, is the storage of the modules developers can reuse in their app, saving, therefore, time and effort.
The next reason why React.js is good for web apps is that it streamlines a lot of routine tasks and can also be a good choice for multi-component web applications. Plus, the code created with this technology is quite SEO-friendly.
- Easy learning curve
- Virtual DOM for better performance
- Testing and debugging features
- Strong SEO support
- As one of the React.js problems, some web developers say the supporting documentation should be clearer.
Being high-performant and almost trouble-free technology, React.js can become a perfect tool for diverse projects from different industries. This is one of the top choices for Single Page Applications (SPAs) and Dynamic Web Applications. For example, creating a social network in the form of a SPA and using React.js for this purpose can be a good idea since in this case, using this technology will make an app more robust because of the fewer client-server requests. This library can also be an option for eCommerce project development since it allows the web pages to be loaded faster and better indexed by search engines.
Benefits of React.js for business
- Components reusability. Using React.js creates the opportunity to take advantage of components’ reusability. This benefit can be especially relevant for medium to large websites with complex architecture that should be developed at an accelerated pace and are going to enter a highly competitive environment.
- SEO. While most website owners consider SEO an important part of their marketing strategy, using React.js in the development process facilitates the task from the technical side since the code created with it is Google-friendly.
- Talent pool. There are a lot of React.js developers on the market so you are unlikely to face problems when gathering a development team.
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React Native overview
React Native is a cross-platform framework for mobile app development. It is also developed by Facebook and uses JSX syntax like React.js. But this is almost the only React.js and React Native common feature. While the first is used to create web apps that will provide the same user experience and have the same UI across the browsers and devices, React Native allows you to create cross-platform mobile apps.
To put it simply, a cross-platform app is a single app that automatically adjusts to the specifics of the operating system the app is accessed from, delivering the close-to-native experience. Well-developed cross-platform apps come with such a native-like UI and UX that are hard to distinguish from actual native ones. For example, such companies as Bloomberg, Uber Eats, Airbnb, Skype, and Pinterest use React Native.
While cross-platform development can be a pretty winning strategy in some cases, React Native makes the process even more affordable and easier. But here comes the question: is React Native actually native or hybrid? Technically, React Native is a hybrid framework but comes with close-to-native features. And this is not the only advantage of cross-platform React programming with this technology.
- React Native is evolving and its community constantly grows.
- There are a lot of skilled React Native developers on the market.
- Hot Reloading and Fast Refresh features. These functions enable your UI to be updated instantly and automatically each time you change the code.
- React Native framework allows for building highly performant apps with close-to-native experience
Despite the attractiveness and affordability of the development using this framework, there are several React Native challenges you should keep in mind.
- Not so extensive set of components
- Limited security features
- Limited memory features
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React Native is good for mobile apps that prioritize native experience but still need to make mobile development more budget-friendly without sacrificing the final result. Our practical experience also suggests that this is the best-pick technology for a quick Minimum Viable Product (MVP) launch. Making changes and tweaks to the MVP powered by React Native is quick and easy. What’s more, you have to make only one change to improve UI/UX on both iOS and Android at once.
This framework is also an excellent choice when you need to quickly empower an already running web app with mobile versions that will provide the users with an OS-specific experience. In this case, a large amount of already-created code can be reused, easily tested, and improved.
IT Master Soft Case Study
As for our experience with React Native, pay closer attention to the Thank Me app we have developed for our customers. We followed the life-proven LEAN startup methodology, the core principle of which perfectly matches the essence of React Native. According to the LEAN Software Development approach, it is necessary to validate and test any idea or feature before developing it and repeat this cycle at each next development stage.
Despite the Thank Me app being created for a low-competitive market, it was still necessary to stay agile and flexible. React Native was the right choice in this case because of the opportunity to save time, money, and effort at once while being guided by the users’ feedback.
Take an opportunity to create an awesome and affordable cross-platform mobile app with React Native.
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Benefits of React.js for business
- Time and cost-efficiency. React Native development is fast since it comes with UI/UX elements that are enough to power a relatively simple mobile app.
- Native look and feel of your apps. This is just the main goal of React Native - let the users feel no difference between a cross-platform and native solution.
- Sharing the codebase for iOS, Android, and the Web. With React Native, the development team has to create the codebase only once. Still, some developers state that some apps will still need purely native improvement to become truly awesome.
- One team for multiple platforms. Also, you don't have to hire two separate teams to develop an app for iOS and Android but solve both tasks with the help of skilled cross-platform development experts.
What is the difference between React.js and React Native?
Below are the most essential similarities and differences between React.js and React Native.
|App type||React.js - for web development||React Native - for mobile development|
|Tools and kits||Many extensions and third-party tools||In-build UI libraries|
Which is better - React.js or React Native?
As usual, when it comes to choosing the right technology for the software project, the right answer is “It depends”. Here is a short summary of the best use cases for both React.js and React Native.
React.js is better for:
- Single Page Applications (SPAs)
- Dynamic Web Applications
- Commerce projects
- Animated and interactive websites
React Native is better for:
- Mobile apps that require to have a close-to-native UI and UX
- Web projects aiming at improving the experience on mobile devices
- Agile projects that need to quickly validate the idea and prove it with affordable MVP (Minimum Viable Product)
Let’s launch your MVP as fast as possible! IT Master Soft is here to help you.
Both React.js and React Native are effective and powerful when their features are perfectly tailored to core project goals and current business needs. We, at IT Master Soft, are experienced in working with both of the tools and will be happy to assist you with the choice and project creation.
Get in touch with us for instant tech help and deep mobile/web development expertise!
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