React vs React Native: An in-depth Tabular Comparison
Below are the differences between React and React native in tabular form.
|Year of Release||2013||2015|
|Animations||Offers more animations by implementing CSS animations||Offers only two complementary animations; Animated and Layout Animation.|
|Styling||Uses CSS in styling||Uses stylesheets in styling|
|Security||It provides high security||Its security is comparatively less than that of React|
|Code Rendering||Uses VDOM to render web codes||Uses platform-specific API for code rendering|
|UI Rendering||HTML is used to render UI||JSX is used to render UI|
|Platform Dependency||Can be used on any platform||Can only be used on specific platforms.|
|Base Derivative||Can be used as a base derivative of ReactDOM.||It is a base derivative itself.|
|Suitable for||Developing web applications with high performance and responsiveness.||Developing mobile applications with high performance on native and cross-platform.|
|Navigation||Uses React router for web page navigation.||Uses an in-built Navigator Library for navigation.|
React vs React Native: Similarities
They were both developed by Facebook.
They are both open-sourced.
They are cost-effective.
They are not 100% secure.
If you’re asking the question: Do I need to React for React native? The answer is Not Necessarily. This is because developers can use React Native framework to expand React on all operating systems.
Now that we’ve satisfied your curiosity on how these two terms are related, read on to get a more in-depth discussion on their history, features, advantages, and disadvantages.
History of React vs React Native
And so Jordan Walke, an engineer at Facebook, came to their rescue. He used XHP to create the prototype of React -named FaxJS at that time. Due to the smooth flow of functionality and app interface that came with this discovery, Facebook deployed React to its timeline in 2011.
React Native on the other hand was birthed during one of Facebook’s internal hackathons in 2013. Its easy framework for the creation of native and web applications made it very popular during its first public review in January 2015. And its fanbase has been skyrocketing since it was open-sourced in March 2015.
What is React?
Meanwhile, you can choose to have a one-on-one call with our expert app developers to know if React is best suited for developing your app.
Moreover, React helps create a strong app structure by allowing components to be reused. This, in turn, allows for a reduction in the total cost of developing a web application. Not only this, React can automatically render and update components in the case of a data change, which gives predictability to the code and helps the developer to concentrate on debugging.
Features of React
● Virtual Document Object Model (VDOM): this is arguably the most innovative feature of React. The VDOM is featured in React’s reconciliation process, where a virtual user interface is synced with the real DOM by the ReactDOM library. VDOM was created to simplify the complexities that arise with increased data mutations. And it does this by allowing developers to create declarative content and make minute and precise changes to the DOM.
Unlike the real DOM, VDOM lacks the authority to change any code, UI, or functionality on the screen. And so it is easier for developers to manipulate the VDOM. Not only this, VDOM occupies less memory space as only a single change in the data model stands as evidence of a virtual UI trigger.
Moreover, VDOM made React to be widely loved because it speeds up code rendering and provides a better user interface for mobile apps.
● Component-based Architecture: with the component-based architecture, React breaks down a design into single but logical components. These components then show explicit interfaces that may include events, properties, etc. With the component-based architecture, developers can skip rewriting the same or different codes for similar app components or functionalities.
Now, not only does this React feature save time, but it also lowers maintenance costs and gives the developer more control of his code. In general, component-based architecture increases the overall reliability of the system being developed
● One-way Data-binding Functionality: with the one-way data-binding functionality, code changes in React occur in one direction. This is to say that changes made by a developer to a child component will not affect its parent component.
Because of this, changes in smaller parts of the code don’t require that the entire state be changed. This in turn reduces error and makes the code easy to debug and maintain.
Benefits of React
● It allows for effortless debugging: it is easy and less frequent to debug codes in React due to the presence of the component-based architecture and the one-way data-binding functionality.
● It allows developers to reuse components: React provides components that developers can reuse when creating a new application. This helps to reduce coding time. Now, this reduction in development time and process also reduces the amount of money needed to develop an app using React.
● It comes with an informative developers' community: Since its release, React has had a large community of developers that are always eager to help solve problems and exchange ideas. This community has developed a lot of tools, IDEs, third-party libraries, extensions, and other resources to further simplify the use of React.
Disadvantages of React
● It can increase the overhead costs and time required to build an app: it’s often necessary to download multiple React libraries while developing an app. This, in turn, increases overhead costs and time.
● There are chances of a lack of library support: agreeably, the availability of third-party libraries provides developers with pre-tested codes and saves coding time. However, it can sometimes serve as a hindrance.
● There’s no time for proper documentation: in this React vs React native discussion, we'll notice that unlike in the case of the former, React has a high evolution pace. And so there's little time to professionally document its updates. And because of this, developers settle for manual and personal documentation which is not always accurate and leads to poor execution.
What is React Native?
React Native is a flexible app development framework that allows for the development of native and cross-platform apps. Before web development with React Native framework, developers had to use different tools to enable their apps to run on different operating systems. But this open-source app development software allows developers to save a lot of time by providing a multitude of reusable components and features.
Overview of React Native: Features
● Hot reloading: this feature only reads and reloads the specific changes made by a developer, where they are made, and without reloading the app from the start. This feature generally allows a developer to insert new file versions and other changes while the app is running. In hot reloading you don't need to recompile the app as the state of the app is maintained. Because hot reloading allows you to see the changes you made to your app after you save the said changes, it saves developers time.
Hot Reloading in React Native
We will change the state by clicking on the increase button and then will change the style of the text. We will then save our code and will see the hot reloading, Only the changed component will be affected.
However, if you're deep in the app's navigation, hot reloading will not work. You should also be careful about using the hot loading feature consecutively as it might mess up the app's output.
● Live reloading: React Native also allows for live reloading to refresh the whole app. This React Native feature doesn't retain the current app state, instead, it implements changes, and refreshes the entire app. This feature helps with app compilation and debugging. Nonetheless, with live reloading, you need to refresh the entire app to view the changes you make.
Live Reloading in React Native
We will change the state by clicking on the increase button and then will change the style of the text. We will then save our code and reload the app will see the live reloading, the state of the app will get refreshed and we will get the initial default value.
● Declarative UI: this React Native feature allows for the rebuild of a user interface from the scratch. This UI rebuild is triggered by a change in the state using default and contexts. This feature generally reduces the amount of code that a developer is supposed to write in React Native.
Advantages of React Native
● It generates platform-specific React Native code: this is one advantage that made the React Native framework to be popular. Its ability to automatically generate codes specific to many operating systems helps save developers’ time
● It saves time and Money: because React Native allows developers to build apps that can run on cross-platforms, the developer doesn’t have to purchase any other tools or write platform-specific codes. This, in turn, reduces the cost of developing mobile apps. It is also license-free. Not only this, its hot loading feature allows developers to view changes during runtime instead of wasting time waiting for a full-app refresh.
● React Native apps are fast: because React Native uses native API to render some code components, its apps tend to load faster than web view apps. Also, because of the native API, React Native apps have access to more system resources. Therefore, they have greater functionality, are safer, and can work offline
● It provides ready-to-use UI libraries: because of the availability of UI libraries in React Native, developers can create apps that have seamless user interfaces. The availability of these libraries also helps to save the time required to build them from scratch.
● Extensive community support: since React Native is one of the most popular app development software, it has a rich community of developers that are always ready to help solve problems. This tightly knit global community also keeps all React Native developers updated on changes and updates in the software.
Disadvantages of React Native
● It may have compatibility issues: because React Native is still in the beta stage, it is not always compatible with a device and is oftentimes difficult to set up and debug.
● Patenting and licensing issues: yes, React Native is open-sourced, however, its 2017 updated patent rights permit Facebook to stop a developer from using the framework if they don’t like his methods.
● It has limited native libraries: React Native relies on third-party libraries because it has limited native libraries. This lack usually hinders the effectiveness of apps with complex functionalities and slows down the app development process. Because of this, programming languages like Objective-C and Swift are favored when developing apps with complex functionalities.
Remember that React is best for developing high-performance and responsive web applications, while React Native is best for developing cross-platform mobile apps.
If you’re asking: should I use react or react-native, remember that the decision depends on what the developer prefers, the time and money factor, and the features that will smoothen the development of your app. However, if you need more clarity on the topic of React vs React native, you can consult an expert app development company for advice.
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