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Difference between React.js and React Native

Updated Jul 12, 2019

As we know Both React JS and React Native is growing in demand among developers. In this article, we will be discussing the what is React JS, what is React Native, the Difference between React.js and React Native, and the pros and cons of both React.js React Native in respect to one another etc. We begin with a comparative chart depicting the difference between React.js and React Native on the basis of some important points.

Read on for more.

React JS vs. React Native

Basis of comparison

React JS

React Native


It is a Javascript library that is used for developing user interfaces for web applications.

This is a framework used for developing mobile applications and has built-in libraries.


The React router is used for navigating web pages.

This has a library Navigator for navigating mobile applications.


It uses Javascript libraries and CSS for animations.

It has built-in animation libraries.

Platform independence

React JS code can be executed on all platforms.

It is not so platform independent and takes much effort to be executed on all platforms.

Introduction of React JS

ReactJS is primarily a JavaScript library which provides support to both the front end web and being run on the server, mainly for building user interfaces as well as web applications.

ReacrJs was initially developed and maintained by Facebook and focuses on visualization. As React is responsible for viewing the application within a paradigm Model-View-Controller, therefore Facebook strongly advises the use of ReactJS with Flux, which is rough, a pattern of software design. Due to this reason, we quite often see a combination with React JS and Redux, which is a library that implements this Flux design pattern and that occupies barely 2Kb.

ReactJS is component based. These components are the elements which constitute the user interface (a button, a search engine, etc.).

They react (therefore the name) to both the events which are produced by the user and those of the server.  Finally, when a change of state occurs, they repaint themselves.

A virtual DOM is altered with each alteration. This fact makes the real DOM only change in the parts which have experienced alterations. This translates into an improvement in memory consumption and performance over the other frameworks.

Pros of React JS

  • React JS uses a virtual DOM to handle all its components. It makes adding modifications to the applications easy without affecting other parts of the interface.
  • Being a Javascript based library, React JS can be combined with other Javascript libraries to increase the functionality of the applications.
  • The framework is fast and efficient as it allows the components to be reused while development. This is very helpful for inexperienced developers who want to create applications quickly without writing the same code repeatedly.

Cons of React JS

  • In React JS, the community support is not very strong and has less open source contributions than other frameworks like Angular JS.
  • As the React JS environment is rapidly changing, the developers have to adopt the new changes all the time, which can get difficult.
  • Developers find it difficult to integrate libraries like Reflux and Redux as React JS lacks proper documentation.

Introduction of React Native

React Native is a mobile framework which compiles to native app components, permitting the user to build native mobile applications (iOS, Android, and Windows) in JavaScript which allows the user to use ReactJS for building your components, and implements ReactJS under the hood.

Prior to going in more detailed information related to React Native, user must keep in mind the difference between the two types of technologies for the development of mobile applications: Cross-platform (or hybrid) and Native.

  • The hybrid apps are much development using HTML5, CSS and JavaScript. They use the same code irrespective of the platform in which they are being executed. They are embedded within a webview or a Web App.
  • The native apps are developed using the language required by the target platform specifically: Objective-C and iOS Swift, Java and Kotlin Android, etc.

These two approaches have been present for a long time in mobile development. However, with the emergence of React Native, this approach is now changing. React Native is a JavaScript mobile framework which utilizes the ReactJS components to build "native" mobile applications. Therefore its development is not 100% cross-platform and this is where its importance lies in relation to other mobile frameworks and why it is revolutionizing the mobile development.

The views are created natively. This refers that the user has an interpreter that the app runs. The HTML  in these views reads it and places each of the native components in its position.

For example, the case in which the view expresses that you have to put a button on the Home screen  

When the app arrives on this screen, React Native creates a native button and places it in its corresponding position. This gives the user a clear advantage which the entire frontend. That is, all the interactions with the user are native.

Pros of React Native

  • The framework is very fast for developing mobile applications as it has a lot of built-in components and has access to npm, the largest ecosystem for packages.
  • The hot reloading feature lets the developers make modifications to the application while it is running, making it easier to add new features to the user interface.
  • This framework uses declarative programming that makes designing the user interfaces simpler. This makes error tracking much easier.

Cons of React Native

  • It uses a library Navigator for navigating mobile applications but the new developers may not find it very smooth to navigate.
  • The collection of the readily made components for development are limited that create problems for developers while making simple applications.
  • The security is low and developers need to be careful about malicious code that could damage the functionality of applications made for online banking or payment.


Both React JS and React Native is growing in demand among developers. As React Native is built on React JS principles, the learning curve is simple. The Virtual DOM renders the browser code in React JS whereas Native uses its API to render code for mobile applications. As the community support for both frameworks is improving day by day, it will help developers in the future for building better applications.