React Vs React Native. What’s the Difference?

By Saurabh Barot   |   23 February, 2018
React Vs React Native. What’s the Difference?

There is always a confusion among newbies with respect to React vs React Native.

For obvious reasons…

To clear this confusion, our developers are keen to fall a light on this topic with the help of this article.

So lets get started…

ReactJS or simply React is a JavaScript library that supports both front end and back end efficacies for developing web applications and user interfaces.

Although coming from the React family, React-Native has a completely different job.

What is a native application? Is react native cross platform?

Native application is build differently for each platform. Where as React-Native is a JavaScript framework that is used to develop hybrid mobile applications for Android, iOS, and Windows.

Both developed by Facebook, ReactJS made its appearance in 2013 to address issues relating primarily to user interfaces. React-Native came 2 years later as an extended family of React to apply its architecture to mobile applications.

To learn why you should hire ReactJS developer or a React-Native one, first you have to understand the difference between them as stated below:

What is the difference between react and react native? – React vs React Native…

What is virtual Dom concept?

Virtual DOM or Virtual Document Object Model, an abstract version of HTML DOM is lightweight and does not abide by browser-specific integrations.

So, how does it relate to ReactJS and React-Native

Well, in ReactJS development services, Virtual DOM is used to refresh parts of a web page rather than the whole page and thus makes it faster than usual DOM. ReactJS computes the difference between the new and old web page within its built-in data structure cache and then refreshes that part of the web page.

On the other hand, React-Native uses its Native API to render browser code in mobile.


ReactJS is a JavaScript library; React-Native is a JavaScript framework.

ReactJS come in various bundles of different modules that cater for different projects.

React-Native equips everything needed for the development of mobile applications, so it is comparatively easier to set up but offers lot less option than ReactJS.


ReactJS uses HTML5 with JavaScript as they both go hand in hand. It further incorporates CSS with it to render web pages and as such uses its tags.

React-Native, on the other hand, doesn’t use HTML.

Further, React-Native doesn’t use CSS tags and works with those which closely resemble that of HTML like <View>,<Text>, and others.

React Native Animations and Gestures

You can also hire ReactJS developer as they have knowledge that makes animations and gestures a possibility.

With React-Native, animations get a little complicated.

React-Native, due to its unsupportiveness of CSS, developers have to find new ways to incorporate animations within it using JavaScript.

However, React-Native uses the Animated API to create all its animations. For gestures, React-Native provides the Pan Responder API that exhibits several complications.

Server-side Rendering

With ReactJS server-side rendering allows you to pre-render the initial components of the server. Thus the initial speed for loading pages increases which does not depend upon the entire JavaScript to load.

Server-side rendering is not available with React-Native.


By incorporating back-end development, ReactJS can use any database without any harsh effect. However, ReactJS requires you to create an API for the database to integrate.

MySQL and MongoDB, two most widely used databases can provide their compatibility with ReactJS.

React-Native uses Realm – a database built specifically to cater to server-side development needs. Realm runs directly inside the mobile applications and does not require any additional installation.

What is JSX in react?

ReactJS development services use JSX, a special syntax that allows programmers to blend both JavaScript and HTML. JSX, although a JavaScript uses HTML tags to render sub-components. How The JSX Transformer turns every bit of HTML used with JavaScript to compose lag free debuggable Virtual DOM elements.

With React-Native things get a little complicated as it does not support JSX nor does it work with HTML.

React Native Debugging

With ReactJS you get options for superior debugging speeds and thus bugs can be rapidly addressed.

The browser already includes all the debugging tools especially the Console and Network options that a developer would primarily use. Hence, when you hire ReactJS developer, he can easily debug web pages with additional Chrome extensions.

Debugging with React-Native gets a little tough as you have to use simulators for fixing them.

For example, debugging an iOS app firstly requires you to run the application with a simulator. Then by pressing Command + D, the debugger UI shows up after which they have to open the Chrome Developer tools by pressing Command + Option + I. Then you can begin the actual debugging process.

How SEO works for REACT applications?

With its Virtual DOM, ReactJS development services make web page rendering easier and thereby contributes significantly to SEO. JavaScript is not search-engine friendly as the latter finds it hard to read the applications.

React-Native does not contribute to SEO in any way as it is simply a mobile app developing platform.

Here is an Infographics for React Vs React Native for you to share among your connections.

ReactJs vs React Native

What You Can Do With react JS?

ReactJS has its application within the following open source projects:

  • Front-end dashboard – ReactJS has provided a superior design for the dashboard in numerous top blogging platforms.
  • Crash reporting – ReactJS also provides front-end development to websites that provide real-time crash reporting for mobile apps and games. These crash reporting websites are generally a straightforward server with a web user interface over them.
  • Music websites –Many a music streaming websites use ReactJS UIs as their front end. Additionally, they also provide support to searches on these websites using other packaging components like Web-pack.
  • Maps – Leading online web mapping services use ReactJS for clustering in addition to smooth animations between them.
  • In-browser coding – ReactJS with Redux creates several platforms where you can do live coding in your favorite language while being in your browser. These platforms support JavaScript, Ruby, Python, and more.
  • Project management suites – Project management suite lets you view tasks while in the development phase and also it’s every stage as it progresses.
  • OSS diagnostics – Open-source software diagnostics platform utilize ReactJS as their front end. These platforms offer you with tools and options to debug the software and also help them tweak it.

Containerized continuous integration – Software written on any platform and with any language can be tested using a containerized continuous integration.

What apps use react native?

ReactJS and React-Native have completely different architecture and applications in the real world. You can hire ReactJS developer for creating user interfaces for web applications that come with utmost advantages and ease of debugging as mentioned above. While React-Native caters to mobile app development and has no relation with ReactJS.

Companies using ReactJS vs React Native
That’s all for the React vs React Native differentiation.

Still confused for which one to pick for your business growth?

Aglowid has become a trusted IT solutions company today, since their inception in 2011. Their services cater to developing mobile applications, web, full stack, and e-commerce websites. They provide standard development solutions to customers as per their requirements and within the required time.

For more information send an email at –

Saurabh Barot

Saurabh Barot is co-founder and Experienced Chief Technology Officer at Aglowid IT Solutions. His deep industry experience in Angular, React, Ruby on Rails, PHP, Mean Stack and just to name few, has helped the company reach to a new level. He believes that technology is all about exploring new possibilities. Whatever a mind can think (exception can't be ruled out), technology brings it into reality.

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