React.js vs React Native: What is the difference?

React.js vs React Native: What is the difference?

React.js and React Native are two popular frameworks developed by Facebook that gained popularity in a short time. Those who are new to the world of web and mobile development may wonder whether they are the same. It is because most beginners assume they are the same because they both have “React” as part of their names. But the thing is, even though they share a lot in common, they also have differences. 

The React.js framework is used to create single-page web applications, while React Native is used to create mobile applications based on JavaScript. They differ greatly in this respect. There are many others, too. This article will help you have a clear understanding of how they differ from each other and how they are similar. 

How do both frameworks differ?

React.js and React Native are the dominant technologies in use today for both web and mobile applications. Both are beneficial in their own way to the mobile app or web development world. They are like siblings who have as many differences as they have similarities. Here is the list of differences for your knowledge.


React.js, also referred to as React, enables programmers to create responsive, user-friendly mobile and web applications quickly. It also allows them to automate the design process. By utilising its features,they are free to create anything they want without having to follow any strict guidelines. They can quickly incorporate libraries or plugins into existing code. They can also create web applications that are quick, scalable, and easy to use. Here are some of its features.

  • It is a JavaScript library of reusable components designed for creating app skeletons.
  • It uses a virtual DOM to render browser code in React.
  • One-way data binding features makes the data flow unidirectional allowing the developers to have control over the app built makes it more flexible and effective.
  • It has a steep learning curve as it requires knowledge of libraries.
  • It is an open-source JS library for creating user interfaces for web applications that include both lower-level elements like clickable buttons and higher-level elements like dropdowns.
  • It can be executed on all platforms.
  • CSS and JavaScript are used for animations.
  • It has a number of tools and libraries to help you optimise your app for SEO.
  • It uses React-router for navigating web pages.
  • It uses HTML tags.
  • It can use code components, which saves a significant amount of time.
  • It provides high security.
  • It has a high level of customisation options available and a large and established community.

React Native

When it comes to React Native, it is a hybrid mobile app framework that allows developers to develop mobile applications that work seamlessly on both iOS and Android platforms with a single codebase. Check out some of its features listed below that make it different from React.js.

  • The installation of the framework is easier, even for beginners, with the use of Node Package Manager or NPM library support.
  • It is designed to build native mobile apps with reusable components.
  • It is mainly used for developing mobile applications for Android, iOS, and Windows.
  • It renders components for mobile applications using the Native API.
  • It is easier to understand with basic knowledge of React and JavaScript.
  • With its live reload capabilities, developers can easily see the results of the most recent change you made to the code. 
  • It is used to build rich mobile UI from declarative components using only JavaScript.
  • It is not platform independent and takes more effort to be executed on all platforms.
  • It comes with built-in animation libraries.
  • It includes a Navigator library that can be used to navigate mobile applications.
  • It does not use HTML tags.
  • Hybrid apps that want to render natively can do so by reusing React Native UI modules and components.
  • Comparatively speaking to ReactJS, it offers less security.
  • It has limited customization options compared to native development.
  • Also, a growing community with support from Facebook.

When to use which?

You may have confusion about when to use them after knowing the differences between them. This section will discuss some of the scenarios where you can use these frameworks. React.js is used to create complex web applications, whereas the other framework is used to create simple mobile applications.

React Native allows you to create a cross-platform application. It has the potential to create high-performance apps. If you want to build an app that requires frequent updates and iterations, React Native is a good choice because it has a quick development cycle, but it may require additional work to update native code. 

Many apps are built with these frameworks. Choosing one of them should be based on the type of web or mobile application you are creating, its complexity, and a variety of other factors. Some of the scenarios where using frameworks is preferable are those mentioned above. For the creation of a web or mobile application, React or React Native developers can be hired. Although they use different platforms for their final products, they share similar development principles or methodologies. The differences described in the article will be useful to you both when using the frameworks and when deciding whether to learn them because, if you learn one, learning the other will be simpler.

Interesting Links:

Are you a React developer then why don’t you use React Native for Web?

React.js vs React Native: Which One to Choose and Why?

Pictures: Canva

The author: Sascha Thattil works at which is a part of the YUHIRO Group. YUHIRO is a German-Indian enterprise which provides programmers to IT companies, agencies and IT departments.

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