As you probably know if you’ve been reading our blog, we at Share IT adore React JS. Recently, we published an article on this website where we expressed why we think React JS is so awesome and why it’s so popular among developers.
Not that long ago, Stefan, our frontend developer, talked about how we use React JS to build interactive elements on websites.
To be perfectly frank, even though a lot of time has passed since that interview went live on our website, not much has changed. React JS is still our go-to solution because it’s part of the MERN tech stack which we currently use for almost all of our projects.
When we talk about React and sing its praises to our potential and existing customers, one question frequently comes up; especially when we chat with people who are not super techy.
*“Is React JS same as React Native, and if not, what’s the difference?” *
The answer is obviously no, but explaining what sets React JS from React Native to a non-techy person is not as easy as most developers would think.
To set the record straight and equip our readers/customers with as much context and knowledge about the solutions we’re constantly praising, we’re going to focus this post on just that - explaining the differences about React JS or React Native.
As you probably already know if you have been reading our articles on this subject, React was created back in 2011. At that time, Facebook ads were going through a bit of rebuild. Newer features were being added to the platform and the engineering team was doing everything in its power to keep up with the changes.
Regardless how hard they tried to keep all the balls in the air at same time, the frequent updates were constantly slowing down their progress. At one point, Facebook’s UI was pushed as far as it could go, so the development team had no other choice but to rebuild and realign the entire app from scratch.
That same year, the newly patented React JS was deployed for Facebook’s timeline and it instantly made a huge difference. In 2012, the same thing happened for Instagram. Once Facebook officially acquired the world’s most popular photo sharing social media platform, the same tech was used to rebuild Instagram’s timeline as well.
Thanks to the insane success of both platforms and how well Walke’s solution worked - in 2013, the JS library was officially open sourced.
Since it skyrocketed in popularity almost immediately, Facebook’s team decided to take things a step further and release React Native.
Now that you know how both of these solutions came to be, let’s dig a bit deeper and explain what React.js and React Native are. We’ll also underline the business advantages and disadvantages of both React.js and React Native.
First, the definitions:
That’s not the case with React Native. With React Native, you have everything you need to get the ball rolling.
Kickstarting a new project is super easy with React Native. Only a couple command lines stand between you and running your terminal. You can start coding your first native app immediately using ES6, some ES7 features and even a few polyfills.
However, to run your app, you will need assistance from Xcode or Android Studio, depending which OS you have Xcode works for iOS and Mac, Android Studio for Android and Windows.
When we zoom out and look at both of these solutions objectively, we can easily see that React Native is built upon React JS and that it contains all of its principles.
Metaphorically speaking, React JS is the lifeblood of React Native. Without it, React Native cannot function. The framework is basically a build up of the core competencies of React JS and it gives it a new purpose with the help of a couple of other things.
React JS alone is a browser code that is rendered through a Virtual DOM. It uses HTML. React Native operates with the help of Native APIs to render components on mobile devices, i.e. you need to use use animated APIs to build want you want to build
It’s easy to slip and make mistakes with React Native development, which may cause delays in releases, additional costs, and something all managers dread: increased time-to-market. This is why it’s always a smart thing to leave it to experts.
If you need someone for React development, you came to the right place. Contact Share IT for consultation and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.