React JS VS. React Native: The Key Differences

React JS and React Native may share some similarities, but when it comes to building web and mobile applications, they each have their own unique strengths and use cases. Check out our latest blog to learn about the key differences between these two technologies!

React JS VS. React Native: The Key Differences

Imagine a company is planning to develop a new application, and the team tasked with building it includes both web and mobile developers.

The project manager has heard about React JS and React Native and thinks they could be useful for the project. However, some of the developers on the team are not familiar with these technologies and assume they are interchangeable. (Oh no!)

They may begin writing code for the project using React JS, assuming it can also be used for mobile development.

This mistake could cause problems later on when it's discovered that React JS is not intended for mobile app development, leading to wasted time and effort.

React JS and React Native are two distinct technologies that share a common foundation in the React framework created by Facebook.

Despite the fact that they are created for various uses and platforms, confusion amongst them frequently results from their similar names and places of origin.

To avoid this issue, it is critical to grasp the differences between React JS and React Native and to select the right technology for each platform.

In this blog, we will expound on the contrasts by discussing:

  • What are React JS and React Native
  • How do React JS and React Native work
  • What are React JS and React Native used for
  • Key Differences between React JS and React Native
  • Will React JS and React Native Die

What is React JS?

React JS is a library, not a framework. This means that it provides a set of tools and utilities for building user interfaces, but doesn't dictate how an application should be structured or organized.

It is built on the concept of components, which are self-contained blocks of code that represent a part of the UI. These components can be combined and composed together to create complex interfaces.

React JS also has a declarative syntax that makes it dependable. Developers can use this to indicate how a UI should appear and behave in response to changes in state or props.

Ultimately, rather than manually manipulating the DOM, React JS handles UI updates in an efficient manner, making it faster and more performant than traditional techniques.

How does React JS work?

React JS works by breaking down a user interface into a tree of components, with each component handling its own state and displaying its own output.

When the state or props of a component change, React JS re-renders the component and any child components that are dependent upon it.

This is known as the virtual DOM, and it allows React JS to update the UI in real-time efficiently and without unnecessary re-renders.

What is React JS used for?

When it comes to building single-page applications (SPAs) and mobile-responsive websites, React JS is primarily used.

Single-page applications are web applications that load a single HTML page and dynamically update the page as the user interacts with the application, rather than loading a new page for each new piece of content.

Some examples of applications built-in complex and dynamic user interface on the web with React JS include:

  • Facebook,
  • Instagram,
  • Netflix, and
  • Airbnb.

Applications that demand rapid updates and user interactions, such as those that employ real-time data or interactive forms, are especially well suited for React JS.

What is React Native?

React Native is a framework for building mobile applications using JavaScript and React principles.

Unlike other hybrid mobile development frameworks, React Native allows developers to build native mobile applications that run directly on the device's operating system, rather than inside a webview container.

This makes React Native applications faster, more responsive, and more efficient than traditional hybrid applications.

Thanks to React Native’s component-based architecture, programmers may create reusable user interface components that they can use in both online and mobile applications.

How does React Native work?

React Native works by using JavaScript and a virtual DOM to render UI components directly on the device.

When a component's state or props change, React Native updates the UI in a way that is fast and efficient, without requiring a full reload of the application even when working with large amounts of data or complex user interfaces.

The ability to build native mobile apps with a single codebase is one of React Native's primary features. This suggests that instead of writing unique code for each platform, developers can generate their app code once and then employ it to build apps for a variety of platforms.

React Native likewise permits developers to access native mobile features such as the device camera, accelerometer, and other hardware components, to create highly interactive and feature-rich apps that are capable of being utilized offline.

What is React Native used for?

React Native is used for building native mobile applications on iOS and Android platforms.

Some examples of applications built with React Native include:

  • Facebook,
  • Instagram,
  • UberEats, and
  • Discord.

Just like React JS, React Native is also well-suited for applications that require frequent updates and interactions with the user, such as real-time data or interactive forms.

Alongside mobile applications, React Native is capable of being utilized to create desktop applications leveraging tools such as Electron.

Developers can now utilize the same principles and components as in React JS but with a different collection of components suited for mobile devices.

Key Differences of React JS VS. React Native

React JS and React Native are two popular technologies used in web and mobile app development. While they share some similarities, they are fundamentally different technologies with distinct use cases.

1. Development Environment

React JS is typically used for web development, while React Native is used for mobile app development.

React.js is a JavaScript library used for building web-based user interfaces; it runs in the browser and renders components using the DOM.

React Native, on the contrary, is a JavaScript and React-based framework for developing native mobile apps.

Instead of the DOM, React Native utilizes native components, which leads to apps that are indistinguishable from those created using Objective-C or Java.

2. User Interface

React JS uses web components to build the user interface, while React Native uses native components.

Despite the fact that both React.js and React Native follow the same component-based UI development principles, the final user interface may change due to the underlying technology.

React.js generates online user interfaces and components by utilizing the browser's DOM.

The HTML elements displayed in the browser are created by converting the JavaScript descriptions of the UI components. This leads to a responsive web interface that is easy to modify using CSS.

React Native, on the other hand, renders native UI components using native APIs provided by the platform (iOS or Android).

As this happens, the user interface appears and works just like one designed with platform-specific tools such as Swift or Java.

3. Performance

React Native apps are faster and have better performance than web apps built with React JS, as they use native components instead of web components.

Given that React.js is a JavaScript library that runs in the browser, its performance is limited by the browser and the device that is running it.

It relies on the DOM (Document Object Model) of the browser for updates, which can be slow for complicated user interfaces.

However, optimizations such as lazy rendering and the use of a virtual DOM can improve its performance.

Whereas React Native renders utilizing native components and APIs, resulting in a native-like user interface indistinguishable from one developed with platform-specific technologies such as Swift or Java.

React Native's performance is comparable to that of a traditional native app, and it is not limited by the device's browser.

4. Development Cost

React.js has a lower development cost compared to React Native because it is easier to find web developers with the necessary skills, and the web development environment is more established. Moreover, this depends on your goals.

React.js is a JavaScript library that runs in the browser, so the development cost is relatively low compared to native app development.

It is easier to find web developers who are familiar with JavaScript and React.js, which means that it is usually easier to find talent to work on a project.

Additionally, the web development environment is well established, with a plethora of tools and frameworks accessible to aid with creation.

React Native would, however, normally be more costly as it requires knowledge of native app development as well as JavaScript and React.

Finding developers with the requisite expertise may be more challenging, and the development environment is not as well established as the web development environment.

Furthermore, React Native necessitates platform-specific knowledge, thus developers must be knowledgeable with both iOS and Android development in order to create cross-platform apps.

5. Deployment

React JS apps are deployed on the web, while React Native apps are deployed to the App Store or Google Play Store.

React.js and React Native have different deployment requirements and processes.

React.js is a JavaScript library that runs in the browser, making deployment relatively straightforward.

It can be deployed on any web server, and it is accessed through a web browser.

Deployment can be automated using tools such as Webpack or Babel, and updates can be made easily by updating the code on the server.

The deployment process for React Native is more complex than for React.js and requires a more thorough understanding of the underlying platform (iOS or Android).

React Native requires deployment to app stores (such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store) in order to be installed on a device.

Plus, updates to a React Native app must be submitted to app stores for inspection and approval before consumers may install them.

Interesting question: Will React Native and React JS die?

React JS and React Native have been around for several years now and have established themselves as go-to technologies for web and mobile app development.

However, as with any technology, there is always the question of whether it will eventually become outdated and irrelevant.

The short answer is no - React JS and React Native are unlikely to die anytime soon. In fact, both technologies are still actively maintained and updated by Facebook and a large community of developers.

As of 2022, React JS is the most popular front-end framework on StackOverflow, with a 43% popularity rating compared to its counterparts.

React Native, meanwhile, is used by companies such as Facebook, Instagram, and Tesla, and has a strong presence in the mobile app development community.

One reason for React's continued success is its versatility, popularity, and longevity.

Both React JS and React Native can be used with a variety of tools and frameworks, allowing developers to choose the best tools for their specific project needs.

React's popularity has also led to the development of a large ecosystem of libraries and plugins, making it easier to build complex web and mobile applications.

Its focus on performance and user experience also contributed to React's longevity as its virtual DOM and component-based architecture allow for efficient updates and rendering of complex user interfaces, making it well-suited for modern web and mobile applications.

Of course, this is not to say that React will never become outdated. As with any technology, there is always the possibility that newer, more advanced technologies will emerge that eventually supplant React.

However, given its popularity and ongoing development, it is unlikely that React will disappear anytime soon.


It is imperative to understand the distinctions between React JS and React Native to delineate their specific use cases, avoid potential confusion, and facilitate the selection of appropriate tools for software development.

A clear understanding of these two technologies is essential for making informed decisions about the most suitable platform for a particular project.

Accordingly, developers may take advantage of each technology's strengths to create high-quality, efficient applications that satisfy the needs of their clients and end-users.