NativeScript vs React Native – The Race is On

Cross-platform development has always been complicated, and developers often end up sacrificing performance in order to accommodate other factors like... View Article

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Cross-platform development has always been complicated, and developers often end up sacrificing performance in order to accommodate other factors like lower development costs and shorter development and launch cycles. When frameworks such as React Native or Native Script became mainstream, the game changed and cross-platform development became easier. Developers are now able to build native-like apps using a single code base, including the web version of the same app. Apps developed in React Native or in Native Script are high quality with a native feel and functionality, without blowing up the cost of app development. But as a mobile app developer, which framework will you pick – React Native or Native Script.

Let’s compare the two and figure out if there’s a clear winner in the Native Script vs React Native contest.

Popularity

React Native is currently more popular for cross-platform development and React Native developers are more in demand. React Native easily ranks over other cross-platform development frameworks like Xamarin, Flutter, Ionic, and even Native Script. This does not mean that React Native is better just by virtue of being more popular. But since it was introduced by Facebook, React Native development services gained faster traction among app developers. There are several advantages that come with React Native’s immense popularity.

NativeScript vs React Native – The Race is On

Developer Community

React Native’s popularity means that it has a more active development community with higher numbers of active contributors. According to Stack Overflow, there are 10 times more React Native developers on the site that Native Script. This massive React Native developer community maintains a vast repository of third-party libraries and plugins. It is also easier to hire React Native developers, and that too experienced ones, because of the sheer number of React Native developers as compared to Native Script developers. This is very important for companies looking to rapidly start a React Native app development project and will also reduce React Native app development cost.

Plugin Marketplace

In this aspect, React Native scores lower than Native Script, because the latter has an official marketplace where Native Script developers can go for updated and expanded plugins. React Native developers need to depend on third-party plugins and libraries developed by its vast community of contributors, which means that these tools and plug-ins could easily get outdated. 

Native API Integration

React Native already has a basic set of APIs giving React Native developers ready access to native device functionalities, because of third-party API modules available in large numbers. However, for React Native app development requiring any unsupported functionality, React Native app developers will need to write the API on their own. Native Script development has a very different approach to APIs where instead of API bridges the framework add the iOS and Android APIs to the JavaScript system itself. This means that no platform-specific language skill is required and including native APIs is easier. 

Performance

In the Native Script vs React Native game, the performance of both is comparable albeit with some differences that come in depending on the kind of app being developed, the device and the version of the framework being used. However, React Native development services are more in demand because some developers feel that Native Script when compared with React Native, could be slow at times.

Code Sharing

Code sharing is also comparable between React Native and Native Script, and apps written in either of these frameworks can share even 90% of the code base owing to the less custom-styled and complex app structure. React Native and Native Script both have several native components that compile to native-default styles. However, Native Script allows the mobile app developer to write once and run everywhere, while React Native requires the developer to style components for each platform. 

Learning Curve

When developers are using Native Script they can use JavaScript, AngularJS and Type Script to create apps, with the option of using a declarative coding style where needed. The developer can then switch to another development language if they are not happy with another feature. While in case of React Native, mobile app developers can only use JavaScript for coding.

Application Size

For cross-platform app development that involves complex business logic then React Native is a better choice because React Native is lighter while apps developed in Native Script can be heavy and large in size.

Choose React Native when:

  • You want to create high-performance cross-platform native apps 
  • You prefer native interfaces for native performances
  • You don’t want to use any third-party plugins, but access hardware functionalities for specific platforms

Choose Native Script when:

  • JavaScript or Typescript is available everywhere
  • When the mobile app developer prefers Angular for its web components
  • When you want native API access with a native experience

Native Script vs React Native – Is there a clear winner?

The answer, as is obvious from the comparison above, is that there is no clear winner. What you pick for your mobile software development ultimately depends on your requirements and on the availability of reliable and experienced React Native developers or Native Script developers. When choosing between Native Script and React Native, be open to the idea that your mobile app developers might need some native-language tweaks to maximize the performance and enhance the user experience of the mobile apps depending on the platform.

React Native offers better performance and a larger list of available React Native mobile app developers. Native Script, on the other hand, allows developers to access native APIs and third-party libraries, offering a lot of flexibility. If you have an app idea and are unable to decide between Native Script vs React Native, then we will be happy to help you. Digifutura is a top React Native development company and can guide you throughout the framework selection and app development process.

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Published Date: November 11, 2019

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