NativeScript vs React native: which one to choose for JavaScript mobile development

Nowadays, having a strong mobile presence is no longer optional. Mobile devices have outgrown desktop use. And the trend toward mobile computing is transforming ways to communicate with their customers, present their ideas, and reach their business goals. But simply deciding to establish a mobile presence is just the first step because there is more than one way to reach mobile users. In this article, we are comparing Nativescript vs React Native to see which one to choose for JavaScript mobile development.

Before coming to the differences of Nativescript vs React Native, We have to take a look at the definition of Nativescript vs React Native

What is NativeScript?

Native script describes itself as an “open-source framework for building truly native mobile apps with Angular, Vue.js, TypeScript, or JavaScript.”

nativescript

With NativeScript, it’s possible to develop native mobile applications for Android and iOS from a single codebase and enjoy native-like performance with 100% direct access to all iOS and Android APIs.

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What is React Native?


First released in 2015, React Native is one year younger than Native script.

nativescript vs react native

Just like Native script, React Native can be used to create native mobile apps for Android and iOS. It combines the best parts of native development with React, which is a best-in-class JavaScript library for building user interfaces. React Native apps render native components and use the same native platform APIs as true native apps do.

NativeScript vs React Native comparison

It’s time to take a closer look at some of the key differences and similarities between Nativescript vs React Native.

Community

At the time of writing this article, React Native is far more popular than Native script. Around 300,000 people downloaded React Native this week, while Native script was downloaded only by 10,000 people. On GitHub, React Native has 80,000 stars, while Native script has less than 20,000.

The company behind NativeScript, Progress, has been doing a good job at making Native script better as a technology. But they don’t spend much money on marketing. React Native stands on the shoulders of Facebook. So even very large enterprises feel confident adopting it as their JavaScript mobile development framework of choice.

React Native developers specify the layout using Flexbox, which works the same way in React Native as it does in CSS on the web, with a few minor exceptions. The biggest difference is that styles are declared using JavaScript objects and properties, which translate back to their CSS origin.

nativescript vs react native

Both Nativescript vs React Native can be debugged using Chrome Developer Tools, also known as Chrome DevTools. React Native users can also take advantage of React Native Debugger and Reactotron. While Native script users sometimes use the Visual Studio Code Native script extension. It’s also possible to use XCode for debugging generated views of apps developed in both of the mentioned technologies.

Learning curve

Since both Nativescript vs React Native are JavaScript mobile development frameworks. Any developer that has at least some experience with JavaScript should get start with them in no time. Of course, developers who are already familiar with Angular will find it easier to use Native script because of its deep integration, router support, code generation, and more. Likewise, developers who are already familiar with React will be able to easily transition to React Native.

Both Nativescript vs React Native allow developers to write using TypeScript. It is an open-source programming language. Microsoft develops and maintains it. However, if you create a new project in React Native you’ll notice that it uses Flow as a default. While Native script uses TypeScript. Of course, you can change that if you wish.

Third-party plugins of both Nativescript vs React Native

We’ve already explained that both Nativescript vs React Native can readily access native Android and iOS APIs using JavaScript. When it comes to Native script, you can directly access all iOS and Android APIs without wasting time writing boilerplate wrappers. If you don’t want to write directly against iOS and Android APIs, you can choose from a wide selection of pre-built, open-source, Native script plugins, which are available on the Native script Marketplace.

Performance

NativeScript uses a single-threaded model. Because it provides fast access to the native APIs. While React Native uses a multi-threaded architecture, with JavaScript and the user interface running on separate threads. The biggest advantage of the React Native’s multi-threaded architecture is the process of JavaScript does not interfere with UI rendering.

However, NativeScript has one trick up its sleeve: it uses Google’s V8 on Android. React Native, on the other hand, uses Apple’s JavaScriptCore on iOS and Hermes on Android. Thanks to Google’s V8, NativeScript apps tend to have significantly better startup performance than React Native apps.

Overall, the performance of these two JavaScript mobile development frameworks- Nativescript vs React Native is more or less comparable, apart from edge cases.

Conclusion – Nativescript vs React Native

For those who have already built a web app with Angular, Vue.js or React, the choice between Nativescript vs React Native is obvious: choose NativeScript for Angular and Vue.js, and React Native for React. Those who are building a cross-platform mobile app from scratch can choose either way without making a mistake.

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