Go Native with ReactNative and NativeScript
Go Native with ReactNative and NativeScript


The use of mobile apps had grown phenomenally with an increasing competition between iOS and Android. As such, making humans love smartphones so much – to play games, shop, access news, and info, go live on social media platforms or any other functions. In fact, this is one reason behind why Australians have one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world.


But behind the scene, developing mobile apps is hard. First off, we want truly the best solution for building cross-platform native applications, while others become – which of these platforms should I choose to target multiple mobile operating systems (such as iOS and Android) that could be seen using a language which we already know. In this case, our Engineering team was confronted with a dilemma. One thing – we going to go multiplatform with major revolution like updates, ease of linking and discoverability. We also wanted to offer the native feel to work all without a network connection and what a web page could offer because these days every website is designed for mobile or may be even mobile first.


In this case of Codingmart, we had two contenders came up – React Native and NativeScript, which are the queens of the frontend development. Both of which allows developers to build truly native applications using JavaScript – means you can have the absolute speed and power of an app.


Cross-platform mobile apps are developed with React Native and NativeScript, using an intermediate language like JavaScript. Typically, cross-platform apps are different from your hybrid apps, be as it may HTML5. They incorporate a mix of mobile app concept and native app.


This article’s purpose is not to prove that one is better that the other, but rather to list some amazing works of both (NativeScritp and React Native) to feel their difference. Although I do not hold the taste of future, but still I can give you my opinion, based on experiencing new technologies as well as developing with them according to latest trends.


Talking about React Native

I’d previously posted an article for React Native world, and giving a couple of introduction while ended up learning this new platform. While there is a good overview to React Native – it is based on Facebook’s React framework and that’s a quite a bit popularity.


React Native offer more than just a simple and fast way to cross-platform development to:

  • Build interfaces

  • Manage application logics

  • Live to reload of an application without recompiling, and lot more


As the result, you can find lots of quality React Native apps in App store and Play store. So, I think React web development to build truly native apps is a massive improvement on multi-platform development since they all.


Architecture: Since React Native is an extension to React.JS, they follow the same concept for updating UI (virtual DOM). The very good thing about React Native will be - keeping the UI thread untouched and calculating every change in the background thread. This means that you have a really responsive UI. But on the negative side, when your component makes a lot of calls to the native OS, there are possibilities for your app to get slower.

Goal: Learn Once, Write Everywhere is better because every platform is different from each other. In my point of view, React Native has an efficient goal than NativeScript.

JavaScript engine used to execute the app code: The way this framework leverage JavaScript engine to execute JS code at runtime is by using JavaScriptCore both on iOS and Android.

Use of Standards: I would say – it is also important to use standards while choosing the right framework for your development. In accordance with this, ReactNative uses standards-compliant ECMA Script code for code reuse between mobile apps and web app.

User Interface declaration: ReactNative has declarative syntax for describing the UI of an app, by using the notation for inlining the UI declaration within a single file.

Language support: In terms of language, it has again been working similar to NativeScript. React Native supports Babel so as to use the latest JavaScript.

Developer experience and Debugging: Since it all stands up with developing manner, ReactNative offers hot reload functionality to see all the updates without having to reload the app. Moreover, you can make use of any IDE, being your entire app stacks in JavaScript.

Performance: There won’t be a drastic difference in terms of performance among these two frameworks. The real native apps have an exceptional performance on Android and iOS. But along the time, you will find ReactNative having a slightly faster loading time on Android compared to the other.


Talking about NativeScript

Telerik’s NativeScript has been around for a while and is done by big players. I think that it’s still the better way to make mobile apps that are more tempting. Mostly, it’s because of what is given down:


Architecture: Here the team takes it to a classic approach like Android, where the UI thread will execute the UI. This approach holds a simpler way of developing apps because you will have the access to your UI tree of an application. Also, a tremendous benefit in providing high-performance access to 100% of native platform APIs through JavaScript. This allows for CSS and JavaScript to run much more smoothly.

The other benefit of NativeScript is that, which is backed by google, such that when you use it you will feel at home if you are an Angular developer.

Goal: NativeScript’s goal specifies that you can share 100% of the code between iOS and Android.

JavaScript engine used to execute the app code: For NativeScript, JavaScriptCore is been used on iOS and V8 on Android.

Use of Standards: If you know, NativeScript also uses standards-compliant ECMA Script code as well standard-compliant CSS declaration for describing animation using CSS keyframes and a much bigger code reuse story between the web app and mobile app.

User Interface declaration: Again, NativeScript builds the UI with code or else through a separate file for UI implementation. Such that, a very classic MVC/MVVM approach is been followed.

Language support: NativeScript is being more mature – which means not only it uses the modern JavaScript, but also has a tight integration with TypeScript. Additionally, this integrates with Angular 2 and boost the productivity, meanwhile, renders a long-term support for your application.

Developer experience and Debugging: NaitveScript as well is promoted to offer developer application in a fast manner as such like ReactNative. In most of the cases, they offer the hot reload functionality for immediate updates. Lately, they began to promote Visual Studio Code as the recommended editor.

Performance: NativeScript still satisfies a good performance and a huge benefit to the framework. Also, they show a huge improvement from Phonegap


Some Real Apps

There are many apps based on ReactNative and NativeScript, if you are interested in looking into some of them, then here is the link for real apps:

For NativeScript

For ReactNative


Bottom Line

While I didn’t set out to claim which is the best – it is a matter of personal taste, but it’s a fairly an ambitious way to think you’re on the right track while building your mobile app.


At the end of the day the major decision making is based on your skills, so if you have to React skill, then you can use ReactNative or else if you are an Angular developer, then you will find NativeScript more familiar and easy to use. And in this case as a developer, making choices between different technology can eventually create greater chances of success in the end.


This post came somewhere near covering all the higher-level goals and technical difference or details, so please ping us if there’s anything else that you’d like to know about ReactNative and NativeScript. And of course, to work with these frameworks, I invite you to reach us on -  code@codingmart.com

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