Hybrid vs React Native Mobile Apps

Hybrid vs React Native Mobile Apps

Hybrid vs React Native Mobile Apps
Hybrid applications are web applications (or web pages) in the native browser, such as UIWebView in iOS and WebView in Android (not Safari or Chrome). Hybrid apps are developed using HTML, CSS and Javascript, and then wrapped in a native application using platforms like Cordova.

React Native combines native application development with JavaScript UI development. While computationally heavy features can be implemented with native modules for iOS and Android, the rest of the code can be written with JavaScript and shared across platforms.

Unlike PhoneGap and Cordova cross-platform tools, React Native doesn’t use WebView, a mobile engine that wraps code. Instead, it provides access to native mobile controllers which allows for achieving native look and feel to apps.


FeaturesReact NativeHybrid
The Language stackReact Native is based on the Javascript framework React and, thus, uses Javascript code that resembles HTML but essentially isn’t—they call it JSX. With that, the display logic is blended in with the business logic.Hybrid is a framework based on Angular, a Javascript framework. It uses HTML templates for its views. It is in line with the Mode-View-Controller pattern as views and logic are clearly separated.
Testing during developmentWith React Native you see the result of your modifications as you make them. No need to recompile, rebuild, etc.; the result is instant in an emulator or a real device. Pretty amazing!You can instantly preview your app in your browser and mobile devices. It instantly refreshes as you make changes to your application.
Plugins and CommunityA lot of plugins are already available on NPM for React Native. There’s even a plugin to use PhoneGap/Cordova plugins, which means that you instantly inherit the hundreds of mature plugins from the other community.PhoneGap and Cordova have been around for a while so there is a high chance that a plugin already exists to expose the native feature you need in your webview. They also have a marketplace where developers sell and offer Ionic plugins.
Developer experienceReact Native renders native views, no Webview here. This means, all the browser compatibility issues go away. You can focus on more important things rather than wasting hours or days fixing bugs.Building a hybrid app means, you automatically inherit all the issues that the web has. All those pesky bugs which only appear in one browser, all those different styles working differently across different browsers, believe me, it’s hard, really hard.
User experienceSince all views are Native, the performance will be much better, and you get the Native feel with super smooth animations, just how you want it to be. And since React Native is just a library bundled with your app.A major problem with hybrid apps is performance. The web was originally built for web pages, not the complex apps we make today. On high-end phones, a hybrid app is probably going to run just fine, though not as smooth as you would want, but it’s OK. Things get worse with low-end phones, though, and there are tons of people with low-end phones.

There are so many hybrid mobile frameworks such as Ionic, NativeScript, React Native, Xamarin, PhoneGap etc. We decided to compare native apps with top 2 hybrid frameworks — Ionic and React Native.

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