Nativescript VS React Native: Overview and Comparison

Nov 14, 2018 6:38:29 PM

 nativescript vs react native

With mobile apps becoming an integral part of users’ micro-moments, there is a spike in the number of apps downloaded from the app stores, daily. The rising demand for mobile apps has resulted into introduction of new tools, frameworks, and libraries that can help developers to pick up the pace of development. 

After a long-term monopoly of native apps, hybrid apps presented a new approach to building mobile apps.  The ‘Write Once and Run Anywhere’ fundamental of hybrid apps brought a revolutionary change in how apps for multiple platforms can be developed and maintained. But again, their drawbacks, such as webview rendering, performance-limitations instigated the need for a better solution to build cross-platform apps.

The introduction of React Native by Facebook was a disruptive approach to building native apps for cross-platforms. Following the acceptance and popularity, another framework that is making to the list of top app development frameworks is Nativescript by Progress.

Both React Native and Nativescript overcomes the limitations of hybrid apps, by enabling developers to build mobile apps with native look & feel and scalability. So, which one amongst the two frameworks- "Nativescript VS React Native" should you choose for your next app development project? Here is a detailed comparison between the two; for building intitive and scalable mobile apps.


Nativescript is an open-source framework for building native mobile apps. It uses Javascript, Angular, VueJS, and Typescript as base languages for building mobile apps with native look & feel. Using the existing web development skills (like CSS, Angular, Angular, and VueJS), cross-platform native apps for Android and iOS platform can be developed.

React Native:

React Native is a component-based UI development framework, introduced by Facebook in 2015. It’s an extension to ReactJS (a Javascript library for building web UI components) that is popular for using declarative programming language, virtual DOM, and reusable components for building an app’s interface.

What NativeScript and React Native have in Common?

  • Platform-Native UI:

Despite React Native and Nativescript using web skills for mobile app development (Javascript, Angular, VueJS, ReactJS), both the frameworks render platform-native UI, without webviews. As a result, the mobile apps have UI specific to devices and screens.

  • Cross Platform Development:

Both React Native and Nativescript allows building cross-platform native apps, i.e. a single codebase can be used for Android and iOS app development. Along with the codebase logic, cross platform enable developers to share the APIs as well.

  • Free and Open Source:

React Native by Facebook and NativeScript by Apache are open-source mobile app development frameworks. Thus, both of them are absolutely free to use.

Also Read: How Daffodil helps Zee Entertainment with 20% of cost optimization for feature releases using React Native. 

NativeScript VS React Native: Comparison

  • Development Language

The core languages for React Native app development are Javascript and React. Any developer having command over web development with React can get started with app development using React Native.

For mobile app development using Nativescript, the core development languages are Angular, Vuejs, Typescript, and Javascript. Thus, it is easy for a web developer to get started with mobile app development using Nativescript. The learning curve for both the frameworks is almost similar.

Winner: Both

  • Development Speed:

One of the prime advantages of React Native is reusable components. Every component in React Native is a piece of UI. Thus, components developed once can be used at different app screens as well. This accelerates mobile app development with React Native. With Nativescript, the concept of reusable components does not exist and thus development takes it own good time for completion.

React Native introduces the Hot Reloading concept, wherein developers don’t need to recompile the entire application to see the changes, after an update in the codebase is done. This lets the developers build an app faster.

Winner: React Native

  • Performance:

React Native uses React and Javascript for building app UI. React uses virtual DOM, which is a lightweight representation of DOM in the memory. This updates the UI components faster and keeps both the DOMs in sync.

Since Nativescript apps are built using Angular, VueJS, and Javascript, their performance are comparatively slower than those built with React Native.

Winner: React Native

ALSO READ: React VS React Native: How do these App Development Technologies Compare?

  • Third Party Plugins:

Ever since its introduction, React Native has got a great support from the developers’ community and is backed by Facebook. As a result, the technology has matured a lot and have a number of verified third party plugins and APIs.

Nativescript on the other hand allow developers to use existing plugins from npm, CocoaPods (iOS), and Gradle (Android) directly, along with hundreds of verified Nativescript plugins. While the number may be still less than React Native, but works great for developers.

Winner: Both

  • Community:

React Native has a community of millions of developers. There are popular forums like Stackoverflow where developers ask codelevel questions or get resolution to specific errors. In addition, there are popular forums online that discusses the best practices, application, and future of React Native.  

Nativescript has its own community forum where developers can get answer to their questions. In addition, since the framework uses Angular, Javascript, VueJS as core languages for development, developers have the advantage of huge communities around these technologies.

Winner: Both

Also Read: How Daffodil developed OLX CashMyCar's mobile app using React Native resulting in 47% increase in conversion rate.

NativeScript VS React Native: The Verdict

With NativeScript and React Native, web developers have the opportunity to get started with mobile app development. On comparing both the frameworks for their performance, community, development speed, and third party plugins, React Native comes out ahead of NativeScript.

Planning to build your next mobile app with React Native or Nativescript? Get in touch with our technology experts through our 30-minute consultation program.

Archna Oberoi

Written by Archna Oberoi

Content strategist by profession and blogger by passion, Archna is avid about updating herself with the freshest dose of technology and sharing them with the readers. Stay tuned here as she brings some trending stories from the tech-territory of mobile and web.