Next.js vs React Native: What are the differences?
Next.js belongs to "Frameworks (Full Stack)" category of the tech stack, while React Native can be primarily classified under "Cross-Platform Mobile Development".
Some of the features offered by Next.js are:
- Zero setup. Use the filesystem as an API
- Automatic server rendering and code splitting
On the other hand, React Native provides the following key features:
- Native iOS Components
- Asynchronous Execution
- Touch Handling
"Automatic server rendering and code splitting" is the top reason why over 9 developers like Next.js, while over 170 developers mention "Learn once write everywhere" as the leading cause for choosing React Native.
Next.js and React Native are both open source tools. It seems that React Native with 78.8K GitHub stars and 17.6K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Next.js with 38.7K GitHub stars and 4.69K GitHub forks.
Instagram, Intuit, and Yahoo! are some of the popular companies that use React Native, whereas Next.js is used by CircleCI, Avocode, and SeatGeek. React Native has a broader approval, being mentioned in 719 company stacks & 809 developers stacks; compared to Next.js, which is listed in 82 company stacks and 69 developer stacks.
What is Next.js?
What is React Native?
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For a front end dev like me, using a mobile framework for side projects makes more sense than writing a native app. I had used Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) before (because React Native didn't exist yet), and was happy with it. But once React Native came out, it made more sense to go that way instead. It's more efficient and smooth, since it doesn't have the simulation overhead, and has more access to hardware features. It feels cleaner since you don't need to deal with #WebView, using native UI widgets directly. I also considered Flutter . It looks promising, but is relatively new to the game, and React Native seems more stable for now.
I've recently switched to using Expo for initializing and developing my React Native apps. Compared to React Native CLI, it's so much easier to get set up and going. Setting up and maintaining Android Studio, Android SDK, and virtual devices used to be such a headache. Thanks to Expo, I can now test my apps directly on my Android phone, just by installing the Expo app. I still use Xcode Simulator for iOS testing, since I don't have an iPhone, but that's easy anyway. The big win for me with Expo is ease of Android testing.
The Expo SDK also provides convenient features like Facebook login,
MapView, push notifications, and many others. https://docs.expo.io/versions/v31.0.0/sdk/
I just finished a web app meant for a business that offers training programs for certain professional courses. I chose this stack to test out my skills in graphql and react. I used Node.js , GraphQL , MySQL for the #Backend utilizing Prisma as a database interface for MySQL to provide CRUD APIs and graphql-yoga as a server. For the #frontend I chose React, styled-components for styling, Next.js for routing and SSR and Apollo for data management. I really liked the outcome and I will definitely use this stack in future projects.
When we started thinking about technology options for our own Design System, we wanted to focus on two primary goals
- Build a design system site using design system components - a living prototype
- Explore new ways of working to position our technical capabilities for the future
We have a small team of developers responsible for the initial build so we knew that we couldn’t spend too much time maintaining infrastructure on the Backend. We also wanted freedom to make decisions on the Frontend with the ability to adapt over time.
For this first iteration we decided to use Node.js, React, and Next.js. Content will be managed via headless CMS in prismic.io.
- Next.js so that we can run React serverside without worrying about server code.
- prismic.io so that our content is accessible via API and our frontend is fully independent.
The capability of style customization is one a large deal breaker for frontend SDKs. To solve this, we decided to use styled-components in our SDK, which makes it easy to add support for themes on top of our existing components. This practice reduces the maintenance effort for stylings of custom components and keeps the overall codebase clean.
At IT Minds we create customized internal or #B2B web and mobile apps. I have a go to stack that I pitch to our customers consisting of 3 core areas. 1) A data core #backend . 2) A micro #serverless #backend. 3) A user client #frontend.
For the Data Core I create a backend using TypeScript Node.js and with TypeORM connecting to a PostgreSQL Exposing an action based api with Apollo GraphQL
For the micro serverless backend, which purpose is verification for authentication, autorization, logins and the likes. It is created with Next.js api pages. Using MongoDB to store essential information, caching etc.
Finally the frontend is built with React using Next.js , TypeScript and @Apollo. We create the frontend as a PWA and have a AMP landing page by default.
I've been using Django for quite a long time and in my opinion I would never switch from it. My company is currently using Django with REST framework and a part in GraphQL using Graphene. On the frontend we use Next.js and so far everything has been running quite good. I've found limitations but manage to solve it.
As someone mentioned before, if you are comfortable with Django, don't switch. There's no need since with django you can basically achieve anything. Of course this will depend on the project you want to build, but the scalability and flexibility django can offer it's just out of this world. (Don't want to sound like a fan boy haha but it really is).
I am starting to become a full-stack developer, by choosing and learning .NET Core for API Development, Angular CLI / React for UI Development, MongoDB for database, as it a NoSQL DB and Flutter / React Native for Mobile App Development. Using Postman, Markdown and Visual Studio Code for development.
React Native is great in that it reduces the overhead of writing native code based on a web app. If written in a good style, Redux part of the app can often just be copied or shared in the Native app - and it just works! What a timesaver.
The framework used to write the mobile apps in this project. I've chosen this because of the "write once run all" (ios and android) mentality.
We are not currently using this product but we have very high interest in learning and using this for mobile apps.
New features of our app are developed on React Native, so we could maintain a small dev team.