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Next.js vs React Native: What are the differences?

What is Next.js? *A small framework for server-rendered universal JavaScript apps *. Next.js is a minimalistic framework for server-rendered React applications.

What is React Native? A framework for building native apps with React. React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.

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
  • Only JavaScript. Everything is a function
  • 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?

Next.js is a minimalistic framework for server-rendered React applications.

What is React Native?

React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
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    What are some alternatives to Next.js and React Native?
    Create React App
    Create React apps with no build configuration.
    Gatsby
    Gatsby lets you build blazing fast sites with your data, whatever the source. Liberate your sites from legacy CMSs and fly into the future.
    Hexo
    Hexo is a fast, simple and powerful blog framework. It parses your posts with Markdown or other render engine and generates static files with the beautiful theme. All of these just take seconds.
    LoopBack
    A highly-extensible, open-source Node.js framework that enables you to create dynamic end-to-end REST APIs with little or no coding. Connect to multiple data sources, write business logic in Node.js, glue on top of your existing services and data, connect using JS, iOS & Android SDKs.
    Node.js
    Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model that makes it lightweight and efficient, perfect for data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.
    See all alternatives
    Decisions about Next.js and React Native
    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sr. Software Engineer at StackShare · | 6 upvotes · 58.3K views
    Flutter
    Flutter
    React Native
    React Native
    PhoneGap
    PhoneGap
    Apache Cordova
    Apache Cordova
    #JavaScript
    #MobileFrameworks
    #NativeApps

    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.

    MobileFrameworks #JavaScript NativeApps

    See more
    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sr. Software Engineer at StackShare · | 6 upvotes · 73.7K views
    Android SDK
    Android SDK
    Android Studio
    Android Studio
    React Native
    React Native
    Xcode
    Xcode
    Expo
    Expo

    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/

    See more
    Apache Cordova
    Apache Cordova
    redux-saga
    redux-saga
    React Native
    React Native
    AngularJS
    AngularJS
    Redux
    Redux
    React
    React
    #JavascriptMvcFrameworks

    We had contemplated a long time which #JavascriptMvcFrameworks to use, React and React Native vs AngularJS and Apache Cordova in both web and mobile. Eventually we chose react over angular since it was quicker to learn, less code for simple apps and quicker integration of third party javascript modules. for the full MVC we added Redux.js for state management and redux-saga for async calls and logic. since we also have mobile app along with the web, we can shere logic and model between web and mobile.

    See more
    Divine Bawa
    Divine Bawa
    at PayHub Ghana Limited · | 13 upvotes · 102.1K views
    Apollo
    Apollo
    Next.js
    Next.js
    styled-components
    styled-components
    React
    React
    graphql-yoga
    graphql-yoga
    Prisma
    Prisma
    MySQL
    MySQL
    GraphQL
    GraphQL
    Node.js
    Node.js

    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.

    See more
    David Ritsema
    David Ritsema
    Frontend Architect at Herman Miller · | 7 upvotes · 20K views
    atHerman MillerHerman Miller
    prismic.io
    prismic.io
    Next.js
    Next.js
    React
    React
    Node.js
    Node.js

    When we started thinking about technology options for our own Design System, we wanted to focus on two primary goals

    1. Build a design system site using design system components - a living prototype
    2. 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.

    1. Next.js so that we can run React serverside without worrying about server code.
    2. prismic.io so that our content is accessible via API and our frontend is fully independent.
    See more
    Vishal Narkhede
    Vishal Narkhede
    Javascript Developer at getStream.io · | 19 upvotes · 87.9K views
    atStreamStream
    Babel
    Babel
    styled-components
    styled-components
    Expo
    Expo
    JavaScript
    JavaScript
    Chat by Stream
    Chat by Stream
    React Native
    React Native
    Stream
    Stream

    Recently, the team at Stream published a React Native SDK for our new Chat by Stream product. React Native brings the power of JavaScript to the world of mobile development, making it easy to develop apps for multiple platforms. We decided to publish two different endpoints for the SDK – Expo and React Native (non-expo), to avoid the hurdle and setup of using the Expo library in React Native only projects on the consumer side.

    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.

    For module bundling, we decided to go with Rollup.js instead of Webpack due to its simplicity and performance in the area of library/module providers. We are using Babel for transpiling code, enabling our team to use JavaScript's next-generation features. Additionally, we are using the React Styleguidist component documentation, which makes documenting the React Native code a breeze.

    See more
    Gustavo Muñoz
    Gustavo Muñoz
    Web UI Developer at Globant · | 6 upvotes · 26.1K views
    JavaScript
    JavaScript
    Visual Studio Code
    Visual Studio Code
    Android Studio
    Android Studio
    Dart
    Dart
    React Native
    React Native
    React
    React
    Flutter
    Flutter
    #Flare

    In my modest opinion, Flutter is the future of mobile development. The framework is as important to mobile as React is to the web. And seeing that React Native does not finish taking off, I am focusing all my efforts on learning Flutter and Dart. The ecosystem is amazing. The community is crazy about Flutter. There are enough resources to learn and enjoy the framework, and the tools developed to work with it are amazing. Android Studio or Visual Studio Code has incredible plugins and Dart is a pretty straight forward and easy-to-learn language, even more, if you came from JavaScript. I admit it. I'm in love with Flutter. When you are not a designer, having a framework focused on design an pretty things is a must. And counting with tools like #flare for animations makes everything easier. It is so amazing that I wish I had a big mobile project right now at work just to use Flutter.

    See more
    Martin Johannesson
    Martin Johannesson
    Senior Software Developer at IT Minds · | 10 upvotes · 15.5K views
    atIT MindsIT Minds
    AMP
    AMP
    PWA
    PWA
    React
    React
    MongoDB
    MongoDB
    Next.js
    Next.js
    GraphQL
    GraphQL
    Apollo
    Apollo
    PostgreSQL
    PostgreSQL
    TypeORM
    TypeORM
    Node.js
    Node.js
    TypeScript
    TypeScript
    #B2B
    #Backend
    #Serverless

    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.

    See more
    Michael Mota
    Michael Mota
    CEO & Founder at AlterEstate · | 4 upvotes · 948 views
    Next.js
    Next.js
    Graphene
    Graphene
    GraphQL
    GraphQL
    Django
    Django

    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).

    See more
    Vaibhav Taunk
    Vaibhav Taunk
    Team Lead at Technovert · | 24 upvotes · 63.2K views
    Visual Studio Code
    Visual Studio Code
    Markdown
    Markdown
    Postman
    Postman
    React Native
    React Native
    Flutter
    Flutter
    MongoDB
    MongoDB
    React
    React
    Angular CLI
    Angular CLI
    .NET Core
    .NET Core

    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.

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Next.js and React Native
    Avatar of tonyxiao
    Economics
    Review ofReact NativeReact Native

    Native iOS developer here. One of the most important thing React Native managed to accomplish is that it created a better single-platform development experience than the platform owner themselves did. It's faster and easier to develop a react native app than it is to develop an iOS app. And remember that react native is at the end of the day still native. So native views, native components, native modules. You get to pick and choose how much you want to be in JavaScript and how much you want to be in native.

    How developers use Next.js and React Native
    Avatar of Kurzor, s.r.o.
    Kurzor, s.r.o. uses React NativeReact Native

    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.

    Avatar of Ryan VanBelkum
    Ryan VanBelkum uses React NativeReact Native

    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.

    Avatar of AmericanBibleSociety
    AmericanBibleSociety uses React NativeReact Native

    We are not currently using this product but we have very high interest in learning and using this for mobile apps.

    Avatar of JINJA Ltd.
    JINJA Ltd. uses React NativeReact Native

    New features of our app are developed on React Native, so we could maintain a small dev team.

    Avatar of Tana
    Tana uses React NativeReact Native

    100% of our mobile codebase is shared between iOS and Android. Using along with TypeScript.

    How much does Next.js cost?
    How much does React Native cost?
    Pricing unavailable
    Pricing unavailable
    News about Next.js
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