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PhoneGap vs React Native: What are the differences?

What is PhoneGap? Easilily create mobile apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.

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.

PhoneGap and React Native belong to "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by PhoneGap are:

  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • iOS

On the other hand, React Native provides the following key features:

  • Native iOS Components
  • Asynchronous Execution
  • Touch Handling

"Javascript" is the primary reason why developers consider PhoneGap over the competitors, whereas "Learn once write everywhere" was stated as the key factor in picking React Native.

PhoneGap 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 PhoneGap with 4.15K GitHub stars and 974 GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, React Native has a broader approval, being mentioned in 719 company stacks & 809 developers stacks; compared to PhoneGap, which is listed in 86 company stacks and 36 developer stacks.

What is PhoneGap?

PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.

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.

Want advice about which of these to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Why do developers choose PhoneGap?
Why do developers choose React Native?

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What are the cons of using PhoneGap?
What are the cons of using React Native?
What companies use PhoneGap?
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What are some alternatives to PhoneGap and React Native?
Ionic
Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.
Xamarin
Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
PWA
Building a high-quality Progressive Web App has incredible benefits, making it easy to delight your users, grow engagement and increase conversions.It is intended to work on any platform that uses a standards-compliant browser.
Sencha Touch
Sencha Touch 2, a high-performance HTML5 mobile application framework, is the cornerstone of the Sencha HTML5 platform. Built for enabling world-class user experiences, Sencha Touch 2 is the only framework that enables developers to build fast and impressive apps that work on iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Kindle Fire, and more.
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Decisions about PhoneGap and React Native
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Interest over time
Reviews of PhoneGap 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 PhoneGap 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 Trading Log
Trading Log uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

We used phonegap best practices to compile and deploy our hybrid to android and ios markets.

Avatar of Tana
Tana uses React NativeReact Native

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

Avatar of William Baker
William Baker uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

To release the JavaScript game Whack-A-Mol http://www.ethertear.com/apps.html

Avatar of Smileupps
Smileupps uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

to let web apps benefit of native device features

Avatar of Eyal El.
Eyal El. uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

Our Apps are wrapped with PhoneGap 7 & 8

How much does PhoneGap cost?
How much does React Native cost?
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