This blog serves as a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the Cordova vs React Native battle to make an informed choice for your cross-platform development needs. By carefully examining the strengths and weaknesses of each platform, the blog empowers you to determine the ideal framework for your project. Whether leveraging native capabilities or prioritizing development efficiency, the blog provides valuable insights to select the ideal solution that aligns with your unique development requirements.
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Mobile Application development has undergone a massive transformation throughout the years, with different frameworks and technologies surfacing to simplify the process and implement efficiency. Cordova and React Native are popular frameworks that have caught attention when it comes to these cross-platform developments. These frameworks help developers easily run the app on multiple platforms, including iOS and Android, with just a single codebase. However, they have different approaches and underlying technologies.
In this battle of Cordova vs React Native, read along to learn the differences, pros and cons, use cases, and more. By the end of this blog, you should be able to understand which framework might be more suitable for your mobile development needs.
Cordova vs React Native: Overview
Before delving into the core differences between the two technologies, let’s begin with a brief overview of Cordova and React Native.
Pros and Cons of Cordova
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of Cordova:
- Develop applications that run on multiple platforms saving time and effort
- Apps built with Cordova are flexible and easy to maintain
- Web technology familiarity and basic Cordova commands are enough to start your Hybrid app
- Access to a wide range of plugins to enhance your app’s functionality
- Rapid development and prototyping
- Open-source community support
- Performance limitations
- UX differences
- Limited access to device APIs
- Fragmented Tooling
Pros and Cons of React Native
Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of React Native:
- Cross-platform development with a common codebase
- Enhanced app stability and smooth feature updates
- Rich ecosystem of tools and libraries
- Easy integration with tools and libraries
- Larger app size and potential performance issues
- Requires thorough testing and debugging
- Building a cross-platform team with diverse expertise can be challenging
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Cordova vs React Native Comparison Table
Here is a quick tabular representation of the key differences between Cordova and React Native:
||Webview restricts the native user experience
||Enhanced native UX as components rendered as native UI
||iOS and Android with more code sharing with web
||iOS and Android with limited code sharing with the web
||Apps are less responsive and slow
||Apps are highly responsive and fast
||Mature and stable
||Large no of plugins negatively impacts its maturity
||Code is easily reusable across platforms
||Code reusability is often challenging
||View changes in Real-Time
||Changes are reflected in the emulator immediately
React Native vs Cordova: In-Depth Comparison
It becomes easier to add plugins as Cordova has a smaller package size and an external search engine. It has a dual API layer which ensures that the communication is secure between Cordova Plugins and WebView with improved build performance.
On the contrary, due to better-inbuilt support for imitating native functionality, React Native performs better at runtime.
On the other hand, React Native may offer similar speed compared to Cordova, but directly linking the UI components to UI views may achieve better app performance.
Cordova follows the “write once, run anywhere” approach, where developers can use the same code to build one app that works on multiple platforms
While React Native’s ”learn once, write anywhere approach” allows developers to learn and use components that represent native components for different operating systems and devices.
Cordova is a development framework that helps developers with significant knowledge and the tools to create, debug and maintain applications. It has great documentation, which is detailed for a smooth development experience.
While React Native does not offer the same level of documentation as Cordova initially. Although, it has an impressive support community of developers that is working constantly working to help developers to succeed.
On the other hand, React Native is a more popular and preferred choice for mobile app development due to its numerous advantages over Cordova. It offers more efficient development skills.
Cordova is better at supporting older versions of mobile systems, ensuring the apps run on a broader range of devices.
In contrast, React Native has less support for older versions of systems which means that some older devices may be unable to run the apps smoothly.
When it comes to debugging, Cordova vs React Native presents distinct approaches. Cordova does not have built-in debugging tools. However, you can debug Cordova apps using Safari’s Web Inspector for iOS and Chrome Dev Tools for Android. These tools assist in identifying and resolving the issues associated with Cordova apps.
When we compare both frameworks in the Cordova vs React race, comparing the native experiences with both frameworks is crucial. Here Cordova lags as it has a WebView-based approach, while React Native provides a seamless native user experience with easy access to native controls and components.
Both Cordova and React Native utilize a similar command Line Interface. They offer unique templates and simulated development environments that allow real-time device integration. Cordova allows developers to customize the development workflow according to their requirements easily.
While React Native simplifies the workflow by automatically updating changes made to the React components, which ensures that the development is smooth.
Extensibility and Stability
When you choose Cordova, you become a part of a thriving and engaged community of developers. This community offers a wide range of plugin or introduce new features with a native feel.
Similarly, choosing React Native allows you to leverage the extensive library of plugins available through the NPM platform. It also connects your company with one of the largest growing communities, providing ample resources.
And while you are at scrutinizing the comparison between the two frameworks, read more to find out why React Native for the web is a reality too good to be true.
Cordova vs React Native: When To Use What?
While both frameworks have advantages and disadvantages, let’s see when you should choose which framework for your web app development.
When to Choose Cordova?
- When you need a quick prototype or create apps with simple basic features
- When you have a limited budget, and cost-effectiveness is a priority
- When you need a wide range of plugins and native-user experience for your app
- For cross-platform apps that do not demand high-performance native-like user experiences.
When to Choose React Native?
- When you need an app with high performance and native-user experience
- For projects that require frequent updates and additions in the features
- For apps with complex user interactions and real-time controlled situations
- When you want to have a rich ecosystem of libraries and tools for effective development
- For consumer-facing apps with a user-friendly interface.
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Popular Apps Built With Cordova And React Native
Here are the popular apps built using Cordova and React Native:
Apps Built Using Cordova:
It is a suite of creative software and services for professionals. It includes photo editing, video editing, design, and more apps. The mobile apps in the suite are built using Cordova, which allows them to build once and deploy on multiple platforms.
It is a news reader app that aggregates articles from various sources of apps. It is available on Android, iOS, and the web. Flipboard also benefits from Cordova’s native container, which allows the app to access the device’s features directly, such as the camera, GPS, and accelerometer. It ensures that Flipboard has a native feel on all platforms.
Fortune Builders is a financial education platform that offers courses and resources to help people learn how to invest. Cordova has played an essential role in the app’s development process, ensuring cross-platform compatibility and access to native device features. This excellent choice of framework enabled FortuneBuilders to swiftly implement changes, allowing for quicker iterations and updates, resulting in offering users a responsive and up-to-date app.
Goodreads is a social media platform for book lovers. It allows users to track their reading, discover new books, and connect with other readers. By developing a single codebase compatible with iOS, Android, and various other platforms, Cordova unlocked a broad user base that expanded the app’s reach. Cordova’s ability to tap into native device features with a beautiful user experience has allowed readers to easily interact with their devices while browsing, tracking, and discovering new books.
Apps Built Using React Native:
Instagram is another social media giant that uses React Native for certain parts of its app, which shows how feature-rich and visually appealing interfaces are created.
Facebook was initially developed using React Native. It shows the ability of the framework to develop a seamless user experience on both iOS and Android devices.
Uber Eats, the food delivery service by Uber, leverages React Native to power its mobile app, enabling users to order food from various restaurants easily.
Bloomberg is a leading financial news and data provider that use React Native to offer a feature-rich mobile app for staying up to date with global financial markets.
Now that you have learned about the popular apps built by React Native, read more to discover why use React Native for cross-platform App development.
In the Cordova vs React Native battle, both frameworks have different approaches to developing mobile apps. While React Native stands out for its ability to deliver high-performance, truly native apps with appealing user interfaces, Cordova’s strength lies in rapid development capabilities and the benefit of using existing web development skills to create cross-platform apps. However, you should always consider your project’s needs, team expertise, desired time-to-market, and long-term scalability to make the best decision for your mobile app development.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Cordova puts your web app inside a container called “Web View,” which lets your app use the device features. When users open your app, it loads the web app inside the WebView, making it work on their device.
React Native offers better performance compared to Cordova. Smoother animations and faster interactions are achieved using native components in React Native. While Cordova is web-based and might experience performance issues running inside a WebView.
Cordova apps might face limitations in creating a native app as they rely on HTML/CSS for UI elements which may not be the perfect choice for the native look and feel. While React Native provides the native UI components, ensuring a more native-like user experience.