Choosing between two hybrid app development frameworks may not be as easy as it may sound. Even top app development companies can sometimes get into dilemma while choosing one over the other. As a developer you might have to consider several factors before deciding which works better for you.

This time we have taken Ionic and React Native to see which one could come across as a suitable option for developing better cross platform apps.

Let us take them individually, see what they are, and weigh their pros and cons to get a better understanding.

Here we go.

Ionic

ionic app developers

Based on HTML5 programming language, Ionic is an open source, cross-platform framework used to develop hybrid mobile apps. Since the HTML5 framework relies on Cordova and PhoneGap, Ionic needs both of them. Bear in mind that neither Cordova is the only framework used in developing hybrid apps, nor Ionic is the only framework that uses Cordova.

Ionic has the structure and design of AngularJS, where it also takes design language inspiration from Material Design, Android and iOS. To begin with, if you are familiar with AngularJS you will be comfortable working in Ionic.

Ionic is fairly easy to learn and execute, however there are some restrictions on the native features of the device. It is TypeScript ready, means you can use current AngularJS 2 components as well. Ionic comes with pre-developed, styled components making easier for developers in creating UI for apps. Though the UI is not native, it can give a Native UI appearance.

Users of Ionic need to download plugins to access native functionalities. For example, if you want to use Google Maps, you need to download Cordova plugins.

Pros

  • Fast development-testing cycle
  • Easy and efficient creation of default mobile app UI functionalities
  • Overall Ionic is easy to learn and work with
  • It is an independent platform, be it working with HTML, CSS, JS or AngularJS
  • Can use TypeScript to develop applications for all platforms
  • You can access native functionalities of your user’s devices using the plugin system
  • Works on iOS UIWebView or Android Webview

Cons

  • Since you have to write the HTML code in your Android activities it is slower in comparison to React Native.
  • Performance issues could arise if you need to use a lot of callbacks to the native code
  • Same UI look in all devices can be visually monotonous, and could be a turn off to users

React Native

react app development

Firstly, any application built using React Native is a real native app and not hybrid or HTML5 app. React Native is a JavaScript library that is used to develop UI. React is developed by Facebook and is managed by a community of expert React Native Developers. It also helps developers to reuse the code already used in any iOS and Android apps.

Unlike Ionic, React demands more effort to learn and implement, but you can produce a higher quality app. Since it is not a browser-based app like Ionic’s PhoneGap or Cordova, the implementation is faster and runs quickly in mobile devices.

React Native is an extension of React.js, and uses same principles (like virtual DOM) for updating the UI. The UI changes incorporated in the background is applied in batches. The advantage is that it gives a responsive UI, so you needn’t touch it. And the disadvantage is that it is slow in communicating with the underlying native OS.

Pros

  • Same code base can be used to develop applications for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.
  • Offers better performance than Ionic 2 as processing of hardware functionalities is by specific program and not by Cordova
  • Easy to maintain, especially while handling large projects as it follows stricter design patterns and paradigms
  • Gives a native app feel and is more stable

Cons

  • Converting HTML code to native code can be challenging, and knowledge of ObjC/Swift becomes a need to overcome this challenge
  • Using JavaScript can give an outdated feel, especially if the developer is from the TypeScript background
  • Not suitable to for projects which are low on time and budget
  • React Native comes across as a better choice while building a much ‘serious’ kind of an app where performance becomes prime

Ionic and React Native – a comparision chart

Final thoughts

This article is not intended to gauge which is best, instead it is an attempt to show which offers what, so their features can act as deciding factors to help you forster a plan. It is important to bear in mind that it entirely depends upon the individual, and the way they assess the credibilities of the both, in drawing to a conclusion as to which framework would suit their need. The upshot is that it is in the developers’ hands to decide which would work better for them.

Ideaplunge is one of the fastest-growing technology providers around. Within a short span of time, we grew to be one of the best mobile app development companies in Bangalore. We work as a ‘co-creation’ partner for Startups and Fortune 500 companies, offering services such as Mobile app development, UI/UX designing, Dashboards, CMS and Analytics. We cater to top industries such as Retail, Healthcare, Social, Fashion and Lifestyle. And today, we have satisfied clients in over 5 countries around the globe.

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