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Ionic Vs. React Native – Which Framework Is Better for Cross-Platform Mobile App Development?

Yes, you read it correct. We are speaking about Native Cross-platform Mobile App Development. Now, you do not need to bang your head in determining whether to opt for Native or for cross-platform mobile app development. What you need is a consolidation of both in one mobile app offering duel benefits.

In this blog, we will compare top two cross-platform mobile app development frameworks – React Native and Ionic. We will evaluate them on various specifications and try to find out specialties, limitations, and scope of these frameworks.

Detailed Comparison: Ionic vs. React Native

React Native Vs. Ionic

Based on Language Stack

React Native – Engineered with JavaScript and React.JS

Facebook used JavaScript – one of the dominant and high-level dynamic programming languages and merged it with the benefits of React.JS (Web Framework) to develop React Native. Definitely an intelligent move. According to the latest Stack Overflow Survey, about 66.7 percent of developers are already using JavaScript in their work. Thus, it won’t be troublesome to find a developer for developing React Native Apps as these developers will be either skilled to start coding or will have a shorter learning curve.

One of the strongest points making React Native the widely used and widely preferred cross-platform app development framework is because it allows developers to write modules in Objective-C, Swift, or Java Language whenever they need. Additionally, due to the native modules and libraries in React Native Apps, it becomes easier to handle computationally heavy programs like image editing or video processing.

Ionic – Superset of JavaScript – TypeScript

The Ionic framework is developed using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript for writing and running the application; however, it requires a Cordova wrapper to access the native features and native platform controllers. The core of the Ionic framework is based on AngularJS a JavaScript Framework and is written with SaaS in mind.

The main programing language of Ionic is TypeScript – recognized as a superset of JavaScript complied to the plain JavaScript. The quality of the code in Ionic is dramatically increased due to its inbuilt capability to identify and mitigate errors at the time of writing code. Remember, it is optional to use TypeScript as you are able to build the application using simple JavaScript.

Based on Performance and Running Code

React Native – Interpretation with the Native APIs

By interpreting code components directly to the native APIs, cross-platform mobile apps developed using React Native achieve performance close to native applications. In addition to that, it also makes it possible to use native iOS and Android modules written using Objective-C and Java. However, these modules can’t be reused on more than one platform as they are specifically designed to elevate performance in complicated operations like video editing and image processing. Developers can utilize the rest of a codebase across platforms (about 80 to 90% of the code written in JavaScript is reusable). Nevertheless, developers have the option to use native libraries if they intend to optimize the app performance. Remember, in React Native JIT Compilation is used for Android and for iOS, it interprets the JavaScript code.

Ionic – Rendering through Web Technologies

As Ionic uses web technologies for rendering purposes, it reduces the speed so the application built with Ionic fails to mimic native-like app performance. Additionally, no use of native components is possible in Ionic so native behavior can be recreated. Ionic Developers need a native Wrapper Cordova for connecting the mobile app with the native APIs, so it could adapt the behavior of the underlying operating system.

Fast testing and consistently running in a browser are probably the most elegant features of Ionic. Nevertheless, many pre-made and pre-styled components help in streamlining the overall mobile app development lifecycle. Ionic uses JIT compilation for Android and a default platform browser – WKWebView for iOS. The bottom line, it is impossible for React Native to achieve performance that could be achieved by the complex and rich applications developed using React Native.

Based on GUI (Graphical User Interface)

Cross-Platform-Mobile-App-Development-Framework

React Native – Uses React.JS Libraries and Interacts with Native iOS/Android Controllers

React native is able to offer app users experience equivalent to native because of its modules interacting directly with native Android and iOS controllers. In addition to that, the capability of React Native to utilize React.JS Library with extensive UI components further helps in streamlining the process of User Interface Development. Thus, React Native developers get to work faster as they have access to a divergent bundle of UI components like buttons, modules, and sliders.

Ionic – Cordova Helps in Imitating Native Behavior

Ionic renders everything through HTML, CSS without interacting with any of the native controllers. However, it applied Cordova, which then helps in imitating the native-like mobile behavior. Additionally, the components in AngularJS bundled together in the framework further help Ionic in making it look like the native. The recent edition of Ionic comes with a pre-embedded UI element that was absent before on the web but was available only with Native SDKs on iOS and Android platforms.

Based on Developer Community

React Native

React Native is the most starred framework on Github. It has 59.8 thousand stars. Recently, StackOverflow technology overview confirmed that the React Native is the most loved and widely used cross-platform mobile app development framework. As the React Native developer community is growing rapidly, the number of experienced engineers is also growing at the same speed. By being a part of this growing global community, a React Native developer can easily find answers to his questions and can easily get access to a huge number of third-party libraries created by the community members.

Ionic

The online Ionic community is growing steadily since it has been launched and the 2017 Ionic Developer Survey exemplifies that about 80% of the developers in the community are experienced. A dedicated Q&A forum is the specialty of the Ionic community that helps new developers to ask their queries as questions and in response get answers or advice. Apart from that, it boasts a ‘Slack Channel’ representing Slack community for Ionic developers all over the world to interact and collaborate.

Based on Price Structure

React Native

An Open Source project completely free and easily available for use along with all of its libraries.

Ionic

Ionic is also an open source program at the time of registering and commencing development. However, it has a companion platform called Ionic Pro offered in three variants – Developers, Teams, and Businesses. The package is available at a monthly subscription ranging from $29 to $199 and offers more days to track error history along with collaboration tools making it easier to manage Ionic development taking place at a larger scale with numerous teams.

Final Thoughts

What framework you will be using to build your mobile app is a matter of personal preference and convenience. Subsequently, your team, developers, and user requirements matter a lot while taking a decision. Remember, both – React Native and Ionic have different specialties to do different things, but believe it whatever they are doing, both frameworks do it perfectly right.

Of course, the best advice would be to test each of these frameworks and decide the appropriate one suitable to develop your cross-platform mobile app. We are a leading cross-platform mobile app development company with a team of highly experienced and skilled React Native and Ionic developers ready to develop a cross-platform mobile app in your chosen framework.

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Contact us, If you need any assistance in Ionic or React Native Cross-platform mobile app development.

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