Mobile app development can be costly, much more than a functional website. And as mobile technologies are evolving, experts are trying to figure out ways to reduce this cost.
Cross-platform application frameworks are a step towards this motive. Before the introduction of these, businesses had to make different versions of mobile app. A version each for iOS and Android.
Hiring experts of two different technologies can be too costly. And not to mention the maintenance cost of each app.
React Native and Ionic are two of the popular cross-platform app development platforms going around.
In 2020, React native was the most popular mobile app framework used by developers. Ionics was fourth on the list. However, as the two platforms are being continuously improved, the race is still on.
Ionics vs React Native has become a hot debate in the developers’ community.
In this article, I’m going to compare the two in different aspects. I’m not going to be biased, nor am I going to reach a final verdict. The final decision will be yours.
So, let’s get started!
React Native and Ionic are two different frameworks, thus they have different functionalities.
On the other hand, Ionic is based on Cordova that uses a Webview component (UIWebView on iOS and WebView on Android) or a chromeless browser view.
The WebView components use an HTML layout engine to render HTML/CSS user interface.
2. Technology Stack
React Native uses both React because both frameworks are open-sourced and products of the same company, Facebook.
If we talk about the technology stack of Ionic, you can use Angular, Vue, or even React to build Ionic apps. That makes it a little more flexible than React Native.
The latest release of Ionic 4 allows you to use Ionic even with any web development framework.
In this regard, developers might consider Ionic a better option — especially after the recent update. It has opened up a huge amount of flexibility in building Ionic apps.
Even web developers can learn and use this framework to develop Ionic apps.
3. Learning Curve
The learning curve of different technologies varies greatly. Most people find React Native easy to learn and get started with it in little time. The concepts and way of coding are pretty much the same in React.
If you know a bit about React and React Native, you must be aware of the small differences. For example, react has web components like <div>, <p>, while React Native has components that are wrappers around native iOS and Android components.
So, the learning curve here isn’t as steep as it can be in the case of React Native if you have no knowledge of React.
Well, I’ll be honest here. Native apps are great if you are someone keen to give a top-notch performance to your users. The comparison is between Ionic and React Native, not native apps vs either of them as native apps always exceed the other two.
On the other hand, Ionic is a hybrid approach. It doesn’t build native apps and you can encounter performance issues as there are lots of callbacks to the native code. This can also cause a lag.
Also, you have to use the Cordova plugin if you want to access native features. One has to deal with performance issues while building UIs.
So, if we sum this up, React Native is quite better in terms of performance.
5. Developer Community
Community is something we all consider when choosing a certain technology to learn. The more people are involved in it, the faster it grows with time.
GitHub stats indicate strong community involvement in both technologies. React Native has over 1900 contributors to the framework, while Ionic has around 330 contributors to the framework.
React Native has 78k stars while Ionic has 38k stars.
Hence, in terms of community, React Native is far ahead of ionic. But with the recent updates, we can expect Ionic to have greater community involvement in the coming months.
P.S. Whatever framework you prefer, we love both! We are a Mobile App Development Company in Dubai with a strong clientele base all across UAE. For the design and development of any kind of app, we’re ready to help. Get in touch for more details.