Ionic vs. React Native: Which is the better choice?

Ionic vs. React Native: Which is the better choice?

React Native and Ionic are competitors in the cross-platform application development market, as both are well-known cross-platform frameworks. Choosing the best among them can be difficult because they are all unique. 

Both frameworks differ in terms of their purpose, the language stack used, and many other factors. Mainly, that choice will depend on your business objectives and requirements. 

Finding the option that will best serve you will necessitate a thorough understanding of both frameworks. You can learn more about both frameworks by comparing their approaches and underlying architectures. This article will give you an idea of what they’re like so you can decide what’s best for you and your requirements. Read more to learn more. 

How do they differ from one another?

They are different, considering some of the factors in their way. Let’s first examine their similarities and then explore their differences. This article can help you decide which framework is right for you. The differences between them will be covered in this section. It is defined by the factors listed below. 

  • Purpose of the framework
  • Reusability of the code
  • Native and Hybrid
  • Technology stack
  • Rendering
  • Performance
  • Popularity
  • Learning curve
  • Developer community
  • Pricing

1. Purpose of the framework

The purpose of Ionic is “write once and run everywhere,” while the purpose of React Native is “learn once and write anywhere.”

2. Reusability of the code written

The RN platform allows code to be written in a specific language and reused, whereas the other allows for maximum code reusability. It saves the effort and time spent on writing the codes for developing the apps. 

3. Native and Hybrid

True native cross-platform apps are created with React Native. Software developed specifically for an iOS or Android device platform and written in a particular programming language is known as a “native app.” Ionic is used to create hybrid apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build apps that can be used on the web, desktop, and mobile. 

4. Technology stack

Ionic supports web technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS, and TypeScript, while the other framework supports React and JavaScript. Both have different approaches in terms of the technology stack. 

5. Rendering

The Ionic framework instantly updates the application after a change is made, but the RN framework has hot reloading features that enable real-time rendering. One of the most significant and practical aspects of React Native is hot reloading. By doing so, you can update an application that is already running without affecting its current state.

6. Performance

Performance-wise, React Native outperforms Ionic. Since Ionic is creating a WebView rather than a native app, the additional layer that uses Cordova plugins speeds things up. However, RN offers better performance because it wraps around native components.

7. Popularity

Compared to Ionic, RN is unquestionably more well-known as a mobile framework. Due to its capacity to create truly “native” apps using JavaScript and React, it is more widely used. Although using WebViews to create a hybrid app is a good idea, it does not have a native app’s look and feel. 

  • React Native apps are native, which is awesome because all of the components are native to iOS and Android, unlike Ionic apps, which are hybrid and lack the look and feel of a truly native app. 
  • The difference between a native app and a RN app won’t be visible to the end user. It is the most crucial factor influencing React Native’s popularity.

8. Learning curve

When compared to React Native, Ionic has a lower learning curve. It is because it allows you to pick a framework of your choice that you are comfortable with. The framework could be Angular, React, Vue, or even plain JavaScript. There is no tech stack flexibility with RN, and you must code in React. RN has a steeper learning curve for developers unfamiliar with React.

9. Developer community

Comparing Ionic to React Native, the developer community for the latter is significantly more vibrant and active. It might be because it creates native mobile apps rather than web apps and builds them using React.

10. Pricing

RN is a completely open source framework in which developers can use the system and their libraries for free. On the other hand, even the Ionic framework is a free one. It offers its Pro Development Environment only when you pay. It ensures the acceleration of the development process. 

Similarities between the frameworks

There are many differences between Ionic and React Native, but we should also consider some similarities. For new users, based on their basic descriptions, both platforms appear to be quite similar. 

Making use of JavaScript and the React JavaScript framework is possible with RN. But with Ionic development, you can create desktop, mobile, and web apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Which one should you go with?

You must be aware of the instances in which the frameworks would be helpful to you before choosing one. So if you are familiar with the framework, frequently use it, and have apps or websites that are already built on it, you can choose React Native. 

For the best outcomes, you should also have a sufficient time and financial budget to devote to developing native apps. However, if you were to ask me when to use the Ionic framework, I would respond that it should be done when there is a time crunch and a tight budget for the app’s development. 

  • Ionic is the best option if you need to create an app quickly and have ready-made code.  
  • However, RN would be your first choice if you wanted to create a high-performance application with a feature-rich UI and an exceptional user experience. 

Both frameworks are awesome, so choosing one over the other isn’t easy. Depending on your project’s requirements, functionalities, and target market, you will use a different app development framework. 

Using the framework’s benefits for development is possible if you have clear objectives. So, choosing a framework should be done carefully. A business owner’s next step after making the right selection is to bring in the right developers to develop the app.

Interesting Links: 

More information about Ionic 

What is React Native?

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