React Native vs Ionic: Let the Fight Begin. What to Choose in 2020? Mobile phones are the basic necessity of every human in this century.
With the advancement in technology, we are in the generation of hybrid, cross-platform, and progressive web apps in mobile development.
Let’s compare React Native and Ionic to find which is the best for you.
We will see their similarities and differences in this article.
This will help you to find which framework is right for you.
Ionic Framework released a free eBook to explain the differences between the two.
The code once created can be used in cross-platform on iOS, Android, Web, and desktop.
The same codebase can be shared all across.
How are React Native and Ionic similar?
React Native and Ionic sounds very similar.
How are they different?
Now let’s find how these frameworks are different from each other.
1. Native vs. hybrid
React Native is used to building native cross-platform apps. A Native app is built in a specific programming language, for the specific iOS or Android device.
Native iOS apps are designed in Swift or Objective-C and native Android apps are designed in Java.
React native gives the user a seamless experience.
React Native builds native apps, on both iOS and Android, with a single code.
React Native gives a superior user experience in comparison to frameworks that use Web Views.
Ionic is a hybrid
Hybrid apps use Web View to build mobile apps.
Ionic apps are built-in web technologies using Web Views.
Ionic apps are built-in web technologies using Web Views, a full screen, and a full-powered web browser.
We can reuse code across multiple platforms.
Native features like camera, GPS, contacts, and so on. Ionic uses Cordova plugins features for your app.
Ionic takes several steps to start showing the component on your screen.
This hits performance on larger apps.
When you are building web applications using hybrid technologies like Ionic, it is easy to convert to Progressive Web Apps that are downloaded easily like any other app.
If your product is a mobile app that needs to work cross-platform on iOS and Android.
You should pick React Native.
2. Technology stack
To build ionic apps you can use Angular, Vue, or even React. Ionic’s tech stack is more flexible when compared to React Native.
The latest Ionic 4, allows you to use Ionic with any web development framework.
Until last year, React native is a winner in this category because Ionic apps are built using Angular only.
The recent updates of Ionic made it flexible to build Ionic apps. Therefore ionic is the winner.
This survey shows React Native is more popular as a mobile framework than Ionic.
Winner: React Native
The hybrid app concept using Web Views is good, but not more than a native app.
Ionic is a hybrid app lacking from native apps.
React Native apps are native and its components are native to iOS and Android.
If you’re struggling to choose between a native app and a React Native app.
The most important factor to consider is popularity.
4. Learning curve
Learning React Native is extremely easy.
The concept is the same, and you code in React.
React Native uses components like native iOS and Android components.
React developers can become a React Native developer very easily.
You also need to think like a mobile developer to build mobile apps and not web apps.
Ionic has less learning curve when compared to React Native. Ionic allows you to pick a framework of your choice.
The React Native has no flexibility with the tech stack.
If you are a non-React developer, the learning curve is higher with React Native.
React Native is closer to native performance than Ionic.
React Native provides great performance and response to your mobile apps.
Ionic is a hybrid approach. It does not build native apps and has issues in performance.
Ionic requires the Cordova plugin, to access native features.
Ionic is a great solution for building elegant UI and faster development but it has some performance issues when you compare it with frameworks of React Native.
Pros of React Native
Uses React, the robust web framework
Builds cross-platform native apps on both iOS and Android
Provides a great developer experience
Great community involvement
Cons of React Native
- React Native is not suitable for an app which is extremely heavy on animations, like a gaming app
Developers have to learn to React before they begin to React Native
Pros of Ionic
Flexible for developers to pick a framework
Builds cross-platform hybrid apps on both iOS and Android
Cons of Ionic
- Does not perform as well as cross-platform native apps or native apps
- Have to use Cordova plugins, to use native APIs and modules
- Builds a Web View, which will not translate to the look and feel of a native app
React Native is the winner. This is the “right” framework.
If you are planning on building cross-platform apps, make sure you evaluate and then decide which framework to choose.
Both React Native and Ionic come with their own pros and cons, and you have to be very careful in evaluating and picking one or the other for your development.