The battle of React Native vs Ionic is a never-ending debate. There are many factors to consider when deciding which framework to use for your next mobile app project: performance, community support, flexibility, and more. The decision will ultimately depend on the needs of your business, as well as your developer's experience with each framework. In this blog post, we'll compare these two frameworks in detail so you can make an informed decision about react native or ionic, what solution will work best for you.

Ionic vs React Native: Summarised key differences

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Which is best ionic or react native?

Which is best ionic or react native?

React Native is a JavaScript framework that enables developers to build mobile applications for Android and iOS platforms natively using React. It uses the best components of native development with React, coupled with the Javascript library to produce the best UIs. It was built in 2015 by Facebook.
React Native enables developers to build TV applications too.

What is Ionic

The Ionic Framework is a hybrid solution for developing mobile apps. It allows you to use standard web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, in order to build high-quality cross-platform applications using this framework. It was built in 2013 by Drifty Co.
The main idea behind this framework was to code once, and that deploy that code cross-platforms on desktop, web, iOS, and android. The code-base can be shared on all platforms.

React Native vs Ionic: How are they similar?

If you are new to Ionic and React Native, then they might sound similar, right? React Native enables you to build mobile apps natively using Javascript and React( javascript’s framework). Similarly Ionic enables you to build web, desktop, and mobile apps using technologies like HTML, CSS, and JS. This concludes that you do not need to have profound knowledge about android development or native iOS to use React Native or Ionic.

Differences between ionic and react native

React Native vs Ionic: The basic difference

React Native

React Native is Native

React Native produces cross platforms apps natively. Native App is a software app that is specific for a device platform( iOS or Android). The beauty of React Native is that it allows you to build apps for both iOS and Android with a single code base. It's really impressive because the entire app, from Javascript down to rendering components on each platform is all native-based. This helps give your application an unparalleled user experience in comparison to other frameworks which use Web Views

Ionic

Ionic is hybrid

Ionic is the ultimate hybrid app for developers. It uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to build apps that can be used on web browsers, desktops, or mobile devices. Hybrid apps use a tool called Webview to create mobile apps. Ionic apps are built using technologies that use Web views, which is why it offers full screen and full-powered browsers. The distinguishing feature of ionic is its reusability of the code across various platforms. Hybrid apps cannot access native features( camera, contacts, GPS, etc) so it uses the Cordova plugin to integrate these features into your app. Because of this process performance is compromised on large apps. When it comes to building web apps using ionic, converting them to progressive web apps is very easy and can be easily downloaded like any other mainstream mobile app.

Bottom line

If you're in need of a cross-platform mobile app that will work on both iOS and Android and look like a native app, your best bet is to choose React Native. If you want an elegant user interface in the form of a mobile application, then you can choose Ionic instead.

React Native vs Ionic: Technology stack

React Native

React Native’s UI pieces are written in JSX, instead of HTML. It's like a template language but with all the power that JavaScript has to offer. The reason React Native uses React is because Facebook developed and open-sourced both frameworks.

Ionic

Ionic apps can be built by Angular, Vue, or React. Ionic’s tech stack offers great flexibility, unlike React Native. With the release of Ionic 4, now you can use Ionic with your preferred web development framework.

Bottom line

Since the updates to Ionic last year, it has become a more flexible and desirable platform. Web developers can use any web framework they want now in order to create an app.

React Native vs Ionic: Popularity

The developer survey 2020 found that:

Ionic's SDK is the go-to choice for web developers in 2019. 86% of developers chose Ionic for extensive app development and 16% chose React Native.

2% of developers have used ionic tools, frameworks, and libraries while 21% chose React native for progressive web apps.

React native has 89.1k stars on Github with 346+ version releases and 19.8k+ projects. While Ionic has 41.1k stars on Github with over 13.3k projects and 238+ version releases.

According to a 2019 survey by The State of Javascript, React Native is much more popular than Ionic among developers. As seen in the results below, this trend has been consistent over time and it’s likely to continue going forward.

It is very clear from the fact that React Native is much more popular than Ionic.

React Native vs Ionic: Learning curve

React Native

For React developers learning React native is a piece of cake. All the concepts are the same as React so it doesn’t take much time adjusting to React native.

For newbies, the learning curve is steep because you will have to learn javascript and React first.

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Ionic

Ionic's flexible tech stack and framework choices allow app developers to pick whichever web frameworks they're most comfortable with. For this reason, Ionic has a significantly lower learning curve than React Native - making it the perfect choice for any professional developer looking to start developing apps quickly!

Ionic, is an easy solution for developers. With this hybrid approach, you can build web apps that also become mobile apps which is different from React Native's native approach and thus more easily grasped by a developer.

Bottom line

The best thing about Ionic is that you can work with any framework of your choice, whereas in React Native there is no flexibility available. For a React newbie, it will take a lot of learning to grip React native.

Ionic vs React native performance

React Native

React Native is the perfect choice for apps that need to look and feel native. It provides great performance across platforms, with a sleek interface that feels like you're really using a native app

Ionic

Although Ionic is a great solution for building elegant UI and faster development, it does come with some performance issues when compared to frameworks like React Native. This could be due to the Cordova plugin that is required to access native features.

Bottom line

React Native is faster than Ionic because React Native wraps around native components which provide better performance.

Ionic vs React Native: Developer community

The GitHub stats is a good indication of how active the communities are for both these frameworks. React Native is a popular framework with over 19k projects and over 89k stars(2020) Ionic is a framework that has over 41k stars with over 13k projects(2020)

Bottom line

React Native's more active and engaged community could be because it builds native apps instead of web apps

Advantages of using Ionic:

  • Making it easy to take your code and turn it into a Progressive Web App is as simple as adding in some steps because all the code is built-in to function in a web browser.
  • Ionic uses Webview, which is a tool that web developers use every day. It lets them use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create their applications.
  • Written in JavaScript, the language provides support for most modern frameworks like React, Angular, and Vue

Disadvantages of using Ionic:

  • Performance is not good as native apps or cross-platform native apps.
  • To use native features, APIs, and modules, Cordova plugin integration is required
  • It cannot match with native apps with respect to looks and feels.

Advantages of using React Native:

  • Enormous community support present, which means developers can connect with other developers for resolving problems.
  • Written in a common language i.e Javascript.
  • It can be integrated into native apps, it is possible to make your app function smoothly as a native app.
  • Builds cross platform native apps for both iOS and Android
  • The React Native app is translated to native code, which has the benefit of achieving 60 frames per second. This gives the user an impression that resembles a native app

Disadvantages of the React Native:

  • React Native is still in beta, even after so many years of its creation.
  • Not suitable for apps that have high-quality animations.
  • Developers have to learn React before jumping to React native

When to use Ionic?

Ionic utilizes technologies like HTML, CSS, and Javascript so it is best suited for a team with no knowledge about Native.

Ionic allows you to make easy, high-quality mobile apps with native features like GPS and maps. Make your app for the Play Store or App Store with the same expertise and effort needed to build a website.

When to use React Native?

React Native is a great option for developers with prior iOS or Android experience. React's higher learning curve will be well worth the effort to learn if you're already an experienced React developer looking to break into React Native.

React Native enables your app to have a more native feel and is the perfect tool for companies looking to make their mobile application stand out.

Frequently Asked Questions

You'll be much more productive with React if you master and become comfortable with JavaScript fundamentals. Once you get good with JS you can easily get down to master React.

As research shows, the Ionic framework is cheaper than React Native. Because you can develop apple with just a single code base across multiple platforms. But when it comes to an app being hardcore native then Ionic isn’t the best choice.