Ionic vs ReactJS

React Native or Ionic, What’s the Difference?

How is React Native different from Ionic? Let’s dig deeper into the key differences that made them stand out as today’s popular frameworks for mobile app development.

As more and more companies embrace mobile technology, mobile apps have increasingly become ubiquitous. Today, there are millions of mobile apps available in app stores. Their growth will only continue in the years to come.

To answer our dynamic business needs, a wide array of platforms and technologies are developed. This also led to a heated discussion on which technology is the best to achieve certain business goals.

In this article, we’ll discuss more React Native and Ionic⁠—two of the popular mobile frameworks. Let’s understand their key differences and similarities if any. This should guide you to decide which framework works well for you.

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What is React Native?

React Native is an open-source JavaScript framework built by Facebook that lets you develop mobile applications that render natively on Android and iOS.

It is based on React, Facebook’s JavaScript library for creating Web user interfaces. However, React Native targets mobile platforms instead of browsers.

So, you only code once, and the React Native apps are simultaneously available on Android and iOS. This makes React Native development easy, simple, and convenient.

It is a great choice for JavaScript experts since there’s no need to learn iOS Swift or Android-specific Java. It focuses on UI (User Interface), which allows mobile apps to operate quickly with smooth user experience.

What is Ionic?

Ionic is an open-source SDK (Software Development Kit) for building hybrid mobile apps, desktops, and PWA (Progressive Web Apps). It uses web technologies like JavaScript, HTML5, CSS, and Sass.

Essentially, mobile applications are built using the said technologies and shared with native app stores by using Cordova or Capacitor.

It is one of the widely-used cross-platform app frameworks with more than 5 million Ionic-made apps today. NASA, Dow Jones MarketWatch, and Sworkit are just a few of the well-known brands that support the Ionic framework.

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Are there any similarities?

Ionic allows developers to build and participate in platforms that weren’t previously available to them. It gives one the ability to develop a native application that can be downloaded on different app stores using different web technologies.

The objective of cross-platform frameworks is to make it easy to develop apps no matter what the platforms they are built for. It can use CSS, HTML, or JavaScript to develop Android and iOS apps, desktops apps, PWAs, or any types of apps where the Web works.

React Native uses React JS framework, but delivers a truly native user interface, allowing you to build Android and iOS apps.

The end goal here is to use Technology A to work on Platform B when A and B are not generally the same. Essentially, the two use a different approach to arrive at the same goal.

Key Differences between React Native and Ionic

ReactJS or Ionic

Performance

If you want superior performance, your best route is to build native apps independently in iOS and Android. In this case, React Native provides the experience closer to native.    

A stable framework ideal for native app development, React Native offers excellent performance, albeit, at a huge cost.  

In contrast, Ionic uses a hybrid approach. It doesn’t build native apps. You may run into some issues with performance, with numerous callbacks on the native code.

Additionally, it requires a Cordova plugin if you want access to the native features. While it’s great for building beautiful UI and faster development, you may experience some performance issues as compared to React Native.

Technology Stack

React Native is all about supporting native standards and behavior. Thus, providing a smooth native experience. It targets the user interface reinforced by native UI elements.

On the other hand, Ionic offers a complete SDK to build hybrid mobile apps. It harnesses the power of traditional web technologies to build cross-platform apps with minimal codebase. It’s brimming with built-in components that make development fast, easy, and effortless.

Popularity

React Native’s popularity is brought by its ability to develop native apps using React and JS. While hybrid apps are great, it doesn’t look and feel quite like native apps.

In terms of community growth, the React Native community is increasing. It’s also one of the most popular topics on GitHub. Ionic doesn’t attract a large following as React Native, but their numbers are gradually growing.

Learning Curve

Learning React Native is easy if you already know React and JavaScript. However, the learning curve is steep for those without any experience in React.

Ionic as a framework is flexible; you can use JS, CSS, and HTML with your choice of framework. This means that developers who use the Ionic framework will choose the standard Web technologies they are comfortable with when building apps.

So, the learning curve in Ionic is not as complex as in React Native. Oftentimes, it’s easier for developers to grasp the hybrid approach than with the native approach.

React Native or Ionic: Which One is Best for your Business?

So, now this tricky question remains: which framework is right for you? Should it be React Native or Ionic?

Whatever your choice is it depends on these factors: the cost, features, timeline, complexity, and team members’ level of expertise. Assess your choice based on the factors that resonate with your ideal vision for the app.     

Keep in mind that both have their unique features. While these two frameworks cater to different purposes, any one of them can get the job done easily. Your choice depends on the overall vision ideal functionality for the app.

For complex software projects, we have the right developers for you. Be it a React Native developer or a mobile app expert, we can help you build your remote software team.

At Full Scale, we handle the recruitment and deployment of developers so that our clients can focus on growing their business. We are an offshore software development company that can bring your project from point A to B.

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