Currently, mobile apps are the most in-thing in the market and in this year only a whopping number of 8 million apps are waiting to be enjoyed. However, the task of developing apps is not really easy now. The increase in the number of hints at the increased competition, therefore the app development framework needs to give its best to create an attractive and useful app that keeps the audience engaged.In this domain, Native React and Ionic are two popular app development frameworks that have their own share of features and flaws. And a lot like the iOS-Android tug-of-war, the developers are at a fix regarding these two frameworks. All the developers are of the opinion that the chosen framework plays a key role in attracting, enhancing and retaining of the customers and so one must choose one’s cards cautiously.

ionic and react native comparison

Both with the newly launched Flutter fall in the list of leading cross-platform app developing frames and are quite popular among the developers. But, if you wish to choose anyone from these two, then you must go through the specifications and specialties, to be on the advantageous side.
In this article, you will get to see the distinctions between two worthy opponents- Ionic and React Native. Know them well to choose and use them better.

Meet ‘em both

For a clarified comparison, it is important to have a clear knowledge about the competitors. So, at first, a brief introduction is a must.

  • Ionic:

This is an open-source platform introduced by Drifty Co. in 2013 and is especially known for creating amazing hybrid applications. This being a combination of Angular and Apache Cordova is the go-to choice of many developers who built apps using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.
This platform provides the developers a golden chance to excel in the development process using the tools like SaaS and CSS. Its prime aim is to have an amazing user interface, look and feel.

This is a platform based on JavaScript that was introduced by Facebook in 2015 and became popular for creating web and native mobile applications using JS. It offers a JavaScript library which the developers can cash upon to create apps suiting Android and iOS with a highly interactive user interface.

Its designs are a lot like that of React’s but it doesn’t support in creating HTML5 or hybrid apps.

Native and Hybrid

The introduction makes it clear that the basic point of difference between the two is the hybrid-native binary. Therefore, you must have a clear concept about the binary to understand how varied the Ionic platform from the React native is and vice versa.

native vs hybrid

Native applications are those which are designed keeping in mind the Operating Systems of mobile like Android or iOS particularly. Programming languages like Objective-C, Swift for iOS and Java for Android areused to develop these apps and since they are meant for OS, quite naturally the users find these very convenient.

On the other hand, if you have proficient knowledge in various languages like JavaScript, CSS, HTML, then using that one can create a hybrid app for cross platforms like Windows, iOS and Android. This mobile app development is cheaper than the native one and quicker too.
Thus, you can easily make your choice depending on your works’ needs.

Points of Differences

Undoubtedly, both the frameworks are popular in their own way for their features, but if these have collided, then the comparison must go on for the benefits of the developers and a better future.

The Basic Binary: Coming back to the naive-hybrid binary, Native React’s seamless animation and improved performances for web development and native apps using JS surely deserves appreciation. But, you will only be able to avail these advantages if there was a default option and the bridge’s components are written keeping in mind the native components.

However, Ionic utilizes PhoneGap or Cordova for assessing the native features and writes and renders applications using web-based technologies. Moreover, it has an additional feature called Ionic Native or ngCordovawhich helps to utilize the plug-ins of Cordova and PhoneGap.

Performing Arts: Between these two, React Native with its performance has won more hearts. It is similar to Native and is an ideal option for building large-scale apps. It offers the much-required stability and is faster than its opponent. However, if the app developers bring a slight change in its particular-platform component, then it will become more flexible.

Since Ionic uses the Webview, so its pace suffers a sloth but if you are certain about having the hybrid twist to your app, then Ionic is the one. It works on using the mobile-optimized CSS, JavaScript, HTML etc. and can create swifter prototypes. The native codes have many callbacks and the native apps are a bit more expensive than the hybrid ones

Working Principle: It is quite evident that there will exist certain differences in the principles o the two.
Native React runs on the logic that ‘Learn now and write anywhere’. The developers will have to follow the set rule in order to make the most of the native components. Having the UI components, its prime focus is on the UI. But Ionic follows exactly the opposite principle, it abides by ‘Write once and run anywhere ‘and offers Software Development Kit to create the necessary hybrid apps. Since it is built using Angular and gets it to support from the web technology, so, it offers you the luxury of using nominal codebase to build multi-platform apps.

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If you are adept with the Angular framework, then working on Ionic will be easy breezy for you. Moreover, the built-in components accelerate your pace by simplifying the app development process.

Language Lucidity: JS framework acts as the base language for both, directly or indirectly. The Ionic has close resemblance with Angular, a variation of JS only. For its views, it uses the HTML view and it abides by the mode-View-Controller replica with separate logic.

On the other hand, the code of Native React is JSX which is a lot like HTML and the framework is based on JS. The point of difference between HTML and JSX is that the later one does not completely abide by the theories of CSS. JSX is an easy codebase but working in a group or a collaborative effort will prove to be more beneficial, as the work is not very simple like just writing CSS and editing templates.

Additional Support- Plug-ins and Communities: According to the ratings in GitHub, both are popular for their features but people prefer React Native than Ionic and this is visible because of the fault in Ionic’s stars. Ionic has 25,000 starts whereas React Native has 36,000.

Native React will pamper with lots of plug-ins from the NPM and you will be able to work freely using all those. However, in the case of Cordova and PhoneGap, you will get access to more plug-ins in WebView and also from other communities. Moreover, you can even go to the marketplace, where the developers trade Ionic plug-ins and buy directly from there. Ionic defeats Native React in Stack Overflow with more questions.

Testing Apps: Both the frameworks have their own ways of letting the developers test the app. As Native React supports rendering, it does not let you test your app within the browser used. However, it allows you to see the outcome and also rectify the errors if any. And, you won’t have to recompile or rebuild the app, as it will be visible in the emulator instantly.

During your app development process, you will get instant feedbacks which will help you to navigate the course better. However, sometimes this feature irks the developers a lot. The plus point of using Ionic over React Native is that. It offers you the app preview on the device or browser used and you get immediate refreshments.

These were basically, the important points which differ one framework from the other. However, you the comparison is not complete yet. You need to have a detailed idea about the disadvantages and advantages of both, so as to make sure that your chosen framework does not limit your capabilities.

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Pros and Cons

Like every other thing, both Ionic and Native React have their own Pros and Cons and this makes them all the more trustworthy. A framework with only pros and no cons sounds like a bluff, as you can’t cover up everything under a roof because of the wide varieties available.

Advantages

React Native

  • For the development of cross-platform apps, it offers the maximum re-usability of codes.
  • It is supportive of large-scale apps and ensures the fast-paced development of apps.
  • It is popular for its efficient code structure and stability.
  • It offers a huge community support and addresses all your issues perfectly and solves them too.
  • The re-usability of the code leads to saving of costs.

Ionic

  • It has a built-in component facility and is easy to learn.
  • It offers clearer and better documentation than React Native.
  • It is an open-source JS network which can be used and availed free of cost.
  • The development test cycle is quite swifter than that of its opponent.
  • It supports multiple platforms like Desktop, Android, Web, Windows, iOS, and PWA.

Disadvantages

React Native

  • The conversion of hybrid apps into native apps using this framework is not easy and chances are you won’t find the Android App Supporting Components.
  • It lacks an appropriate custom module.
  • You will have to strictly follow the rules to develop an app using this.
  • Since developing native app is costlier, so the framework is more expensive than Ionic.

Ionic

  • Its performing ability is not as impressive as Native React.
  • The interactive transitions and advanced graphics are quite tough to handle and work with.
  • The Web-view offers a native-like experience which sometimes compromises with the performance.

These are the benefits or lacks which you might encounter if you wish to work with either of the two. However, you need to know that the capabilities of both these frameworks are dependent on the general idea that each of them endorses.

Native React utilizes functional user interface for its works and Ionic, utilizes web technologies for its enhanced portability.

This table-consists all the above-mentioned information, in a chart form, to help you decide to choose the framework you wish to work with. Without any doubt, both are efficient with their respective strong points and have designed to offer you all the benefits, so that you and your app development team can work and create more amazing and promising apps.

Conclusion

Although this is tagged as a war, in a true sense, there exists no fight between these two frameworks. Both have their pros and cons and both have their aims and working principles. But depending on the rankings and comments, Native React clearly defeats Ionic.
So, if you choose to go with Native React, you will be able to create native apps using JSX and numerous plug-ins. It is good for the learners and can rectify any issues immediately. You don’t even need to refresh the window while working as it does it automatically and the reloading is live and easy.

But, if you are short of fortunes and still want to launch an effective and competitive app, then you easily go with Ionic. First of all, it is free and secondly, it also has its own facilities. The clear and transparent documentation is indeed attractive and the fact that you just need to write it once and then it can run on any device of choice sounds and appears interesting.

The discussion began with the fact that the app framework might have the necessary features to invite and retain the customers and both of these have those capabilities.

So, go through the specifications to have the knowledge and then clear your head to know your needs. Both will benefit you, so, choose your benefits wisely!

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