Exploring the journey of two unrelenting frameworks – React Native vs. Ionic

Vipin Jain
Vipin Jain, Co-Founder & CEO at Konstant Infosolutions
Published on Mar 15, 2019 in Cross Platform Developers Resources
Exploring the journey of two unrelenting frameworks – React Native vs. Ionic

Let's find out the purpose, performance, and preferences of two competitive cross-platform app development frameworks - Ionic vs. React Native!

Lately, global businesses have realized that people spend more time online than with any other offline media like newspapers or magazines. Most part of this digital time is spent on smart mobile devices. Overall these years since the transition of mobile devices and the internet, the average time spent per day on mobile devices has increased 575% in three years. Out of this 80% of the time is spent using mobile apps. Undoubtedly mobile apps offer an unparalleled experience which even responsive websites are not able to provide. As an example, most of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices are mobile app-centric.

With the emerging business requirements and a simultaneous increase in competition, apps have become a dominant form of digital interaction. People have made it a regular practice to go online, search and then make a purchase decision. A mobile application - reinforces the brand, enhances visibility, increases accessibility, augments online sales, increases exposure across mobile devices, connect with on-the-go customers, helpful in creating database of clients/prospects, helpful in creating a direct marketing channel, engage with customers, access the inventory, get directions to your location and schedule appointments etc.

Exploring the journey of two unrelenting frameworks – React Native vs. Ionic

Cross-Platform Application Development vs. Native App Development

ComparisonCross-Platfxorm AppNative App
Programming LanguagesThese apps are built via HTML5, CSS, and JavaScriptThese apps are built in specific languages according to respective platforms like in Swift/Objective C for IOS and Java/Kotlin for Android etc.
Compatibility with PlatformThe code has to be written once and can be run on any of the platforms (iOS or Android) – any device.These apps are specifically curated to run on particular platforms. The codes cannot be merged or used elsewhere.
PerformanceThese applications show a reasonable performance but are not very quick.These apps are reasonably quicker as compared to their cross-platform/hybrid counterparts.
ROIThese are low on cost and efficient in terms of time.These are high on cost, time and money
Impact on SDLCThese can be developed fastThese require reasonably longer time as compared to hybrid apps
ToolsBest tools for cross-platform app development - Codename One, PhoneGap, Appcelerator, Sencha Touch, Monocross, Kony Mobile, Platform, NativeScript, RhoMobile, XamarinBest tools for Native App Development -
ExamplesGoogle maps and GPS Navigation, Apple Maps, Waze,Facebook, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Instagram, Skype, Subway Surfers, Twitter, Snapchat, Dropbox, Viber, Google Translate etc.
GamesAlto's Odyssey, Into the Dead 2, Reigns, Donut Country, The Machines, Oceanhorn, The Witness, Old Man's JourneyAlto’s odyssey, Threes!, Clash royale, Pokémon go, Gorogoa, Florence, 80 days, Super stickman golf 3, Monument Valley, Minecraft Pocket Edition, Fun Run etc.

React Native vs. Ionic: An Infinite Debate

Although both React native and ionic are suited for cross-platform app development, but React native adopts native behavior and standards of the hybrid platform to give a replica of native-like experience. It gives a complete focus on user-interface with the help of native UI components.

ComparisonReact NativeIonic
Technology StackReact native works on learning once, write anywhere theory.Ionic offers a complete SDK to build apps for a hybrid platform. Ionic embraces the power of classic web technologies to create multi-functional, multi-platform apps with least code base. Ionic 3 were based on AngularJS, but Ionic 4 is more independent with reduced dependency on Angular. It also works on write once, runs anywhere programming paradigm.
PerformanceDevelopers who wish to save on some cost, yet want to cherish a native-like an experience, choose to React native for developing their apps. It is suitable for large scale applications. These are undoubtedly responsive and are intended to provide reasonable performance. A number of performance issues are involved as a lot of callbacks to the native code are involved, and there is also a requirement to download various plugins to access native features.It helps create native browser apps that make use of mobile-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components. It is suitable for rapid prototyping model (a type of SDLC model) app.
Plugins and Community SupportReact Native has a huge number of plugins and large community support. It has plugins to utilize PhoneGap/Cordova which helps it to access more mature plugins from other communities.It makes use of PhoneGap/Cordova plugins to uplift its apps.
PlatformsSupports both Android and iOSIonic supports both Android and iOS. Ionic 2 supports Universal Windows Platform (UWP). Ionic as well as supports Android 4.1 and iOS 7 and up (as of February 2019) and Blackberry 10.
Language StackReact and JavaScriptHTML, CSS, Javascript, Angular, JS, Typescript.
Nature of AppsCross-PlatformHybrid
Popular ForCreative (native-like) interfaces/UI for cross-platform apps.A single codebase can be used to build apps for both iOS, Android, Windows, Web, Desktop and Progressive Web Apps (PWA)
Reusability of CodeThe platform-specific code has to be changed.The same code can be optimally utilized across platforms.
Code TestingThere is a requirement to have a real mobile device or an emulator to check the app.The ionic code can be tested by making use of any browser.
Learning CurveHas a steep learning curve.Easy to learn and adapt.
Examples of Companies Using itFacebook Ads Manager, Bloomberg, AirBnB, Gyroscope, Myntra, UberEats, Discord, Instagram, Discovery VR, TownskePacifica: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, TD Trading: Stock Trading App, Sworkit: Workout and Fitness Plan, MarketWatch: Stock Market and Business News, ChefSteps: Cooking Tutorials and Tool, Nationwide: Insurance and Financial Services, JustWatch: Streaming Search Engine, Untappd: Social Discovery and Check-in Network, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Cryptochange: Cryptocurrency Tracker
Supported Platforms

Why Ionic is popular?

Ionic is free, open-source, easy to learn and use, has clear and updated documentation, can be utilized to build apps for iOS and Android, has great community support and follows a rapid development testing lifecycle.

Why React Native app development companies India are preferred?

React native provides maximum code reusability to develop apps across platforms. It is preferable to develop large projects. In addition to this, a large community supports platform independent code of React Native.

How to select between React Native and Ionic for app development?

Ionic suffers from rare performance lags. It makes use of webview to deliver an experience like native applications. An Apache Cordova plugin is required to access the device's hardware functionality. Contrastingly, React Native lacks custom modules and there is a need for native development skills. Facebook licensing rules have to follow in order to continue using React Native.

One key takeaway from this entire discussion is that React native applications cost higher than Ionic apps. In case a budget app with high performance is to be developed, Ionic must be preferred. Both of these frameworks serve a different purpose and can be chosen according to the requirements.

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About the author
Vipin JainCo-Founder & CEO at Konstant Infosolutions

Vipin Jain is the Co-Founder and the CEO of Konstant Infosolutions, a mobile app development company based out in India and the USA. His vision and decisions have molded the operations, plans, human resources, marketing, public relations and finances...

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