Ionic or React Native: What Should You Choose For Your App Development

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Just a few years back, if you had to choose between native and hybrid apps, it was simple and obvious.

But today, this hybrid approach has now got a new contender.

There are cross-platform technologies like React Native, which promise high quality with similar cost-effectiveness. But, does this mean that processes like Ionic app development or Cordova development will take a blow? We don't think so.

Before we move ahead, let us understand the basic difference.

Hybrid apps vs. Native apps

Native apps are the ones that have been built using a specific language for a specific platform. When one writes code in Objective C for iOS platform or uses Java for Android, then an application built that way is called as a native app. A native app can deliver tremendous performance.

Hybrid applications are those web apps that use web technologies like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in order to develop an app. To provide native experience and access native features of Android, iOS, or any other platform, they use PhoneGap/Cordova platforms.

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1.0 Overview

Let's get to the hands-on comparison of both the frameworks.

1.1 Ionic

Ionic is an open source software development kit or rather an SDK as known in the developer community. It is extensively used for developing hybrid mobile applications and web technologies that uses JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5. Ionic's main focus is on the overall look and feel, targeting the User Interface-UI of an app. Ionic has been built on two combinations of Apache Cordova and Angular. This makes Ionic a preferable choice for many when opting for mobile app development.

1.2 React Native

React Native is an entirely Javascript based framework used for rendering mobile application for iOS and Android. As a matter of fact, React is a Facebook's Javascript library for building user interfaces that targets mobile platforms. One can easily make mobile apps using this Javascript library which can be shared between platforms that make it easy to develop in both iOS and Android. React Native makes intense use of native UI components. Even when you are still writing the components in JavaScript, HTML or CSS but React Native uses native components behind the scene.

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2.0 Features

Let's look at some of the prominent features of both frameworks.

2.1 React features

Apps developed on Ionic apps lets developers deploy the app on both, cross-platform as well as to the mobile web as a Progressive Web App with the same code.

One can use the same code-base in order to develop applications for Android, iOS, Windows Phone. Better performance than Ionic 2, as  the overall processing of hardware functionalities, are by the specific platform, and not Cordova.

React is comparatively easy to maintain when someone is working with large-scale projects as it follows stricter design patterns and paradigms.

React Native is stable and feels like a native app.

2.2 Ionic features

Ionic offers super-fast development-testing cycle.

You can cross-compile with Ionic to iOS and Android.

Ionic is easy to learn & work with.

One can write code in TypeScript, this makes it easy if you are coming from a background of AngularJS 2.

It lets you use TypeScript in order to develop applications for all platforms.

Access the native functionalities of your user's devices with the plugin system.


Mobile applications have become the norm now. If you are planning to start a business, developing a mobile application becomes inevitable. It's a mobile first world today, and with billions of users moving to mobile platform, that is exactly the place one should look for.stats
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