React Native vs Ionic: Comparing the Best Hybrid App Framework

React Native vs Ionic

These are perhaps the best times in the field of mobile app development. The demand is high on both business and consumer front, the revenue generation is higher than ever and even more importantly, the variety of sophisticated and powerful tools for app development makes the task much easier. But as user expectation too has skyrocketed, the tolerance for slow and buggy applications is non-existent. So what do you do when you have to quickly build a feature-rich application with good performance that too in low budget? You build hybrid apps!

Ionic and React Native are perhaps the two most popular tools for building such apps. So which one delivers better results? Or to get a compressive view, what’s really the difference between apps built in React Native and Ionic? Let’s find out:

The genesis

Before we get into the specific differences, it is first important to understand why they occur in the first place. While both React Native and Ionic are used for building cross-platform apps, the reason they are different because take different approaches- each with their own set of benefits and shortfalls.

Ionic apps are built using common web-based languages like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. The main focus remains on building authentic UI/UX and it easily integrates with Angular and Cordova to deliver requisite functionalities. Overall, Ionic relies on web views to deliver mobile app experience. That is, they look and feel just like native mobile apps but in practice, are little more than responsive websites.

React Native takes an entirely different route. As you might know, React is an exhaustive JavaScript library which is used to tie native components of respective platforms to build effectively native apps but in a hybrid style.

Design

As mentioned, the design remains the key focus for Ionic apps and thus they deliver excellent results. But React Native too isn’t far behind. Because it uses native components, its design too is as good as any other native application. That point is, as a consumer, just looking at the design, you can’t differentiate native apps, Ionic apps, and React Native apps.

Highlighted: React Native vs Native Apps

There is, however, one key difference on the development front. Ionic offers a large collection of ready-to-deploy components. This makes building the interface much faster and also because the web views remain common across all platforms, the code once written can be used for all kinds of applications. React Native development doesn’t have such conveniences. While JavaScript remains the common language for building apps for all platforms, they nonetheless have to be built separately- consuming valuable time and effort.

Check out: The Future of Cross Platform Apps: React Native

Performance

Taking a cue from the structures of both these applications- web views against native components, it is obvious that apps built in React Native would have an exceedingly better performance. Also, given that React Native uses native components, it can integrate many features that Ionic can’t. Also, features from new updates can be accessed on React Native much earlier than Cordova.

Cost

As we previously mentioned, mobile apps on Ionic are built largely through inbuilt components which results in a shorter development cycle- that later converts into lower billable hours and less expensive apps. That is not the case with React Native. Though it is much cheaper than building conventional iOS and Android apps, React Native development certainly costs a bit more than Ionic,

Key Takeaways

You may have understood by now that Ionic and React Native aren’t really competitors but rather playing by different rules. The point is, if you are looking to build hybrid apps primarily to cut down the cost, you might be enticed by Ionic. But if you go a step further and offset that cost against your expectations, the choice would become much clearer. As a general rule of thumb, if you expect your app to have lower footfalls, Ionic would serve you well. But for those hybrid applications that expect large user base and degradation in performance isn’t an option, React Native app development can deliver exceptionally good results.

Offshore Web Developer

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