Which one is Better Ionic or React Native?

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Introduction to Ionic React vs React Native in 2022

Back a few years ago, the cross-platform app development industry was dominated by hybrid frameworks like PhoneGap and Ionic. React Native entered the market to make it simpler to design native apps. To develop and maintain mobile apps for iOS and Android, separate specialist teams were needed.

However, Ionic React and React Native take a different route. They enable you to benefit from having a single codebase and produce cross-platform solutions. However, as Ionic is a hybrid app framework, they do not belong in the same category. 

What is Ionic React?

Ionic React is an open source UI and Native API project consisting of cross-platform UI components and native functionality for building iOS, Android, Electron and Progressive Web Apps using React and standard web technology.

Ionic React is the official React version of the popular Ionic Framework, used by millions of web developers and powering mission-critical apps for companies like T-Mobile, America’s Test Kitchen, Schneider, Medical Answering Service, Yara International, IBM, and more.

Advantages of Ionic

  • Native-looking UI components: You may create an application that seems native on every platform by using the pre-built UI elements for each platform.
  • Rapid testing and development cycle: Code can be tested in browsers without loading a complex emulator.
  • Learning curve: There isn’t a big learning curve with Ionic. Knowing Angular, React, or Vue and being familiar with Apache Cordova’s guiding principles are prerequisites for using it.
  • Community: The Ionic website claims that 5 million developers have created 4 million Ionic applications. Such popularity guarantees prompt assistance from coworkers in a dedicated Ionic Q&A forum or a Slack channel.

Disadvantages of Ionic

  • Performance restrictions: To render apps, Ionic employs web technologies. When using many callbacks to native code, such a practice has a detrimental impact on the app’s pace and can result in performance problems. Additionally, creating complex visuals or engaging transitions may be difficult. Ionic apps’ performance is consequently inferior to that of native apps.
  • Potential bugs: Each new Ionic version, according to developers, has fresh issues. Some of these might be upgrading to the newest releases, using native device features, out-of-date upgrading plugins, etc.

What is React Native?

React Native is an open source project released in 2015 by Facebook with the goal of adding iOS and Android UI control rendering through React and JavaScript in order to speed up app development at Facebook. It can be embedded into existing native apps or used to build apps from scratch.

React Native is used at companies like Shopify, Facebook, and Wix.

Advantages of React Native

  • Irrespective of the platform, JavaScript is used: JavaScript, the most used programming language in the world, is supported by React Native. Additionally, if needed, you can always use native components in Objective-C, Swift, Java, or Kotlin.
  • Native-like performance: React Native ensures good application performance by rendering code components straight to native APIs.
  • An interface that feels native: The framework includes a variety of UI elements pre-installed, such as buttons, modules, sliders, etc. This shortens the time required for UI development of apps.
  • A hot reload: This is a very helpful feature that React Native supports. It enables the addition of new releases without causing the state of a program to be lost.
  • React Native community: Looking to the GitHub metrics, you’ll certainly discover that the React Native ecosystem is vast. As a result, you can always find a response to any related query because the developers are happy to share their expertise and learnings when operating with the framework.
  • Pricing: It is free to utilize this potent cross-platform framework and its libraries because it is an open-source project.

Negative aspects of React Native

  • Longer period of development: React Native doesn’t support Write-Once-Run-Anywhere. Each screen will need to be made specifically for each platform. Although it ends up taking longer than Ionic development, the end product gives your consumers a genuinely native experience.
  • Higher investments: As React Native development time is longer, you may need to invest extra money in it.
  • Use of native modules: React Native allows the use of modules written in native languages to perform difficult computations. Developing a complex application may require cooperation with native mobile developers.
  • Android app size: The React Native APK size is larger than those developed with native technologies of Java or Kotlin.

Native vs Cross-platform for Mobile App Development

Currently, there are numerous ways to make a mobile application. The disadvantage of using native code is that it requires two teams to work on the product: one focused on the iOS ecosystem and the other on the Android ecosystem, despite the fact that using native code improves performance.

Industry-standard web technologies like JavaScript, HTML, and CSS are used by cross-platform libraries to simulate native interactions. The hybrid approach has the advantage of speeding up mobile development by using a single project for all platforms and offering a consistent UX across channels.

How is React Native vs Ionic similar?

Both React Native and Ionic are top options for creating native apps because with Ionic, you can develop hybrid mobile apps using well-known web technologies like Javascript and HTML (additionally web frameworks such as React or Vue, and Angular).

You may make hybrid mobile apps with React Native, which supports the React framework and Javascript. You will have a single codebase written in a single language that can be converted into cross-platform mobile applications regardless of the option you choose. Ionic and React Native both enable the creation of mobile applications.

When to Use React Native?

After going through the comparison details – Ionic vs React Native, let’s understand when to use React Native.

Go with React Native:

  • If you have great expertise in React Native framework
  • If your existing app or website is built React Native
  • If you have a good budget and patience to see results
  • If the native platform dependency is critical to your product

When to Use Ionic?

Let’s understand when to use Ionic.

Go with Ionic:

  • If you have limited time to build an app
  • If you are a startup and have a unique idea to build an app
  • If you plan to raise funds for your app and business growth depends on MVP development.
  • If you have budget constraints

Can We Use React Native with Ionic?

Yes, we can use React Native with Ionic. It’s called Ionic React. It’s the official native React version of the Ionic. If you want to develop an app that performs faster and has some functionalities of React, then Ionic React could be your ideal choice for development.

Which is Easy to Learn Ionic or React Native?

Having said it earlier, Ionic is easy to learn as it enables you to choose your desired or preferred framework – Angular, Vue, React, and others to work with.

React Native vs Ionic

ParametersReact NativeIonic
Created ByFacebookDrifty Co.
AvailabilityReadily availableAvailable at certain charging stations
Platforms SupportediOS, macOS, tvOS, Windows, Web, AndroidiOS, Web, Android, Electron
FunctionalityBased on a dynamic runtime approachBased on WebView Wrapper
Learning CurveIf you are a newbie, it is quite sharp. No flexibility in the tech stack. Skills in Java/Kotlin, Swift/Objective-C, may be required.Ionic is simpler to learn because just rudimentary technical knowledge is required. Additionally, you can select the framework in which you are most skilled.
DocumentationQuick basic documentationExtremely clear and consistent documentation
Tech StackRobust JavaScript and React.js knowledge is required.Basic knowledge of HTML/CSS, JavaScript required. Additionally, any available frontend development frameworks, like Vue, Angular, and React works.
Code ReusabilityThe same codebase can be used for Android and iOS devices. Albeit, a tiny piece of platform-specific code might be required.Use the exact same code to develop applications for any platforms, devices and OSs.
Code TestingNeed a device or an emulator to test React Native efficiently.Testing is executed right in the browser.
RenderingHot reloading features allow real-time rendering.The application refreshes instantly after implementing a change.
PerformanceReact Native application performance is as similar to Native as possible. Few of the native components are used too.Applications created with Ionic are comparatively slower.
Use CasesFacebook, Bloomberg, SkypeMarketWatch, Pacifica, McLaren Automotive

React Native or Ionic: Which One Should I Choose?

At the moment, we can conclude that both frameworks are the best frameworks, so it’s not easy to choose one over another. However, the app development framework is dependent on the project requirements, functionalities, and target audience.

If your requirement is to develop an app in a short time and have ready code, then Ionic would be the best choice for that. On the other hand, if you want to build a high-performance app with a feature-rich UI, and amazing user experience, then React Native would be your first choice.

If you are clear with your objectives, you can leverage the framework’s benefits for the development. Thus, it would be best to be more careful while choosing a framework. And once you have got the right pick, the next step as a business owner is to gather the right developers to work on your app requirements.

Conclusion

The developer community is being consulted as the React Native team makes some important architectural modifications to the framework. Microsoft recently announced that it would assist the React Native team in increasing support for desktop apps. This suggests that your software’s desktop version might be created utilising the same codebase. It’s significant news but particularly for chat application, however creators as the majority of customers look for desktop capabilities in chat programs.

Ionic has established itself as nimble and flexible to its user base, continuously enhancing the framework and releasing new versions. Implementing new capabilities, like Ionic Payments, is a great sign that the Ionic team wants to grow and bring new and enhanced functionality. In a nutshell, we were able to solve the dilemma of choosing right cross-platform app development framework between React Native vs Ionic in 2022 as both appear to have promising futures.

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For more information you can refer to these links:

https://ionic.io/resources/articles/ionic-react-vs-react-native

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