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React Native Vs Ionic: Which is the Best framework for Mobile App Development

Ever wondered why we are so attracted to distinctive mobile apps and not all of them? One of the major reasons is that the maximum of these products are never updated once they are released and eventually banished. Gone are the days when businesses used to conduct mobile application development projects in India and then sit and watch the ratings. Fortunately, it’s not water under the bridge! So, there is hope! 

Table of Content
  1. Let’s Get Acquainted with the Top Players – React Native and Ionic
  2. Ionic Framework
    1. Ionic Framework Pros
    2. Ionic Framework Cons
  3. React Native
    1. React Native Pros
    2. React Native Cons
  4. React Native vs Ionic: Tabular Comparison
  5. What is Ionic React?
  6. 10 Most Popular React Native Apps and Ionic Apps
  7. React Native vs. Ionic: Which of These Frameworks is the Best and Why?

Some Quick Facts to Consider:

  • In 2017, 178 billion mobile apps were downloaded showing no signs of slowing down as the number is projected to grow to 205 billion downloads this year and 258 billion by 2022. Source
  • Amazon, Gmail, Facebook, YouTube, Google Maps, Google search, WhatsApp, Instagram are top-ranking cross platform apps, based on native apis.. 
  • More than 90 percent of all smartphone users have a web browser, communication, and social app, utility app, entertainment app, search app, or shopping app among entertainment, shopping, lifestyle, and production industries. Source

1. Let’s Get Acquainted with the Top Players – React Native and Ionic

With more and more companies acknowledging the dominance of mobile apps, they are compelled to seek different ways to provide their customers with the convenience of using their services in one go. So what needs to be done is wise decisions must be taken right from the scratch. For example, choosing the right platform to build mobile apps and before that it’s better to consult a reputable Ionic or React Native development company.  

2. Ionic Framework

Have you ever wondered why the world is crazy about this mobile app development platform? As I said there was a time when businesses required paying hefty prices while designing  mobile apps; then hybrid technology came into existence (our money saving expert). To get all the ducks in a row beforehand, native mobile developers started making use of Ionic, top hybrid and cross platform framework.

Ionic is one of the leading HTML5 mobile development frameworks mainly used to build hybrid Ionic apps. Designed on top of Apache Cordova and Angular, it is an open-source SDK framework. It is a safe bet to say that after Node.js and Angular, this one has gained momentum among the best JavaScript-based programming languages.

Quick look at Ionic App Development

In addition, more and more web technologies like CSS, HTML5, and SAAS are being used to create mobile and web applications which can be effectively deployed on Android, iOS, and Windows phones. 

Since its inception, the technology had been quite dependent on Angular framework components but not anymore. As soon as the fourth version came into existence, nothing could stop Ionic from becoming a framework-agnostic. If simply put, it can be used without angular or any other JS framework – all because of the new refactored and tailored Ionic’s CLI.

Speaking further of the change, one of the finest examples to consider here is the vast library of web components named Stencil which can be also used as a tool to build new ones.

1. Ionic Development Pros

Open Source – One of the obvious reasons behind the growing popularity of Ionic app development is that it’s completely available for free. From non-techie entrepreneurs to web developers; the technology levels the playing field for all as anybody can create things easily. Imagine if an Ionic development company required paying license fees of $1000s they a lot of businesses would never be able to get started.

So open source is great but at the same time does it offer stability? Remember this is no ordinary technology we are referring to, Ionic/Angular/React Native Development platforms incorporate a lot of investments and are more likely to go belly up than an enterprise-focused company charging huge bucks.

Performance-based – Since the day of its arrival, slowly and steadily the tech has changed in regards to performance. With the changing versions from Ionic to Ionic 3, Ionic 4, everything improved, especially those which skilled Ionic web developers never wanted in the hybrid app technology. Irrespective of the mobile device’s brand, it is now possible to operate apps in a faster and smoother manner. 

Ease of Learning – Mainly considered as an easy-to-learn tool; more and more front-end developers are able to grasp the basics and choose between different web frameworks supported by Ionic.

As the technology doesn’t compile the whole app into a native language, having expertise in native app development would only be a plus. However, it compiles UI elements using Cordova, or a native-bridge platform called Capacitor. Building and maintaining an application with the right web technology stack is no big deal. But in case, if you require fixing a plugin or developing a custom one featuring some specific functionality, you must look no further than a reliable iOS and Android developer.

Active and Supportive Community – Starting with a new framework is not an easy venture especially for non-techies. Believe it or not, but there are times when experts are unable to spot where the issue lies and how to deal with it. Ionic has a huge and active community ready to answer all your queries via blog posts or forums being answered by experienced members.

The best part is, you never know, you might be lucky enough to get your answers from the masterminds of the technology.

Concise Documentation – Most of the documents are used by those who have any queries regarding the platform. What is documentation, you may ask? Well, here the term means a comprehensive guide incorporating every useful topic regarding the technology such as what the components of Ionic are, how they must be used, do they interrelate, etc.

Other instruction steps like configuration guide, launching guides are also available.

2. Ionic Development Cons

  • Security issues – This shouldn’t be considered as a con but a possible pitfall that can be faced by Ionic developers working on it.  
  • You may encounter a lack in regards to suitability especially during the times of measuring the performance of heavy applications.

3. React Native

Mainly used for cross-platform app development for iOS and Android, React Native has been pretty much in talks over a few years. Killing two birds with one arrow has become a little passe’. Today it’s more like killing three birds with one arrow, i.e. saving time, money, and staff resources, and React Native application development technology does assist you well in achieving the target.

It may interest you to know that the native framework has been used in some of the world-famous react native apps including Pulse, Tencent QQ, Skype, UberEats, Tesla, Instagram, Airbnb, Walmart, SoundCloud, and many others. This means it’s relatively not a new concept. 

Can you name the two broad fractions of apps in the market? It’s pretty simple- native and hybrid apps. Both the platforms equally share plus points and drawbacks. For example, react native apps are of better quality and have better UI/UX but can cost you an arm and a leg whereas hybrid apps generally suffer from poor performance and quantity but are cheaper and quicker. What will you choose between – Quality or cost? It’s a tough choice! None of these can be or should be compromised for that matter and fortunately, there is a way to bypass this all together, consult a reputable React Native Development Company in India.

With the help of technology and the effective use of the Javascript library, you can build  native apps that could save ample time and money as it can be shared between platforms. Technically speaking, it is Facebook’s JavaScript library used for building commendable user interfaces for both native iOS and Android. 

hire react native developers

1. React Native Development Pros

Faster Development Process– We humans always strive towards “more for less” concepts and CEOs, or entrepreneurs are no exception. React Native development is all about using both iOS and Android platforms with the same code to deploy. As a result, the development cycle is shortened and the team is quite scaled up saving an ample amount of time and money. Almost 50% of the development efforts can be cut without sacrificing on quality that also makes React native application development cost effective.

Developers are easy to find – With the ever-increasing  react native community , finding reliable React Native developers is no big deal. With more and more development companies making the leap and switching towards the tech, the more people work on it – the better it gets.

React Native development companies in India as well as across the globe will keep on increasing in the upcoming years as there is a sudden shift towards Hybrid and native mobile apps t for the better.

Cross-platform mobile development – Increasing popularity cannot be ignored at any rate. With the emergence of React Native development services; one doesn’t require Java, Swift, or Objective C to develop iOS and Android apps respectively. Also, much like Ionic, this tech has strong and continuous support from a huge community of React Native developers. In case, if any problem arises, a JavaScript and native web developer is happy to help to fix them as well as share additional knowledge if possible.

Speed – The digital realm seems to be growing at a lightning speed and so do we. It may quite interest you to know that a small delay in the time to market entry could lead you to a huge failure. The need for implementing ideas before others is what needs to be done right away. The game is getting bigger & bitter. While chasing the two rabbits (iOS and Android) you might be left empty-handed. In simple words, the time taken to build two different apps would cost you more than building one in React Native. From what we observed, companies that emerged as top players in the game of mobile apps were the ones that had websites already built-in the tech. After all, transiting from websites built-in React to a React Native app is much easier and faster.

App performs like a native app – It may quite interest you to know that building blocks of React Native can be compiled to native platforms as they are reusable native components. Yes, this means time to bid adieu to WebView system components. Also, with all the relevant look, speed, and functionality, the app performs just like a native app.

2. React Native Cons

  • It may be disappointing for you to know React Native is still in its Beta version. No matter how many package compatibility or debugging tools are found, but more time is spent on troubleshooting. 
  • It is not a fully cross-platform, single-codebase approach.

4. React Native vs. Ionic — Tabular Comparison

Capabilities React Native Ionic
Technology Stack With an objective to learn once and write anywhere, React Native code is set to give a seamless native experience. Ionic assists in building multi-functional and platform web apps. All this is done with a minimum code base.
Performance With the use of a functional user interface, it provides a closer native appearance By using web technologies for improved portability, this one offers a hybrid approach and accomplishes all the modern needs in such a manner.
Language Stack React and JavaScript All web technologies – HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Angular, TypeScript
Apps Created Cross-platform Hybrid apps
Learning Curve Steep learning curve – Loved by React Developers The easy yet monotonous learning curve
Well-known for Native-like and elegant user interfaces across the platforms Using a single code base you can develop an app for iOS, Android, Windows, Web, Desktop, and also PWA (Progressive Web Apps)
Platforms Android, iOS, UWP Android, iOS, UWP (Universal Windows Platform), and PWA
Top Companies using the Technology Facebook, Instagram, Uber EATS, Airbnb JustWatch, Untappd, Cryptochange, Nationwide, Pacifica, and many more

5. What is Ionic React?

Since we have done so much talking about React Native and Ionic, how can we forget to discuss Ionic React? Well, to be precise, it is an open-source UI mainly used to build iOS, Android and Progressive Web Apps. This is a native API project that comprises cross-platform UI components and native functionality.

Technically speaking, since Ionic React is a blend of two frameworks, developers only need to write a single shared codebase to function across cross-platforms. Now if your teams are comprised of traditional web development skills and libraries and aim to target mobile and web as a progressive web app, I am pretty sure that Ionic React is more likely to be a better fit here. And maybe that’s the sole reason why Ionic has been successful among startups and enterprises.

Ionic React is the official React Version of the Ionic framework. And it may quite interest you to know that Ionic React is used by T-Mobile, America’s Test Kitchen, Schneider, Medical Answering Service, Yara International, IBM, and more. You see the blended framework can work such wonders.

6. 10 Most Popular React Native Apps and Ionic Apps

  1. Sworkit – Are you looking for a cross-platform app that uses the Ionic framework? Sworkit is the name to keep in mind that runs on both iOS and Android platforms. The web app technology enables a web developer to use a single codebase just in order to make it compatible enough on multiple platforms. 
  2. McDonald’s Türkiye – Who hasn’t tasted yummy McDonald’s here? I am sure we all did and still keep on craving for more. Apart from being the world’s largest food chain, Mcdonalds puts a lot of effort and resources into building a solid digital presence worldwide. No two ways about it! That’s why they decided to go with Ionic for their food ordering app in Turkey. In addition, the app provides you with lots of deals and discounts. 
  3. Market Watch – Here we are presenting the Market watch app. Much like the Facebook app, this one shows the most current company news, stock market quotes, financial advice and market data. Being an Ionic app, it works at its best on both Android and iOS web app.
  4. Diesel – Even the Diesel brand has its own Ionic app, can you imagine? What the Ionic native application does is, it helps the merchandising team to create reports and analyse each store and product. The app also enables the company to come up with better ideas or ways to present themselves. 
  5. StockPlan Connect – Even more complicated apps can be built with Ionic. The StockPlan Connect app is targeting Morgan Stanley stock plan participants. It helps the users view their balance, sell shares and make forecasts for their future stock performance.
  6. Facebook – Facebook is quite known social network found today and I don’t need to mention how popular its mobile application is. Now there was one issue, the mobile development technologies were not ready for cross-platform back in 2010, especially not for Facebook’s requirements. So, naturally, the original app was slow, and buggy. As a result, they were looking for creating a new framework that meets the need and requirements. Hence they didn’t choose React Native but it was born with it.
  7. Instagram – It may quite interest you to know that Instagram registered 25000 users on the first day and within a week it already had 100.000 downloads. By April 2012, when Facebook bought Instagram, the mobile app already had 27 million users. So without any doubt, React Native made Instagram’s life so much better. And the cherry on top, thanks to React Native, Instagram has now an almost instantaneous start-up time. Today, Instagram has over one billion Google Play downloads and ranks #2 in Photos and Video apps on the App Store.
  8. Skype – Another known react native application is Skype. The Microsoft-owned platform connects thousands of people and teams around the world every single day.  Now, why did they choose React Native here? The answer is performance and simplicity. Simply put, React Native is easier to learn and minimizes the tweaking needed to make both the iOS and Android versions of the app work.
  9. Uber Eats –  This one is pretty known and popular. Today, Uber Eats operates in more than 6000 cities in 45 countries and has become the go-to service for delivery for most. After they choose React Native, today, UberEats ranks #2 in Food and Drinks on App Store and has been downloaded by more than 100 million Google Play users.
  10. Pinterest – Pinterest has stated that 2 billion searches every month, out of which 600 million are visual. React Native plays a pretty crucial role here. It’s the ability for code sharing resulting in minimized development work, performance, and scalability.

7. React Native vs. Ionic: Which of These Frameworks is the Best and Why?

Honestly speaking both Ionic and React Native development technology are meant for the same purpose the only difference lies between them is in their project requirements. So, in short, everything depends on what you need for your business to grow. If you want to access native features then you should pick react native. Also, If you are considering performance, responsiveness, and a native app – choose React Native. In case, if you are considering low time and budget, and high-end support of native browser apps then without a shadow of doubt choose Ionic.

Choose React Native, if

  • You have a running React Native based website
  • You have the best team of React developers at your service
  • You believe the fact that Native platform dependency is crucial
  • You have both time and money to develop cross-platform web apps

Choose Ionic, if

  • You wish to build apps with an innovative idea, whether its eCommerce apps or native application
  • The growth of your business is proportionate to MVP development of the Ionic apps
  • The time factor is extremely critical and your competitors are seeking both these frameworks
  • The budget is pretty much low and you want to get the best out of it.

Hope you clearly understand the difference between React native vs Ionic. For further information and updates feel free to contact a leading React Native development company in India like us who ensures to offer you nothing but the best possible outcome.


  • Leave a message...

    1. James

      I must say it is a Blog with useful information on the internet! Thank you for sharing the advantages and drawbacks of React Native and Ionic framework.

    2. Sam John

      Nice Article, It's interesting to read till the end with lots of information. Keep updating your blogs.Thank you so much for sharing.

    3. Melissa R West

      Thank you for this very detailed comparison. What metric do you use to evaluate this, so I can use to make a decision between opting for Ionic which is much simpler or just going head on with React?