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React Native vs Ionic | How To Make The Right Choice

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React Native is the most popular JS framework for native web development. There are many promising competitors on the market, one of them is Ionic. What would be the best choice if we compare React Native and Ionic. Let’s figure it out!

Definition

  • Ionic is a Javascript based toolkit for mobile UI development. The main point of Ionic is its integrations, the framework supports the functionality of React and Angular.
  • React Native is a JS framework for native app development. The tool uses Javascript APIs along with native components. With Native, developers can write and maintain the same code base for Android and iOS using JS instead of native languages. React Native doesn’t use web views, basically removing the additional code layer which leads to better performance.

Differences between React and Ionic

Development

In our opinion, the first distinction between the two is their main purpose.

  • Ionic uses a single codebase for Android and iOS which makes its approach to development hybrid.
  • React Native allows building and maintaining two separate databases.

Approach

  • Ionic react is a representation of a web first strategy. The code communicates with a mobile device via a web view, the app interacts with a device as an HTML page.
  • React Native communicates with native UI functionality directly. It uses controls that are fully understood by iOS and Android devices and takes a lot less time to process. Thus, React Native’s approach has a longer learning curve.

Tech Stack and Architecture

  • Ionic 2 allows integrating the core functionality not only in React but also Angular and Apache Cordova. There are many pros to integrating Angular along with React, you can access APIs for dependency management via injector, mark functions and objects in a provider. You can also separate business logic from the front end and store HTML, JS and CSS in different folders.
  • React Native requires developers to know JSX. If you have the experience with ReactJS, you will be familiar with the structure of the language. Additionally, you can increase development speed by using Redux and ECMAScript.

DOM Structure

  • React’s DOM is a lot more accessible than React Native’s DOM. React Native is not compatible with react DOM and developers can’t reuse libraries from a more popular DOM.
  • Ionic react supports all react libraries and Ionic 2 components are fully integrated with React DOM.

Styling

  • The Ionic styling ecosystem is entirely familiar to any front-end developer. That is a combination of HTML5 and SaaS and this obviously shortens the learning curve.
  • React Native uses whole values for customization. Unlike Ionic, React Native styling looks good on Android and iOS alike. If you prioritize performance and native level responsiveness, React is a definite winner between Ionic framework vs React Native.

Performance

  • The Ionic mobile approach is closer to hybrid development. You use the same JS-HTML-based codebase for both platforms. While this approach is fast and simple, it doesn’t provide the same native feel.
  • Just look at the graph we prepared, React Native communicates directly with the device UI controls, developers can access the native library and download ready-to-use code fragments, explicitly adapted to iOS and Android.
    Thus, React Native is a leader here.

Application Size

Applications with smaller sizes are better performing. To analyze an average app size, we generated empty apps for CLI for Android and Ios and evaluated the values for Ionic 2 vs React Native. Here are the results that we got for both OS’s for Ionic, Android, iOS as well as React Nativ

Community and Ecosystem

  • React Native is the most popular native app development framework right now. Native is backed by Facebook, the official team regularly releases updates, improves functionality and analyzes feedback.
  • Ionic has an advantage due to its connection to react. So, you can integrate React and be able to use all of its libraries for web development.

Use Cases

  • React interacts well with the hardware which makes it a great tool for messengers, real-time tools, pocket assistance and organizers. Anything that requires fast real-time output and smooth connection to the camera, microphone, GPS, file folder contacts is up React Natives alley.
  • We often use Ionic as a go-to framework for enterprise development, enterprise apps rarely work with millions of users. They only have to be reliable, simple and intuitive.

Our team knows and uses both React Native and Ionic regularly. So, feel free to contact us. Actually, we provide software development, UI/UX design, testing and consulting services.

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