Ionic vs React Native
Published at June 27, 2018

There are a good number of mobile app development frameworks available on the Internet, such as Xamarin, Ionic, React Native, and Flutter. It’s a good thing that we can choose from several frameworks but it can be difficult to decide which one would be the right fit for building our mobile apps if there are too many good options.

In this article, I will give you a comparison between Ionic and React Native, and will help you decide which framework would be the right framework for your business.

Framework overview

Ionic: Ionic is an amazing open-source mobile app development framework, developed by Drifty Co. Now this brand name is known as Ionic. This framework was released in 2013. With Ionic, you can write code in HTML5, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS, etc. It lets you build Windows, Android, and iOS apps.

You can visit the official site here: https://ionicframework.com/.

React Native: React Native is a free, open-source, cross-platform mobile app development framework developed by Facebook. It was released in March, 2015. When you work with React Native, you write code in JavaScript and React. You can also use native code directly. With this framework, you can build mobile apps for Android and iOS.

You can visit the official site here: https://facebook.github.io/react-native/.

Development environment

Ionic: Ionic Creator is an awesome development environment in Ionic. It lets you complete your project fast. There are many ready-made tools to speed up your project. There’s a code editor inside Ionic Creator which you can use to write code. You can also write code in other IDEs and code editors such as Atom and Visual Studio Code.

React Native: For React Native, you can write code in any text editor / IDE. There are several text editors and IDEs available on the Internet. The top text editors and IDEs are Atom, Sublime Text, Visual Studio Code, etc.

Ease of use

Ionic: Ionic not just provides you with lots of prebuilt components, it lets you finish your app by ‘drag and drop’. Your development process becomes almost effortless when you can develop a great part of your mobile app by drag-and-drop. The native plugins, prebuilt components, drag-and-drop feature, and the easy-to-use development environment make your work extremely easy and they also save you a lot of time and energy. So when we’re talking about ease of use, Ionic is the winner.

React Native: React Native is very easy to use. You can use any code editor for building a mobile app using React Native. With this framework, you can save a lot of development time as there are many pre-built components. You can use them to complete your project quickly. Besides, the Hot Reloading feature lets you reload your app quickly. Recompiling the entire project takes a lot of time. So instead of recompiling your code, you can just use the Hot Reloading feature to reload your app instantly.

In a nutshell, app development with React Native is very easy, and it saves you a lot of time and energy.

App performance

Ionic: App performance with Ionic is good but an app built with Ionic will not be as fast as an app built with React Native. Ionic is a good fit when you need to build a mobile app really fast. And React Native is a great fit when app performance is important to you.

But keep in mind that Ionic will not give your app poor performance. Rather, the performance will be good, but not as good as the performance of an app built with React Native.

React Native: React Native is very popular for its performance. You will get near-native performance with this framework. Although the official site may claim that you will get native performance, keep in mind that native performance is possible only when you code in native languages such as Java, Objective-C, and Swift.

The good news is that React Native lets you code in these languages, too. You can develop a part of your app in native code and the remaining part in React Native. In this way, you can improve your app’s performance to a great level. This is how the Facebook app is built.

When we’re talking about app performance, React Native is the winner platform.

Market share

Ionic: Great companies such as Microsoft, IBM, and Adobe use Ionic.


React Native: React Native has been used in popular mobile apps such as Facebook, Facebook Ads Manager, Instagram, Skype, F8, Tesla, Uber, Facebook Analytics, Chop, Discord, Walmart, Artsy, and so on. You can see a longer list here.


[Source: Google Trends]

So which framework would be the right fit for you?

In this article, I have talked about many comparison factors such as development environment, performance, market share, etc. to give you a basic understanding of these frameworks. You can also consider other factors while deciding which one would be suitable for your business. But the comparison factors discussed in this article are the most important ones in my opinion.

I can conclude that both these frameworks are undoubtedly good. But not both of them may be appropriate for the type of apps you’re building.

If development time is important to you, choose Ionic because, with this framework, you can build apps really fast. So if you need to build several apps in a short span of time, you can use Ionic.

On the other hand, if app performance is important to you, use React Native. If you think that it’s okay if it takes a little longer to build an app but you want your app to be super fast then I suggest you choose React Native. Because React Native will give your app near-native performance.

At VirtualSpirit, we develop mobile apps using React Native and Ionic. If you need to build mobile apps using these frameworks, call us today at +60197570530 or send us an email at hello@virtualspirit.me.

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