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October 26, 2019

React Native V/s Ionic

React Native V/s Ionic

Around 5 billion smartphones travel with the users on a daily basis. Mobile phones facilitate too many day-to-day activities be it checking emails, binging Netflix, or updating and maintaining your expenses. They are so engrossed in our lives that imagining even a single day without them sounds horrible. And so, if you are looking to invest in software development, then the mobile phone has to be your priority. Owing to the rising popularity of this platform, a lot of technical terminologies have been introduced in the market. Naming a few will include Hybrid & Native Application; Ionic & React Native.

 

What is a Hybrid Application?

It allows you to build an application using CSS, HTML5, and JavaScript; all packed together in a container. This container loads all the data available on the page as soon as the user navigates through the application.

 

What is a Native Application?

A native application has to be coded separately( using varied programming languages) for different operating systems. For example, Java is used for Android, and Objective C is for iOS devices. These applications can avail the benefits of OS features and other such software tools. Usually, the native apps are compiled into machine code.

 

Benefits of using Hybrid App Development over Native Counterpart
  • Hybrid apps can be developed with faster speed.
  • Hybrid apps can easily scale on different operating devices.
  • Hybrid apps leverage web technologies that smoothen the development process and ultimately reduce costs.
  • Hybrid apps are simpler to maintain as there is only one codebase to manage.
  • A common codebase leads to fewer developers & more productivity.

 

Now moving ahead in this article, we will talk about the two most important frameworks- Ionic & React Native, their differences, and more.

What is React Native?

React Native, a JavaScript library( which is used for developing UI), is managed by a community of React Native developers & leading corporations, including Facebook, Instagram. It is a cross-platform framework for building native apps. It lets mobile app developers reuse the code already used in other Android or iOS apps.

Pros
  • In the case of large projects, React is feasible to maintain since it follows strict paradigms and design patterns.
  • React is much more stable and has a feel of native apps.
  • Code reusability across Android, Windows, and iOS ease the development process.
  • Large community support
  • Codes designed in React are Platform-independent.
Cons
  • Conversion of HTML code to native code is a path full of bugs and to solve this issue; one needs to know Swift or ObjC.
  • It lacks custom modules.
  • Since it is backed up by Fb, therefore, one needs to follow the licensing rules.
  • As it was created for iOS, hence, some aspects of Android may need some work on your end.
What is Ionic?

Ionic is an open-source, cross-platform framework used for developing hybrid solutions. It is a mobile App development framework based on HTML5 which operates with the help of Cordova or PhoneGap.

Pros
  • It is open-source and free.
  • Ionic is platform independent.
  • Ionic is easy to learn because of built-in elements.
  • Clear documentation is an added advantage.
  • Quicker development cycle.
  • Access native functionality of the customer’s device using plugins.
  • Rapid testing cycle (development).
Cons
  • There could be performance lags owing to the callbacks of the native code involved.
  • If a native look is your prime goal, then having a similar look across all the devices may disappoint you.
  • Achieving advanced graphics and interactive transitions is difficult.

 

React Native or Ionic-let the fight begin!
Technology Stack
React Native

React Native is to leverage “learn once, write anywhere” theory. React Native adopts the native behavior & standards of the platforms, which in result, breeds seamless native experience. Here, the advantage is that it pays more attention to user interfaces by using native UI components.

Ionic

Ionic offers complete SDK for building hybrid apps; it embraces the power of standard web technologies to build multi-functional, multi-platform apps with the minimum code base. Furthermore, it is established on the top of Angular. So, if you have familiarity with Angular, beginning with Ionic will be easier. Also, it is loaded with many built-in components that make development easier, faster, & smoother.

Code Reusability
React Native

React Native implements “ learn once, write anywhere” software paradigm. It allows developers to use the elements which best follow the native behavior of a platform.

Ionic

A typical hybrid application follows “Write once, run everywhere” methodology, and this synchronizes with the core concept of Ionic. Although to have a bit of native look, Ionic does adapt to the behavior of platforms, it is operating on.

Additional Components
React Native

React Native leaves the styling for the developer. As it relies on the native behavior, hence it doesn’t use replication process.
Also,React has a feature called Hot Reload. This feature allows debugging & updating the running application without completely rebuilding it.

Ionic

It consists of a lot of elements that are pre-styled. You wish to display a list of items, and for each, you need a little description & date? No worries, they have a component for that.

Community and Plugins
React Native

React Native is a popular framework on Github. Its community is continuously growing. Members of this community can easily find an answer to any question as well as third-party access libraries, which were created by the developers.

Also, a huge number of plugins are available for React. For instance, there is a plugin for utilizing Cordova/PhoneGap. This plugin helps in accessing too many mature plugins from other communities.

Ionic

When it comes to Ionic, it doesn’t have such a broad audience. Nevertheless, it has been steadily growing.

Performance
React Native

React is a more reliable framework & also ideal for large-scale applications. It is intended to provide excellent performance & responsiveness, which requires a comparatively higher budget.

Ionic

Ionic is all about native apps using HTML, CSS & JS components. It has a hybrid approach for app development. It accomplishes modern needs according to “write once, run anywhere” software rule. Sometimes, there can also be performance issues owing to the callbacks of the native code involved.

Testing
React Native

See the results of your modifications at the very instant you make them using React. There is no need of rebuilding, recompiling for the same.

Ionic

During development, it is essential to receive immediate feedback. Using Ionic, one can instantly review all the changes after refreshing the application.

Maintenance
React Native

With React native, any third party library that one might use could get outdated or become incompatible with the updated codebase. Therefore, maintainability remains a considerable problem.

Ionic

Opposite to React Native, you would only require maintaining one single app in Ionic. However, the major challenge with this is that the framework itself is changing with frequent release cycles on Ionic & Cordova.

COMPARISON TABLE 
 IonicReact Native
Code ReusabilityCodes can be reusedCodes need to be rewritten
NatureHybridCross-platform
Performance SlowerFaster
Power ConsumptionAround 520mWAround 473.2 mW
ParadigmWrite once, run anywhereLearn once, Write anywhere
FeaturesUseful features for hybrid app developmentLacks some essential features
Code TestingIt can be performed on any browser.It requires a real mobile device or an emulator.
Learning CurveHas pre-designed and pre-developed elements.Consist of very few pre-styled elements.
DocumentationSimple and consistent.A very basic manual is available.

 

So how to make the right choice?

If the requirement is of high performance, native-looking app, then React Native is the best option. However, If your project has a low budget and requires decent performance, then choosing the Ionic framework will be suitable. Honestly, everything depends on the requirements of your project. Hope this post helps, in case of queries, feel free to talk!

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