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Ionic vs. React Native: Which is the Best for Mobile App Development

Ionic vs. React Native: Which is the Best for Mobile App Development

Mobile applications have brought about a great change in our daily life with an increasing number of smartphone users globally. It has allowed developers to build great apps as mobile technology advanced through the last decade.

Designing mobile apps does not require you to be fluent in any difficult programming language. There are a variety of frameworks available if your idea is to build an app for iOS and Android. Simply knowing web-based programming languages like HTML, CSS, or JavaScript is enough.

Modern frameworks have several advantages like efficiency, speed, and a bug-free environment. The framework runs code with pre-built components including compilers, debugging tools, and a toolkit.

When businesses hire developers, they use these application frameworks that can reduce the common problems that arise while developing applications. Application frameworks help to simplify development of web-based applications and create graphical user interfaces (GUIs).

These app development frameworks are mainly used for native apps, web apps, and hybrid apps. React Native, Flutter, Xamarin, Ionic, and Apache Cordova are some well-known frameworks. We have measured why you must understand two of the best frameworks for creating hybrid mobile applications, Ionic vs React Native.

Here are the topics that we have covered to explain about Ionic vs. React Native:

I. Why Do Developers Use Ionic and React Native?


Ionic developers can create Android, iOS, and web apps. Besides, Ionic offers native APIs and cross-platform UI components that can be used for developing amazing cross-platform mobile apps.

Features of Ionic

  • The open-source Ionic framework and developers can create hybrid mobile applications with Ionic.
  • It is constructed using Apache Cordova and AngularJS.
  • The command-line interface (CLI) that is included with the Ionic Framework allows developers to create and test apps for any platform.
  • It provides all the features offered by native app development SDKs, enabling developers to create apps for other OSes using Cordova.
  • Apps may be distributed on the Android, iOS, and Windows platforms and just need to be developed with Ionic.
  • Create apps utilizing JavaScript, CSS, and HTML5.
  • For a better user experience, the UI is heavily prioritized to create apps using Ionic.

React Native

React Native helps developers to create a cross-platform application by offering platform-agnostic native UI components. And these native components can easily get mapped into the native UI building blocks in the best native app mobile framework.

Features of React Native

  • It reduces development time and costs because it is reusable across Android and iOS.
  • It enables real-time viewing of changes thanks to virtual-DOM support.
  • React native developers make up a sizable group.
  • It is simple for other developers to read, study, comprehend, and extend code that has been written by one developer.
  • Once written, the code can be utilized on iOS and Android devices to create an app using react-native.
  • React Native apps for iOS or Android can have problems fixed rapidly.
  • With each new update, it becomes better and better, making the process of developing apps more enjoyable and practical.

II. The Popularity of Ionic vs. React Native in the Developer Community?

  • As per the survey by AppBrain, there are 26K apps built with the Ionic framework and over 32K apps built with React Native.
  • The market share of Ionic is 3.72% while React Native is 4.67%.
  • Among top applications, 6.38% of those apps are built with React Native, while Ionic contributes only 0.21%.
  • According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey 2021, React Native is the sixth most popular technology in the world while Ionic has not reached the top technologies list during this survey.
  • As per Statista, React Native has a market share of 38% and it is the second most popular cross-platform mobile framework. Compared to that, Ionic  has a market share of 16% and it is the fourth most popular cross-platform mobile framework.
  • According to Github, React Native has 102K stars and 22K forks, while Ionic has 47k stars and 13.7K forks.

Winner – React Native

graphImage Source - npmtrends

III. When to Use Ionic in Mobile App Development?

For developers familiar with web development, Ionic offers a familiar, cutting-edge web development experience. It uses modern JavaScript and TypeScript, advanced web APIs such as web components, and deep integration with Progressive Web App APIs. It’s modern web platform for native mobile app development.

Ionic is write-once code that works. Not only does it dramatically cut down on the time it takes to target your audience, but it’s also likely much faster than building one traditional native app!

With JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, and over one hundred extensible and well-designed components, Ionic just makes it faster to get to a functional app than almost any other approach.

Even when competing with other cross-platform technologies, Ionic has been known to pull off the unimaginable and release an app ahead of schedule for teams striving to meet unrealistic deadlines.

Ionic is a superpower that helps entrepreneurs to reach the widest audience on day one for teams striving to establish their risky new product or company and get traction (across iOS, Android, and web). No other platform achieves this better than Ionic, which is optimized to be very practical.

IV. When to Use React Native in Mobile App Development?

Although React is a front-end platform, it is not rigid and may be combined with a variety of other back-end technologies. In this sense, Reacts functions more like a thriving ecosystem of tools and strategies.

Luckily, the fact that React was created and is heavily used by Facebook to address their issues only adds to the library’s quality and efficiency in dealing with similar problems faced on other projects.

React is designed for building robust component-centric applications. However, although it’s a front-end technology, React is not opinionated and can be paired with a variety of other technologies executing the back-end, too. This way, Reacts serves rather as a vibrant ecosystem of tools and approaches. It can be used for web app development (where it all started,) mobile app development, static site building, desktop apps development, and even VR app development.

V. Some Pros and Cons: Ionic vs React Native

Pros of Ionic

  • Developer friendly - As Ionic is built on standardized web technologies, web developers can build mobile apps.
  • It’s flexible - Ionic is very flexible because it's built on standardized web technologies.
  • One codebase, multiple apps - Ionic can build multiple apps from one codebase.
  • Tools with native compatibility - Ionic offers a library of components and plugins including front-end building blocks, UI components, common app icons, and more.
  • Extensive choice of UI elements and quick prototyping - Ionic feels like native application because of its UI components library.

Cons of Ionic

  • Performance can be an issue on older devices – It is slow on old devices as compared to modern devices.
  • Security precautions - Any mobile app development process will be fraught with security concerns.

Pros of React Native

  • Community is driven - There are considerable advantages of a community-driven environment like the availability of a huge team of enthusiastic JS and native developers willing to share their information and proficiency with freely available components.
  • Maximum code reuse and cost savings – Using React Native, you can release the same code to iOS and Android simultaneously. This results in significant cost and time savings for development.
  • ‘hot reload’ feature - the ‘live reload’ feature, enables you to immediately see the result of the latest change that you have made to the code.

Cons of React Native

  • Lack of native libraries - In case the app has heavy functionalities, then React Native can slow down the development process, and the reason is the lack of native libraries, and reliance on external, third-party libraries.
  • Loosely held abstraction layer - React Native is a loosely held framework, wherein programmers can get tags like HTML, stylesheets like CSS, and code from JavaScript.
  • Takes more time to initialize - React Native may take more time to initialize due to the JavaScript thread which takes time to initialize.
  • Requires a lot of native workarounds - If specific functionality is not found in React Native, then developers have two options: Either ask any native developer to write a new one or write the native modules in Swift/Objective-C and Java.
  • License & Patenting Issues - License and Patenting Issues also persist since Facebook controls React Native.

VI. Ionic vs. React Native Comparison based on Similarities and Differences in terms of Architecture and Performance

Ionic vs React Native Similarities

  1. Since both projects create true native app files and binaries, Ionic and React Native apps both have complete native access and capabilities.
  2. JavaScript is not pre-compiled but rather executed at runtime by Ionic (through Capacitor or Cordova) and React Native.
  3. Both make it simple to increase an app's native capabilities, and developers shouldn't have any difficulties using either strategy.
  4. Ionic React and React Native support running native code and accessing Native APIs almost equally.


Ionic vs. React Native Architecture

There are four core sections in React Native architecture:

  • The React code which the developer writes.
  • The JavaScript that eventually gets interpreted from the code which the developer has written.
  • A series of elements which are known as The Bridge collectively.
  • The Native side.

The ionic framework essentially renders a native WebView full-screen web browser component after taking HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code to construct mobile applications. With technology like Capacitor or Cordova, the Ionic codebase includes WebView during runtime. The Ionic app is, to put it simply, a mobile-based website that is displayed on a mobile application.

Ionic vs. React Native: Performance

Since Ionic always takes a hybrid approach to mobile app development, it cannot create Native apps. Ionic performs worse than React since it requires plugins to access native capabilities.

Compared to Ionic vs. React Native, React Native offers better performance. Ionic is sluggish and loads Native features more slowly. The same construction blocks that Native apps employ are also used by React. It improves the performance and responsiveness of React.

VII. Examples of Famous Websites that are developed with Ionic and React Native


React native


Diesel has its Ionic app. Because of the Ionic framework, the app comes with good performance and high-quality UI that makes it look and feel like a native app.


Facebook released React Native in 2015. They made Facebook Ads with the React Native framework and achieved excellent results.

McDonald’s Turkey

McDonald’s put efforts into building a solid digital presence. That’s why they decided to go with Ionic for their food ordering app in Turkey.


React Native helped Instagram developers improve their velocity and deliver the product much faster and share 85% to 99% of code between the apps and Android and iOS.


The ionic framework was used in Cryptochange, a cryptocurrency tracker app. It tracks over 100 different cryptocurrencies. You may utilize this app to buy cryptocurrency.


Airbnb an online rental marketplace needed to speedup the development time to quickly penetrate the market. React Native helped them in creating a native-like experience.


The InstantPot Ionic app makes it simple to find recipes, bookmark favorites, take notes, and even create grocery lists. This application made with the Ionic framework is rated so well for its design for iOS and Android.


Bloomberg offers global business and finance news. React Native accelerates the release of new product features and provides users with a streamlined, interactive experience on all platforms.


Sworkit through this Ionic app development, the creators made sure that the application was as universal as possible. Therefore, it contains an enormous diversity of training exercises and videos.


UberEats is a popular food ordering app needed to enhance its built-in restaurant dashboard. They used React Native to enhance RN framework.


VIII. Reducing Development Cost and Cost Saving with Ionic and React Native

Ionic supports faster development and also provides 1.5x faster performance than its previous Ionic 3. Importantly, Ionic developers get most of the inbuilt features and functionality that speeds up development. There are some of the most significant changes that Ionic 4 has received that help in boosting development speed.

The cost-effectiveness of React Native accommodates more room to add new possibilities in terms of features, scalability, the outcome. One such cost-effective method is using Cross-platform mobile app development. The objective of this technique is to develop software or apps for several platforms. This is accomplished by writing one round of code to support several platforms. This method reduces the overall cost as well as the time required to create apps.

IX. Some Hints to Help You Choose Between Ionic and React Native 

With Ionic and React Native there’s enough room for creating a hybrid mobile ecosystem. The capacitor is a great example, providing Ionic developers with tooling on par with React Native and solving a lot of the pain points of Cordova.

A lot of times, the decision on when to use React Native or Ionic comes down to what is the focus of your project. If you want to build an experience that heavily relies on augmenting the design of native features, you should go with React Native.

If you want to build a complex design to run on different across platforms? Go for Ionic. Its prefabricated design lends itself to a faster time-to-market, but both frameworks excel for this use case.

X. Conclusion

So ultimately, give both Ionic and React Native a shot. Don't base your decisions on the notion that one framework is superior to another. By assessing your own business needs you'll quickly be able to decide which framework is best for your project. You can reach us to get help from our expert developers.

We have over 20 years of experience in providing IT solutions and we are a CMMI level 3 certified company. All our processes are well-defined and transparent, and we have a unique virtual model that helps us and our clients to collaborate as partners. We help all our clients by becoming a part of their DNA and extending them all the support from the Clarion family. We have employed the best practices and we offer our clients with highest quality service. Try our 2-week risk-free trial!

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