Disruptive Cross Platform App Development – React Native Vs. Ionic
Do you know that by 2020, there will be more than 6.1 billion mobile users?
Mobile app development is slowly becoming a mainstream digital solution and the number of apps on the app stores keeping on increasing rapidly. Today number of businesses are coming up with the need to get mobile apps to build. For them, it poses as a critical solution which can be very helpful in expanding their business. Today different technologies and frameworks have come up to meet the ever-changing business needs. The popularity of cross-platform app development is increasing too. However, there is always a point of debate when it comes to choosing the right platform for app development.
Here in this post, we are going to discuss the two frameworks React Native and Ionic, which have recently been enjoying the spotlight.
Advantages of React Native
o One of the main advantages linked with React Native app development is code reusability. This way you get to cut down the costs and accelerate development process significantly. There have been some scenarios where code reusability extended up to 95%.
o Compared to the apps build on Ionic, React Native apps perform much better. But the bridge between the business logic and native components affects its performance compared to the native apps.
o Because of the platform specific UI building blocks, the user interface of React Native apps looks just like native ones. So regardless of the device or platform on which the app is installed, you will get to enjoy better user experience.
o The projects developed in React Native become easy to maintain as it follows strict design rules and has the support of the huge community.
Disadvantages of React Native
o If there is a need to come up with components which are written in a language which is platform specific then the engineers will have to work with native codes. In such situation having some knowledge of Swift/Objective-C or Kotlin/Java which are involved in the native app development process will be nice.
o If the developer has no previous knowledge of React then it may take time to understand JSX, the library, and its writing approach. All this will cause a delay in the launch of the React Native project.
o There may occur placement issues as the graphical elements get converted to each platform automatically by React Native. In such situations to make the design look right, you will have to work with the codes.
Ionic was also formed around the same time as React Native but it takes a different approach for cross-platform app development. The framework focuses on building hybrid apps which makes use of WebView, a special HTML rendering engine so as to make your app run on the device. Ionic is an improved version of the popular framework called Apache Cordova and comes with a powerful command-line interface and improved documentation.
Advantages of Ionic
o This framework is easy to learn and most of the technologies that fall under Ionic are familiar to the developers.
o When you choose to go with Ionic you will not have to spend the time working on native languages or tackle any kind of issues that are platform specific. Ionic comes with useful features like mobile components, typography, interactive paradigms and a number of UI components that are native-styled.
o The availability of pre-set templates and third-party starter kits makes prototyping with Ionic fast.
o With Ionic, you get the advantage of running the code anywhere once written in it. All you will need to do is some minute changes so as to run it on any said platform.
Disadvantages of Ionic
o When you choose to go with hybrid app development, you will have to compromise with the performance. This is not just about Ionic but about different callbacks which are sent to the native code.
o When using Ionic you should not stick with the native UI look. Irrespective of the device or platform on which it is running, it will look the same.
o Use of the browser can cause decreased responsiveness and will take more time to load the app.
Key differences of React Native Vs Ionic
In order to reproduce native components, the hybrid development framework of Ionic makes use of Cordova/PhoneGap. It is possible to carry out cross-platform mobile development by making use of Ionic, Cordova, ngCordova or any of the two combined together.
While on the other side, building blocks are reusable components in React Native and they are compiled directly into a native platform. Such a structure which is component based offers functionality, speed and the right feel of a native app and it is possible to include React Native components with the help of plugins to an app code which already exists, instead of working on it completely.
By using the instant previews of the app on the mobile devices it is possible to get immediate feedbacks on Ionic. You get to make changes anytime and the app will refresh with the new ones.
As JSX is not HTML, React can become a bit tricky for the designers to work on as they will not be able to use CSS directly. This does not mean that you cannot enjoy CSS on the app. Design styles, which is just like CSS can be used to build designs that are platform specific.
With Ionic designers and developers will have a familiar feeling while with React they will have to do more work.
Irrespective of the platform hybrid apps appear similar and run on the same code. Ionic understands this well and so works on to make cross-platform app development a better experience by adjusting the features in a way that once written app can run anywhere that too with a minimum amount of changes.
React want the developers to take frameworks and platform-specific logic into account. React Native was developed with the idea to make the process of native app development easier. So with React Native, it will not take much work when it comes to moving from a platform to another one.
When it comes to working on an open source framework, it is very important to know how strong the community is. React Native and Ionic come from two of the most well-known ecosystems like React and Angular and so you can be sure about getting a healthy and supportive community.
Testing on device
For developers, it can be a frustrating thing to wait for the feedback to come or they may even find it hard to wait for the app to test on which they are working.
You can get real-time testing version both with Ionic and React. You will get instant previews on browsers and smartphones with Ionic and it also refreshes instantly with the changes. This means development will speed up and it can be especially good when you are building business apps. This can be good as around 75.2% Ionic developers are into commercial app building.
Which is better? Which one to choose?
The kind of development tools you plan to choose is all about team preference and what you want to have. It depends on the user requirements, skills and yes, you and your team. It has to be said that both frameworks do well even though they do differently.
If you wish to have a native app build go for React Native as it can make it happen effectively being more responsive to the end user and due to native rendering feature.
On the other hand, Ionic is a completely hybrid development platform and so there can come usability and speed issues when trying to build native apps. With React Native you can have third-party plugins included using a native module without compromising the speed and memory too much.
Saving money and time stays as one of the main two reasons why companies choose to go for hybrid app development. They don’t want to waste more time fixing issues and with React Native you will not have to end up in such scenarios more.
You can always take the chance and test both the frameworks before you actually plan to choose it for your mobile app development. Still, if you wish to build a hybrid app which has native app features developed choosing to React Native development services can be a smart move.