As the name suggests, Cross-Platform Mobile App Development is concerned about the development of mobile apps that can function independently on several mobile platforms. Which means, one mobile app can be compatible with multiple mobile platforms. With the emergence of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) into the corporate world, it has become a necessity for organizations to develop indigenous corporate mobile apps.
Through these apps, employees can interact with clients who are using multiple mobile devices by utilizing variety of operating systems that run on various networks. Allowing companies to develop an app that can run on native platforms like BlackBerry, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile, the cross-platform mobile app development helps in cutting down costs as well.
The Premise behind Ionic and React Native Frameworks
Since you already know what cross-platform mobile app development is all about, it is now time to focus on two different mobile app development frameworks; namely Ionic and React Native. These are the subjects of study as they are considered to be the top two hybrid mobile app development frameworks. Once the framework is explained, you will understand their differences as well.
A Sneak Peek into Ionic
If you are building a cross-platform mobile app that can be featured on all the major app stores and mobile web with a single code base, then look no further. Simply tread the path laid down by Ionic and you are all good to go.
Ionic is a comprehensive open-source software development kit (SDK), majorly used for hybrid app development. Tagged as a 100% free source code which can be located on GitHub, you can build fully-functional cross-platform apps for platforms like Desktop, Web, iOS, Android and Windows via Ionic.
With the Ionic framework, you can enjoy the luxury of premier native plugins including Bluetooth, Camera and Push Notifications.
2013 was identified as the era of Ionic, with the first original version built on top of Apache Cordova and AngularJS. It is through Ionic that mobile app developers can develop hybrid applications through web technologies like Sass, HTML5 and CSS. Through Ionic, you can build apps using web technologies which can later be distributed through native app stores. These apps can be installed on devices powered by Cordova.
Dive into the React Native Framework:
Striking Differences between Ionic and React Native
The following section sheds light on the differences between Ionic and React Native frameworks under certain heads. They are:
- The Learning Experience
Ionic: This framework is easy to learn since it comes with a number of rich pre-designed and pre-made components.
React Native: You will be able to master React Native by employing a few pre-made native components.
Ionic: Ionic framework presents a comprehensive documentation which is clear and consistent across various modules of mobile app development.
React Native: If you have chosen React Native as your app development framework, you should walk your way out with very basic documentation.
- Compatibility With Multiple Operating Systems
Ionic: Using the same code written in Ionic, you can effortlessly develop multi-platform applications that can run on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Desktop.
React Native: Most of the times, you can use the same code that was written using React Native to churn out applications that are compatible with Windows Phone, iOS and Android.
- The Tagline
Ionic: “Write once, run anywhere” – This is the tagline of the Ionic framework, which means you just need to go by the idea of writing the code only once.
React Native: “Learn once, write anywhere” is the catchphrase that describes the React Native framework.
- Level of Performance
Ionic: You can expect Ionic to deliver you a medium level of performance on the strength of its WebView feature. Ionic apps run in a WebView which is embedded in a native app in contrast to a stand-alone mobile browser.
Ionic: If you are looking to access the functionalities concerning the hardware of a phone that uses Ionic as the app framework, you can rely on Apache Cordova which comes with Ionic 2.
React Native: Access to native phone features with React Native is indeed a breeze since a React Native app compiles to native code.
Ionic: With Ionic, you can expect an accelerated development-testing cycle. Without calling for heavy emulator loading, you will be able to test the app in the browser itself.
React Native: You need the support of a real device or an emulator to test your React Native app.
- Exchange of Knowledge
Ionic: You can bank on a host of stack overflow questions that are posed by the online community of Ionic developers. This way, you can benefit from the ocean of programming knowledge and insights shared by professionals and hone your skills and build your career.
React Native: If you wish to refer to a repository of React Native, you can simply look up the stars page of the GitHub. Stars are like bookmarks to the React Native repositories. Starred repositories assist you to discover identical projects on GitHub.
Ionic: Angular 2 which is backed by Google helps you build hybrid mobile apps along with rich pre-built components.
React Native: React which is backed by Facebook and Instagram allows you to build cross-platform mobile apps.
- Memory Usage
Ionic: Ionic apps usemore memory space which is why they load videos slowly because you need to download them from other servers.
React Native: Requiring lesser memory when compared to Ionic, React Native promises swifter loading since it helps in caching tiles.
Ionic: Ionic exclusively employs Cordova-based code which can wrap the current web app into a mobile application.
With all the differences between these two prominent hybrid mobile app platforms enlisted, you have also understood about the varied functionalities offered by Ionic and React Native. Thus, if you are looking to develop rich iOS and Android apps that present a similar UI as their native platforms, you can bank upon React Native. For all other purposes of building hybrid mobile apps, Ionic can become your top bet.