React Native versus Ionic

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React Native versus Ionic

Choosing the best tool depends on the developer's preferences and needs. Here we look at the pros and cons of React Native and Ionic for developing apps.

· Mobile Zone ·
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In the business world, there is a dilemma that always takes place: how to combine outstanding quality of the product with minimal expenses. It is normal for clients to expect quality and at the same time try to save money and time. After all, the clients are paying the company so they want to make sure their finances are spent efficiently. In the IT world, with an overwhelming amount of companies constantly popping up, competition is everything and one has to come with a really good competitive advantage. It can be a cutting-edge technology that you use to optimize your processes and improve the delivery.

Using new technology is always a bit risky as you cannot be 100% sure of it. In our article, we want to compare two frameworks that we use, React Native and Ionic, and point out the main pros and cons of each.

Because we always strive to improve our work, we are doing our best to solve a question: how we can cut on time and costs and keep the quality on a satisfactory level. It is well-known that development costs are quite high even to develop on one platform, either Android or iOS. Development for two platforms makes the costs grow twice as much (or even more).

One of our experiments included Cordova, but it did not feel like something we could get value from.

Then Ionic got our attention. It seemed perfect for the engineers – it’s modern, focuses on mobile apps, and is not very complicated. We utilized Ionic as a component in a couple apps and built around a dozen apps on this framework.

But as time went, we began to notice some cons with this framework. Debugging took a lot of time and we frequently missed the deadlines. At first, we thought the problem was with our processes that needed improvement in design or architecture. However, the problem was about technology and our processes were fine.

As this article is dedicated to the framework comparison, let’s first have a look at the problems with Ionic that we noticed:

Problems With Ionic

  • Response took too much time.

  • It was uncomfortable to work with the slideout keyboard, especially on a great amount of devices.

  • Debugging.

In order to find the best solution, we try to use different technologies and see what works the best. So at the same time as Angular, we started to work with React and soon noticed its advantages over Angular.

We started to keep an eye on React Native after Facebook announced support for Android, and of course we started to play around with React. We also kept an eye on Ionic2, which was expected to become a ground-breaker in comparison to Ionic1.

We have experience working with both frameworks and for us, React Native is undoubtedly a winner.

React Native Pros

  • Response time.

  • Opportunity to reuse code for desktop and mobile apps.

  • Convenient and easy toolchain for developers that saves time on debugging.

  • Many elaborate components.

  • Even more components from the community.

  • Ability to implement functional programming in development which adds stability and reliability to the app.

However, we can’t say that React Native is perfect. It has its disadvantages as well, if we compare it to Native apps:

React Native Cons

  • Parts of the code that are connected with hardware solutions, camera, or external libraries integration have to be done in Native.

  • The interface between JavaScript and Native is a bit tricky.

  • ReactNative has to be constantly explored, meaning you cannot forget about it after you’ve done part of the work.

Situations that we believe are the best to use Ionic2:

  • When you have an app written on Ionic or Angular.

  • When the app depends on ready code for which Ionic would be the best choice.

It’s hard to speak about which tool is the best as different people have different opinions. So the choice of the tool depends on the project and the developer’s preferences. This article is nothing more than our experience and observations and we hope it will help you.

angular, ionic, mobile, mobile app development, react native

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.

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