Ionic React Vs React Native- Which One To Choose?

Ionic React vs React Native

As you all know, Ionic and React Native are the most popular frameworks for mobile apps development. Ionic react is an open-source UI and Native API project that includes cross-platforms for using native functionality that eases the app development for iOS, Android and web as progressive web apps. React native was released in 2015 and builds apps using Javascript only. Both frameworks are used to build cross-platform apps but they differ from each other in numerous ways. Here we will see a major difference between Ionic React vs React Native for mobile app development. Before we start the comparison, let’s see the details of each framework.

What Is Ionic React?

Ionic react is an open source Ui and Native API project that consists of cross-platform UI components and native functionality for building iOS, Android, Electron and Progressive web apps using React and standard web technology. It is an official React version of Ionic framework and used by a wide community of developers and companies like Amtrak, AAA, Burger King, Home Depot and so on. 

Ionic react combines the central Ionic experience with APIs that are tailored to React Developers. It allows you to import core ionic components directly into your React project. Ionic React acts as a thin wrapper around the components exporting them as Native React components. 

The earlier Ionic supports Cordova, the native React version of Ionic Framework that runs on all new cross-platform engines called Capacitor. This capacitor engine offers consistent, web focused set of APIs that helps apps to focus on web-standards.

Features of Ionic React-

1. Multiple Platforms Support-

Ionic react uses a project created at ionic named Capacitor that allows you to call native code directly from JavaScript, and uncover new native functionality or displaying Native UI is simple. This native runtime can be deployed to native iOS, Android, Electron and the web as progressive web app. 

2. Compatibility With React DOM-

Ionic react uses React DOM which is a popular rendering libraries for React. It has more usage and hence has better compatibility with React ecosystem that allows it to work with the React library.

3. Build Fast & Beautiful Mobile Applications-

Ionic react is an open-source software development kit that allows you to build millions of customized apps to fit with any brand.

4. Native Functionality-

Ionic provides native functionality that includes secure authentication and identity management by using advanced encryption APIs available on iOS and Android, high performance offline encrypted data storage and a library of supported and maintained native functionality.

What Is React Native?

Released in 2015 by Facebook, react native is a popular cross platform solution to build world-class app experiences on native platforms. React native merges the best parts of native development with JavaScript libraries to build user interfaces. It allows you to create truly native apps with great users’ experience. It allows developers to develop apps rapidly by reloading apps rather than recompiling. Development with React native is simple, quick and efficient because it is UI focussed. It uses JSX(JavaScript extension) that is like HTML. It does not support CSS, you can only find similar styling that is close to CSS written within components and not in a separate single file. 

Know the most common mistakes to avoid while developing react native app at- 6 Mistakes to Avoid When Creating a React Native App.

Features of React Native-

1. Programming Language-

React native is written in JavaScript language that uses the popular framework React. The UI parts are written in JSX, rather than HTML. JSX is like any other template language but it has the features and powers of JavaScript.

2. Development Time-

It is less tedious and hence numerous organizations and even developers today prefer using React Native alongside NodeJS for making unique mobile applications.

3. Better Performance-

Applications that use React Native are GPU oriented which smoothens the app performance. It requires very less resources to build a mobile app with React Native. Developers who are proficient to write React code will be able to target the web, iOS and Android.

Ionic React vs React Native-

1. Web vs Native-

Ionic react is web-first. This means that it implements native iOS and Android UI patterns by using cross-platform, standards-based web technology rather than accessing platform UI controls directly. Whereas, react native provides abstraction through React which controls platform UI controls. React Native uses mostly standard iOS and Android controls, in some of the cases performance may be higher. Interfacing with existing native app’s UI controls is easier. But native controls are harder to customize as compared to others hence developers may find react native apps more complex to design custom UI experiences.

Ionic react is the most similar to traditional React web app development as Ionic react apps are React web apps. It offer a web developer a fast and familiar development experience directly in Chrome or their browser of choice. Ionic react can also easily be added to any existing  web based react app.

React native does not use traditional web development tools directly but has some custom support for integrating with chrome debugger. As Ionic React is based on web technology and the entire web platform, it doesn’t need to bet on a new platform. Chances are your team is already put resources into the web platform. React Native, is a self-contained platform and ecosystem and must be self-sufficient to succeed in long term.

2. Cross-platform Support-

React Native is a UI library having support for iOS and Android app store only. Whereas Ionic React supports iOS, Android, Electron, and the web using Progressive Web App technology.

React native has a “learn once, write anywhere” approach and Ionic has a “write once, run anywhere” approach. With React native, developers learn set of concepts and then build UI screens for iOS and Android. Ionic React apps run the same UI on all platforms using responsive web design, CSS and platform detection to allow developers to customize an app for specific platforms if they choose.

Also, Ionic React use Adaptive Styling to map core UI concepts like navigation, tabs, toolbars and buttons to platform expectations like material design. React Native requires developers to build screens especially for each platform

3. Native Access And Functionality-

React native and Ionic React apps have full native access and capabilities, as both projects create real native app projects and binaries. Most of the people incorrectly believe that web-based mobile apps are not actually native apps. A web based mobile app using Ionic React will perform more work in a native WebView control but is a part of native app UI hierarchy and can access all native APIs, use any native control.

Also, many people have misguided that React Native apps are “compiled down to native” but is not true. Both React Native and Ionic React execute JavaScript at runtime rather than being pre-compiled. Ionic React has access to advanced Just In Time compilation for JavaScript available in most of the Web Views that React Native does not. This means that JavaScript is compiled to machine code at runtime for native performance for Ionic React apps. Ionic React uses a project created at Ionic called Capacitor to allow developers to call native code from JavaScript.

4. Enterprise Support And Functionality-

Ionic react is unique in the mobile ecosystem and is supported by business dedicated to help team building and scale mission critical apps. Whereas React native is an internal Facebook project built to boost Facebook’s app development process.

Hundreds of medium-to-large enterprises uses ionic to build consumer facing and employee facing mobile and web apps. Ionic offers key enterprise native functionality like secure authentication and identity management, high performance offline encrypted data storage. Ionic has a suite of Mobile DevOps features to help teams for app update deployment in realtime and add native app binary building to their CI/CD processes.

When To Choose Ionic React?

Ionic React will be the better one for teams that have traditional web development skills and libraries and want to target mobile and web.

When To Choose React Native?

From the above comparison Ionic React Vs React Native, we have concluded that, React native will be the best one for the teams that target Android and iOS only and more traditional native developers or advanced JavaScript developers. You can also know the reasons to choose react native at- Why you should build your app with react native?


Ionic React and React Native are both great choices for building mobile apps. You can choose the best one as per your requirements. The above comparison Ionic React Vs React Native will surely help you to select the appropriate one. 

If you’re still confused to choose the best one, consult with Solace experts. We are here to help you through consultation and development. Connect with solace and get a free quote for apps development with Ionic React or React Native. You can hire a react native developer of solace team for an effective and efficient app development. We will be happy to help you.

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