Nativescript Vs Ionic- Which One To Choose?

Nativescript Vs Ionic- Which One To Choose

Ionic and nativescript are the cross-platform frameworks that offers a native experience for mobile apps. Both frameworks follow, “write once, run everywhere” principle,and support Javascript. But there are some differences that keep them apart when accessing native features and delivering performance. So if you are thinking to build mobile apps, it will be better to know the comparison of nativescript vs Ionic on the basis of various parameters. Before digging into the comparison, let us see the overview of each one in detail.

What Is Nativescript?

It is an open-source frameworks that builds cross-platform apps for android and ios using Javascript. It transcompiles one programming language to another, build native apps using VueJS, Angular and Typescript. Some other frameworks use Cordova for rendering a WebView-driven app UI but Nativescript has a rendering engine which provides native performance and user experience.

With nativescript, you can build simple gaming apps, real time apps, music or video streaming apps, apps massive server connectivity, apps that can function with default apps of device and so on.

PUMA, Airbnb Design, SAP, Portable North Pole(PNP) are some of the popular apps built with nativescript.

What Is Ionic?

Ionic is an open-source UI toolkit that allows you to create hybrid cross-platform mobile apps. It uses Webview for mobile rather than using native device elements. The framework influences from familiar JavaScript codebases like vanilla JavaScript, Vue, React, Angular. Also, Ionic has various components that provides native functionality. The framework is popular because of its provision of efficient performance with minimum DOM manipulation. With Ionic you can build, hybrid apps, cross platform apps, apps with hardware functionality, high-performance UI/UX apps.

TD Ameritrade Mobile and Sworkit are the popular apps build with Ionic. 

You can know the reasons to choose ionic at- Why Ionic framework is best for mobile app development?

Nativescript Vs Ionic-

1. Architecture-


It follows the MVC or MVVM architectural pattern, but it widely functions on Modules, CLI,and plugins. Structure of nativescript includes multiple modules and each one is responsible for enabling a set of specific features. Page module and Root module are the essential ones that make up the architecture. Combinely they form an application module including CSS style code,a actual business logic and XML-based UI codes. Nativescript efficiently manages module dialogs because of its MVC friendliness.


Ionic makes use of AngularJS MVC architecture, a software design pattern including Model View Controller to build an efficient single-page, cross-platform apps optimized for mobile devices. This architecture allows developers to work simultaneously, and so reduces the development turnaround time and increases productivity. As the architecture allows the creation of multiple views, application stays immune to recurring iterations.

2. User Experience-


One of the greatest benefit of choosing this framework is building enterprise-level business applications. Also, you could customize the free,professional-grade UI elements that Nativescript offers. As all its features are supported by native functionality and native controls, it gives you performance that improves user experience. It also tests all its libraries, templates and UI elements prior implementation to achieve the desired user-interface. 


It offers a rich, seamless in-app experience for ios and Android apps to create a native-like persistent and transient UI navigation. Hybrid approach avoids the need to submit a new version to app stores. It allows rapid development of features within a native app container that sends live updates to users’ devices. Also, users don’t need to download the app APK from time to time for new updates.

3. Performance-


Animations built with NativeSrcript perform well at 60 FPS without any difficulties. It provides the ability to offload specific types of long-running processes to maintain a balanced frontend speed for fast performance. Offload ability in Nativescript is achieved with the multiple-threading model. Performance of nativescript depends on the use of best practices. Some of them include merging manual tool instrumentation to optimize performance and tracing of execution time within app.


Ionic apps offer 60FPS on mobile and desktop. It uses pre-existing plugins and offers a hybrid approach to make the development process rapid. Ionic has an interactive time of less than 1.8 seconds. Ionic excels in providing hardware accelerated transitions, touch-optimized gestures, and pre-rendering.

4. Suitability-


Advanced apps work smoothly with Nativescript with high performance while building a complex or advanced app. Also, building a full-packaged complex app needs extra XML and UI support. This framework follows a bundle workflow process that develops optimized and complex apps using tree-shaking mechanism, which improves the build time. Also, the Hot Module replacement feature replaces, updates and upgrades modules without restarting the existing app.


Recent Ionic5 is not suitable to build complex apps. Whenever you try to add intricate functionalities to the app, you may face the challenges like image processing, location-based services and animated UI. It is a great solution to build small-sized, simple apps.

5. Ease Of Testing-


Since version 2.5, NativeScript follows their QA workflow that improves app’s default testing capacities. It integrates unit testing into the default CLI to support testing tools like Mocha, QUnit and Jasmine. Also, external providers like Appium that can be used for functional testing. It makes use of Karma to run unit tests. When unit test is configured with Karma reporter or JUnit reporter NativeScript supports continuous integration.


Ionic app testing is simple and built with web-based technologies. You won’t need extra testing devices or an emulator as the app is tested in various browsers through WebView. Browsers offer built-in testing and debugging tools to make convenient testing process. Also, Ionic CLI has ll the functionalities for web component testing.

6. App Size-


Size of a simple native app built with NativeScript is more than 12 MB. Self-containing multiple APKs within one package with a single codebase targets various device configurations and reduces the app size. It’s ABI mechanism with Android allows the device to automatically extract machine code and scan for any shared library during development. It saves app size as the device identifies the 32-bit and 64-bit compatibility.


With Ionic v5, size of simple hello world app reduced to 3.2 MB from the 5 and 6 MBs. Also, the use of special tags during production build -prod -release further reduced the app size.

7. Learning Curve-


It offers extensive learning as developers can switch between Javascript, Typescript or Angular according to your need, feasibility and comfortability. Declarative coding style allows experienced developers and beginners to be expert in NativeScript quickly. Thorough understanding of native performance come with development experience in Core Modules and design patterns. Available resources and documents will be extremely useful for you.


For the developers having experience with Angular, Ionic will be a great choice. They just need to explore the framework, particularly Cordova plug-ins or CLI. Also,javascript programmers with experience in styling apps with HTML/CSS have a head start on learning Ionic frameworks.

Wrap Up-

Nativescript and ionic both are popular frameworks to build mobile apps. If you are thinking to build mobile app, but confused to choose between ionic and nativescript, knowing the above comparisons will help you to choose the best one. You can consult with Solace and hire app developers for effective mobile app development. Connect with Solace and get a free quote for app development. We will be happy to help you.

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