Native(Android/iOS) vs Ionic vs React Native

Jul 13 2018Written by Manektech Team

Dwelling in today’s Mobile application development world, the times have come when the development is slowly and gradually tending towards the cross-platform or becoming platform-independent. Though Mobile application development on the respective IDEs (Integrated Development Environment) along with respective coding languages (i.e. Swift/Objective-C for iOS and Java/Kotlin for Android) involved, is a traditional approach, yet in past few years, many organizations have stepped up to give a tough competition to the Native Development.

Interest and Awesomeness Rate of Android and iOS and React Native Development over past few years  

With the evolution of Mobile cross-platform/hybrid development, the reusability, readability and the length of code have been the major areas of advancements into the mobile application development.

Few of the platforms, who have shown amazing advancements into cross-platform development are:
i) React Native
ii) IONIC (AngularJS, Apache Cordova)
iv) Phonegap

Today, we are going to look into IONIC, React Native & Native app development platform.

Native Development- Knowing the fact that, developing a mobile application for a specific mobile OS using Native development approach is comparably the best amongst all the different approaches. Native app development is a standard in the mobile industry. They are written specifically for mobile operating systems such as iOS and Android and work best for these platforms.

Advantages of Native -

i) Since Native Application work with the built in features of the Device, they make the most use of the device’s native functionalists, to perform better and faster with the best of the compatibility with the hardware.

ii) Native Applications usually get a full support from their respective App Stores, including reports of the anonymous usages of the end users.

iii) Android and iOS apps offer a natural experience for their users by following specific UI standards shared by apps developed for these platforms. No dependency on a third party Javascript Libraries or Plugins.

iv) Native apps work out better for developers, who are provided the SDK and all other tools to create the app with much more ease.

v) Unlike Hybrid Applications, Native Applications doesn’t always require an Internet Connection to run on the devices, which is one of the strongest reason, why Native Applications are preferred over Hybrid Applications. Many users might also find themselves in places where they might not have internet connectivity, thus Native Applications hold an upper hand than Hybrid Applications.

Disadvantages of Native -

i) Despite the facts that, Native Applications does provide a better interface and better user experience than Hybrid Applications, Native Development does require a much higher cost and resources as compared to Hybrid Applications.

ii) Higher cost and time involved in maintenance, since there is no common code for multiple platforms, thus the maintenance multiples for individual platforms accordingly.

iii) A bigger team is required in Native application development due to the Platform Dependent Development System(separate code for separate platform).

IONIC Development- Ionic is a complete open-source SDK for the hybrid mobile application and Web development built on the top of Angular JS and Apache Cordova found back by Drift Co. in 2013. Ionic incorporates basic Web UI controlling languages including HTML5, Typescript and Sass, facilitating both the Web and Mobile Developers to develop agile models using the RAD(Rapid Application Development) methodologies, for their respective platforms.

Advantages of Ionic -

i) Code Reusability for every platform like Android, iOS, Windows.

ii) Use of well-known web technologies, which one probably will employ if one need to develop a server-side of the system.

iii) Envelopment by Phonegap and Cordova which makes the availability of a vast variety of plugins like Sensors, Push Notifications, Contacts and GPS.

iv) It helps in creating default mobile app UI functionalities easily and efficiently.

v) Availability of Material Design similar to Native.

Disadvantages of Ionic -

i) Unlike native applications, applications built using ionic, with Web UI controls are rendered using the device’s Webview (an inbuilt browser component in every mobile OS), which degrades the performance in terms of compilation and rendering.

ii) Android is a very fragmented platform, and there are still very old versions of Android out in the world on which Ionic doesn’t perform well.

iii) Plugin for everything isn’t available unlike Native.  

iv) Ionic isn’t preferable for hefty development like 3D graphics design or animation, reason being laggy in composure as compared to Native.

React Native Development- React Native is a framework created by Facebook to enable a smooth and easy cross-platform mobile development. It is a Javascript framework for rendering mobile application in iOS and Android. React is a Facebook’s Javascript library for building user interfaces which target mobile platforms. Very much like Native(iOS and Android), React Native uses the same fundamental UI building blocks like regular iOS and Android apps. It just puts those building blocks together using JavaScript and React. One must not confuse React Native with Hybrid Framework, though it is a cross-platform framework, with same (or rather better) performance as Native Applications.

Advantages of React Native -

i) Built upon cross-platform development environment approach, React Native developers need to not write the code in ways for multiple platforms. A unique code is capable of running the application in multiple OSs i.e. Android and iOS.

ii) The developers tool that React Native brings along includes one of the best feature, called “HOT RELOADING”, which facilitates the developers not to wait much longer for the program to go compile, build and run, Hot Reloading just reflects the changes instantly on the device as soon as the code is saved.

iii) React Native does provide an equivalent or rather better performance(in few areas) than Native Application because it is just another approach of building Native Applications using an alternative approach.

iv) React Native Development involves a smaller team as compared to Native Application Development (i.e. iOS Development Team and Android Development Team).

v) In native development, it is necessary to create a sequence of actions in the application, whereas React Native employs declarative programming in which such an order of implementing an action is obsolete. As a result, it is much easier to detect bugs on the paths a developer can take.

Disadvantages of React Native -

i) Despite the fact that react native uses the same UI controls with a different development approach as Native, still it does not provide a full-fledged similar look and feel with same smoothness as Native.

ii) Incorporating React Native Native for your development Environment makes you completely dependant on Facebook Libraries, bound to a BSD license. So if in future, Google or Apple releases an update for the Android and iOS Libraries, we have to stay dependant on Facebook to provide us the similar patches of update to be incorporated.

iii) Despite of its Maturity, React Native still lacks few of the custom modules as compared to Native Development.

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