Ionic Vs Native Apps: Which Platform is Right For Your Mobile App?

Ankita Kapoor
5 min readOct 4, 2022

Ionic and Native are two different types of platforms that developers use to create mobile apps for other devices and operating systems such as Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. While Ionic holds popularity of 16%, says Statista, the native app development has been a preferred option for enterprises worldwide.

However, popularity is not the sole criteria for deciding the winner of Ionic vs. Native apps. After all, both these platforms can be beneficial in creating mobile apps and come with their benefits and drawbacks.

The following table offers insights into the Ionic vs. Native apps:

I hope the above table gives you a clear idea of Ionic vs. Native apps. However, it’s essential to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each platform before deciding which one to go with.

So, let us now focus individually on the Ionic vs. Native app comparison.

Also, Read this BlogFlutter vs. React Native: Which One You Should Choose for Your App in 2022?

What is Ionic Framework?’

The Ionic framework helps to create HTML5-based mobile apps with complex animations, fast performance, and native APIs from a single codebase. This software allows you to build stunningly beautiful applications that you can use on mobile devices with minimal capabilities.

Max Lynch and Ben Sperry created the Ionic framework in 2013 as an open-source project. They released the first version of the software at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2013. The creators were inspired by the shortcomings found in current frameworks like PhoneGap when building simple, functional applications that would work across all platforms.

Ionic app development offers a variety of plugins for integrating other tools into your development process. You can choose from different ready-made solutions or use customized plugins for meeting specific business needs.

Ionic apps are developed using web technologies and wrapped in a native app shell. It makes them cross-platform, meaning they can run on iOS and Android devices. Ionic apps are also fast, reliable, and user-friendly. In addition, developers can easily customize Ionic apps to fit your specific needs.

Advantages Of Using The Ionic Framework

  • Ionic’s user interface, on the other hand, is built using HTML5 and CSS3, which means that Ionic applications look like any other web page (just better).
  • Ionic app over a native app can be used by both Android and iOS devices. Programmers can also use it to design an app for a Windows Phone device or a Blackberry device.
  • It was created to be versatile, so it can work with any mobile operating system as long as the person designing the application knows how to make it for each platform specifically.
  • Additionally, the Ionic framework has been designed to use modern web technologies such as AngularJS, Bootstrap, Sass, and Gulp.
  • Since these languages have been integrated into the creation process of the Ionic framework itself, it cuts down on time spent teaching people how to do things within their coding language.
  • You don’t need someone else’s permission before publishing your app because you’re just creating an app for a website via an open-source framework.

Disadvantages Of Using The Ionic Framework

  • It’s not as fast as native apps because it has to translate code from one language to another
  • It’s less secure because the framework relies on a web browser that doesn’t offer the same level of protection as a native app platform

Apps Developed using the Ionic Framework: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, etc.

Also Read Here — Xamarin vs. Ionic: Which is Better for Mobile App Development in 2022?

What is Native App Development?

A native application is a software program developed for a particular platform or device. Native apps are written in the language the platform or device uses and takes advantage of the features offered. Native apps are usually faster and more responsive than web-based applications because they are designed specifically for the platform or device they are running on.

While developing a Native app, programmers require extensive knowledge of how the platform works. They need to know about its architecture, frameworks, API, etc. For example, Native app development for Android would require hiring mobile app developers with an intensive knowledge of Android SDK, Java, Gradle, IntelliJ IDEA, and other related tools.

Similarly, for iOS, you will need coders with prior experience over a stack of languages like Swift, Objective-C, etc. Ionic applications are also developed using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but it’s not a powerful platform for creating apps as its performance isn’t as smooth as native apps.

Advantages Of Developing A Native Application

  • With a native app, you will have a smoother experience and faster performance because the app gets developed for the specific OS it’s running on.
  • Due to the lack of cross-platform development and maintenance issues, maintaining your app becomes easier and less costly with a native application.
  • With native apps, users can enjoy an improved experience with the device’s features. For example, the device’s camera or keyboard is being used more effectively than with an Ionic application which will only use one platform’s features (Android or iOS).
  • The installation process is more straightforward with a native app due to having one operating system format (.apk file) compared to Ionic (.aar file), which has many functional system formats (.ipa file, .apk file, .zip file).
  • Unlike an ionic application that cannot update without updating the entire codebase. As Ionic does, changes made on native applications can be done without needing to rebuild the whole project from scratch.

Disadvantages Of Developing A Native Application

  • Developing native applications requires a longer time and investment
  • Native apps are not as versatile as Ionic apps in cross-platform compatibility

Examples of Native applications: Spotify, Magento 2 POS, Pokemon Go, WhatsApp, etc.

Final Verdict: Ionic vs. Native apps

Developing cross-platform apps with Ionic provides several benefits like reduced time to market and less cost due to its open-source nature. Most mobile app development companies suggest going for Ionic when the target audience is spread across both Android as well as iOS platform.

So, if you’re looking to create a cross-platform app that runs on both iOS and Android, Ionic is a great option. Ionic apps are built with Angular, which makes them fast and stable. Plus, Ionic’s community is large and active, so you can find support and resources efficiently.

However, if you’re looking to create an app for just one platform (either iOS or Android), native is the way to go. You’ll have more control over the look and feel of your app, and you can take advantage of platform-specific features. Ultimately, the decision between Ionic vs. native comes down to your specific needs.

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Ankita Kapoor

Hey, I’m Ankita, a tech blogger working with ValueCoders who loves to share her extensive tech-related knowledge with like-minded people.