Ionic React vs React Native: What are the differences

Ionic and React Native are the two most popular mobile app development frameworks for building mobile apps. Initially Released in 2013, the Ionic React is an open-source UI and Native API project. It consists of cross- platforms for using native functionality that makes it easy to build apps for IOS, Android, and the web as a progressive web app. Released in 2015, react native builds the apps using only Javascript. Although both are great frameworks used to build cross-platform applications, there are numerous ways in which they function differently from each other. In this blog, we will discuss the major differences between Ionic React vs React Native for mobile app development.

Ionic React

Ionic React opens up the Ionic Framework to a whole new audience. This is a very significant change in the history of the Ionic Framework. The Ionic React combines the central Ionic experience with the APIs that are tailored to React Developers. With Ionic React we could import the core Ionic components directly into your React project. Moreover, the Ionic React acts as a thin wrapper around the components exporting them as Native React components. It makes Ionic react to work naturally while working in React. This offers many react paradigms that have not been there in the core components.

ionic react

Web developers across the world use Ionic React as the Official React version that powers the Mission, Critical apps for companies like Amtrak, AAA, Burger King, Home Depot, and few more. The Ionic app development companies empower for building top-quality apps by using their existing web development skills.

While the earlier Ionic supports Cordova, the native React version of Ionic Framework runs on an all-new cross-platform engine called Capacitor. The capacitor engine provides a consistent, web-focused set of APIs. It enables an app to stay close to web-standards as possible while accessing rich native device features on platforms.

Features of Ionic React

Features of Ionic React

1. Native Functionality

Ionic also provides native functionality that supports it gets directly from the customers. Such functionality includes secure authentication and identity management using advanced encryption APIs available on iOS and Android. It also includes high performance offline encrypted data storage, and a library of supported and maintained native functionality.

2. Build Fast & Beautiful Mobile Applications

Ionic React is an open-source software development kit powering millions of beautiful applications, customized to fit with any brand.

3. Better compatibility with React DOM

IOnic React leverages React DOM which is one of the most popular rendering libraries for React. It has more usage and thus has better compatibility with the React ecosystem which enables it to work with any React library.

4. Multiple platforms support

Ionic React uses a project created at Ionic named Capacitor which enables developers to call native code directly from JavaScript. Moreover, they expose new native functionality or displaying Native UI is easy. This native runtime can be deployed to native iOS, Android, Electron, and the web as a Progressive Web App.

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React Native

React Native is a cross-platform solution to build world-class application experiences on native platforms. The main goal of React Native App Developers is to add iOS and Android UI control rendering through React and JavaScript in order to speed up app development. Moreover, React Native merges the best pieces of native development with a JavaScript library for building user interfaces.

React Native can help create truly native apps and doesn’t compromise on your users’ experience. It provides a core set of native components like ViewTextand Image that route directly to the platform’s native UI building blocks. With react native framework one can render UI for both iOS and Android platforms.

The React native helps you to build an app faster by reloading the app instead of recompiling. React Native Development is comparatively simple, quick and efficient as it is UI focussed. React Native uses JSX (JavaScript eXtension ) which is like HTML.

Features of React Native

Features of React Native

1. Programming Language

React Native is written in JavaScript which uses the popular framework React. The UI pieces are in JSX, instead of HTML. JSX is like any other template language but it has the features and powers of JavaScript.

2. Tried and trusted Framework

The React Native is one of the most trusted framework for cross-platform application development. Facebook along with other companies such as Instagram Airbnb, Skype, Tesla, Walmart, and Discord use React native in most of their mobile applications.

3. Development Time

It is less time-consuming and therefore many companies and even individuals today prefer using React Native along with NodeJS for creating unique mobile applications.

4. Better Performance

Applications using React Native are GPU oriented which facilitates the applications to perform better. To clarify, working with React Native can drastically shorten the resources required to build mobile applications. Any developer who knows to write React code will be able to now target the Web, iOS, and Android, all with the same skillset.

Ionic react vs React Native

Ionic React and React Native are two popular ways of building mobile applications. Both of them make it easy to extend an app’s native functionality. Ionic React and React Native have almost equal support for running native code and accessing Native APIs, though each takes a different approach to get there. Both Ionic React and React Native perform JavaScript at runtime. Apart from these few similarities, they differ from each other in significant ways.

Web vs Native

React Native most of the time uses standard iOS and Android controls under the hood. To clarify, it employs truly native cross-platform for building applications. With React Native the underlying components are all native, which gives the user a smooth experience. Ionic React, on the contrary, performs native iOS and Android UI patterns using cross-platform, standards-based web technology rather than accessing platform UI controls directly.


Ionic React is almost the same as the traditional React web app development. To clarify, Ionic React will provide a web developer a fast and familiar development experience directly in Chrome or their browser of choice, and many apps can have an important portion of their functionality created right in the browser. Ionic React can also readily be added to any existing web-based React app. However, React Native does not use traditional web development tools straight. It has several custom support for integrating with a Chrome debugger, however, that might not be a true browser debugging experience.

Progressive Web App (PWA) Support

Progressive Web Apps are a new standard for creating firm, native-quality mobile applications but distributing them through a web browser instead of an app store. Moreover, Progressive Web Apps have advantages for user engagement, search engine optimization, and shareability, and are becoming famous for consumer and enterprise apps. Ionic React has first-class Progressive Web App support. Wherein React Native does not support Progressive Web Apps.

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In comparison between Ionic React vs React Native, both great choices for building mobile apps. It is a stated fact that with time there has been an increase in the usage of mobile phones. So, when it comes to Android development or iOS development, mobile app development companies get confused if they should offer their consumers. A mobile app with highest User Interface (UI) and excellent User Experience (UX) or apps that fit with multiple platforms and are faster to develop in the first place.

For developers, who are targeting iOS and Android only, focussing on advanced JavaScript developers and an existing repository of native controls, React Native may be a better fit. And for developers that focus on having traditional web development skills and libraries and wish to target mobile and web (as a Progressive Web App), Ionic React will fit better there.

This is the reason why Ionic has been successful with startups and projects with web development history. In contrast, React Native is popular with consumer app startups that have a history of native app development. However, looking at both the platforms we can conclude that Ionic React and React Native fill in different needs in the ecosystem and hence, can co-exist.