Being part of a world increasingly working on mobile devices, it has become imperative for companies to have performant cross-platform mobile apps that work seamlessly on all operating systems and cater to a more significant share of the customer base in particular. Therefore, the question remains regarding the best platform for hybrid app development. But we have particularly suitable info to clarify the loopholes.
When it comes to cross-platform mobile apps, the two leading frameworks are used in the modern-day tech realm notably. So that they can actually build high-performing cross-platform apps using Ionic and Flutter.
To begin with, both frameworks are inherently different, despite having the common goal of developing high-performing mobile apps. Both of them are helpful as well as easily accessible by the developers.
And if you think there will be many similarities between the working process of the leading cross-platform app development frameworks, you are highly mistaken in that case.
However, for any enterprise, deciding which one is best for their project can be tricky. In that case, people have different opinions about it.
In brief, this article will try to understand and conclude the debate between the Ionic vs Flutter framework to help enterprises eventually decide on the best mobile app development framework for their business requirements similarly. Since we are on the same topic, let’s discuss it in detail.
Flutter: An Overview
Do you know, after the 2021 developer survey, Flutter not only has the first place for the most popular cross-platform mobile framework but also 42 percent of software developers use Flutter for hybrid mobile app development in the first place. At the same time, most of the developers also flutter for development. Even though there are many other platforms, people usually move forward with flutter depending on its clarity and quality altogether.
Additionally, Google’s brainchild – Flutter, is a relatively scalable and fast cross-platform framework that particularly functions as a UI toolkit to create feature-rich and powerful cross-platform applications with surprisingly impressive features. Developed in 2017, the first version of Flutter was released in 2018 with the support of the ECMA standard accordingly. Since then, it has been a huge success for flutter.
Owing to the fact that empowered with an intuitive interface, a library of elements, and many templates, Flutter support Dart programming language, utilizes Swift and Objective C for iOS integration and Java for Android.
The framework’s thriving user community with open-source libraries, resources, and answers to all programming dilemmas is what sets the Flutter framework apart from the rest of the mobile app development frameworks. It’s equally simple to use and easily manageable. Let’s find out the benefits of flutter in general.
Advantages of Flutter
While comparing Flutter vs. Ionic, Flutter has many decent selling points, like:
- Hot-reload — One of the unique features of Flutter is Hot Reload. The changes are visible as soon as the flutter app developer or designer updates the code. It’s as simple as that in reality.
- Rich & Powerful Widgets — Combined with Rich Widgets, the Flutter framework equips mobile app developers with an extensive library to add rich, layered functionalities in apps compatible with any operating system specifically. This is surely a huge advantage for the developers.
- Flawless back-end integration — Whether the backend is in Java supporting Android or Objective C or Swift supporting iOS, Flutter integrates smoothly enough to make the frontend look as native as the backend. That is what makes it surprisingly easy to operate.
- Quick iteration — Flutter offers swift iteration cycles that save coding and quality control hours as testing is needed for one codebase only. Thus it saves some valuable time.
Disadvantages of Flutter
It is always advised to remember that every tool or technology has its definite downsides. They may or may not affect the flutter app development for your business. But here are some common disadvantages you may experience:
- Immaturity of the platform — Compared to Ionic, Flutter is competitively a new platform launched less than three years ago; therefore, one major downside of using flutter for hybrid mobile app development is the lack of community-generated tools and libraries.
- Rendering issues — Another downside of flutter app development that comes into consideration is the plugin rendering issues if you’re using vectored or moving images while developing a hybrid mobile app. Besides, this causes accessibility issues while developing the app.
- Platform compatibility — While Flutter offers cross-platform interoperability, apps like tvOS, Android Auto, CarPlay, and watchOS won’t function flawlessly. Similarly, this is another aspect to consider about it.
- Updating roadblocks — Flutter makes you work through its processes every time when posting system changes. So, there is again a notable point that you can take advantage of.
When to use Flutter Framework for Hybrid Mobile Application Development
Flutter can be used for the following purposes in general:
- To begin with, developing Minimally Viable Product (MVPs), utilizing Flutter’s light construction to make speedy first edition or proof of concept apps
- Secondly, building apps using material app design language
- Building Apps having Simple Logic OS Plugins explicitly
- High-performance apps featuring Skia rendering engine to be sure
- Flexible UI that uses brilliant code-dense widgets in the first place
- Reactive apps with heavy data integration and user interaction especially
Ionic: An Overview
Do you know, Currently, there are more than 5 million apps built on Ionic available in the market. And approximately 86% of developers prefer using Ionic.
The first version of Ionic came into existence in 2013 when three coders named Max Lynch, Adam Bradley, and Ben Sperry built an open-source UI toolkit on AngularJS.
On 25th July 2019, the latest yet stable version of the Ionic cross-platform app development framework was released. Since then, Ionic has become one of the most popular cross-platform app development frameworks known for providing efficient performance with minimum DOM manipulation.
To define, Ionic is not only a well-integrated, open-source framework but also a UI toolkit used to build high-performing desktop & mobile applications ultimately. So, this is surely the go-to platform for development.
The Ionic framework primarily targets to improve the frontend user experience by equipping hybrid app developers with vast libraries of mobile-optimized UI components, tools, and gestures to build future-ready mobile apps that not only reciprocate impact but also increase customer engagement.
Advantages of Ionic
In addition, here are a few advantages of using Ionic for cross-platform application development.
- Platform-independence — Firstly, being a platform-independent framework, Ionic reduces time and effort. It equally cut short the resources employed to build a cross-platform app with a native look and feel.
- Simplified developer interface — Ionic uses a capacitor that saves development time and creates an easy-to-use interface to access native API and native SDK on platforms. As a matter of fact, developers can make some real deal out of it in terms of time management methods.
- Community Support — Ionic is built on top of popular technologies such as Cordova and Angular and has an active community for support. This makes it easy to access quick responses to queries while developing cross-platform apps.
- Easy Testing — Another advantage of Ionic is mobile app testing. It is easier to test on a desktop browser or perform simulator testing for iOS as well as Android apps using Cordova commands with Ionic.
- Scalability — Scales efficiently as the number of active users doesn’t affect its performance which is obviously a huge advantage of this. This also surely improves the user experience. Moreover, the apps can be easily accessed through various devices as well.
Disadvantages of Ionic
Now that we’ve covered some of the significant advantages of the Ionic mobile application development framework, now is the time to look at some of the disadvantages. This also has values while we discuss ionic vs flutter 2022.
- Absence of Hot Reloading — Ionic doesn’t accommodate hot reloading and refreshes the whole app whenever the developer changes, slowing down your development speed. This can be an issue among other things when the app is developed.
- Security threats — While this isn’t the case on the newer updates of Ionic, using older versions won’t provide code uglification. So, is surely a notable point.
- Performance — Using Ionic to build heavy applications makes the app crawl equally. Thus it isn’t suitable for memory-intensive or complex applications as Ionic uses WebView to render apps.
When to use Ionic Framework for Hybrid Mobile Application Development
Meanwhile, Ionic can be used to develop:
- Hybrid mobile app development
- MVC mobile apps
- Native wrapper
- Cross-platform mobile application development generally
- Hardware functionality enabled the app
- High-performance UX/UI applications
Further Reading: How To Develop Apps Like Airbnb And Slack?
Popular Applications built with Flutter and Ionic
The best way to judge the ionic vs flutter framework is to see the differences between the real-world use cases in the first place. This can give us an overall idea of the whole scenario. In fact, people can decide depending on that information.
Here’s a list of some tech giants who are eventually entrusting Ionic and Flutter to meet their market needs.
Popular apps made with Flutter
- Google Ads
Popular Apps built with Ionic:
- Microsoft Flow
Flutter Vs Ionic: Comparison
|UI elements||Standard-based web components||Proprietary widgets|
|Native API access||Cordova and Capacitor from Native plugin library||Flutter native packages from the Native plugin library|
|Runtime||Web browser||Custom graphics machine|
|Mobile performance||Very good||Excellent|
|Type||Software framework||Application framework|
|License||MIT License||New BSD License|
|Testing||Any browser||Mobile device or emulator|
|Code reusability||98% of code is reusable||50-90% of code is reusable|
|Typical use cases||Hybrid app development, App with hardware functionality, MVC mobile apps, and likewise.||MVP applications, Apps with material design as well as high-performance apps with a Skia rendering engine, and more.|
|Deployment Options||Mobile, Desktop, Web, PWA||Mobile, Desktop, Web|
|Popular apps||Diesel, Sworkit, Microsoft Flow, Pacifica, Watch||Google Ads, BMW, Tencent, KisterMe|
Further Reading: 7 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile App for Your Business
The Winner – Flutter or Ionic?
With all of that read, we hope this article helps to clear up some of the similarities and differences between Ionic and Flutter so that you can make an informed decision owing to your own interest in cases of ionic vs flutter. This will surely redeem some of the essential queries that you formerly had.
However, the end decision of selecting the best-suited framework amongst the two will solely depend upon business objectives, user requirements, and where and how you plan to launch your app.
If you choose to build a cross-platform app with Ionic, you will learn and apply the tools and languages of the web, as Ionic uses the web platform open standards wherever possible to deliver great performance on mobile, desktop, and as well as web. To summarize, this will definitely guide you in choosing the right match for your business.
On the contrary, Flutter has a self-contained ecosystem well-equipped with the common languages, toolsets, and standards in the broader hybrid app development world.
Thus, if you choose Flutter, you will be doing things the Flutter way.
Lastly, the easiest way for any enterprise willing to have a performant app is to partner with a renowned mobile app development company with a successful history of developing mobile apps that drive value and impact.