Apache Cordova vs Ionic vs PhoneGap

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

Apache Cordova

669
814
+ 1
207
Ionic

7.1K
6.4K
+ 1
1.7K
PhoneGap

563
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Advice on Apache Cordova, Ionic, and PhoneGap
Needs advice
on
React Native
PhoneGap
and
Ionic

Looking for some advice: we are planning to create a hybrid app for both iOS and Android; this app will consume a REST API. We are looking for a tool for this development with the following attributes:

  • Shallow learning curve; easiness to adopt (all team is new into mobile development, with diverse backgrounds: Java, Python & AngularJS),

  • Easiness to test (we discarded Angular-based tools already: creating a unit test in Angular we considered time-consuming and low value. At this point of the project, we cannot afford UI testing with Selenium/Appium based tools).

  • So far, we are not considering any specific capability of the device. Still, in the mid/long term, we would require the usage of GPS (geolocalization) and accelerometer (not sure if it's possible to use it from a hybrid app). Suggest any other tool if you wish.

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Replies (4)
Alcides Costa
CEO, Co-founder at inPlace · | 5 upvotes · 33.3K views
Recommends
Kivy

If your team has a strong background in Python and you want to release some prototype soon, you could try Python and Kivy. Kivy is an open-source, cross-platform Python framework for rapid development of mobile GUIs. It supports both iOS and Android. I have passed a similar situation recently: to start a mobile app with no background in mobile development. Kivy saved me a lot of time. I could develop a prototype and release it faster than I thoght.

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Frederico Bezerra

To be honest , You need to think these points :

  • Developer Experience

  • Tooling

  • Maintainability

My vote for now is going with React Native with Expo , using Typescript...

With this stack You could follow some patterns and principle that the Java and python programmers are familiar with.

Typescript is a javascript Superset that you can follow Procedural , Functional and OOP approaches and an easy learning curve.

With Expo you need to concern only with the shared layer (Typescript) and the Native ones will be expo responsibility.

Please check Expo.com and try to get started using typescript.

Good performance and with EAS (paid plan) you can create a full CI CD pipeline for your app connected to the stores(Apple and Android).

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Recommends
Ionic
Capacitor

If you already know how to build web apps, give Capacitor a try. You can think of it like "electron for mobile" in that you can build a web app but access native functionality. Pair it with Ionic if you want a UI kit that is optimized for mobile, or build your own UI from scratch.

A bonus to Capacitor is your app will run without modification on the web as a PWA, iOS, Android, and more.

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Recommends
React Native

Other tools have very slow performance. They are usually selected because someone on the team likes Angular, but your customers won't care what framework you're using. They'll just know the app is slow.

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Saber Hosney
Senior software engineer at Shortcut · | 7 upvotes · 40.1K views
Needs advice
on
React Native
Ionic
and
Flutter

Greetings!

I have been searching lately for frameworks to build mobile apps.

We are trying to make something like a quiz app as a way for customers to contact us. I considered Ionic and React Native because we use JavaScript most of the time in websites, e.g., Vue.js/Nuxt.js. But Flutter seems a decent choice as well, especially since you can use Android/iOS-like components. We are looking for something that works in the long term, something that's time and cost-effective, especially when paired with backend services like Firebase or a GraphQL server. I would like to know your opinions and recommendations. Thank you!

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Replies (3)
Devon Ray
Software Engineer at Djinn Digital LTD · | 12 upvotes · 19K views
Recommends
Flutter

I think in the long term Flutter would be your best bet, I work with both flutter and react native daily and I am constantly finding reasons why flutter is better then RN, some general things I've found with flutter are the following:

  • User base is growing massively and a lot of companies are switching over to flutter
  • Performance is much better than React, both usage and compile times.
  • Managing framework updates with Flutter is a breeze and not so great with React.
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Krunal Shah
Full Stack Developer at Infynno Solutions · | 8 upvotes · 20.6K views
Recommends
React Native

I have been exploring the Flutter lately it's good but if I am building something which is really huge then I will definitely use React Native for these reasons

  1. React Native is used by so many big companies so there are libraries for everything you need.
  2. As of now React Native community is bigger and more active than Flutter so if you're stuck anywhere it will be easy to get help or just find a solution from stack overflow.
  3. Since you're already working on JS you wouldn't need to learn anything new and you can focus on building your product.

The question you should be asking yourself Do I want to spend my time learning a new framework and then build the product or should I just building the product with the framework I know.

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Jake Shapley
Application Developer at Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife · | 3 upvotes · 3.6K views
Recommends
Flutter

I would definitely go with Flutter. I have been writing native apps in iOS (Objective-C/Swift) and Android (Java/Kotlin) for over 6 years. For public-facing apps, we have generally written and maintained 3 code bases (iOS, Android, Web), so we have tried cross-platform solutions, including Ionic and React Native. React Native was definitely better than Ionic, but still lagged significantly behind native, in terms of performance. Flutter is a game-changer. I have been tasked with writing a public-facing app to help users identify fish species. It is backed with AWS Amplify (AppSync/GraphQL). I was able to write a platform-aware UI, with native-looking elements in less time than it would have taken me to write it natively for a single platform. It looks like with just a few UI and backend tweaks, we will also be able to deploy it for Web. I haven't run tests to confirm, but performance appears to be at least as good as native. Here are some additional benefits when using Flutter/Dart with VSCode:

  • easy to set up and start coding
  • easy to integrate/manage dependencies
  • hot reload across multiple devices, on save
  • auto-formatting
  • quick-fix suggestions for syntax, etc. errors
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Needs advice
on
Vue Native
and
Apache Cordova

Heya, I'm very new on here! And I hope I can get advice on this matter :

We are working on a new app. The web version is on Sails.js (V1)/node.js/vue.js. Started with the Web App default settings (including login and payments, which we are using use). We started with a web version to give access to the customer to start creating the data while building the mobile version. (iOS and Android)

I heard of Apache Cordova, that using the same JavaScript/css could be used to not re-code the front-end of the app for iPhones and Androids. I've been told that it is end-of-life now (? - I couldn't find this info myself).

I saw that Vue Native might be an alternative and would only need a few adjustments from our web version as we are using Vue.js for the frontend.

I know next to nothing on this, so I would really appreciate it if you guys could point me to possible solutions you've used and why instead of searching through all the existing solutions. (I'm very open to know if there are alternatives to those two too !!)

We will need to be using the GPS functions of the mobiles, which is a big part of the app.

Thank you!

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Replies (1)
ahmed Tirhmert
Fullstack Web Developer · | 3 upvotes · 31.7K views

i don't have any experience with the vue native what so ever but i think Quasar and Ionic are the best options for an HTML/CSS/JS based mobile app ionic has full support of vue and quasar is built on vue you may have to change some configurations in your project files

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Needs advice
on
React Native
Ionic
and
Flutter

Hi, we are an early startup (with an iPOC prototype) but need to get started on our MVP, and our tech developers in India recommended a hybrid, and they use Ionic, then we spoke with a software company in the US and he recommended Flutter or React Native. Any advice or input for us on the differences between these? Our app will need Bluetooth GPS for "near me" and social media sharing reviews capability, and also link on the backend with businesses. Thanks in advance for any help you can give!

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Replies (6)
Ahmad Khan
Recommends
Flutter

I would never recommend you to go with Ionic, Because of the User experience it provides is subpar. Flutter is most promising, Can be easily used to develop great user experience in no time. React native is also good, but it's phasing out in my opinion, while Ionic has already phased out. Flutter also provides great developer experience, resulting in fast and productive developers. I would have to press hard to think of a CON about flutter when recommending it for your needs.

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Dario Alves
Arquiteto de Software at Senior sistemas · | 2 upvotes · 199.4K views
Recommends
React Native

Maturity, Community, Facility, Libs React Native is the principal platform of mobile cross-platform development today, Flutter is it's a promise.

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Nicolas Kovacs
Recommends
Flutter

Even if React Native is older (I didn't say mature) you should go for Flutter, It's works really well and the developer experience is great (auto-completion, plugin etc). I spent years with React Native and now I am using Flutter and I don't regret It. Even if you have to learn a new language, It's pretty simple even more If you know some OOP, Java and Javascript ES6 syntax in some case. One other advantage is the facility to design app in Flutter, you have widgets for everything and you can adapt any design made by your designer. For example you can't make a simple custom box shadow with React-Native ...

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Recommends
Flutter

Flutter is built on DART which is written in GO. GO compiles to binary. Hence is faster than any java based framework. It provides superior performance and has a simplified UI process for designing apps.

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Recommends
Ionic
at

I don‘t have practical experience with flutter but between ionic and react native I‘d say both a perfectly viable options and we have used both for a number of production apps. We normally go with ionic on capacitor because we build a lot of pwa/web apps so we can use the same code for all. We don‘t use much of ionic elements, we do most styles on our own.

The comments that the user experience is bad I cannot agree with. A well designed and developed ionic apo can hardly be distinguished from a native app. But obviously that depends also on the usecase and type of app.

I hope this helps

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Kevin Lücke
Recommends
Flutter

It depends also on your team skills. Flutter is fast to learn, fast to develop with and the performance is much better in comparison to React. If your team is already highly skilled in React Native it could be the better option - if not Flutter is my 100% recommendation. We rapidly prototype and deliver MVPs with Flutter since two years.

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Alexis Poveda
Needs advice
on
Electron
Flutter
and
Ionic

Hi! I have to develop a software solution for a youth church group, for my graduation project. In the first meeting that I have with the coordinators, they did not have a clear idea of what they want. The biggest problem they have is the attendance control, they do it manually and that causes errors.

I was thinking of developing an Android app in Android Studio because that is the tool I master, but a friend told me that I consider using a tool that builds for iOS, Android and web. I have like 6 months. I own a MacBookAir but I do not know Swift (for iOS). I am familiar with MySQL, PHP, Apache, JSP,HTML,CSS.

Summary: What tool can I use that is easy to learn and easy to scale?

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Replies (5)
Recommends
Ionic

I think you should chose between Flutter and Ionic. With those two options, the main question is about graphs and performance. Are they really important for your application? If the answer is yes, your tool is Flutter but, if the answer is that you need an easy tool to create an app with some basic components I would choose Ionic. You have a library with lots of components that you can use and they have native UI by default (for Android and iOS).

You will find more support if you use Ionic with Angular as frontend framework (you have the option to use Vue or React but this is a new feature for Ionic and I think there are more difficult to learn than Angular).

You can develop and debug the majority of features on PC (I don't know if that is possible with Flutter). And when you will finish the app, create iOS and Android versions is simple.

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Recommends
Ionic

It's probably not relevant anymore, but I think Ionic with Angular as the frontend is the right choice. For IDE I would choose Visual Studio Code. You can just create a basic web application with responsive design, which is already included if you are going to use Ionic components with Material Design to create your app. You don't need to know Swift, you don't even have to create mobile apps, just create a responsive (Ionic already is) web app, or PWA. Upon browsing your website from a mobile device for example using google chrome, you will be prompted to create a shortcut of the website in your mobile phone. After you do this, there will be an icon in your phone that looks like an icon to launch an app, it will launch your website in full screen mode - for the user's perspective it will look like he is using a native app. Access https://ionicframework.com/docs/angular/pwa from your android chrome browser, go to tab options (3 vertical dots), click on Add to Home screen. When you launch the website from the shortcut, you'll see that it behaves and looks like a native app.

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Recommends
Flutter

Flutter is easy to use and easy to understand. Once you have completed the android platform, you can easily build it to ios, Web or desktop on a single code base.

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Carlos Esteban Lopez Jaramillo
Recommends
Ionic
  1. Electron is for desktop apps, so not useful for you.
  2. Flutter has better performance, but Ionic is decent as well, I would use Ionic unless you're making a game or graphic-intensive app.
  3. Ionic is more flexible since you have the whole NPM ecosystem available, while flutter is more recent, thus libraries for it are less in quantity and battle-tested than the ones in NPM.
  4. Ionic 4 introduced CSS variables, which improved immensely the theming process for the app, which was the hardest issue Ionic development had.
  5. Ionic has extended to many frameworks so it's compatible with Angular and React frameworks, meaning more flexibility, personally I would recommend Ionic with Angular over React since it's more suited to enterprise-level apps.
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Alejandro Ulate Fallas
Mobile Developer at Build SRL · | 2 upvotes · 125.1K views
Recommends
Ionic

Hi there. So Electron embeds everything in a webview, which means that what you would have to develop would be a Node project most probably. Ionic does the same (kindof but won't bore you with specifics) but it does it much more efficiently. Usually you do Ionic apps with JS frameworks like Angular or React (this one recently added). Flutter on the other hand does native apps, it does it really good but it's support for Web is in beta and it's relatively simple to setup if you already know the SDK and the environment.

My recommendation would be that you do your app using Angular/Ionic if you reaaally need the multi-platform environment and there's different reasons in this case:

  • Since it's a graduation project you need it to be as simple as it can be and adding a new technology adds to the learning curve.
  • Flutter is great if you have different complex UI or if you have specific performance needs that require native support and in your case it does not seem like you need that.
  • Flutter is also an incredibly powerful tool but it's learning curve might be tricky if you have not developed native apps before so I wouldn't recommend you start off like this if you have time sensitive projects like a graduation project. It does have great docs and an awesome community but I'd suggest you stick as close to what you know as you can.
  • Ionic/Angular uses Typescript (a type javascript wrapper) and Angular (JS framework) so you will have to learn a little bit but if you already know HTML, CSS and Javascript you won't have that much of a hard time. Also there's quite a lot in terms of documentation and tooling already tested around this combination.
  • Ionic/Angular has a really good CLI that helps you stick to the architecture they recommend so you wouldn't have to worry about it that much.
  • Ionic/Angular helps you test either locally in the web browser as well as your devices which is in the end what you want if you are looking for a multi-platform system. Flutter also does this but is not quite in a stable state (yet!).

Anyway, in the end, if you go for the multi-platform suggestion I think, because of time you would be better off with Ionic. If you decide that you don't need that as of right now (which is fine as well) you can start with just the Android app and plan on the different things you might eventually need like a website or other different stuff. Cheers!

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Decisions about Apache Cordova, Ionic, and PhoneGap
Gabor Galazzo

As a startup, we need the maximum flexibility and the ability to reach our customers in a more suitable way. So a hybrid application approach is the best because it allows you to develop a cross-platform application in a unique codebase. The choice behind Ionic is Angular, I think that angular is the best framework to develop a complex application that needs a lot of service interaction, its modularity forces you (the developer) to write the code in the correct way, so it can be maintainable and reusable.

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Pierre Canthelou
Lead Developper Frontend/Mobile at WinMinute · | 5 upvotes · 34.6K views

I've made 6 professional/business applications with React Native before choosing Flutter/Dart for the new version of WinMinuteConso (historical in Ionic...). Multi Platform is far more stable, Dart is far more powerful, the whole process is really better... It is just hard to find the proper software architecture...

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Thuan Nguyen
FE Lead at SOLID ENGINEER · | 5 upvotes · 319.1K views
  • Javascripts is the most populated language in the world.
  • Easy to learn & deployed production
  • Fast development
  • Strong community
  • Completed Documents
  • Native performance with lower RAM used.
  • Easy to handle native issues by using native code like Java / Objective C
  • Powered by Facebook.
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awesomebanana2018
Chose
Flutter
over
Ionic

While with Ionic it is possible to make mobile applications with only web technologies, Flutter is more performant and is easy to use if you are willing to learn Dart, which is a fun language. Plus, it has awesome documentation and, while its ecosystem isn't near as big as JavaScript's is, it has a good package manager called Pub and its packages are generally high quality.

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Aleksandr Filatov
Contract Software Engineer - Microsoft · | 2 upvotes · 144.7K views

I've done some Hybrid Mobile apps with both technologies Apache Cordova and React Native and described my experience in my blog.

In a few words, I would suggest to use each technology in accordance what what is your current code base and what do you want to achieve.

React Native is a great option if you need that extra edge in performance with multi-threading and native UI rendering. Or you already have a web app based on React which you want to port to mobile.

On the other hand, if you have an existing web application code and you want to reuse some or all, including the ability to use web third-party libraries, then Cordova is the best option.

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Aleksandr Filatov
Contract Software Engineer - Microsoft · | 2 upvotes · 62.1K views
What is Proguard?

ProGuard is the most popular optimizer for Java bytecode. It makes your Java and Android applications up to 90% smaller and up to 20% faster. ProGuard also provides minimal protection against reverse engineering by obfuscating the names of classes, fields and methods.

How to use it in Cordova app?

I didn't find any plugins for it. So I've implemented it by myself and shared it on GitHub.

Feel free to use!

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Pros of Apache Cordova
Pros of Ionic
Pros of PhoneGap
  • 41
    Lots of plugins
  • 34
    JavaScript
  • 26
    Great community
  • 23
    Easy Development
  • 18
    Easy to learn
  • 15
    Cross platform
  • 7
    Open Source
  • 6
    Easy, fast, not buggy in my experience with my code
  • 6
    Lots of descendants; PhoneGap, Ionic, Intel XDA etc
  • 4
    Can use CSS3
  • 4
    Rich HTML 5
  • 3
    Fast and hot reload
  • 3
    HTML, CSS and JS
  • 3
    Easy debugging
  • 3
    Use what you code in your browser
  • 3
    Rich css ui
  • 2
    One code base everywhere
  • 2
    Without extra tooling needed
  • 2
    Native Web Technologies
  • 2
    Need a light system
  • 246
    Allows for rapid prototyping
  • 226
    Hybrid mobile
  • 208
    It's angularjs
  • 184
    Free
  • 178
    It's javascript, html, and css
  • 108
    Ui and theming
  • 76
    Great designs
  • 74
    Mv* pattern
  • 70
    Reuse frontend devs on mobile
  • 64
    Extensibility
  • 31
    Great community
  • 28
    Open source
  • 22
    Responsive design
  • 20
    Good cli
  • 13
    Angularjs-based
  • 13
    Beautifully designed
  • 13
    So easy to use
  • 12
    Widgets
  • 11
    Allows for rapid prototyping, hybrid mobile
  • 11
    Typescript
  • 10
    Quick prototyping, amazing community
  • 10
    Easy setup
  • 8
    Angular2 support
  • 7
    Fast, easy, free
  • 7
    Because of the productivity and easy for development
  • 7
    So much thought behind what developers actually need
  • 7
    Base on angular
  • 6
    Super fast, their dev team is amazingly passionate
  • 6
    Easy to use
  • 6
    It's Angular
  • 4
    UI is awesome
  • 4
    Hot deploy
  • 3
    Material design support using theme
  • 3
    Amazing support
  • 3
    It's the future
  • 3
    Angular
  • 3
    Allow for rapid prototyping
  • 3
    Easy setup, development and testing
  • 3
    Ionic creator
  • 2
    User Friendly
  • 2
    It's angular js
  • 2
    Complete package
  • 2
    Simple & Fast
  • 2
    Fastest growing mobile app framework
  • 2
    Best Support and Community
  • 2
    Material Design By Default
  • 2
    Cross platform
  • 2
    Documentation
  • 2
    Because I can use my existing web devloper skills
  • 2
    Removes 300ms delay in mobile browsers
  • 1
    1
  • 1
    Native access
  • 1
    Typescript support
  • 1
    Ionic conect codeigniter
  • 1
    Fast Prototyping
  • 1
    All Trending Stack
  • 46
    Javascript
  • 13
    Backed by Adobe
  • 11
    Free
  • 9
    Easy and developer friendly
  • 6
    Support more platforms
  • 3
    It's javascript, html, and css
  • 2
    Common code base across all mobile platform
  • 1
    Not bound to specific framework
  • 1
    Powerful Framework
  • 1
    Runs on mobile browser
  • 1
    Similar UI across all platform
  • 0
    Free easy fast and not buggy in my experience

Sign up to add or upvote prosMake informed product decisions

Cons of Apache Cordova
Cons of Ionic
Cons of PhoneGap
  • 2
    No native performance
  • 1
    Hard to install
  • 0
    Hard to install
  • 20
    Not suitable for high performance or UI intensive apps
  • 15
    Not meant for game development
  • 2
    Not a native app
  • 2
    Never as good as a native app
  • 1
    Created for web pages, not for complex Apps
  • 1
    Poor user experience
  • 1
    Not build for high performance
  • 1
    Hard to see

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

What is Apache Cordova?

Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What is Ionic?

Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.

What is PhoneGap?

PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use Apache Cordova?
What companies use Ionic?
What companies use PhoneGap?

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What tools integrate with Apache Cordova?
What tools integrate with Ionic?
What tools integrate with PhoneGap?

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What are some alternatives to Apache Cordova, Ionic, and PhoneGap?
Xamarin
Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
React Native
React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
Electron
With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.
Flutter
Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Capacitor
Invoke Native SDKs on iOS, Android, Electron, and the Web with one code base. Optimized for Ionic Framework apps, or use with any web app framework.`
See all alternatives