Ionic vs PhoneGap vs React Native

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Ionic
Ionic

4.3K
3.8K
+ 1
1.7K
PhoneGap
PhoneGap

492
462
+ 1
92
React Native
React Native

9.3K
8.3K
+ 1
942

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.

What is 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.
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Why do developers choose Ionic?
Why do developers choose PhoneGap?
Why do developers choose React Native?

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What companies use Ionic?
What companies use PhoneGap?
What companies use React Native?

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What tools integrate with Ionic?
What tools integrate with PhoneGap?
What tools integrate with React Native?

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What are some alternatives to Ionic, PhoneGap, and React Native?
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.
NativeScript
NativeScript enables developers to build native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Universal while sharing the application code across the platforms. When building the application UI, developers use our libraries, which abstract the differences between the native platforms.
Flutter
Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
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.
Expo
Exponent lets web developers build truly native apps that work across both iOS and Android by writing them once in just JavaScript.
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Decisions about Ionic, PhoneGap, and React Native
Sezgi Ulucam
Sezgi Ulucam
Developer Advocate at Hasura · | 6 upvotes · 292.2K views
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova
PhoneGap
PhoneGap
React Native
React Native
Flutter
Flutter
#JavaScript
#MobileFrameworks
#NativeApps

For a front end dev like me, using a mobile framework for side projects makes more sense than writing a native app. I had used Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) before (because React Native didn't exist yet), and was happy with it. But once React Native came out, it made more sense to go that way instead. It's more efficient and smooth, since it doesn't have the simulation overhead, and has more access to hardware features. It feels cleaner since you don't need to deal with #WebView, using native UI widgets directly. I also considered Flutter . It looks promising, but is relatively new to the game, and React Native seems more stable for now.

MobileFrameworks #JavaScript NativeApps

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Sezgi Ulucam
Sezgi Ulucam
Developer Advocate at Hasura · | 7 upvotes · 363K views
Expo
Expo
Xcode
Xcode
React Native
React Native
Android Studio
Android Studio
Android SDK
Android SDK

I've recently switched to using Expo for initializing and developing my React Native apps. Compared to React Native CLI, it's so much easier to get set up and going. Setting up and maintaining Android Studio, Android SDK, and virtual devices used to be such a headache. Thanks to Expo, I can now test my apps directly on my Android phone, just by installing the Expo app. I still use Xcode Simulator for iOS testing, since I don't have an iPhone, but that's easy anyway. The big win for me with Expo is ease of Android testing.

The Expo SDK also provides convenient features like Facebook login, MapView, push notifications, and many others. https://docs.expo.io/versions/v31.0.0/sdk/

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React
React
Redux
Redux
AngularJS
AngularJS
React Native
React Native
redux-saga
redux-saga
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova
#JavascriptMvcFrameworks

We had contemplated a long time which #JavascriptMvcFrameworks to use, React and React Native vs AngularJS and Apache Cordova in both web and mobile. Eventually we chose react over angular since it was quicker to learn, less code for simple apps and quicker integration of third party javascript modules. for the full MVC we added Redux.js for state management and redux-saga for async calls and logic. since we also have mobile app along with the web, we can shere logic and model between web and mobile.

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Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 24 upvotes · 884.7K views
Framework7
Framework7
JavaScript
JavaScript
TypeScript
TypeScript
Figma
Figma
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
Webpack
Webpack
Babel
Babel
Ruby
Ruby
HTML5
HTML5
CouchDB
CouchDB
Pouchdb
Pouchdb
Font Awesome
Font Awesome
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova
CSS 3
CSS 3
PhoneGap
PhoneGap
#Css
#CSS3
#SCSS
#Sass
#Less
#Electron
#HandleBars
#Template7
#Sketch
#GraphQL
#HTML5
#GraphCool

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

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Vishal Narkhede
Vishal Narkhede
Javascript Developer at getStream.io · | 19 upvotes · 239.7K views
atStreamStream
Stream
Stream
React Native
React Native
Chat by Stream
Chat by Stream
JavaScript
JavaScript
Expo
Expo
styled-components
styled-components
Babel
Babel

Recently, the team at Stream published a React Native SDK for our new Chat by Stream product. React Native brings the power of JavaScript to the world of mobile development, making it easy to develop apps for multiple platforms. We decided to publish two different endpoints for the SDK – Expo and React Native (non-expo), to avoid the hurdle and setup of using the Expo library in React Native only projects on the consumer side.

The capability of style customization is one a large deal breaker for frontend SDKs. To solve this, we decided to use styled-components in our SDK, which makes it easy to add support for themes on top of our existing components. This practice reduces the maintenance effort for stylings of custom components and keeps the overall codebase clean.

For module bundling, we decided to go with Rollup.js instead of Webpack due to its simplicity and performance in the area of library/module providers. We are using Babel for transpiling code, enabling our team to use JavaScript's next-generation features. Additionally, we are using the React Styleguidist component documentation, which makes documenting the React Native code a breeze.

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Gustavo Muñoz
Gustavo Muñoz
Web UI Developer at Globant · | 8 upvotes · 261.4K views
Flutter
Flutter
React
React
React Native
React Native
Dart
Dart
Android Studio
Android Studio
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
JavaScript
JavaScript
#Flare

In my modest opinion, Flutter is the future of mobile development. The framework is as important to mobile as React is to the web. And seeing that React Native does not finish taking off, I am focusing all my efforts on learning Flutter and Dart. The ecosystem is amazing. The community is crazy about Flutter. There are enough resources to learn and enjoy the framework, and the tools developed to work with it are amazing. Android Studio or Visual Studio Code has incredible plugins and Dart is a pretty straight forward and easy-to-learn language, even more, if you came from JavaScript. I admit it. I'm in love with Flutter. When you are not a designer, having a framework focused on design an pretty things is a must. And counting with tools like #flare for animations makes everything easier. It is so amazing that I wish I had a big mobile project right now at work just to use Flutter.

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Vaibhav Taunk
Vaibhav Taunk
Team Lead at Technovert · | 29 upvotes · 605.8K views
.NET Core
.NET Core
Angular CLI
Angular CLI
React
React
MongoDB
MongoDB
Flutter
Flutter
React Native
React Native
Postman
Postman
Markdown
Markdown
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code

I am starting to become a full-stack developer, by choosing and learning .NET Core for API Development, Angular CLI / React for UI Development, MongoDB for database, as it a NoSQL DB and Flutter / React Native for Mobile App Development. Using Postman, Markdown and Visual Studio Code for development.

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Interest over time
Reviews of Ionic, PhoneGap, and React Native
Avatar of tonyxiao
Economics
Review ofReact NativeReact Native

Native iOS developer here. One of the most important thing React Native managed to accomplish is that it created a better single-platform development experience than the platform owner themselves did. It's faster and easier to develop a react native app than it is to develop an iOS app. And remember that react native is at the end of the day still native. So native views, native components, native modules. You get to pick and choose how much you want to be in JavaScript and how much you want to be in native.

Review ofIonicIonic

great framework,lots of resources,great community,easy to create UI

How developers use Ionic, PhoneGap, and React Native
Avatar of Kurzor, s.r.o.
Kurzor, s.r.o. uses React NativeReact Native

React Native is great in that it reduces the overhead of writing native code based on a web app. If written in a good style, Redux part of the app can often just be copied or shared in the Native app - and it just works! What a timesaver.

Avatar of Ryan VanBelkum
Ryan VanBelkum uses React NativeReact Native

The framework used to write the mobile apps in this project. I've chosen this because of the "write once run all" (ios and android) mentality.

Avatar of Pascal Malbranche
Pascal Malbranche uses IonicIonic

We use Ionic as it is an awesome framework to build mobile hybrid apps with nativ access. Also Ionic has a nice community!

Avatar of AmericanBibleSociety
AmericanBibleSociety uses React NativeReact Native

We are not currently using this product but we have very high interest in learning and using this for mobile apps.

Avatar of Christian Bryant
Christian Bryant uses IonicIonic

Cross-Platform goodness. I am a noob here...learning how to implement Ionic is on the top of my ToDo's

Avatar of JINJA Ltd.
JINJA Ltd. uses React NativeReact Native

New features of our app are developed on React Native, so we could maintain a small dev team.

Avatar of Trading Log
Trading Log uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

We used phonegap best practices to compile and deploy our hybrid to android and ios markets.

Avatar of Tana
Tana uses React NativeReact Native

100% of our mobile codebase is shared between iOS and Android. Using along with TypeScript.

Avatar of papaver
papaver uses IonicIonic

used on a recent project, an internal custom app developed for both ios and android.

Avatar of William Baker
William Baker uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

To release the JavaScript game Whack-A-Mol http://www.ethertear.com/apps.html

Avatar of Grupo Gamma Peninsular, SA de CV
Grupo Gamma Peninsular, SA de CV uses IonicIonic

Desarrollo de aplicaciones multi-plataforma con HTML5, JavaScript y CSS3

Avatar of AmericanBibleSociety
AmericanBibleSociety uses IonicIonic

We have plans to employ this frontend framework in future apps.

Avatar of Smileupps
Smileupps uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

to let web apps benefit of native device features

Avatar of Eyal El.
Eyal El. uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

Our Apps are wrapped with PhoneGap 7 & 8

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