Before drinking the coolaide - is Cordova/Iconic "fast enough"

Just getting into the question of how to deliver a native ios experience for a SaaS app I’m building and found out about iconic. It – looks like – cordova + iconic delivers the equivalent of a native ios app that can be delivered via the App Store.

But I see a lot of “PhoneGap is too slow” entries on google, and the wikipedia article on phonegap (and this what you get when you search wikipedia for cordova) says: “However, the use of web-based technologies leads many PhoneGap applications to run slower than native applications with similar functionality.[25] Adobe Systems warns that applications built using PhoneGap may be rejected by Apple for being too slow or not feeling “native” enough (having appearance and functionality consistent with what users have come to expect on the platform).[26][27]”

So, is it as fast as native ios, or not?

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there are so many resources on this topic you should really be able to make up your mind with. This is the ionic forum of course we’re going to say it’s fast enough for what we want to build. It depends on what YOU want to build.

… I can make up my own mind: But I’m looking for what developers using iconic/cordova NOW have to say. And if the are stymied by iconic/cordova, what resources NOW are worth getting to know.

An HTML-based app will never be as fast as native, just like native Obj-C or Java will never be as fast as Assembly. What you should be asking is whether or not it’s fast enough, and on that front, it really depends on your use case.

I’d say that 90% of the apps (sans games) in the app store could be written in Ionic and the end user wouldn’t notice any difference. If your use case calls for heavy-handed graphics or is extremely computation-heavy on the frontend, then you might be better off going native.

I’d recommend looking through the Ionic showcase to see the types of apps that people have built, and if you still have any doubts, try some of them out for yourself and you’ll see that if you engineer your app properly, you as an end user really can’t tell the difference between native and Ionic / Cordova.


Thanks Fisch for comment - and I have tried some of the showcased apps. One app, Wikiz, is faster than hundreds of other IOS apps I own. So, any one good place to learn what best practices are currently the way to go?

Aside from the guide and learn-ionic, Ionic heavily leans on AngularJS, so any Angular resource or best practices will be useful as well.

This Angular best practices presentation is a bit advanced, but has tons of goodies. At the more introductory level, has lots of great video tutorials for learning Angular, all of which applies to Ionic as well as general web development with AngularJS.

Additionally “engineering your app properly” spans many subtopics across HTML5, Javascript, and CSS best practices, but getting up to speed with Angular and Ionic is a great start.


one is to use collection-repeat

To be honest, I think a lot of the bashing of PhoneGap based apps is largely bullshit spread by people trying to protect their jobs coding native apps.

Are there challenges and limitations? Yes.

But, people don’t realize just how many apps are actually created using a hybrid approach. For example, how many millions of people use Instagram? Guess what. Their app is Hybrid. It uses web views for the main content.

To be honest, if an app is well built, the average user can’t tell the difference between one or the other. It all comes down to how the app is built.

To be fair, the tooling and resources in the past has sucked for hybrid, so many of the original apps using this model WERE bad and not performant, but we’ve come a long way since then with so many tools like Ionic, Grunt/Gulp, advancements in Cordova, etc.

There is kool aid in both camps.