Ionic 3 versioning explained


can someone help me to understand the versioning of ionic?
The changelog ( tells me, that the latest version is 3.6.1. If I create an example project via the ionic cli (e.g. ionic start ionic_example tabs) most ionic packages are on Version 3.12.1 which seems to be newer than 3.6.1. But if I have a look into the npm repositories (e.g. the latest version is 4.2.1 ? Is this a beta release of ionic 4?
Which Version should I use for a current stable project?

Thank you.

You are mixing Ionic and Ionic Native here.

Just work with the versions of the libraries that are installed when creating a new project. If you have problems with one of those, you can think about upgrading.