Ionic vs Flutter vs React Native

I am quite excited getting into Ionic but after doing some research it appears that since 2018 interest (google search) in Ionic is declining. Other similar technologies, like Flutter and Reactive Native, seem to get more and more popular. Is there a reason behind this? Do you believe this trend will continue? Ionic looks like a great way to get into hybrid mobile apps, but I’d like to learn a technology that’s still alive after a few years.

I just started with Ionic and here’s why: I went from “React app that works on my website” to “React app that builds on mobile + uses in app purchases” in my spare time in about a month.

If you already know Javascript and don’t know the other languages, Ionic is way easier to learn and faster to set up than Flutter and React Native, so your time investment to learn it is a lot less, which is why I chose Ionic.

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I wouldn’t make my decision based on Google trends. Searching for something is not the same as using it.

Ionic is based on web technologies, web technologies have been there long before flutter or react native, and will never die.

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Google trends is not accurate, look at the job postings around USA. I’ve never seen a position for a Flutter dev and rarely for React native dev. Most are ether Angular with Ionic or React.

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Thanks guys for the positive notes, that’s reassuring :slight_smile: I just started my first Ionic course. I really wish for Ionic to keep evolving and gain more popularity.

hey there, I’m biased as I work for Ionic, but I’d like to echo what jcsarmobile said. When evaluating any technology choice, don’t rely just on Google search trends. In this case too, it’s not a great comparison. “Ionic” usually refers to Ionic Framework, our mobile UI toolkit. The better comparison would be with Capacitor, our native runtime. You can build a great mobile app using Ionic Framework, run it on the web then deploy it using Capacitor to iOS and Android.

In general, we recommend trying them all! See what solution works best for you and your use case. Ionic/Capacitor offers the best solution though, for reaching tons of platforms and users with one codebase.

And it’s worth noting - Ionic is incredibly popular and runs a profitable business entirely focused on web and mobile app development. The others… do not. They are focused on advertising and we’ll never know how much time and attention they’ll give to those frameworks in the future.

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Ehm, who makes Flutter? :wink:

Thing is, Ionic is part UI tooklit (a’la Chakra) part native bridge (Capacitor/Cordova vs React Native) and mostly the logic is in the underlying framework (Angular/React/Vue). So much of what you learn with Ionic is portable, whereas learning Dart is Flutter-only dead end, and React Native only gives you mobile and not desktop (right? You make a different UI entirely in React and something else then) and makes you learn native iOS/Android anyway.

Ionic is a very cool, fairly thin layer, and web performance has gone up enough these days you have to be pretty crack native developer to noticeably beat it. Even if you end up exiting Ionic in favor of pure native, which to me is the only reasonable alternative at scale (plus gets you to the Apple Watch etc) you still have the Angular or React or Vue code running for your web app and you can migrate it to a different UI toolkit fairly easily. And porting from Ionic to native isn’t so hard as you have a fairly high-fidelity working model for the native devs to copy.

True even on Desktop (isn’t VS Code an Electron app? Does it feel so slow?). Hard to argue against starting on Ionic and then scale up with pure native should needs truly force it. If people aren’t searching for it, maybe they’re content they’ve already found it. As for dying, it’s already built…source code is available…maintenance on it isn’t so intensely challenging, and it’s all built on vastly installed open standards. …and Dart? …and as for Facebook developer tools…remember what they did to Parse?

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Hi! I don’t know for RN, but as for Flutter, I’ve heard opinions that it just provides better performance & testing, that’s it. I do understand, that Flutter developers are quite biased against Ionic, but for example in this article we can see that Flutter becomes more popular, and this trend will probably continue for some time as Google releases new updates etc

I feel like the real question is “Capacitor vs Flutter vs React Native.” Ionic framework is the nice cherry on top to provide native UI/experience but Capacitor is the guts of the cross platform. The team is growing, and we just released Capacitor 3.0! The Ionic Framework team has some exciting stuff in the pipeline as well :smile:. If you are a web developer, this is by far the easiest way to make a mobile app without learning the weird different quirks that RN has and isn’t in a different language like Dart. Both are very cool projects though and I’m glad they exist!

That being said, what is easier than having an existing web app and running this to get an ios app? :wink:

npm i @capacitor/core @capacitor/ios
npx cap add ios
npx cap sync ios
npx cap run ios
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