First off I am not here to bash the Ionic Framework, I am here to information based on my questions. I have had a look at the ionic ui components and angular material and they are basically the same. I have also scaffolded an ionic blank app and I have a look at the project folder size and it is a whooping 372MB that’s huge and I haven’t even started building my app based on the blank template. I understand that some will say that ionic has been optimized for mobile but how exactly? If I use cordova and angular with angular material I will have a much smaller app size. And ionic is just a wrapper around cordova while using angular, even angular material is a wrapper around angular material. So considering all this would cordova with angular and angular material be a better option?
I don’t think you can draw any meaningful conclusions about “app size” from the size of the project folder. If “app size” is a major factor for you, I would suggest building out at least a “hello world” incorporating features that you care about in each of the frameworks you are considering.
App size is not the only concern, did you read the entire question?
Ionic UI components from CDN and simple html are a whopping 41kb size as bundle (simple Hello World app).
Ionic Angular prod release is 3.42mb (Hello World)
Ionic is more then just cordova sugar, it has the UI stuff too. But if you like angular material for mobile, go ahead. They are some parts overlapping/competing, I assume. But for some mobile experience aspects like animation, ionic has a bit more.
But feel free to leave Ionic.