flutter vs ionic

Flutter VS Ionic: Know The Main Differences

Learning about the best available technologies is crucial before starting to develop a high-quality mobile application. The two most popular mobile app development frameworks nowadays for creating high-performing cross-platform apps are Ionic and Flutter. Despite the fact that both frameworks share the objective of creating high-performing mobile apps, they are fundamentally different. So, if you are planning to develop a mobile application or thinking about learning mobile app development, you should be aware of Flutter vs Ionic.

You’ll need a careful examination of these frameworks in terms of UI, performance, learning curve, and other factors to pick the ideal one for your purpose. So, stay here with us to learn about Flutter vs Ionic. 

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Let’s first have a basic overview of these technologies.

Overview Of Ionic

Drifty Co. launched the initial version of the Ionic framework in 2013. It makes use of standard web technologies i.e., HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Ionic is an open-source user interface toolkit that allows for easy interaction with other open frameworks and libraries, such as Apache Cordova. 

Ionic is thought to be simple to learn and has received a lot of support from the developer community over the years. MarketWatch, StockPlan Connect, Sworkit, and other well-known applications are built using Ionic.

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Overview Of Flutter

Flutter is a younger technology than Ionic. It was created by Google in 2017. It is currently being governed by Google with the help of the ECMA standard. Flutter’s primary goal is to serve as a UI toolkit for creating attractive and responsive cross-platform apps. 

It is written in the Dart programming language, with Swift and Objective C for iOS and Java for Android connectivity. Flutter doesn’t have as large a support network as other cross-platform apps because it’s a younger technology on the market, but that’s changing quickly as more developers discover Flutter’s advantages. 

Stadia, Tencent, The New York Times app, and various Google applications are among the prominent apps that worked with Flutter.

Common Goals of Flutter and Ionic

Flutter and Ionic both have some common goals despite having many distinctions. Here are some of the common goals between Flutter and Ionic:

  • Both these frameworks mainly concentrate on building UI frameworks for native platforms.
  • Both Flutter and Ionic are based on the philosophy of cross-platform application development.
  • Flutter and Ionic help in building interactive and high-performing mobile applications.

Flutter VS Ionic: The Main Differences

Here are the detailed differences between Flutter and Ionic:

Code Usability

Flutter has a closed environment with its own set of standards whereas Ionic is made with open web technologies and adheres to common web standards. As Flutter and Ionic are cross-platform frameworks, a single set of code developed in either of them works equally well on smartphones and PCs. 

Flutter has certain limits when it comes to web deployment, therefore Ionic would be a better alternative if your primary objective is to create progressive web apps. On the other hand, Ionic’s previous versions contain security flaws because they don’t allow code uglification. 

Still, when it comes to sharing code between platforms, Flutter is seen to be easier and faster, making it a superior choice for MVP development. Therefore, Flutter is the clear winner of Flutter vs Ionic: code usability.

Testing

The Hot Reload feature of Flutter automatically refreshes the app when you alter the code. This provides up a lot of room for experimentation and makes it easier to resolve errors and update the program. Hot Reload or other similar feature is not available in the Ionic framework. Any update necessitates a complete reload of the program, which may slow down progress. Therefore, Flutter is the clear winner of Flutter vs Ionic: testing.

User Experience 

Ionic and Flutter don’t use the platform’s native UI components in their apps. Users will not notice the difference because both frameworks automatically adjust the look of their UI components to reflect the visual styles of Android and iOS platforms. Flutter, on the other hand, wins when it comes to heavy animation and attractive aesthetics, with better FPS and fewer missed frames. 

Flutter does not require a ‘communication bridge’ between its modules because native components are available by default, and it also uses its own rendering engine. To interface with native components, Flutter does not need the use of a bridge.

Learning Curve

Learning curve is important to consider in Flutter vs Ionic. Because Ionic is based on web technologies, it’s simple for developers who are already familiar with JavaScript and CSS to get started designing apps with it. If you’re new to coding, studying Ionic is essentially the same as learning how to develop web apps in general, which may come in handy in the future.

Flutter, on the other hand, necessitates a level of commitment; you must begin by learning the Dart programming language, which is currently used in only the Flutter framework. If a developer already understands JavaScript or works with Ionic or React Native, learning Dart shouldn’t be too difficult, and it gives them access to the Flutter framework’s capabilities.

Portability

Ionic and Flutter face stiff competition when it comes to app deployment across multiple mobile and desktop platforms. When it comes to mobile app development, Flutter has several tempting capabilities, but it has certain limits when it comes to web browsers. 

Ionic, on the other hand, is built on web standards and can help you create outstanding desktop, web, and mobile apps. If you want high-end device flexibility, Ionic is the way to go. Unfortunately, flutter is still working on improving its web compatibility. Therefore, Ionic is the clear winner of Flutter vs Ionic: code portability.

Native Look and Feel

Despite the fact that Ionic and Flutter do not employ each platform’s native UI components, they adapt the design of their UI elements to fit the platform on which the app is running. 

For Android, Material Design is used, whereas for iOS, Cupertino is used. Both solutions include a library of pre-built plugins for accessing platform services and native APIs, as well as a set of tools for creating bespoke plugins as needed. However, you should be aware that Flutter’s native mobile implementation is quite subjective. As a result, if you’re performing custom native work with Flutter, you’ll need to learn how to interact with iOS and Android in Flutter.

Knowledge and Skill Set

Knowledge and skill set is important to consider in Flutter vs Ionic. Flutter is not a JavaScript framework, although Ionic is. As a result, to become a Flutter developer, you must be familiar with the “Dart” programming language. The Dart programming language is a self-contained, highly customized ecosystem with its own set of constraints. Only the “Flutter methods of doing things” are taught in Flutter’s highly customized environment.

However, to create Ionic apps, you do not need to master the Ionic methods of doing things. Ionic developers can work with more than 100 JavaScript frameworks for the web, mobile phones, and other platforms if they know JavaScript.

Flutter vs Ionic: Pros and Cons

Pros and cons are important to consider in Flutter vs Ionic. So, here are the best features and limitations of these technologies.

Pros of Flutter

  • Rich-widgets: Flutter offers rich widgets that follow the guidelines of Android’s Material Design and IOS’s Cupertino. 
  • Hot-reloading: The stateful Hot Reloading feature of Flutter reflects changes immediately without losing the state of the application. 
  • Quick shipping: speeds up the iteration process and reduces build time since only a single codebase needs to be tested. 
  • Seamless integration: It doesn’t require rewriting code because it easily integrates with Java for Android and Swift or Objective C for iOS. 
  • Codesharing: Writing and sharing code across different platforms is easier and faster, so it is ideal for MVP development.

Cons of Flutter

  • Tools and Plugins: Flutter offers impressive libraries and tools, but they are not as rich as Ionic.
  • User interface: Vector graphics and animation support are slow to render plugins. 
  • Updates: It is not possible to push patches and updates into applications without following the standard release process.
  • Operating platform: It is not compatible with developing apps for Android Auto, tvOS, watchOS, or CarPlay.

Pros of Ionic

  • Platform-independent Framework: Ionic reduces the effort, time, and resources required to create a cross-platform application while giving it a native appearance and feel. 
  • Developer-friendly: provides a single codebase by using familiar Javascript frameworks and libraries, reducing the need to rewrite code.
  • Uses Capacitor: Reduces build time by providing a simple method of accessing native SDKs and native APIs.
  • Scalability: Scales well as the number of active users do not affect its performance. 

Cons of Ionic

  • Plugin Dependent System: In spite of Ionic’s abundance of plugins, some highly-specific features may need to be developed.
  • Absence of Hot Reloading: Ionic do not have a hot reloading feature. So, it refreshes the whole app every time a developer makes changes in the code. It affects the development speed.
  • Security threats: Older versions don’t provide code uglification. 
  • As Ionic uses WebView to render apps, it is not suitable for complex or memory-intensive applications. Using it to build heavy applications will make the app crawl.

Flutter Vs Ionic: Head To Head Differences

Here is the head to head comparison between Flutter and Ionic:

ParametersFlutterIonic
Developed ByGoogleMax Lynch, Ben Sperry, and Adam Bradley
LanguageBased on Dart programmingIt uses web technologies such as HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc.
RuntimeCustom graphics engineWeb browser
PerformanceHigh performanceComparatively low-performance
Learning CurveSteep learning curveEasy learning curve
UI ElementsWidgetsWeb Components
Web PerformancePoorExcellent
Deployment optionsMobile, Desktop, and WebDesktop, Mobile, Web, and PWA
PricingIt is entirely freeIt is free but offers a paid Pro Development Environment
Popular AppsGoogle Ads, Hamilton, Alibaba, Cryptograph, etc.Pacifica, JustWatch, Nationwide, etc.

Conclusion

In this blog, we have discussed every essential information about Flutter Vs Ionic. Flutter is newer technology as compared to Ionic. Flutter is based on Dart programming, whereas Ionic uses standard web technologies i.e., HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Flutter provides better code reusability, testing, and user interface. On the other hand, Ionic has a better native look and feel, has more deployment options, and an easy learning curve. Hopefully, now you have a clear understanding of Flutter vs Ionic.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Flutter better than Ionic?

It depends upon your requirements. If you need to develop a hybrid application or PWA, Ionic is better for you. On the other hand, if you need better performance, testing, code reusability, Flutter is the better option.

Why did Google create Flutter?

Google wants to create new features in applications without compromising performance. So, they created Flutter for developers, making it easy to develop high-speed applications.

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