Flutter vs Ionic

Flutter and Ionic are two technologies for designing cross-platform applications. But it is exactly where the similarities end.

Since the release of Flutter in late 2018, a majority of app developers have asked how Flutter differs from Ionic and which approach is the best. To help teams and developers make an informed decision, they require to understand the features and advantages of both frameworks separately.  

Read through this guide and understand how Flutter’s custom approach contrasts with Ionic’s standard website-based approach. 

Flutter vs Ionic | Comparison

Here is the overview about the differences between Flutter and Ionic.

FlutterIonic
DescriptionGoogle’s cross platform, open-source framework to develop iOS/Android applications.Frontend framework that allows developers to build mobile-based applications for iOS / Android, phones using the same codebase.
Programming LanguageDartHTML, CSS, and JavaScript
Native APIsYesYes
DeploymentMobile, Web, DesktopMobile, Web, PWA, Desktop
UI ComponentsCustom graphics engineWebview
OfflineYesYes
PriceFreeFree
PerformanceExcellent mobile performance.

Poor web performance.
Good mobile performance.

Excellent web performance.
PopularityMore popularLess popular
Code ReuseEvenly matchedEvenly matched

Keep reading to know more.

What is Flutter?

Paint your application to real-life in seconds with Flutter. Flutter is an open-source user interface toolkit of Google that helps developers build beautiful applications and embedded devices from a particular code base.

It features an enormous set of customizable widgets and enables users to build native interfaces within minutes. The flexible Flutter UI helps you to create an app that confers to end-user requirements by shipping features including layered architecture.  

Flutter code is compiled to native compilers of Dart, an amazing programming language. Moreover, its widgets incorporate various vital platform differences like scrolling, icons, fonts, and navigation. 

You can watch videos and learn from a developer’s community and Google to build with Flutter.  

Flutter Core Features

Flutter backs your trust to build industry-leading cross-platform applications with these four attractive features. Have a look at them. 

  • Capabilities to integrate, build a flexible app, and scale– Google’s Flutter offers enhanced scalability, integration, and flexibility because of its intuitive and easy-to-access framework. Whether you are creating a quick wireframe for your investors or you are redesigning a legacy app to match the future and current market requirements, you can integrate Flutter for both requirements.  
  • Hot Reload– Conventionally, software developers had to wait in the long haul to change coding that reflected on the screen. But with Flutter, developers need not do that anymore. They can make changes as per requirements and Flutter makes that visible on the screen within sub-seconds, saving time, effort, and money for the creators. Flutter does this magic by deploying the Dart Virtual Machine. The machine designs a widget tree that includes all coding. The code that is relevant to the change is only affected, while the remaining portion is preserved in the virtual server. So, developers are freed from the fear of change that otherwise would have affected any of the simulators, hardware, or emulators. 
  • One-stop solution– Flutter saves your time in creating havoc. It helps you use different platforms and frameworks for different purposes, thus providing a one-stop solution for developing, deploying, and managing applications. This solely means that you can build beautiful UIs, make changes if there is any bug, deploy UIs in the system, and observe them easily with Flutter. 
  • Flutter libraries and native performance– Flutter lets you access various widgets based on the platform requirements- building apps for Android or iOS or Google Fuschia will have different requirements and Flutter will provide widgets accordingly. Therefore, when you are focusing on developing UIs, Flutter opens the gateway for you to access various widgets and integrate them with platform-based functionalities. Besides, Flutter offers native experience based on the platform and also helps in building effective and standardized UIs based on geographic locations. 

Advantages of Flutter

Read through these advantages before having a go at Flutter: 

  • Productivity

Flutter is a cross-platform UI toolkit that allows you to use a similar code base for developing applications for different platforms, be it for Android or iOS. This definitely saves the developer’s resources and time. 

  • Performance

Flutter requires you to do minimum coding, thus enhancing your performance. Flutter is created using the Dart programming language. Dart uses AOT and JIT compilation that aids improvement of the entire startup time, operations involved, and speeds up the performance.  

  • Development

The most lauded feature of Flutter, Hot Reload allows developers to immediately view any changes made in coding on the screen. Therefore, any changes made in the emulators, simulators, or hardware will be visible in less than a second. Also, they can build UIs and fix bugs. With Flutter, programming is way too simple, and you can build apps with no prior app-building experience.  

  • Compatibility

While building apps with Flutter, you will face no compatibility issues since widgets are part of the application and not of the platform. They are easily accessible and easy to integrate, which means lesser time spent in testing. 

What is Ionic?

Ionic is a framework that helps developers build interactive progressive and hybrid apps that run on various platforms.

This open-source super-quality framework makes the best use of the power of Angular allowing developers to create applications that run fast on the latest mobile devices. Ionic offers premium services for creating industry-grade, lucrative applications. Ionic offers many out-of-the-box features that make it the most preferred option for industrialists.  

Ionic covers creating apps for iOS, Web, and Android. Also, when you are working in Ionic, you can create applications with ease and ship them to deployable locations. Ionic Studio, a blazing-fast version of Ionic, is an incredibly powerful solution and users can install it locally to create a visual development ecosystem.  

From premium supported integrations to free community plugins, the Ionic framework has you covered. Power up your application development workflow with plugins and integrations into your preferred stacks. 

Ionic Core Features

Some of the important Ionic features are: 

  • Cross-platform– The applications that developers build with Ionic can be deployed across various platforms including Android, Desktop, native iOS, and progressive web apps with a particular code base. Thus, with Ionic, you need to write codes for once and run them everywhere. 
  • Web standards-based– Developers of Ionic have built it on reliable and standard website technologies, like HTML, JavaScript, and CSS using the latest website application programming interfaces (like shadow DOM and custom elements). Because of this, Ionic components possess a stable API that allows running Ionic applications on various platforms. 
  • Beautiful design– With the Ionic framework, developers can build a clean, intuitive, and fully operational app. Developers of Ionic have designed Ionic to make it work and display beautifully on several platforms. Ionic framework contains typography, paradigms, pre-designed components, and a gorgeous base theme. This easy-to-access framework can be used by everybody.  
  • Ionic CLI– Ionic Command Line Interface, or Ionic CLI, is an effective tool that provides many helpful commands to developers. It is basically a command used for building, starting, emulating, and running Ionic applications.  
  • Framework compatibility– Ionic’s past releases were coupled to the powerful Angular. But Ionic’s recent version that is v4 has been re-structured to perform completely as a standalone component library, with collaboration for the JavaScript framework. Developers can also use it in frontend frameworks, such as Vue.js and React.js.  

Advantages of Ionic framework

  • Developer-friendly

Ionic enables website developers to build applications. Even if professional app developers have the experience of building customized apps with complex coding, Ionic’s developer-friendly approach is more convenient and less time-consuming, which benefits non-programmers as well. This allows developers to leverage Ionic’s framework and start building an application with drag-and-drop features other than starting each project from scratch. 

  • Equipped with native compatibility

Along with the Ionic framework, the developer’s community of Ionic is consistently perfecting, testing, and releasing innovative Ionic-built application programming interfaces that work on various platforms. When you choose Ionic as an app-building framework, you gain access to a library of plugins, UI components, normal components, front-end building blocks, application icons, etc. These plugins allow you to connect with the native phone APIs of users like GPS, camera, and Bluetooth without having to create custom integrations. 

  • Front-end agnostic

Until recently, developers were restricted to React and were forced to use Angular. However, for the convenience of developers, the developer’s community made a big change, enabling users to use any JS framework. Now there are even more opportunities for developers with much experience to create apps with Ionic. 

Conclusion

Now you can make an informed decision about which framework will work the best for your project. The features and advantages demonstrated in this article shed light on how the philosophies of Flutter and Ionic lie at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

While both the platforms promise to build beautiful and high-performance applications for you, you must choose the solution that better aligns with your philosophies- how and where to deploy the app, the preferences of your customers, how much you know, and of course, how much you want to learn in order to develop an app.

FAQ

What is Flutter?

Google’s cross platform, open-source framework to develop iOS/Android applications.

What is Ionic?

Frontend framework that allows developers to build mobile-based applications for iOS / Android, phones using the same codebase.

What are the differences between Flutter and Ionic?

– Flutter works with Dart development language
– Ionic works with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript
– Both provide native APIs
– Flutter has a better mobile performance
– Ionic has a better web performance
– Both are open-source and free to use


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