Flutter or Ionic: What would you choose for your upcoming project?

Flutter or Ionic Which One to Choose

It’s tough to choose a new hybrid framework with the desired functionalities while not over budget. Every upcoming technology has its pros and cons and unique functionalities to offer, and it’s a tricky business. What you need is a comprehensive analysis of these frameworks concerning performance, UI, etc.

Businesses prefer hybrid frameworks for mobile app development because they follow the coding principle once and deploy it everywhere. It reduces cost dramatically while cutting development time too. The two most popular choices are Ionic vs Flutter.

Of course, both Ionic and Flutter are popular hybrid frameworks backed by a massive development team that believes in these two platforms’ uniqueness. Whereas Flutter has a brilliant set of integrated tools, customizations, and inbuilt widgets, Ionic offers myriads of plugins to boost the process of development.

While both the frameworks are viable options, there are some unique pros and cons. This blog describes Flutter vs Ionic from the basics to ensure you are equipped with unbiased information to make the right choice.

Flutter vs Ionic Step-by-step

What is Flutter?

Flutter is an extraordinary open-source framework. It functions with Google’s Dart language. It features an enriched UI toolkit used for building various cross-platform applications using a single codebase. Moreover, it allows developers to build flexible and expressive UI having native performance. Given below are some of the facts about this platform.

39% of developers use Flutter for building cross-platform mobile applications globally.

68.8% of the cross-platform development community prefer Flutter. Out of this community, 7.2% prefer Flutter because of the popularity of its tools and libraries.

Uses of Flutter

Flutter is primarily used for the following purposes:

1. MVP mobile apps

2. Material design apps

3. Apps having OS-level features

4. Advanced OS plugins having simple logic

5. High-performance apps featuring Skia rendering engine

6. Flexible UI and brilliant widgets

7. Reactive apps having massive data integration

Flutter Pros and Cons

Pros

1. Hot reloading that reflects changes instantly without losing the state of the application

2. Powerful and rich widgets following Android Material Design and iOS Cupertino guidelines

3. Seamless integration with Java supporting Android and Objective C or Swift supporting iOS

4. Has swift iteration cycles that save development time because testing is needed for one codebase only

5. It is easier and faster to write and share codes across several platforms, thus making it the best choice for MVP development

Pros And Cons Of Flutter

Cons

1. Though Flutter features rich tools and libraries, it’s not as rich as Ionic

2. Animation support and vector graphics could be better

3. Incompatible with other developing apps for Android Auto, watchOS, CarPlay, or tvOS

4. Cannot push patches or update instantly into apps without going through the traditional release process

What is Ionic?

Ionic is also an open-source UI toolkit. However, it enables users to develop hybrid cross-platform mobile applications. For mobile, Ionic uses Webview instead of other native elements of the device.

The Ionic framework has the key advantages of JavaScript codebases such as Angular, Vanilla JavaScript, Vue, or React. The framework provides efficient performance with the least DOM manipulation.

For mobile app development, 86% of developers prefer using Ionic.

Approximately 5 million apps are built with the Ionic framework.

Uses of Ionic

1. Hybrid mobile app development

2. MVC mobile apps

3. Native wrapper

4. Cross-platform mobile application development

5. Hardware functionality enabled app

6. Develop high-performance UX/UI applications

Ionic Pros and Cons

Pros

1. Ionic has a platform-independent framework that reduces the time, resources, and effort needed to develop a cross-platform app while giving a native look as well as feel to the app

2. Ionic uses a capacitor that saves development time. It provides a simple interface to access native API and native SDK on platforms

3. Ionic is a developer-friendly tool that allows you to create a single codebase using conversant JavaScript libraries and frameworks, thus decreasing code rewrites

4. Ionic scales efficiently as the total active users do not affect performance

Pros And Cons Of Ionic

Cons

1. Though Ionic has plenty of plugins, app developers have to create highly-specific features

2. Since Hot Reloading is absent, the app refreshes whenever developers make any changes, thus affecting the total speed of development

3. Security threats are real as older versions do not deliver code uglification

4. Ionic performance is not suitable for memory – both complex and intensive applications – because it uses WebView for rendering apps. Using Ionic to build a heavy app could make it slow and sluggish

Flutter vs Ionic Performance

1. For one, Flutter provides comparatively better app performance than its competitors.

2. It does not need a bridge of communication between its native modules as native components are available by default

3. A performance test indicated that the app “hello world” performed best at 60 FPS, taking not more than 16ms to render a frame. Also, it ensured fewer frame drops

4. Flutter has Skia graphic library that ensures the UI is redrawn every time with any change in an application view

Ionic is a preferred cross-platform framework that rose to fame in 2019. Since then, the number of apps developed using Ionic Framework has also increased by 53.3%.

1. Comparing Ionic vs Flutter performance, Ionic provides 60FPS on desktop and mobile. Using pre-existing plugins offers a hybrid approach that can speed up development

2. Ionic framework interactive time is less than 1.8 seconds

3. Even though Ionic is a non-native framework, it excels in offering hardware accelerated changes, pre-rendering and touch-optimized gestures.

Ionic vs Flutter Modularity

Modularization in app development indicates a particular framework’s capability or extent, allowing people with different experiences and technical skills to work on a project. For example, an extensive application with an incoherent code structure could take a long time to build.

One of the best features of flutter is, It provides better accessibility to ensure team diversity and project code division into various sub package system models. The team can build multiple modules with the plugin capacity and add or make changes to the codebase.

Ionic also supports modularity using the @NgModule class by Angular. App developers can construct various components using modules and combine them to form an application structure containing one root module for bootstrapping. Besides, feature modules are created to allow lazy component loading when needed.

Ionic vs Flutter Architecture

Choosing an appropriate architectural framework simplifies the development process. It also aids applications and offers support in future updates.

Flutter supports a layered architecture. Simple applications built on these frameworks’ hierarchy begin with the function called top-level root, which is also called platform-specific widgets. It follows basic widgets interacting with one platform while rendering many layers. Besides, animation gestures transfer API calls to the application foundation, also called Scaffold powered by C/C++ engines and platform-specific embedders.

Developers who want a separate presentation layer and business logic may use Flutter BLoC – this architecture is easier to use and create complicated applications with simple and minor components.

Ionic architecture is based on Angular JS MVC – a typical software design including Model View Controller. It is used to build classy single-page and multi page cross-platform apps for all types of mobile devices. The architecture allows multiple developers to work on the same app simultaneously. As a result, it reduces the overall turnaround time of development while increasing productivity. Moreover, the Ionic architecture allows developers to create multiple views, and the application is immune to recurrent iterations.

Flutter vs Ionic Developers: Hiring Efficient Developers

Regardless of Flutter or Ionic’s pros and cons, you must hire experienced developers to start a project.

Ionic experts charge between $40 and $70 per hour. Their hourly rate varies based on experience and skillsets. The same applies to Flutter.

Hiring a flutter app developer could cost between $35 and $65 per hour. Even big projects of BMW and Alibaba required less than five developers to build applications using Flutter. Even new developers can easily understand codes. Moreover, as Dart and Flutter’s training expenses are economical, even novice developers can be trained easily. But there is a disclaimer here. Professional and experienced developers can save a lot of your time because they know exactly how much effort to put into the practice to deliver a brilliant mobile app using Flutter or Ionic.

Conclusion

The decision to go for a particular framework is always hard. Still, if you are clear about your business objectives and user requirements, it makes the decision process a lot easier. However, if the application structure is complex, it is best to hire dedicated ionic developers. Similarly, if your project has a complicated user requirement, always hire an expert team for Flutter app development.

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Vinit kariatukaran is a senior mobile application development manager at Radixweb and passionate about developing and designing innovative high-reach mobile applications. He endeavors to keep himself abreast of all the latest technological changes and updates to deliver the best in the business. When at leisure, he loves to read books and have interesting conversations with his colleagues and friends.