Flutter vs Ionic – What Should You Pick for Cross-Platform Apps?

Both Ionic and Flutter are rank high among all other app development frameworks and both offer a UI framework that works everywhere.

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Mobile apps have become a necessary part of our lives be it for staying connected, shopping, watching movies, gaming, banking, emails and so much more. High-performing apps are also an important requirement to improve business potential.

High-end, cross-platform mobile app development services are therefore very sought after, and today with the rising popularity of Flutter apps there is a huge demand for top Flutter app developers That is because only high-performing apps become popular with users and also don’t get uninstalled.

The Flutter framework is great for building apps that have features like speed, cross-platform and multiple device functionality, responsiveness, faster loading of apps, and great user experience. Another good platform for cross-platform development is Ionic, which offers app developers the chance to build next-gen, modern mobile apps.

We’ve already compared Flutter vs React Native in another blog, so let’s look at how Ionic and Flutter framework compare with each other.

Flutter framework is used for mobile app development and it comes with several widgets, designs, and tools that developers can use to transform or build their apps. Flutter uses a language called Dart and is a free and open-source framework. Flutter apps are easy to build and require less effort by the developer because it’s easy to learn and use. It has a stateful hot reload feature which allows top Flutter app developers to easily change the code without losing the previous state. Flutter app developers can also control each on-screen pixel by changing widgets, using animations, and creating attractive UI.

Like Flutter, Ionic is also an open-source framework used for cross-platform mobile app development. Ionic uses JavaScript, CSS, and HTML 5, and focuses primarily on the UI side of an app. App developers love to use Ionic for beautiful visual elements. Ionic has two plugins i.e. Cardova and Angular, that can host features such as camera, location, audio, video etc. Cardova plugins help access the package, while the Angular plugin helps the developer interact with features like navigating and scrolling.

Flutter vs Ionic

Ionic

Advantages

  • Write once, deploy anywhere. Mobile app developers can create a web app and then use Cordova to use the app for IOS, Android, macOS, Windows, and Linux.
  • Outstanding support for PWAs. Ionic can be used to easily build PWAs or Progressive Web Apps with several offline and online features components + data, offline support, browser OS API etc.
  • Truly cross-platform API. Ionic developers like to use Capacitor with Ionic because it lets them use the same code writing method for all OS APIs.
  • Web Components. Developers can reuse web components in various other Ionic apps as well as for other non-Ionic frameworks like React, Angular, Polymer etc.
  • Deploy once, update all. Ionic doesn’t require the developer to rebuild OS-specific apps and resubmit to app stores. They can just write new code and push it to the server.
  • Large developer community. Ionic has a pretty large developer community as well as a vast library of tools. This is because Ionic uses JavaScript.
  • Smaller app bundles. Developers can build Ionic apps in a certain way to ensure that initial app bundles are small since very little code is needed to run the app.

Disadvantages

  • Performance: Unlike native apps, Ionic apps load in web views limiting the speed and performance to that of the web views. This also slows down the animations in the app.
  • Insufficient OS APIs. Though the Capacitor is good it does not support APIs for all devices.
  • Framework Dependencies. Here’s a twist. Ionic actually is not a framework but has libraries and tools that let developers be framework agnostic. For completely framework-agnostic development, developers need to use Stencil which is good but lacks many functionalities that frameworks provide.
  • Device limitations. Usually, developers don’t need to think about development for anything outside of the web and the main OS available today. If a need does emerge to build for embedded devices or other OS, Ionic is not the right choice.

Flutter

Advantages

  • Pre-built components. Flutter has excellent, visually attractive pre-built Material and Apple components.
  • Write once, deploy multiple times. Developers yet can’t write once and deploy to the web but they do it for iOS and Android. Until Hummingbird is out, they can use Desktop Embeddings for deploying to Windows, macOS, and Linux.
  • Animation design to developer hand-off. Flutter app developers can easily use specific animation design tools and load assets into Flutter.
  • Non-standard device support. A big advantage that Flutter has over Ionic is that Flutter also works well with the less common OS like Rasp Berri Pi
  • Less code. Flutter uses Dart which is loved by Flutter app developers because it allows them to write fewer lines of code and get the same outcome.

Disadvantages

  • Might need more code. If a Flutter developer is not using web components and doesn’t have a good base for implementing a Monorepo, he would to rewrite a lot of code for new apps.
  • Native code problems. Flutter app developers will need to rebuild and push to app stores each time, and wait for app store approval unlike Ionic.
  • Hummingbird not launched. Hummingbird can completely galvanize Flutter app development by making it easy to load PWAs and fully leverage the write once, deploy anywhere feature.
  • Not enough community support. A big problem that Flutter developers face is that the developer community support and tools are insufficient, requiring them to write a lot of tools on their own.

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Both Ionic and Flutter are rank high among all other app development frameworks and both offer a UI framework that works everywhere, delivers great performance, and looks great wherever it runs. Ionic and Flutter are designed to address mobile, desktop, as well as the web app requirements all with one shared codebase. Still confused? Reach out to Digifutura for a no-obligation chat. After all, we rank as a top Flutter app development company.

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Published Date: October 14, 2019

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