Ionic and Flutter are software development kits (SDKs) commonly used to build high-performance cross-platform applications. It means these two can develop one Android and iOS application simultaneously using a single code.
The existence of Ionic and Flutter also helps save working time since developers no longer need to bother creating separate sets of code, one for iOS and one for Android. The faster the app development process, the less costly it will be.
Flutter is an open-source framework from Google that allows people to create native Android and iOS apps with a simple code base for free. It is an innovative software development kit for cross-platform app development.
Code can be written and shared across platforms easier and faster. Flutter also has a hot-reloading feature allowing developers to immediately see the effects of newly made code changes without recompiling. It means you can tweak code, fix bugs, and create all kinds of interface elements for the UI/UX design, in real-time on iOS and Android. You can also update all operating systems simultaneously to increase productivity.
Therefore, Flutter is considered well for mobile application development.
Cons of Flutter
Despite being a stable platform, Flutter is known to be slightly slower than Ionic due to the larger size of its bundle. This is because the runtime speed of an app is heavily dependent on the size of its bundle, with smaller bundles leading to faster runtime speeds. It also comes with certain drawbacks. One of the most notable is the amount of code required to create even basic applications. This means that developing an app with Flutter can be more time-consuming than with Ionic. Despite these challenges, many developers still choose Flutter for its unique features and capabilities.
Ionic is a framework to create any hybrid mobile app using HTML5. Hybrid apps are essentially websites running within an app that has access to native platform features. Ionic offers unique advantages over its framework competitors by providing mobile UI elements and layouts mimicking the look and feel of a native app on iOS or Android development. Additionally, it offers a set of tools for building powerful mobile apps surpassing the offers of other HTML5 development frameworks.
It is reported that websites and mobile applications that are built on Ionic have better life and performance than Flutter. The reason is simple, you choose a broader platform that helps you to have a stable and uniform script when it comes to cross-platform app development, especially web apps, with Ionic.
Cons of Ionic
While Ionic native plugins offer several benefits, they may also present certain challenges. For instance, native plugins may not always be reliable and can sometimes clash with one another. However, despite these potential drawbacks, native plugins are essential for addressing the limitations of the default features available in Ionic.
Debugging applications created using Ionic can be a demanding task as error messages may not always be clear, requiring more time and effort to resolve issues. Debugging is somewhat challenging. Sometimes it’s difficult to figure out where the error is coming from, as error messages can be unclear. Build can break for no reason because something gets corrupted in the original folder, so commit often and use branches for each feature. If something breaks, just clone the repository in a new folder, run npm install, and try to build again.
Selecting between Ionic and Flutter is a challenging decision that requires an understanding of their technical compatibility and differences. Comparing Ionic vs. Flutter can feel like fierce competition, and deciding which mobile framework to use is a crucial choice. To make an informed decision, it is important to evaluate how they perform based on various parameters.
Ionic is a well-known framework that enables the use of web technologies in developing apps. It comes with a vast array of third-party libraries and offers the option to incorporate React, Angular, and Vue. In contrast, Flutter is a relatively new entrant to the field but has been gaining popularity quickly. However, both now are quite popular among developers.
Choosing the appropriate architecture for a project can simplify the development process and enable the provision of support and updates in the future. Flutter's architecture is hierarchical and layered. It starts with platform-specific widgets at the top-level root. The platform layers communicate by rendering layers, and Scaffold is responsible for transferring API calls to the foundation using C and C++ engines. Flutter BLoc architecture is designed with a separate presentation layer and business logic layer. On the other hand, Ionic uses a Model-View-Controller (MVC) architecture based on Angular JS. This allows multiple developers to collaborate on the same app simultaneously, which can help reduce time-to-market. It's also easy to create multiple views, and frequent iterations do not have an impact on the application's performance.
When we discuss Flutter vs. Ionic performance their efficiency level plays an important role in deciding which is suitable for your business. Flutter vs. ionic performance is always about how you code for both. In short, Flutter vs. ionic performance relies on the bundle size of your app. Ionic utilizes the standard browser runtime as well as primitives (smallest processing unit). Hence the ionic bundle size is 2,991 bytes. While Flutter needs heavy code even to create a basic app.
Having a modular app development framework is essential for speeding up the development process, as it allows multiple developers with diverse skill sets to work simultaneously. Flutter's hierarchical architecture enables easy access to project modules, making it simple to bundle the project into several sub-packages and include multiple modules into the codebase without any difficulty. However, Ionic uses Angular's NgModule class to create multiple modules, typically starting with a root module for bootstrapping, and additional feature modules can be added for functionality.
5. Code Maintainability
Flutter offers a simple and elegant code maintainability system, where developers can use external tools, easily identify issues, and support third-party libraries. The hot reloading feature also ensures that problems are addressed promptly which enables faster product updates. In contrast, Ionic's code maintainability is more challenging than Flutter, and code rewriting is often necessary due to a lack of backward compatibility in the framework.
6. Code Portability
Understanding the code portability between Ionic and Flutter helps to define how both codes behave in different environments, processors, and operating systems.
Both Ionic and Flutter codes perform equally well when we deploy them on mobile and the web. With Flutter, you can create beautiful-looking iOS and Android apps from a single set of code. However, Flutter had web deployment limitations mentioned before. So if you want to deploy your application as a PWA, you should go with Ionic.
7. User Experience
Flutter's mobile-first design is known for its ability to develop and create original animations. These animations play an important role in improving the UX and making apps look more attractive. On the other hand, Ionic has a platform-independent framework. This helps reduce the time, effort, and resources to build cross-platform apps. It also provides a slick UI similar to native apps. In conclusion, the UI and UX of both are great.
8. Knowledge & Skillset
9. Native Look & Feel
Their approaches to native UI element utilization matter a lot. Neither Flutter nor Ionic utilizes the native UI elements of each platform. Both update the same automatically; Material Design and Cupertino for Android & iOs development, respectively. Both Flutter and Ionic allow access to native APIs and platform services via a library of ready-made plugins. However, the native mobile implementation of Flutter is customized.
It is time to declare the winner of the battle Ionic vs. Flutter and here is our conclusion:
If you want to develop a PWA and hybrid applications, go with Ionic. However, if you are not into building web applications, go with Flutter.
If you want to create a high-performance mobile app with a flexible UI and simple code-sharing, Flutter could be the solution.
But if you're going to create an app that feels equally seamless on the web and mobile, Ionic is far superior to Flutter. Ionic features an easy learning curve due to open web technologies, while Flutter is limited to Dart. Pick Ionic and Flutter as per your business needs.
So, which is better to choose between Ionic vs Flutter? The decision depends on what your project goals are.