Should we move Ionic apps to React Native?


(Dikson Samuel R) #1

I’ve been thinking along these lines since Ionic is Cordova based, which is a JS based engine. Nowadays almost all modern apps need better speed and they require GPU support,Is it better that apps rely on WebView if they need to stay competitive in the market. Posed with this problem, does the move seem a better option?


(Karthik Kamalakannan) #2

This is a really interesting question @diksonsamuel, and a really good topic to discuss on.

Ionic was at its best before the proper hybrid app frameworks like React Native existed. People preferred Ionic when they wanted to build apps really quick for various platforms with the same codebase, thus cutting down the development time.

For some people, the concept of MVP (Minimal Viable Product) has kind of iterated among people. People now have a notion that MVPs are cheap, and its okay to have poor UI/UX for the user. But I believe that this is wrong.

MVPs are for those who are committed to write the product from scratch after they reach a point. But I don’t think this is happening in most of the cases. So people build a MVP for mobile with frameworks like Ionic or PhoneGap, and when the MVP works out, they try and extend the existing app to be the real production app. This is majorly because they’ve invested time and money in building the MVP and they might as well extend the app to go live, rather than to build the real app from scratch.

Unfortunately, for every single product, user experience matters. People are now smart enough to know which app is a hacked together one and which app works for real and makes them ‘feel’ stable. In this aspect, I really think hybrid app frameworks terribly fail. They’re not real. They still work really well, but the feeling they exhibit to the user is not something a native app would provide.

Coming back to your question, I would highly recommend moving your app from Ionic to React Native. We’ve seen that React Native is far better than the Ionic in terms of performance and the smooth user experience it can offer at scale. Though React Native might not follow the user interface guidelines of a platform (Android or iOS), with some effort, you can still make it work. The only downside I see when moving from Ionic to React Native is the development effort.

The time it takes to develop a React Native app, when compared to that of Ionic is definitely going to be more. Making sure this is communicated to the stakeholders in prior is necessary, since most of their estimates are going to be based on the previous experience with Ionic (Which could be lesser).

I can go deeper if you want and discuss more about why Ionic or Phonegap is not the right fit for any mobile app in 2017. Let me know. :slight_smile:

Here’s a good article you can refer to:


(Dikson Samuel R) #3

Wow thanks @karthik this is helpful and your thoughts make sense. I’m new to React Native. Can you share a best tutorial to start with.