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Ionic vs Flutter – Uses, Performance, and Architecture Explained

Ionic or Flutter in Mobile app Development

When it comes to developing a mobile application, developers get into the dilemma of selecting the right platform. And sometimes, it leads to a debate of Ionic vs. Flutter. 

Some engineers say Ionic is perfect, and some say Flutter is the best choice. Everyone is right at their place, as everyone is working on different projects. 

Now, it’s our time to discover which one will be the accurate pick for our mobile application development from the Flutter vs. Ionic debate. 

A dive into the contrast: Flutter vs. Ionic 

What is Ionic?

Ionic is a front-end development framework, available freely over the online repository with an open-source license, leveraging developers to customize it as per requirements. 

The very first release of this framework was in 2013, making it easy for development experts to create cross-platform compatible applications. 

It works smoothly with HTML, CSS, Javascript, and JS-based frameworks, such as Angular, Vue, and React Native. 

Let’s have a look at some its statistics. 

Figure 1

As per the Developer Survey, 86% of the web developers prefer Ionic as their primary tool for furnishing platform-independent applications. 

Figure 2

With evolving market trends and rapidly increasing competition, the organization wants to retain its customers and optimize its conversion rate. 

And having a responsive application can help you to achieve this goal quickly. 

With Ionic, you can enhance the front-end user experience and build progressive web applications. And, due to its capability of building intuitive UIs, more enterprises are opting for it. 

Currently, 41,903 websites are running on it, and its usage is increasing by 0.02% daily.

What is Flutter?

In 2017, Google released the first version of Flutter, an SDK for fabricating mobile applications using the Dart language. 

Flutter is highly appreciated by industry experts for developing native applications, as it helps to enhance the app’s performance and extend its functionalities.

Within the two to three years of its release, it was in the top SDK list of software engineers. 

Its easy-to-plug with backend, scalable code, and seamless functioning with Objective C and Swift language are the reasons behind its immense popularity. In addition, ample community research supports it by testing and updating this tool to align with current and upcoming technologies. 

Moreover, with its hot reloading mechanism, you can modify your application’s look and responsiveness as you code, making you a step ahead of using Ionic. 

Figure 3

Further, if we compare the past three years of cross-platform compatible frameworks usage, Flutter is taking the lead with 42%, the highest number of users around the globe.

In addition, Flutter is stocked up with various reusable UI elements, leading to adding input fields, sliders, and buttons on the interface with low code for both Android and iOS.

Where and When to use? 

Ionic framework uses 

Let’s go through the uses of Ionic one-by-one: 

  • Developers prefer it for writing Javascript codes that can run across devices. 
  • You can choose it for creating Hybrid mobile applications with MVC architecture and complex backends. 
  • If you want to improve the user experience, ionic is the right choice for your project. 
  • With its easy-to-use features, you can avail the benefits of rapid prototyping. 
  • You can develop clean and streamline Angular and Vue codebases with it. 
  • Software experts consider it only for simple applications, as it can affect the speed of UI-intensive applications. 
  • Also, it would help if you avoid it for game development. 
  • Ionic can help you with personalizing the interface by precisely adjoining the CSS classes for providing forms, list view, and so forth. 
  • If your project has a short time-to-market, Ionic can help you build multiple applications with the same codebase. 
  • You can extend the functionality of your business solution by integrating the Cordova plugin, as it offers to use camera, locations, and log accessing and monitoring related features. 

Now, we know for which projects we can use the Ionic framework. 

So, let’s have a look at the usage of Flutter SDK. 

Flutter uses

You can create plenty of applications with Flutter and for having a better insight about its usage, get through each below-listed point. 

  • You can create applications with heavy UI designs and complex backends to execute requests from an extensive userbase smoothly. 
  • It offers a wide array of plugins, building native mobile applications for Android and iOS devices. 
  • Flutter is the perfect choice if you want an app with high-rendering speed and exponential performance regardless of the traffic over it. 
  • You can fabricate fintech applications with Flutter, and small businesses can quickly adapt these solutions with minimal IT infrastructure to host and maintain them. 
  • You can also develop Single Page and Progressive Web Applications with it. 
  • Flutter converts the code into ARM format for consistently stable applications, ensuring that any operating system update will not affect it. 
  • For maintaining the workflow of your development process, you can use Flutter’s custom widgets to build a pixel-perfect business solution. 
  • You can implement Business Logic components to optimize the app’s performance and use asynchronous methods and streams. 

Checking the smoothness and functionality

We know for developing what type of applications we can use Flutter and ionic. 

So, let’s move further to know how smooth, stable, and fast your business applications can be with these technologies. 

Flutter performance 

When there is a need to develop a high-performing application with heavy animations and graphics, most industry experts prefer Flutter. 

Its in-built features and hot reloading features lead the developers to create a top-notch business app, assuring increased user engagement and conversion rate. Also, it shortens the time-to-market along with offering a low-cost development. 

With an FPS-60, software functions as fast as lightning, and all the components work in sync, reducing the probability of downtime and app crash. 

In addition, Flutter uses Dart, a multi-paradigm language. You can easily use it to write a clean code according to your goal, enhancing the native app’s performance.

Ionic performance

If you want a lightweight application executing an extensive amount of operations, then you can rely on Ionic’s speed and reliability. 

It uses a standard browser and the smallest processing unit, making its size smaller but equally powerful compared to flutter. You can effortlessly create basic applications and provide a seamless experience to your users. 

By selecting Ionic for your software project, you can take advantage of its cross-platform compatibility, command-line interface, and advanced web standards, assuring your app is stable across desktop, Android, and iOS devices.   

Both Flutter and Ionic have their features, modules, and components, affecting the stability and speed of your application. 

Also, the coding paradigm can influence performance. So, you must check your business requirements before selecting any one of them. However, for the native app, you can surely go for Flutter, and for hybrid, you must choose ionic. 

Exploring the structure

Ionic Framework Architecture 

Over time, Ionic has gone through many updates, and its architecture has undergone various modifications. 

The current high-level architecture of this framework is present in the form of layers, directly communicating with each other for efficiently processing and completing the end-user operations. 

There are mainly three primary layers of this architecture: the: developer framework layer, javascript to Native bridge layer, and host application layer or web view layer. All these work in collaboration for maintaining the data flow and communication. 

As all the components of Ionic are Stencil-based, it offers in-build modules for writing the Angular, Vue, and React codebases. 

You can easily import any elements of these three front-end frameworks to curate your business solution. 

Layer two of its architecture functions to transmit the JSON messages to the host application by converting the Native APIs.

In addition, the JS to Native bridge or the second layer is the only link between the host app and the internal operating system, through which calls trigger the appropriate function. 

Figure 4

Flutter Architecture

The flutter architecture mainly comprises of two layers. 

The first is Dart Framework, and the second is its C++ engine. 

Dart framework is responsible for implementing and maintaining all the animations, gestures, widgets, rendering, and foundational structure of Flutter-based applications. And the second layer binds the Dart framework with other channels and runtime. 

The C++ engines include Skia, Dart, and Text for enabling the solution to call and trigger native OS APIs through its JS-based binary protocol. 

In addition, the hot reload method in the first layer plays a vital role by displaying all the changes made in the source code within 3 seconds. 

As a result, these two significant layers of Flutter architecture work together, optimizing the app’s scalability, robustness, and performance.

Figure 5

Concluding Up

It can be unclear while selecting a winner from the Ionic vs. Flutter, as you can consider both for creating mobile applications. 

Suppose you are comfortable in furnishing a heavy application. In that case, Flutter must be your first choice, and if you need a hybrid and lightweight application, then Ionic can be your reliable technical support. 

In addition, you must consider that Ionic is compatible with Angular, Vue, and React, whereas you can only use Dart with Flutter. 

Otherwise, it depends upon your business requirements and goals. 

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