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    Cordova vs Ionic – What Framework to Choose For Your App

    Cordova vs Ionic – What Framework to Choose For Your App

    Tracy Watson


    7 min read

    cordova vs ionic

    Ionic and Cardova are both frameworks used to create hybrid apps. Since both frameworks offer their pros and cons, it is difficult to say that one would be a better choice over another since a lot of factors need to be taken into consideration. With this being said, let’s compare and contrast Cordova and Ionic so you can decide which one to choose for your project.

    What is Cordova?

    Apache Cordova – an open-source framework that allows coders to create hybrid mobile apps using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. These apps will provide the user with the same experience as a native app, but it is much cheaper to create. Developers can use the JavaScript libraries to create an app for each specific platform that they target. This means that the app created with Cordova can be installed on the users’ devices just like regular native apps, even though they were created with web technologies. Besides, Cordova offers all kinds of plug-ins that allow the app to take advantage of the device’s capabilities, such as cameras, sensors, and many others.

    Having said this, programmers still need to know all of the features of the Cordova framework to develop a mobile app. These include:

    • Plug-ins – Software developers can benefit from various plug-ins to connect the JavaScript code to the native code on the server-side of the app. The plug-ins can be further used to take advantage of the native device’s capabilities.
    • Command Line Interface – This allows teams to speed up the pace of all the stages in the software development life cycle (SDLC). This includes everything from starting a new project to deploying it on all kinds of platforms. They can also use the Command Line Interface to test the app on simulators and actual devices.

    Now that we have an idea of what Cordova is, we can move right along to the Ionic framework.

    Cordova vs Ionic - What Framework to Choose For Your App

    What is Ionic Framework?

    The Ionic framework is also open-source and can be used to create powerful hybrid apps. It includes a rich library of front-end tools and user interface components that is easy to create apps with CSS, JavaScript & HTML. You can also increase your team’s productivity with Ionic Studio, which is a development environment designed to expedite specific processes of the SDLC. Today it’s considered one of the most popular platforms out there. A very active community backs it, and more than five million apps have been created with Ionic so far. Also, Ionic offers the following advantages:

    • Web-based – Ionic apps are developed with standardized web technologies, which allows them to have a stable API and are not left to the repose of a sole platform owner.
    • Intriguing design – Ionic was originally intended to provide a clean design out-of-the-box on all platforms.
    • Simple to use – Since it was created with simplicity in mind, it is easy to learn Ionic and create apps even if you do not have a lot of experience.
    ionic and cordova frameworks

    With all of this information about both Ionic and Cordova, are these the only players in the hybrid app playing field, or are there Ionic and Cordova alternatives?

    Staying with the Ionic and Cordova frameworks is a bit risky because the user devices come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Some low-end gadgets may not be able to support hybrid apps, which means that you will be losing out on a percentage of the market share. Also, if you are building hybrid apps, you are, in a sense risking getting all of the same problems that the web has. This means that the bugs that appear in all of the various browsers will work differently depending on the browser. This could be expensive and time-consuming to fix; therefore, it is a good idea to create your app with React Native. Unlike both Cordova and Ionic, which are basically websites built into mobile apps, React Native apps are built with JavaScript and are rendered by the native components. All of this translates to a more native experience for the users because the app will comply with the rules of the operating system. React native also offers improved performance and animations. You can use react-native to create apps which will be virtually identical to the native apps created with C or Java.

    In this article, we have looked at Ionic vs Cordova and which one would be best to use. However, an interesting approach would be to use one to complement the other. For example, you can use Ionic, with its front-end tools to make Cordova apps look more native. However, we should know that the decision on which one to use will depend on the specifics and requirements of your project. If you feel that neither Ionic or Cordova fit your needs, remember that you always have React Native as a go-to platform.

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