Ionic 2 vs ReactNative vs NativeScript

Hybrid apps have now gone mainstream due to their low cost, high feasibility combination. But which platform to use? We take a look at the three most popular ones:

Mobile app industry is a very crowded space but with billions of potential users and new technologies entering the market is far from saturated. While there is no cookbook for making any mobile application successful, engagement and exposure are arguably two basic prerequisites that it must meet. Time-to-market is yet another important factor, which may not seem directly related, but when it comes to withstanding competition, lends a valuable edge.

Hybrid applications are the best option to meet two of those requisites- exposure and time-to-market. It doesn’t mean they do not offer fine engagement, it just means that it’s not guaranteed and depends on the tools you use to create them. So, let’s take a look at three of the most popular hybrid app development tools and see what you can expect to gain from each.

Ionic 2

No, Ionic 2 isn’t just an incremental update to the previously popular Ionic framework but has gone through a major overhaul and packs many new features. For starters, the visual components are now based on AngularJS structure which is highly influenced by Android’s Material design and Flat design of iOS. Also, Ionic app development is TruceScript-ready, which means the existing Angular components can be readily used for the mobile app.

When it comes to creating a native experience, Ionic 2 is perhaps the most distant from the remaining two. Like its previous versions, it still relies on webviews to create the interface that is held inside a native container. To access the device hardware, it uses Apache Cordova API. Both these additional layers above the core webpage mean that the performance takes a dip, which is more visible on devices with slow processors.


  • Single code base
  • Simplified and fast development cycle
  • AngularJS components can be reused


  • Performance lags
  • Lack of native UI component for each platform
  • Not suitable for graphics-intensive applications


Developed and largely maintained by Facebook, ReactNative is the rising star in the domain of hybrid app development. Unlike Ionic, it uses native components of the respective platforms to deliver the true native interface while retaining the ease of development of hybrid apps. The use of Virtual DOM enables developers to create a single codebase in JavaScript that automatically gets manipulated in the background to offer responsive design and is applicable to all platforms.

Yes, ReactNative helps create truly native interface but due to the additional layer of DOM between application and OS, the user experience is far from native. Plus, unlike Ionic 2, ReactNative isn’t meant to ‘write once run anywhere.’ It rather relies on a common code wrapped in a native shell. So, for each platform, React.js developers have to create the platform-specific shell that comes with its own challenges.


  • Native interface
  • Over 80% common codebase
  • Better performance than Ionic 2


  • Poor native experience
  • Android components not as reliable as iOS
  • Additional overhead of creating native shell for each platform


Developed by Telerik, NativeScript arguably offers the finest cross-platform native experience and the “write once, run anywhere,” also developers phenomenally. It uses TypeScript and AngularJS to create mobile components that offer true native interface and experience. Additionally, the use of AngularJS means that the previously created web components can be easily adapted to the mobile app and deliver a uniform experience across all platforms.

There is just one thing- NativeScript runs inside Google’s V8 engine, that though is very powerful, also makes the size of application considerably larger than their native counterparts.


  • 100% native API access for seamless performance
  • Single codebase for all platforms
  • Truly reusable components for both mobile and web apps


  • App size is larger than native and even other hybrid counterparts
  • Not using HTML means that more proficiency is the need for creating UI for different platforms.

The verdict

When it comes to technology, there are no universal winners or losers. It’s just about serving purposes. So, whichever platform serves your needs is the winner for you. Is it Ionic 2? ReactNative? Or the NativeScript app development? However, one thing that we can assure is that no matter which platform you choose, we have the expertise to bring the most out of it to deliver the finest possible product. If you are still confused, get in touch with our experts and we can brainstorm your idea together to choose the best possible set of tools and technologies to meet your business requirements.

About Author
Mrityunjay Kumar

Mrityunjay Kumar

Mrityunjay is a content developer at Konstant Infosolutions- a leading mobile app development firm that caters to enterprises of all scales and industries with cutting-edge tech solutions. Being an engineer by education, a reader by passion, and a writer by profession, he finds no topic truly boring, yet nothing seems to content his craving as well- an essence he leaves in everything he writes.



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