React Native vs. Ionic vs. Flutter

dilusha sandaruwani
4 min readSep 13, 2021


The Baseline of Open Source Cross-Platform Mobile App Development Frameworks

React Native, Flutter, and Ionic are the top cross-platform mobile app development frameworks. Flutter and React Native both are advanced software development kits, but Flutter is developed and supported by Google whereas React Native is developed by Facebook. Ionic is one of the oldest programming languages and was developed by Driffy Co.

React Native

React Native is an open source framework launched in 2015 and written in various languages, including JavaScript, Swift, Objective-C, C++, and Python. Basically, it provides all the tools and services for developing high-end cross-platform applications on iOS, Android, and Windows with the ability to offer native-type performance. This framework has been adopted to develop various apps, including Instagram, Facebook, Airbnb, Walmart, UberEats, and so on.


Ionic was introduced in 2013 as an open source SDK for cross-platform mobile app development. Since it uses various technologies, including HTML5, CSS, and SaaS, building cross-platform mobile applications is easier with Ionic. It has been used to build such apps Sworkit, JustWatch, MarketWatch, and more.


Flutter is both a SDK (software development kit) and a framework for Dart a programming language developed by Google. Flutter itself is also developed by a Google team and adds a powerful layer to the app development process as it helps in developing beautiful native-type apps. It provides its own rendering engine, ready-to-use widgets, command-line tools, APIs, and more that make the entire development process easier. Flutter is used by Google Ads, Alibaba, Reflectly, Birch Finance, and more.

Which Tools integrate in Flutter, Ionic & React Native Apps?

Tools integrate with Flutter: Outbrain, Firebase, Appwrite, Android SDK, Taboola, Google AdMob

Tools integrate with Ionic: Feathers, Razorpay, Atatus, Ignite UI, StackBlitz, JScrambler

Tools integrate with React Native: React-Vue, Bugsnag, Bitrise, React VR, iOS, Shoutem UI

We will discuss the top attributes that developers usually look for while comparing the frameworks.

1. Programming language

React Native is based on JavaScript and Flutter uses Google’s in-house programing language, Dart, but Ionic uses multiple languages including HTML5, CSS, and JS.

2. Execution and reusability of the code

All three frameworks use different code execution strategies. React Native follows “learn once and write anywhere,” Ionic uses “one code base, any platform,” and Flutter offers you an advanced set of features to expedite the coding process.

3. Performance

App performance is one of the most crucial deciding factors. The performance of the app depends on various factors, including the efficiency of writing code in that particular framework. But here we will evaluate performance by simply analyzing the runtime of the app.

React Native uses native APIs and components, it helps you build an application that provides a native look and feel. Ionic uses advanced web technologies, like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, that help in creating high performing hybrid apps. React Native and Ionic both deliver excellent performance, but Flutter goes a step ahead as it provides ready-to-use plugins, a wide range of widgets, and its own rendering engine that helps in building beautiful, high-performance cross-platform applications.

4. User interface

It’s only the app design and the user interface of the app that help users determine whether they will continue using this app further or uninstall it. React Native uses the React library to organize the UI and Ionic makes use of HTML and CSS, whereas Flutter ensures the best user interface comparatively to others.

5. Current state of usage

React Native is based on Javascript, and this is why a couple of leading companies, including Facebook, and Airbnb, have adopted this framework for development. Flutter has already set the benchmark in the development industry by simply providing a complete software development kit to developers. With Flutter, not only is it easier to build beautiful apps, but it’s also quicker to edit code with the hot reload feature. Ionic is the oldest framework, but still it has not developed any groundbreaking, outstanding app.

6. Cost of app development

The cost of app development is directly related to how long it takes to develop the app, the cost of the developer, and the libraries used.

React Native is an open source framework and allows developers to access a wide choice of libraries for free. Ionic is a free, open source cross-platform mobile app framework, but for a professional development environment, you need to go for the paid version. Flutter is also an open source platform that allows developers to access a wide choice of widgets, libraries, and APIs for free.




dilusha sandaruwani

Software Engineering undergraduate at University of Kelaniya