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Ionic vs Apache Cordova: What are the differences?

Ionic and Cordova are not typically considered competitors. Rather, Ionic is built on top of Cordova. Cordova allows you to access native device functions using JavaScript, and is typically used in combination with a UI framework. Ionic is a front-end, mobile-optimized library that can be used to make your Cordova app look native.

Decisions about Apache Cordova and Ionic
Thuan Nguyen
FE Lead at SOLID ENGINEER | 5 upvotes 路 155.8K views
  • Javascripts is the most populated language in the world.
  • Easy to learn & deployed production
  • Fast development
  • Strong community
  • Completed Documents
  • Native performance with lower RAM used.
  • Easy to handle native issues by using native code like Java / Objective C
  • Powered by Facebook.
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While with Ionic it is possible to make mobile applications with only web technologies, Flutter is more performant and is easy to use if you are willing to learn Dart, which is a fun language. Plus, it has awesome documentation and, while its ecosystem isn't near as big as JavaScript's is, it has a good package manager called Pub and its packages are generally high quality.

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Aleksandr Filatov
Contract Software Engineer - Microsoft | 2 upvotes 路 87.4K views

I've done some Hybrid Mobile apps with both technologies Apache Cordova and React Native and described my experience in my blog.

In a few words, I would suggest to use each technology in accordance what what is your current code base and what do you want to achieve.

React Native is a great option if you need that extra edge in performance with multi-threading and native UI rendering. Or you already have a web app based on React which you want to port to mobile.

On the other hand, if you have an existing web application code and you want to reuse some or all, including the ability to use web third-party libraries, then Cordova is the best option.

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What is Apache Cordova?

Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

What is Ionic?

Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.

Why do developers choose Ionic vs Apache Cordova?

  • Fans of Cordova appreciate its selection of plugins, great community, and the ability to use JavaScript for mobile development.
  • Ionic is appreciated for its rapid prototyping, great designs, and hybrid mobile style.
What companies use Apache Cordova?
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What are some alternatives to Apache Cordova and Ionic?
Xamarin鈥檚 Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry鈥檚 most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.
React Native
React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.
Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
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