Difference Between Flutter and Ionic (With Table)

Businesses these days look for a massive customer base. Mobile and desktop applications play a vital role in catering to their customers’ needs too. Making an application that is compatible with all the platforms is mostly preferred. While there are many frameworks available in making cross-platform Apps, there are a few that shares a common vision but differ significantly in their philosophy. Two such technologies are Flutter and Ionic.

Flutter vs Ionic

The difference between Flutter and Ionic is the approach that the technology offers for the developers. Flutter is a stand-alone ecosystem that can be used to make cross-platform applications, while Ionic is a technology that is largely web-based and relies on open-source software available on the web.

Flutter is an application development technology that uses Dart as its core language. The language was developed way back in 2011, and you can hardly find anyone using the language apart from the Flutter enthusiasts. The best part of Flutter is, it has its library of User Interface widgets and does not rely on any native UI elements.

Ionic, on the other hand, is used to build applications using the languages available on the web. Namely, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. If you have an idea to use these languages to build a simple app, then it shall be comfortable using Ionic. You can, as such, deploy a cross-platform application with a single codebase.

Comparison Table Between Flutter and Ionic

Parameters of ComparisonFlutterIonic
ApproachFlutter employs the custom approach.Ionic utilizes the web-based approach.
Languages UsedDartIonic uses HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
DependencyFlutter has its ecosystem and does not depend on any native UI elements.Ionic is dependent on web-based languages to build applications.
Animation PerformanceFlutter is easy to code, and performance is far better than Ionic.Ionic requires heavy codes that may derail the performance.
Code Bundle SizeLargeSmall

What is Flutter?

Flutter is an application-building technology that has its ecosystem. That means to say it has a library of UI elements, and you can choose from them without writing any code. The language used in Flutter is Dart. The mobile applications developed by Flutter access native device features, just like ReactNative.

There are ready-made packages available in Flutter. However, some developers also write custom code for specific application requirements. Flutter is highly portable. That means to say, you can create the application using a code base and can be compatible with mobile phones and desktops too. However, one must learn Dart to work on this technology.

Flutter has a Dart Compiler. It converts the code to JavaScript that will render in the browser. The performance of the application largely depends on the code size. Most of the widgets are inbuilt, so to make complex UI features, you relatively have very little code. However, the code bundle size for web-based applications is huge compared to most of the technologies in this genre.

The usage of Dart as a language and custom rendering engine makes the platform stand alone. You must decide as to which device you are planning to host the application. As such, Flutter is too good for mobile devices while desktop application requires a lot of back end work. The code conversion takes a long time to render as well.

What is Ionic?

Ionic is a complete web-based platform that uses open-source software for creating web-based as well as mobile applications. The technology is more reliable for web-based platforms. Ionic applications are built using HTML, CSS, and JAVAScript as the languages.

You can deploy the applications on various platforms using a single codebase. Incidentally, the code bundle size is small and hence effective and fast. As the application runs on mobile, Ionic uses Cordova or capacitor, which offers access to any native APIs. Interestingly, the Mobile User Interface runs in the web view, and it is not visible to the viewer at all.

The UI components are picked from the web, unlike Flutter. This makes the application run in any type of web browser. Moreover, the application is compatible with any JavaScript Framework. Ionic also has 100 UI components in the library that can be customized using CSS according to your requirements. Alternatively, you can build your library of UI components using Stencil. Ionic updates the UI design depending on the platform the application functions.

The knowledge base required to work on Ionic makes this technology most sought out. The updated software knowledge is available with most of the developers, and the requirement to learn any new language is curbed.

Main Differences Between Flutter and Ionic

  1. The main difference between Flutter and Ionic lies in the skill required to work on the technology. Flutter uses Dart as its language, while Ionic uses all web base languages, which is easier for the developers.
  2. Flutter has a platform that helps you create the app. That means to say it has custom-built libraries for UI elements. On the other hand, Ionic uses all the web-based UI components.
  3. The code bundle size of Flutter is large when compared to the Ionic codebase.
  4. Flutter is more preferred to make mobile applications, while Ionic is always the best choice for Desktop applications.
  5. Flutter’s code portability is less advanced, while Ionic is versatile in both mobile and desktop applications.

Conclusion

Both the technology have similarities in terms of UI design customization. Other than this, you must opt for the platform that suits your philosophy of creating an application. If you are looking for a custom application with a very rich feature in a short time, then flutter must be your choice. At the same time, if you are looking to create a cross-platform application that runs smoothly on both mobile as well as a desktop, then Ionic is the one you must choose. All the more, the performance of an application largely depends on the size of the code, irrespective of the platform it runs.

References

  1. https://scholarworks.calstate.edu/concern/theses/kp78gg98g
  2. https://www.theseus.fi/handle/10024/336980
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