Ionic vs Flutter share a common mission of building beautiful applications with interactive UIs. Flutter is still an infant in comparison to Ionic. Google released Flutter in 2018. Built with Dart, Flutter is a cross-platform for both Android and iOS. However, the Flutter team is still working to build a strong web support. The desktop APIs of Flutter are still in the early development phase and subject to change even without warnings.
An Executive TL; DR Summary
The blog discusses common key points of both frameworks with a special emphasize on vs. or opposing & against philosophy. The important takeaway of Ionic vs. Flutter are mentioned below:
- The guiding principle of Ionic is to utilize the web platform and hold onto open web standards.
- When you build with Ionic, you build an application for mobile, web, and desktop using the same code.
- Flutter has a limited ecosystem with less popular language than JS which is called Dart.
- Flutter offers remarkable performance on mobile but it is not yet open to building web applications.
- You can choose Ionic or Flutter as per your business needs!
What is ionic?
Key takeaways from Ionic:
- Ionic powers building Progressive Web Applications & Hybrid Apps on the native platform.
- Inspires beautiful UI designs with a simple framework.
- Open-source and MIT license.
- Just like Angular, Ionic is compatible with most of the frameworks like React, Vue, etc.
- The Ionic ecosystem is supported by international communities.
Join the Ionic community:
- Forum: An amazing place for asking your Ionic-related questions & sharing ideas
- Slack: Ionic developers can meet & chat in real-time
- Twitter: Post Ionic related updates and share content from the community
- GitHub: Report bugs or request a new feature
What is Flutter?
Google introduced Flutter as an SDK for building mobile applications. With Flutter, you can create high-performing & native applications for Android and iOS. Dart is used to writing the Flutter apps.
Key takeaways from Flutter:
- Flutter features a 2D rendering engine and a framework like React
- It has ready-made widgets
- A low code framework
- Offers easy prototyping
Join the Flutter community:
- Stack Overflow: Look for questions & answers
- Discord: Talk via real-time chat with Flutter developers
- Flutter dev: It’s a mailing listing to discuss Flutter best practices and designs
- GitHub: Report errors or ask for new features
- Twitter: Follow Flutter for new features & updates
Common Vision of Flutter & Ionic
Both Flutter and Ionic share some common goals irrespective of having differences. Some of them are:
- Flutter and Ionic primarily focus on building UI framework for native platforms
- They help in building high-performing and interactive applications
- The pillar stone of both Ionic & Flutter is based on a cross-platform development philosophy. However, Flutter’s web building support is not stable yet.
Conflicting Philosophies of Flutter & Ionic
In spite of sharing some common philosophies, both Flutter & Ionic are different from each other.
Which one is right for you?
Choosing between both is not easy. Before choosing one of them you must know the technical compatibilities and differences. Ionic vs. Flutter is a fierce war where taking a stronger side a critical decision. Let’s see how they perform based on the following parameters:
Understanding the code portability between Ionic and Flutter helps to define how both code behaves in different environments, processors, and operating systems.
- Both Ionic and Flutter code perform equally when we deploy them on mobile and web.
- With Flutter, you can create beautiful looking iOS and Android apps from a single set of code. Besides, desktop support is quite stable now.
- Flutter had web deployment limitations.
- If you want to deploy your application as a PWA, you should go with Ionic.
When we discuss Flutter vs. Ionic performance their efficiency level plays an important role in deciding which is suitable for your business.
- If you are looking for exclusive animation, choosing Flutter is a smart option (FPS-60).
- However, if you are planning to build a more consumer-facing application, Ionic offers the same performance.
Flutter vs. ionic performance is always about how you code for both. In short, code quality plays a major role in deciding the performance of any framework.
The Flutter vs. ionic performance relies on the bundle size of your app. Ionic utilizes the standard browser runtime as well as primitives (smallest processing unit). Hence the ionic bundle size is 2,991 bytes. While Flutter needs heavy code even to create a basic app.
Knowledge & Skillset
If you know JS, you can work in more than 100 JS frameworks for web, mobile, and native development. Dart features a stand-alone and highly-custom ecosystem that has its constraints. That’s why; it creates confusion on the market skill of a Dart developer. He/she only has to work in Flutter-empowered applications.
The highly-custom ecosystem of Flutter teaches you the only ‘Flutter ways’ of doing things. On the opposite side of the story, if you are creating Ionic apps, you don’t need to learn ‘Ionic ways’ of doing things. You learn to build web apps in general. And mostly, you are learning to code the JS style with CSS. If you know Ionic, you can prevail as long as you are working on web platforms.
Native Look & Feel
When we discuss Ionic vs. Flutter, their approaches to native UI element utilization matter a lot.
- Neither Flutter nor Ionic utilizes the native UI elements of each platform. Both update the same automatically, e.g. both use Material Design and Cupertino for Android & iOs, respectively.
- Both Flutter and Ionic allow accessing native APIs and platform services via a library of ready-made plugins. However, the native mobile implementation of Flutter is completely customized.
Sustainability is a game-changing factor in the battle of Ionic vs. Flutter. Here sustainable means the shelf-life and flexibility of the project.
Who won the battle Ionic vs. Flutter?
It is the time to declare the winner of the battle Ionic vs. Flutter. And our winner is Ionic!
If you want to develop a PWA and hybrid applications, you should go with Ionic. On the other hand, you are not emphasizing on building web applications, you should not go with Flutter.
Ionic features an easy learning curve due to open web technologies, while Flutter is limited to Dart.
Pick Ionic and Flutter as per your business needs.