Differences between ionic, Cordova, PhoneGap and react-native

Choosing a framework for application development process should be done very prudently.

There are various frameworks that provide application development services. There are basically two UI to create web applications – native UI and WebView UI. The closer the framework is to the hardware, the more native it is.

A program build in a native framework usually has more access to hardware features and has more freedom to use them based on its need. It runs more efficiently because of the lower overhead for simulations and translation between different languages. But the native app development process is a little difficult. The coding is complex, hard to write and understand. In contrary to this, it is easier to write codes in the less native framework also, a program in the less native framework can run on totally different hardware platforms. But as compared to the native framework, this has less freedom.

Mobile framework camps

Mobile frameworks usually fall into two camps – native camps and WebView frameworks.

In native camps, the apps are more efficient and have profuse access to the hardware. Applications developed by a react native app development process are smooth and easy to use. But the native app development process is complex. It requires coding experts for complex programming involved in the development of the application.

The WebView framework include4 Cordova, PhoneGap, and Ionic. basic and existing JavaScript and HTML skills can be used to create apps using this framework. The apps can run on both android and iOS. They have limited access to the hardware.

Read the blog- Reasons why you should use React Native in the developing mobile application

Now In this article, we will compare the four frameworks – ionic, Cordova, PhoneGap and react-native based on performance, experience, look and feel.

  • ionic

ionic-framework are basically websites created with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and are smushed into app form. There are not specifically designed for a mobile app hence don’t give a very satisfying user experience. The framework includes a wide range of UI components like buttons, menus, cards, and interactions such as navigation gestures.

  • Cordova/PhoneGap

Cordova by apache is an open-source framework for the development of mobile applications with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Using Cordova, you can essentially create a single web app that runs inside a WebView. Cordova has some plugin features that allow you to access hardware features.

PhoneGap is a subtype of Cordova developed and maintained by adobe. Both frameworks have the same baseline structures at their core but PhoneGap has additional features integrated with the Adobe ecosystem.

  • React native

React Native is an open-source framework built using JavaScript by Facebook. The react native development company allows you to share JavaScript code between iOS, android, windows and other platforms. React native gives world-class application experience on native platforms using consistent developer. It uses JavaScript and react. Making the development process more efficient and easier.


What attracts users the most to your application is its appearance on the play store. The application becomes a success only when the first screen on the play store looks nice. The layout of the application plays a major role in getting more interactions. Cordova has a web-based UI. They look like a website impetuously ported to a web application basically gives a website experience like unresponsive animations, weird keyboard behavior, absence of platform-specific gesture recognition, unusual scrolling acceleration, little or no visual feedback on tap areas are what puts off the mood.

Ionic apps mimic native feel on some level. Yet it uses HTML instead of native widgets. So, it gives the look and feels a better experience. It’s a hybrid of WebView framework and native framework. Ionic apps use some features of react native development company.

Read the blog- Flutter for hybrid application development and React Native for native

React native is a completely native UI. It uses HTML, CSS and JavaScript. The animations are smooth and responsive with improved performance. This framework is specifically designed to develop mobile applications. Using a react-native framework for mobile application gives a better user experience.


Hybrid apps that are built with ionic, Cordova and PhoneGap tech are essentially web applications rendered in a WebView as they aren’t built for phone-based applications, the interactions and performances are rather appalling. WebView is slow. But modern devices have faster WebView and powerful processed enabling the hybrid apps to run efficiently on high-end phones. But low-end devices get low-quality animation, long start-up, unusual scrolling experience, lag with tap events and freezes.

PhoneGap development services are less efficient as mobile applications as they are web bases. In addition to this, PhoneGap development services don’t provide features that native react does for a better experience.

React native uses natively rendered UI. The JavaScript code handles the app’s business logic. It uses a separate thread and doesn’t interfere with the UI rendering. You can use native modules written in Objective-C/Swift and Java to improve the performance of resource-intensive tasks. Reactive native also has better offline support and works well in poor network conditions.

Compilation and interpretation

React native framework follows just in time (JIT) manufacturing process. The labor, material and good are scheduled to arrive exactly when needed in the manufacturing process. React native framework uses JIT on android and iOS application development services. It uses an interpreter where the program directly executes instructions written in a programming language or scripting language, without having to previously compile them into a machine language program.

Cordova, ionic and PhoneGap uses just in time (JIT) manufacturing process on android and iOS. JIT approach has the capacity when adequately applied to organization. It improves the effectiveness of the application in the market. It significantly minimizing wastes and improves efficiency and product quality. The benefits of just in time are pretty impressive. The benefits of JIT include improved quality and experience of the application, it has reduced space requirements, lower production costs, increased productivity, flexibility and reduction in inventory. React native uses just in time for both android app development and iOS app development services.

Debugging and rectification of errors

Cordova, ionic and PhoneGap uses safari web inspector or chrome dev tools and XCode for the native side of iOS app for tackling of errors. On the other hand, the react native framework has a simpler debug with Safari Web inspector/Chrome Dev or native tools like XCode/Android Studio.

Which one to choose?

For building a mobile application with rich interactions and better appearance, react native is the framework for you. From the above comparison, it is obvious that react native trumps over Cordova, PhoneGap or ionic in terms of performance, appearance, implementation and error rectification. React Native framework is more flexible and offers more features for your application building process ensuring a rich experience to the users.