While making your first application, it can be difficult and daunting to decide from all the different options available. Choosing a mobile development framework is a tough nut to crack.

On top of that, there are many considerations that also influence the app such as, 

  • How much time do you have to market?
  • What does the current development and maintenance cost?
  • Do you have a team of engineers or need to hire?
  • What features do you need?
  • What would be the risks with third-party solutions?
  • How do you need your app performance?

Flutter and Ionic are the two leading mobile frameworks used to develop iOS, Android, and Hybrid apps. Both the frameworks enable developers to prototype rapidly and deliver compiled apps for mobile, web, and desktop with a single codebase. But before picking up the right one, you need to compare cross-platform app frameworks for better understanding. 

This post is all about the comparison between Flutter and Ionic frameworks based on various parameters. So, let’s get going. 

Flutter and Ionic: Introduction 


Flutter is Google’s brainchild created in May 2017. It is currently managed by Google with an ECMA(European Computer Manufacturers Association) standard. It is a UI toolkit that uses Dart programming language to build faster, appealing, and natively compiled hybrid applications. 

Flutter was introduced as an SDK intended to build modern apps for Android and iOS. When it comes to Android Studio, integration is done with inbuilt Java. On the other side when it comes to iOS, integration is done with Swift and Objective-C languages. 

According to Statista, 39% of people use Flutter to develop hybrid apps globally. 


Ionic is an open-source UI toolkit that was launched in March 2014. It uses web technologies such as Javascript, CSS, and HTML to develop mobile, web, and PWA (Progressive Web Apps). Ionic mainly focuses on UI/UX and plays a significant role in the look and feel of the app. 

Ionic is incorporated with other frameworks and libraries such as Cordova, Angular, etc. Moreover, it can be leveraged individually without any support of a front-end framework. 

86% of developers choose Ionic for the top-notch mobile app development.

Flutter Vs. Ionic

Let’s understand the key differences with some important aspects. 

#1. Popularity and Learning Phase

Ionic framework is easy to learn compared to Flutter as Ionic uses well-known programming languages like Angular and Javascript. Most of the developers are already familiar with HTML, CSS, Cordova Plugins, etc. It helps them to understand Ionic easily. 

When it comes to Flutter, developers need to learn the Dart language that is completely new for them.

Almost all the developers acknowledge and use Javascript, whereas Flutter has very few developers in the market. However, Flutter is gaining a reputation among the developers’ communities. 

#2. The Look and Feel 

Ionic and Flutter don’t utilize native UI components, but they update UI components’ designs automatically according to the platform on which the app is running. For Android, it is Material Design, and for iOS, it is Cupertino.

Both will enable access to native APIs and platform-specific services through pre-built plugins libraries. You can also access a set of tools to develop custom plugins as per your preferences. 

The Flutter native mobile implementation is quite intolerant. So, if you are involved with custom native tasks using Flutter, you need to understand how Flutter is working with iOS and Android.  

#3. Code Portability 

If we consider app deployment on different desktop and mobile platforms, Ionic and Flutter have strong competition. 

Flutter has appealing features when it comes to mobile app development. But it has some restrictions as well regarding web browsers. Whereas, Ionic is based on web standards. It aids you with excellent web, desktop, and mobile app development. 

If you need high flexibility with your device, you can opt for Ionic. Flutter is on its way to enhance web compatibility. 

#4. Performance 

When it comes to the performance of both platforms, efficiency and productivity play a significant role. 

  • You can go for Flutter if you are searching for an exclusive animation. 
  • You can go for Ionic when you are dealing with a consumer-centric mobile app. 

The performance of Ionic and Flutter is always regarding how you write a code for both. So we can say that the quality of the code is significant if you want to decide on a framework’s performance. 

You also need to consider the bundle size of your app. Ionic bundle size is 2,991 bytes as it uses standard browser runtime and the smallest processing unit. On the other hand, Flutter requires heavy code even when you want to develop basic apps. 

#5. Skills and Expertise 

Flutter developers need to learn Dart Programming Language. This language has a stand-alone and custom ecosystem with some limitations. That is the reason for confusion on the skills-set of Dart developers. 

On the other hand, Ionic uses JavaScript. Developers can work in 100+ JavaScript frameworks with Ionic. So it can be quite complicated to grab highly-skilled Flutter developers compared to Ionic.

#6. Use of Libraries 

Flutter developers can use system technologies and Flutter libraries at no cost. 

In Ionic, you can use various libraries free of cost, but if you want to accelerate the development cycle, you have to pay for a Pro Development Environment. 

#7. Support of Community 

Flutter, as a newcomer, lacks strong community support. Whereas, Ionic has the overall support of a large community that helps Ionic app developers solve every doubt. 

Despite that, with Google’s persistent efforts, Flutter may also develop a broad community in the upcoming years. 

#8. Future Flexibility 

Flutter app development can be quite risky because it is a closed ecosystem. If at some point Google might think to elude the Flutter framework, the Flutter development agencies can be left with a code base and skillset only. However, there are very few chances of it but, you need to consider that scenario. 

On the other hand, Ionic app development is sustainable, scalable, and relies on web standards and components. So developers can use it with any existing or future JavaScript framework.  

What is Common in Flutter & Ionic?

Both frameworks are a way different but also have some similarities. 

  • Both help to develop hybrid apps for desktops, web, and mobile. 
  • Both leverage a single codebase to build highly interactive applications.
  • Both provide offline access. So app development can be possible even within the area of limited internet access. 
  • Both deliver an intuitive look and feel for native apps as they mainly focus on developing UI frameworks for native platforms.
  • Developers can leverage well-structured documentation with both frameworks.
  • Apps built with Flutter and Ionic perform flawlessly compared to other hybrid apps.  
  • Both consist of native plugin libraries to offer native programming services and user interfaces. 

Uses of Flutter & Ionic

Uses of Ionic  Uses of Flutter 
Cross-platform app development  MVP Development 
MVC mobile app development  Apps with a material design language 
Apps with heavy backend integration  Simple logic OS plugins
Any fast and lightweight app with UI/UX load UI that use code-dense widgets
Hardware functionality enabled applications  UX with intuitive UI and data integration 
Native wrapper  Apps featuring Skia rendering engine 

Well-known apps developed using Flutter & Ionic 

Here is a list of some popular apps built with the Flutter and Ionic frameworks. 

Flutter apps

  • Google Ads
  • Xianyu by Alibaba
  • KlasterMe
  • Postmuse – Instagram photo editing app
  • Reflectly
  • Hamilton
  • Pairing
  • Lunching
  • Cryptograph
  • Watermaniac

Ionic apps

  • Marketwatch 
  • Pacifica
  • Sworkit
  • Diesel
  • StockPlan Connect 
  • Honeyfi
  • McLaren Automotive 
  • TD Trading 
  • JustWatch 

Comparison Table

Flutter  Ionic 
Introduced By  Google       Max Lynch, Ben Sperry, and Adam Bradley
Released on May 2017 March 2014
Programming language Dart      Web Technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript)
Community Support  There are 923 contributors in the Flutter Community. They are active with 19k projects.  Huge community support with 5 million contributors from 200 countries. 
Runtime  Run by Custom Graphics Engine Run in a web browser
Performance  Excellent performance due to Dart programming. No need for Javascript Bridge to start app interaction.   Slow performance as it uses web technologies for app rendering. It decreases the app speed. 
Documentation            Well organized and informative Well organized and informative
Hot reload  Support  Support 
Learning        Need to learn Dart programming from scratch. Basics of Android, iOS native development.  Need to learn Angular, Javascript, Cordova plugins, HTML, CSS, and CLI. 
Testing  – Flutter Test to test widgets

– Appium and XCUITest to simulate UI testing 

– Flutter Driver for widgets’ instrumental testing. 

No extra testing devices are required. Testing can be done in different browsers through web view. 
UI Excellent  Not good because everything is rendered in HTML and CSS.
UI elements  Widgets  Web Components 
Price  Free of cost  Free but provide a paid Pro Development Environment to enhance the development process. 
Mobile Performance  Excellent  Good 
Native API Access  Native plugin library through Flutter native packages  Native plugin library through Cordova and Capacitor
Web Performance  Poor  Excellent 
Deployment  Deploy on mobile, desktop, and Web.  Deploy on mobile, desktop, Web, and PWA. 
Offline Access Yes  Yes

Summing Up

It is always complicated to make a choice on a specific framework. Ionic and Flutter both are different in their way. This post will simplify the decision-making process if you are clear about your key objectives and market demands. 

Always try to engage with the experts in whatever framework you choose. 

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