The Ultimate Comparison: NativeScript vs. React Native vs. Ionic vs. Cordova vs. Native Languages

The Ultimate Comparison: NativeScript vs. React Native vs. Ionic vs. Cordova vs. Native Languages

Comparison Technology

So, you have this grand idea for this awesome mobile app that will be the next big thing. You know all its features, how it will run, how people will be able to access it, how you will make money off it, every little detail. But, that’s where you lose sight of what’s next or what’s the best approach to build it.

I have been dealing with beautiful minds , having highly creative app ideas , since over decade so far.Yes, But first question from all prospects is about estimated time and cost to give better life to their beautiful ideas.

while giving different cost for same idea , they raise question about how cost different and how to wisely choose technology for their mobile application development.

When i was explaining our clients for best technology for best fit to their ideas , it is hard to convey with words to a non-technology person. Thus , i am encouraged to write a blog with creative infographics to clearly concept and advantages and disadvantages of various technologies

  1. Native Application Development : ( CoreJava / Kotlin for Android , Objective-C / SWIFT4.3 for iPhone , iPad , iWatch application development )
  2. Hybrid Mobile Application Development : ( Cordova / iOnic for Android , iOs, Microsoft , Blackberry and other platforms ) , this also known as cross-platform application development frameworks
  3. Natively Compiled : ReactNative (React Native or Native Script mobile application development )

Best Beginning is Half completed , You should pick a best technology for your mobile application development project.

First things first…

Are you thinking of an Android or an iOS app? For a native Android app, you will need to be proficient in Java for the Android framework, while for an iOS app you need either objective-C or Swift. And if you want to have your app on both platforms, you will need to learn the two programming languages.

Other options

Options for Mobile Application Development
Option for mobile application development

Now, if the idea of learning two coding languages is a bit over the top for you, there are some other alternatives to that. Here’s what’s at your disposal.

Hybrid App

A hybrid app is one that uses elements of web apps and native apps. So, you create a web app that then is hosted in a native Webview component, or like some people like to call it, a wrapper. To that, you will need platforms such as Apache Cordova or Ionic.

Compiled app

To build a compiled app, you need Reactive Native or NativeScript. A real compiled app is an app that’s compiled to native code (APIs, UI components). You will use light versions of CSS and HTML and JavaScript for the backend part. Again, these light versions of CSS and HTML differentiate from the original ones. The JavaScript remains the same. What these platforms do is they take the code you’ve written and will translate it into native code (Swift and Java).

Now let’s compare…

Write once, use everywhere


The idea here is you write the code ones, and you use it everywhere without changing or adjusting it. There is no way around this if using Java and Swift. If you want two versions, you write two separate codes. Ionic and Cordova are on the other side of this spectrem, and you can reuse most of the code. React Native doesn’t fly too high even though you get to code in JavaScript for both platforms. However, it also gives you different components for the different platforms.

Rich pre-styled component categories

The best case scenario is you get everything you need. On the other side of the ladder, you will need to style everything on your own. Java, Swift, Ionic, and Cordova are all about rich pre-styled components. To all fairness, if you are using standalone Cordova, don’t expect much. But then if you are using it with Ionic than you are looking at a pretty good stack of both beautiful and automatically adjusting components. React Native is on the far end, with only limited options. NativeScript is somewhere in the middle; it offers more components than React Native, but not as much as the other ones.

Ecosystem / Third-Party Libraries


The fact that most apps are built in Java and Swift means that there are plenty of third-party libraries and apps you can reuse. Ionic and Cordova are a bit lower on this ladder. But they hold one distinctive advantage. You are building a web app so that you can use third-party libraries for JavaScript, there is no limitation. And on top of that, you got a Cordova specific libraries. Reactive Native comes a bit shorter than Ionic and Cordova because of one thing. You are neither using HTML, nor CSS. Therefore any JavaScript library that uses CSS and HTML won’t work. The thing with NativeScript is it’s not that popular, hence there aren’t that many third-party libraries.

Popularity / Coverage

Objective-C - SWIFT vs ReactNative-Popularity-coverageThis is about how many tutorials and other resources we can find. Again, Swift and Java ride the high wave as they are super popular, both on official documentation, as well as outside of that. Ionic and Cordova are also very popular, and there is a lot out there that can be used as a resource. It’s JavaScript, a web app, so an abundance of all that. React Native is somewhere in between the native languages, and Ionic and Cordova. It has been getting a lot of traction for some time, and because of that, there is a set of resources that you can use. NativeScript, again, sits at the lower end. It has great libraries, much can be done with it, it does so many things right, but somehow people are not that into it.


Making an app in the languages meant for that is your best option. Ionic and Cordova are in all honesty far from native build apps. Unless you are making a smaller app or one with fewer features. React Native made apps to perform closely behind the ones made with native languages. NativeScript apps are in the neighborhood of native apps and Reactive Native apps, and way better performing than Ironic and Cordova apps.

Accessing Native Device Features

SWIFT-ReactNative-compare-Accessing-native-device-featuresUsing Ionic and Cordova bring you furthest from many native device features. Java and Swift, the actual languages for building native apps, are at the very top. React Native is somewhere in the middle. But many times you will be required to write a “bridge” in some third-party language to access certain native device features. NativeScript is even better than React Native because there you get functionality to call NativeScript APIs right from your JavaScript code.

Real World Usage

SWIFT-Vs-hybrid-mobile-app-ReactNative-Real-world-usageJava and Swift hold the top spots as most companies have their apps made in these native languages. Ionic and Cordova have only a few well-known brands using their technology. Most of the other apps on their portfolio page are mostly anonymous names. React Native holds the honorary second place on this scale. Airbnb’s app is made in React Native, and that’s not a small thing. Then there is, another well-known brand using React Native. NativeScript is at the very bottom and with the smallest base of users. No big name in the IT world is using it, nor there a massive following. Maybe that will change in the future, but for now, it remains the underdog in many categories, including this one.


By Ashok Rathod

Life is all about solving problems. Ashok is a software developer, technology enthusiast, founder, and director of a reputed software development company. Eager to help brilliant minds, and entrepreneurs with MVP ( Minimum Viable Product ) development, and technology consultation. Ashok is an engineer, a strategist, an investor, an architect, and a blogger who love to share about technology.

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