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Ionic vs. PhoneGap



Ionic vs. PhoneGap

Anyone, who has ever been engaged in creating apps for different gadgets and platforms, knows how hard such task is. Until recently, there was no universal approach to the development of mobile applications. But after HTML5 platform evolved, coders got a much wider range of opportunities.

Speaking of tools, which one’s better? Let’s take a look at two major tools – Ionic and PhoneGap – andcomparetheir pros and cons todecide what framework will suit your needs best.

Ionic and PhoneGap: which one’s better

We’ll create Ionic vs. PhoneGap comparison list based on popularity, main advantages and disadvantages, and ease of use.


Ionic is an open-source SDK for cross-platform app development that runs on top of Angular JS. Working with Ionic, developers get access to HTML5,CSS, and SaaS for creating hybrid applications.

PhoneGap (also known as Apache Cordova) offers great support of JavaScript, HTML5, as well as CSS3. Together with Foreign Function Interfaces, PhoneGap becomes a versatile tool for developing cross-platform apps.


If you compare PhoneGap and Ionic, the popularity of the first platform is growing a bit faster. For instance, in 2012, it only accounted for about 30% primary use.Now it’s 61%. The main factors that determine the platform’s popularity arefast development,cross-platform support, and liberal prices.

Ionic owes its popularity mostly to its simplicity. Being a free, open source platform, it has also gained appreciation from both entrepreneurs and coders due to its functionality. The platform’s community is growing steadily, and according to the results of the Ionic Developer Survey, around 80% of developers working with the framework consider themselves experienced Ionic users.

Reasons to use

PhoneGap versus Ionic: why you should try them both.


– Is totally free and open source. To begin working with Ionic, all you need is a PC and internet connection.
– Is Angular-based. You can say that Ionic extends Angular’sfunctionality, making the process of developing apps easy and comfortable.
– Has a great and customizabledefault UI. This platformpacksa lot of default JavaScript and CSS components a developer might need to build an app.
– Offers other convenient services and tools. Ionic has dozens ofdifferent services and tools that ensure pleasant and user-friendly experience.


– Is open source. That’s the main difference between PhoneGap and Ionic. This framework offers much of its functionality for free. Besides, thanks to Open Source License, PhoneGap’s community provides programmers with new modules and codes for free.
– Is easy to master. The framework doesn’t require knowledge of newlanguages to work with, as it uses standard HTML, CSS, and JS.
– Is suitable for multiple devices. The platform utilizes the standard technologies compatible with a wide range of devices. This makes the development process faster.



– a completely free platform;
– Single source for all supported platforms;
– Most of the development is based on CSS,HTML, and JS most developers are familiar with;
– Access to the number of useful plugins;
– Variety of UI patterns, including header,tabs, lists,cards, and bars;
– Use of CSS provides an interesting experience.


– JavaScript, HTML5, and CSS3 make the framework much easier to master;
– PhoneGap-based apps can be installed just like native apps;
– A plug-in architecture thatallows for extending native device API’s in modular ways;
– Most of its functionality is free;
– A variety of libraries that help enhance the platform’s functionality.


PhoneGap vs. Ionic framework: main advantages.


– As Angular.JS isn’t easy to master, the platform doesn’t for beginners;
– Unstable user experience, asthe platform is relatively new. Standards are still changing, with libraries being totally rewritten from time to time;
– Security issues. When developing financial apps, Ionic isn’t the best choice.
– Doesn’t suit for creating high-end apps and graphic games.


– The abundance of graphic elements causes performance issues;
– Not enough info or user guidelines for enhancing the performance and quality;
– No steady support of native APIs;
– With no proper control over hardware, render updates make PhoneGap-based apps slower;
– No cache/memory management that may lead to memory leakage.

Ease of use

Standard tools with a single code base allow for rapid app development using Ionic, although TypeScript components make tasks a bit slower compared to using native API. Besides, when it comes to creating high-end apps and graphic games, Ionic isn’t easy to use. But the framework’s structure allows for overcoming performance issues.

PhoneGapoffersgreat coding UIwhich makes navigation easier and allows for soothing graphics effects and seamless scrolling. Also, the framework’s apps are fairly easy to install.


As for PhoneGap vs. Ionic performance, both frameworks work with hybrid apps and are powered by Cordova, so there are no major differences between them.

When to use


This platform suits best for individual developers, who prefer working with free, open source products but are experienced enough and know the way around Angular.JS.


PhoneGap better suits for businesses that can take advantage of paid license or for developers, who aren’t familiar with HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

Ionic vs. PhoneGap: what to choose?

So, PhoneGap vs. Ionic: which is better? Let’s consider major differences and perks both platforms offer to developers.

– Easy to work with but requires a license to use all the features;
– Plug-in architecture allows for extending native device API’s in modular ways, but the development process takes more time;- Availability of libraries but no control over hardware.
– Is completely free but hard to master;
– Doesn’t suit for creating financial apps but allows for faster development;
– Customizable UI but unstable user experience.

Both platforms don’t suit for native apps and graphic games development. However, they show almost equal performance when creating cross-platform apps.

Sum up

The choice of the proper framework for cross-platform app development completely depends on the developer. Just pick the one that suits you best. Both Ionic and PhoneGap have their own advantages and disadvantages, as well as a unique set of features. PhoneGap is perfect for creatinglight apps that don’t rely on the device’s native features.Ionic allows for the rapid and application development at zero costs. The major difference between Ionic and PhoneGap is pricing.