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.

App Development method based on Cordova Platform

The invention discloses an app development method based on a Cordova platform and relates to the technical field of HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

The invention discloses an app development method based on a Cordova platform and relates to the technical field of HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

According to the app development method based on the Cordova platform, AngularJS+Ionic is adopted as a development framework, part of open-source plug-ins such as an app original plug-in are added, a user can directly call the original plug-in of a corresponding platform through a js method, such as a camera, message receiving and sending and the like; a support platform such as android or ios is added, and meanwhile, common front-end tools suitable for the development of enterprises are packaged. By the adoption of the app development method based on the Cordova platform, the user need not configure the Cordova development environment, can independently develop the plug-ins using provided plug-ins and js components, and can conduct fast app development in the shortest time.

Platform Guides

Amazon Fire OS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Firefox OS, iOS, Ubuntu, Windows Phone 8, Windows, Tizen


Create your first Cordova app:

Background technique

JavaScript is a literal scripting language, a dynamic, weak, prototype-based language with built-in support types. The JavaScript engine, part of the browser, is widely used in client-side scripting languages ​​and was first used on HTML (an application of the standard universal markup language) web page to add dynamic functionality to HTML pages.

Cordova provides a set of device-related APIs that enable mobile apps to access native device capabilities such as webcams, microphones, and more in JavaScript. Cordova also provides a unified set of JavaScript libraries, as well as native device-specific background code for the libraries. Cordova supports the following mobile operating systems: iOS, Android, ubuntu phone os, Blackberry, Windows Phone, Palm WebOS, Bada and Symbian.

AngularJS is an excellent front-end JS framework that has been used in many of Google’s products. AngularJS has many features, the most core are: MVC, modular, automated two-way data binding, semantic tags, dependency injection and so on.

Ionic is an open-source, free codebase for developing hybrid mobile applications; optimizing the performance of HTML, CSS, and JS, building efficient applications, and optimizing for building Sass and AngularJS.

Some java engineers are more unfamiliar with mobile development. There are still some blind spots for the platform construction and technical fields, but because of the needs of a project, it needs to involve the field of mobile development. Based on the above combination of technologies, the present invention proposes a cordova platform based app development method.

Content of the invention

The present invention aims at the current technical development needs and shortcomings, and provides a cordova platform-based app development method.

The Cordova platform-based app development method according to the present invention solves the above technical problems by adopting the following technical solutions: The Cordova platform-based app development method based on the open-source Cordova platform mainly includes the following steps: 1) configuring cordova development Environment, 2) create basic projects, and 3) create ionic projects.

Preferably, the step 1) refers to using angularjs + ionic as a development framework.

Preferably, the step 2) includes: creating a basic project, adding common plug-ins, and adding a development platform.

Preferably, the step 3) includes, on the basis of the steps 1 and 2, designing a module for encapsulation, and encapsulating a common front-end tool into a developed js method, which can be called directly during development; the user can directly call the corresponding platform through the js method Native plug-in.

Compared with the prior art, the method for developing an app based on the Cordova platform according to the present invention has the following beneficial effects: The present invention is based on the Cordova mobile terminal development platform, and performs corresponding component encapsulation on the development mode of the angularjs + ionic. According to the present invention Eliminating the need to configure the Cordova development environment and using the plug-ins and js components already provided by the present invention to develop plug-ins on their own so as to enable users to rapidly develop applications in the shortest time.

Detailed description

To make the objectives, technical solutions and advantages of the present invention more comprehensible, a Cordova platform-based app development method of the present invention is further described in detail with reference to specific embodiments.

The invention proposes a method for app development based on the Cordova platform, which uses angular + ionic as a development framework and adds some open source plug-ins, such as an app native plug-in. The user can directly call native plug-ins of the corresponding platform, such as webcams, ; And added a support platform such as android or iOS, while encapsulating the common front-end tools for enterprise development tools.

Cordova is a hybrid development platform, you can easily use h5 and other front-end techniques for rapid app development, the present invention provides a set of commonly used plug-in instructions and package part of the common library, developers can help document in a very short period of time Within the completion of mobile app development, because the plug-ins and libraries have been added, the platform has also been injected, developers do not need to carry out the environment, download the appropriate tools can be directly developed (such as adt, Xcode, etc.).


This example describes a cordova platform-based app development method based on the open source cordova platform, including the following steps:

  1. configuration cordova development environment,
  2. to create a basic project,
  3. to create ionic project.

The steps 1) configuration Cordova development environment refers to the use of AngularJS + Ionic as a development framework.

The steps 2) to create a basic project include, create a basic project, add common plug-ins, such as app native plug-in, and add a development platform, such as android or ios platform.

The step 3) to create the ionic project includes, on the basis of the steps 1 and 2, the design module is encapsulated, the commonly used front-end tool is encapsulated into a developed js method, and the call can be directly invoked during development; the user can call the corresponding platform directly through the js method Native plug-in, such as camera, send and receive text messages.

By adopting the Cordova platform-based app development method of the present invention, the specific implementation manner is as follows:

Step one, download adt or Xcode, import the development framework of the present invention; Step two, according to the development framework for app design, such as the required function modules, function list;

Step three, the user began to develop, as the bottom of the development framework for the JS language, a wide range of applications, most developers can get started after a simple understanding of the development;

Step four, the need to use the native plug-in (such as camera, send text messages, maps, etc.), can be based on the js method call native plug-ins;

Step five, the need to use the tool class, the direct use of the module can be designed, such as multi-parameter pop-up box, validation box, positioning and so on.

By adopting the Cordova platform-based app development method of the present invention, the development of an enterprise-level small and medium-sized app can be completed in the shortest time, eliminating the time period for learning a new language and without requiring the establishment of an environment system. The invention provides Plug-ins and js components for rapid development.

The above specific embodiments are only specific examples of the present invention. The scope of protection of the present invention includes, but is not limited to, the above specific embodiments. Any ordinary technical personnel who comply with the claims of the present invention and have done so Appropriate changes or substitutions should all fall within the scope of protection of the present invention.


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