Ionic is an open-source platform for creating mobile optimized hybrid apps. Ionic platform provides tools for developing hybrid mobile apps using Web-based technologies like HTML, JS, CSS, SASS(or LESS) etc. using Cordova to give native support for the app.
Cordova : Apache Cordova formerly known as PhoneGap is a mobile application development platform. Ionic build apps over the top of Cordova. You can wrap up your current site inside the cordova app but it will not be platform specific. To provide native look and feel Ionic provides components based on angular.
Two Platform one CodeBase
Hybrid apps are websites running in a browser like environment i.e. Webkit in Android, WkWebView in iOS, that have access to the Native API’s. Create one codebase for your site and use it anywhere. Ionic just fasten up the speed of the development.
You don’t need JAVA/Swift Developers to write two Codebases for two different platforms.
Native Styled Mobile UI
A Native developer can face many problems while creating native UI based on XML (especially Material Design). Ionic Comes with native styled UI elements and layouts you would get with a Native SDK. For example Tabs, Slide Boxes, Popups, loaders and many more Ui elements are available in Framework. Also you can easily embed any CSS library into the Ionic so it’s an ease while developing UI.
Before trying any platform we must have to look who is holding our back. With a clean and understandable documentation of the each Ionic version they have their own forum. Over 30K questions asked in StackOverflow we can say Ionic has a good Support system than other hybrid app platforms.
Easy to Build & Distribute
Ionic has a powerful CLI. You can do many things from your terminal like Installing Plugins, emulate in system, run directly in your Phone or run the app in your browser. This makes the development of the Apps an ease because you can debug your app easily. You can create all types of apps from your CLI and can distribute to the Beta developers without going through the long review process of the Google Play Store or Apple App Store.
Native apps have a little advantage here in giving the good UX for that specific platform. While Ionic Apps are easy to customize than Native apps. Creating a native looking UX in Ionic is a challenge but can be done via some plugins like ‘Ionic Native’.