I've had the opportunity to try out the ionic framework on my last mobile project. Having had experience using Apache Cordova, as well as Adobes version of Cordova PhoneGap I was skeptical about Ionics performance claims. Previous hybrid Cordova projects I have worked on have always had a few nanoseconds of sluggishness which is frustrating. As I'm coming close to the goal line on my current project, I have no problems saying I'm very impressed with the performance of this framework. Ionic delivers native UI performance, which is fantastic.
Ionic is a Cordova-based framework, & works with most Cordova CLI plugins. What's special about Ionic is its integration with Angularjs, it's optimized to use hardware acceleration and perform minimal DOM manipulations. The Angular integration gives it that snap and native user experience that is sometimes lacking in Hybrid mobile applications.
Ionic get's you half way there overnight...
Before making the decision to use Ionic, I started this project out by creating a screen by screen wire-frame using Adobe Illustrator. After screen and interaction approval, I was able to browse through the Ionic docs and with a few minor adjustments in the wire-frame Ionics pre-built components met 95% of the UI requirements. Ionic get's you half way there overnight, which helps get momentum going at the beginning of the project. Then it was on to the not so exciting multiple client revisions, new feature requests, and the obligatory IOS upgrade during the middle of the project. Overall it was a great experience using the framework & and gave me much more confidence in the viability of Cordova-based hybrid apps.