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What is the difference between the ip address of hostname -i, and the output of ip addr??, and what ip address of hostname -i is used for?

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As per man hostname

-i, --ip-address
          Display the network address(es) of the host name. Note that this
          works only if the host name can be resolved.  Avoid  using  this
          option; use hostname --all-ip-addresses instead.

This takes the hostname, performs a DNS lookup of that hostname, and displays the corresponding address.

ip addr will give you a full list of all interface, all IPs, aliases (if any), along with mac, state and so on.

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