Let’s start from the beginning. Ionic is a framework for developing highly interactive native and progressive web apps. It’s a free and open source hybrid framework with a huge community behind it, recommended for simple apps that mainly display information with limited native features.
At The Masters, we have been working with this technology for a while, therefore, I decided to share my thoughts on why it’s worth to switch from other mobile frameworks to Ionic to build your app. Here are the most important pros of Ionic:
1. Fast and budget-friendly development
Ionic is a fully cross-platform allowing you to build web-based apps with one codebase adaptable for all major app stores. And they look just as good as native ones. As the founders of Ionic state: write once - deploy everywhere. What does it mean for you?
Having one codebase is efficient when it comes to development, as well as bug fixing. As a CEO or CTO, you want to get your product deployed as quickly as possible ensuring high quality at the same time. Ionic framework makes it easy and time-saving. Thanks to the reusable code you don’t need to write the same functionality in another language, you can just easily use the same codebase and implement it to other platforms. Testing Ionic-based apps is also very fast - the first version of your app can be ran instantly in a browser, thanks to live reloading.
Moreover, it’s a really low-cost technology. It allows you to have one mobile dev team, and not multiple teams for each native mobile technology. Furthermore, the maintenance of Ionic app is quite cheap, because there is no need to maintain applications on each platform separately.
2. User Interface - make the design beautiful and attract users
Eye-catching and intuitive design is crucial for any mobile app - it attracts users and makes application more playful. Ionic offers many ready-to-use UI components, with extended options available. It enables your dev team to quickly construct the interface for your app with fresh and neat design. Ionic allows you to customize settings for each major platform, such as: action sheets, various kinds of alerts, checkboxes, headers, tabs, transitions, toggles, back-buttons, nav-buttons, fonts and many more. You can also consider Ionic Pro for more advanced full-scale apps and available to a wider range of users.
3. Huge online community
This is a very important value of Ionic. To be honest - I have never seen such active and engaged community as the one of this progressive app framework. Just look at the official forum where you can find thousands of useful tips and solutions. You can also help others with their challenges and share your knowledge and experience. Ionic is constantly evolving, thanks to people who are contributing to updating and developing it. This community could be really helpful for both developers and app providers. You can pitch founders there and talk about their experience with Ionic. Large and active community also means a great chance for Ionic to grow and small risk of this technology to die in the near future.
4. For progressive web apps use Cordova to recreate native behavior
Around 3 years ago it has been introduced by Google, and it’s still a hot trend. The main idea was to create a website that looks and behaves the same way as a mobile app. Ionic, thanks to Cordova plugins, recreates native mobile behavior. Thanks to that, you can have access to logs, battery, geolocation, camera and much more. All those omponents have big influence on your app’s overall performance.
The best thing about it is that making small changes in the code allow to make big changes in the features. PWAs give you access to the hardware of the device, send push notifications and most importantly - work offline. Applications like this usually have lower bounce rate and lower cost of entry and what’s more, they allow you to run your app with zero-install and no updates required.
Of course, there are also some cons of this solution that are worth mentioning. First of all, not every browser supports PWAs, as well as not all devices support the functionality of the entire software. Also there is no central download store and it could be difficult for users to find specific apps and unsure them they are legitimate. Are you concerned? Don’t be! Despite of many challenges PWAs are still facing, they have a really big potential to become a significant competitor to native apps, especially in e-commerce, so it’s worth giving then a shot.
Ionic is one of the most popular HTML5 mobile framework and there’s a number of reasons for that. It’s the bridge between Angular and Cordova library for developing interactive hybrid apps. I really believe that the future of mobile apps will be affected by this technology. Thanks to Ionic’s great community, we are witnessing constant development of this framework, especially the practical solutions. Of course you have to keep in mind the type of app you want to build. If your want to develop a mobile gaming application with complex graphics (in particular 3D) or sophisticated software solutions, Ionic won’t be sufficient.