The case for the IONIC framework in hybrid apps development

IT OutsourcingUPDATED ON Dezember 11, 2020

The case for ionic for cross-platform mobile applications

Considering using the Ionic framework for hybrid mobile app development? It can often be a strong choice. One of K&C’s top mobile app developers explains why.

Among the most popular hybrid mobile app development frameworks, the Ionic framework is considered top dog by many. According to Drifty, the company that develops and supports Ionic, over a million hybrid apps have been developed with the help of their framework since its release in 2013.

 Ionic is an HTML5 SDK designed to be the foundation for hybrid mobile apps development. The Ionic framework is built from a combination of AngularJS, Apache Cordova (ex-Phonegap), and SASS. This allows for the creation of feature-rich mobile applications that exclusively use web technologies.

The technologies the framework uses are widely accepted standards, representing a number of benefits to Ionic development teams.

AngularJS as part of the Ionic Framework

AngularJS, developed by Google, is currently one of the most popular JavaScript frameworks. Angular embodies all of the best JavaScript development practices, allowing the developer to:

1) build applications with exemplary architecture;

2) evolve the application’s architecture in a controlled way, easily changing developers in and out if needed with fewer risks than would be the case if the app architecture was an unusual custom framework;

3) offers the resource of a rich pool of Angular developers, who can be parachuted into the Ionic framework development process smoothly and quickly. 

Apache Cordova as part of the Ionic Framework

Apache Cordova is an open-source framework supported by many of the biggest players in the industry. Thanks to Cordova, common development tasks in Ionic are done in full accordance with the specific platforms’ guidelines. This in turn means that less unusual techniques are used in the coding process, reducing the risk of architectural mistakes. This also allows for fewer bottlenecks in the future evolution of the application.

The Ionic framework’s major development assets are focused on building user interfaces that look and feel like a native, and actually, have little differences with latter.

Ionic framework

Why the Ionic Framework?

Let’s have a look at the main features and capabilities of Ionic, and then review the advantages of hybrid mobile app development using the Ionic framework.

Ionic saves businesses time and resources while building cross-platform apps that represent most of the benefits of native alternatives. This is achieved by platform adaptation being so convenient. A single experienced development team can release an app and quickly adapt it to run on multiple platforms. When using an Ionic framework, it is sometimes possible to release one application for both Android and iOS with the same resources as would have been the case for a native app for just one of these two operating systems. Simply put, it allows the creation of hybrid mobile apps while minimizing adaptation development to a specific platform.

 Besides the business benefits, it is worth mentioning the advantages of an Ionic framework from the point of view of developers.

 1. Well-known web technologies are used in development. Even less experienced programmers would be expected to have at least a basic knowledge of them, which greatly simplifies their mastering of the Ionic framework.

2. Advanced ecosystem. Ionic integrates with most of the plugins, add-ons, and modules for AngularJS and Cordova, in addition to its own quite extensive shop. Angular’s plugin repository currently contains over 2000 modules, which facilitate the integration of Ionic apps with popular web services like Twitter, implementing complex UI elements like a progress bar or system options like session storage. Cordova’s analog represents the same diversity of modules; and the list is ever-growing, with all three frameworks supported by active and prolific developer communities.

 3. Ongoing evolution. The Ionic framework is a dynamically developing product. Following the AngularJS upgrade to the second version, Ionic 2.0 was released on January 26, 2017. Ionic 2.0 represents a significant enhancement to the first iteration. Ionic 2.0 is based on Angular 2.0, which promises greater efficiency, smoother work, cleaner code structure and has built-in modules for mobile apps creation.

The key differences between Angular 2 and AngularJS are components and directives replacing controllers and scope, two-way props binding instead of one-way, dependency injection, JavaScript form validation and dynamic module loading.

Ionic version 2 also supports the latest JavaScript edition ES6 and TypeScript. This enables Java and .NET programmers to grasp the concepts of Ionic 2 framwork development much faster, deepening the potential developer pool. Another advantage of Ionic v2 is its focus on components – they are classes with templates, which allows for the employment of all the rich possibilities of object-oriented programming in UI design (e.g. constructors, prototyping, inheritance, etc.) Finally, Ionic 2.0 has a new theming system which makes app styling much easier and more diverse.

Choosing your outsourced Ionic framework development company

If your business lacks developers experienced in building Ionic framework apps or your enterprise does not employ a dedicated development department, Munich-based K&C is here to help! However, you should always conduct appropriate due diligence when selecting a development partner, regardless of the tech stack you require.

Key performance indicators that should be considered when choosing an outsource IT services provider are:

– Reaction Speed. The response of the prospective partner’s customer relationship department should be swift. If they are slow in responding to an enquiry that might mean business for them, that’s not a good sign for how efficient they will complete work assigned.

– Cost estimation. The sales team of a well-run outsourced development company will ask many qualifying questions about your case and provide well thought out detailed cost estimation.

– Technical expertise. The target team should be able to translate your requirements and requests into technical specs and be well versed in the Ionic framework.

– Team management. Management should be easy to reach, open to dialogue and experienced enough to help the rest of their team solve your problems. You can also request the project manager’s and developers’ CV.

Rounding Up Ionic Framework Strengths

The Ionic framework is the right choice for those seeking to create a single quality application that can be quickly released across several mobile platforms without compromising quality and design. Despite being a common framework, Ionic makes the creation of outstanding products with unique capabilities possible.

 The most valuable asset of Ionic apps is efficiency. Its popularity is one of the major factors to consider. The framework’s appeal to the developer community is obvious: as for January 2019, Ionic apps are featured by Apple, Google, and Amazon, and Ionic’s GitHub repository has over 50,000 stars, while the total investments into Drifty exceed the impressive sum of $11,000,000. The numbers speak for themselves: the Ionic framework is business efficient.