The Evolution of Ionic Cross-Platform Mobile Application Developement

ionic-logo-blueLast time we discussed the advantages of some of the different approaches to mobile app development: the html5-based hybrid app, the cross-platform native (or pure-hybrid) app, and native development for a specific operating system.

Ionic is one technology used in html5 hybrids. It is an open-source kit that is built on AngularJS and Apache Cordova, and focuses on the front-end of mobile app development, allowing apps to be deployed using the popular JavaScript frameworks Cordova and Adobe PhoneGap (another open-source Cordova distribution). Apps are built using html5, JavaScript and CSS (or SaSS), and provides a user-interface that is virtually indistinguishable from a native app.

As discussed in the previous post, the biggest advantage to development using Ionic or other hybrid technologies is the ability to develop an app to be used on multiple platforms at once (develop once, deploy everywhere). Otherwise, native apps that would appear on more than one operating system (iOS and Android, for example) would need to be coded separately for each language (iOS apps are based in Objective-C, Android apps in Java). In addition to the extra time and cost of developing an app in multiple languages, native development often faces the additional challenge of having the app look and perform the same using these separate codes.

Developing in Ionic produces a single cross-platform app that only needs to be slightly customized for each new operating system. Ionic currently supports iOS 7 and up, Android 4.1 and up, and BlackBerry 10 applications. Support for Windows will be included in the announced Ionic 2. Though the alpha-version of Ionic was only released in November 2013, Ionic is now able to create applications that far surpass the quality and consistency of other html5-based hybrid apps. In 2015 alone, it is estimated that 1.3 million apps were created using the Ionic software-development kit.

Digital Fractal Technologies is an Edmonton, Alberta based software-development company that focuses on data-driven mobile applications. We develop both cross-platform apps (using Ionic, Xamarin and other technologies) as well as native mobile applications. For a free app consultation, please contact us.