The Good and the Bad of Ionic Mobile Development

So, you’re going to build a mobile app. Your thoughts might then turn to develop an app for the two main platforms – Android (using Java or Kotlin) and iOS (using Swift or Objective C) – natively. Native development offers high performance, easy access to hardware controls, API integration, and full functionality. But a native app also means that the expenses are doubled (or even tripled), depending on how many platforms you want to cover. That means two separate apps, two codebases, two development teams, and expenses for all of it. Daunting, but you can go another way.

Instead, you can create a cross-platform app with the help of tools like Xamarin and React Native. These tools are close to native in performance and allow for code-sharing between the platforms, reducing the overall expenses on development. But still, you will need to hire native developers to do specific tasks in each of the codebases.

What is Ionic?

Ionic isn’t new to the mobile app development market. Created in 2013 as an open-source SDK for hybrid mobile applications, Ionic now has more than 5 million apps built using it. It’s known for providing platform-specific UI elements through a library of native components for iOS and Android. Ionic is basically an npm module, requiring Node.js installed to function as part of a large JavaScript ecosystem.

Front-end technologies and WebView. Ionic uses front-end technologies like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Angular for application development. Using web technologies, Ionic helps to build cross-platform mobile applications with a single codebase. Basically, it allows web developers to create web pages that are run inside a device’s browser instance called WebView. WebView may come as a plugin, and it’s essentially an application component that renders web pages and displays them as a native application.

Apache Cordova & Angular based. The first versions of Ionic were based on Angular, which is a popular front-end framework used for building dynamic web pages and progressive web applications,  PWA for short. Ionic can use Angular CLI (Command-Line Interface) and components to create fully functional mobile applications.