HTML5 mobile development is quite common these days in hybrid app development. However, to create a custom-coded mobile application in HTML5 is time-consuming, expensive – and, at the end of the day, the fruits of developer’s work might not be worth all the work.
So, in order to make cross-platform mobile app development faster, better, and easier, coders use a few go-to frameworks. You might’ve heard of Sencha Touch and a few others but Ionic is among the most popular ones.
While the framework itself is completely free, it’s pretty difficult to get the hang of if you don’t have any experience in web development. Thus, if you’re looking for a hybrid app, consider to.
In the post, we’ll go over just what makes the framework this attractive, touch on the bases of Ionic, and determine a cost of building a simple mobile native vs hybrid app.
, the founders of Ionic decided to create a framework that will allow developers to create apps for mobile browsers like WebView.
On the official website, the creators of Ionic describe the framework as the one designed for front-end mobile app user interface. It’s mostly used for developing hybrid apps (those that run in the browser). Iconic has a strong community, the technology itself is open to open-source project management methodologies and free. Note, that the framework is 100%-free.
Having talked to many developers, we’ve noted that Ionic is a widely-loved mobile development framework. That is clear – its advantages and multi-functional features are hard to resist. Here are but a few.
- Based on AngularJS. No matter how experienced you are in web development, you’ve certainly heard a thing or two about AngularJS – one of the most popular JS frameworks backed by Google. Ionic is basically that same Angular, with the difference that it’s extended and adapted specifically to build mobile apps.
- Ionic makes hybrid apps feel native. While native apps on their own have maintenance and many other issues, developers still strive to make web apps as comfortable to use on mobile devices as possible. Ionic is probably the best HTML5 framework to improve user experience (it allows native scrolling, uses hardware accelerated animations DOM-elements).
- A powerful default library – Ionic has a few CSS and JS packs you can use in your app right away. This includes forms, buttons, fancy sliding menus, tabs, sliding boxes, etc.).
- Iconic has an active community – creating a framework that will be open-source both technology and spirit-wise, the founders of Ionic made a huge bet on curating the community. They succeeded splendidly! The community of Ionic is one of the best things to happen to a developer – there are always software architects to help you out and solve all the possible problems, you can jump into a discussion or ask for an opinion.
Being one of the most famous frameworks for hybrid apps, Ionic is used to create a fair share of products that are currently on App Store and Google Play market. Let’s take a look at a few of these.
Marketwatch is designed to track the trends that are popular in different markets. The software development company used Ionic to create a custom and user-friendly product for the app. Most of the functions were added via native plugins – Facebook, Twitter, Omniture, etc.
The usage of Ionic allowed the mobile app development company to create a cross-platform app exploiting the familiar technology – JS, CSS, and HTML5.
Also, the creators of the app benefited a lot from a well-organized teamwork thanks to an open-sourced framework.
2. Just Watch
The app is a streaming search engine. The app creates an easy way to browse through film and series titles.
JustWatch is written with Ionic and Angular JS both for Android and iOS. The interface is minimalistic, the app takes little time to load and is quite multi-functional.
Another useful app that’s been created with Angular is HoneyFi – an app that allows couples to track family business and have a backlog of spendings. It’s famous for a user-friendly interface, no redundant elements and items. All of that is the merit of Ionic – thanks to the framework, developing the app of sorts takes little time.
As a business owner, you might be wondering what it takes to create an Ionic app from scratch. We won’t be going through every step on the way, however, you’ll get an outlook of the process.
Step #1. Installing the framework
Before a developer can start working on the project, he has to install Ionic on the computer. The framework is free and can be installed in a few clicks on Ionic’s official website. As soon as it’s done, a client with a default “sidemenu” starter template will open.
Step #2. Adding/removing components
The number of components depends on the number of pages your future app will have. If it’s a one-page app, a developer will delete the list of folders in the “page” folder.
Adding new components consists of sorting all the files that are needed by formats – there are separate folders for HTML, CSS, and JS objects as well as fonts.
Step #3. Building back-end
In order to launch an app, a developer needs to write the back-end code for it. In order to do that, one will install a few models, change the import property, save the reference of HTTP via the constructor function, and create a new method reload.
Step #4. Data binding
This step consists of binding all the HTML data to JS components. Angular has a few peculiarities when it comes to that (for instance, you have to use curly braces) but we won’t touch on the details.
When the components are bound, a developer tests the look of the app in a browser.
Step #5. Building an APK
The next step on the way is creating an APK file that can later be tested and rolled out to Google Play Market and App Store. It will take a few changes in your app directory. Later, a good developer would also customize all the icons, and cross-test an APK on different devices.
Step #6. Tests and launch
On this stage, a developer tests an overall performance and the load time of the app. There might be some debugging to do in order to make sure the app can run on different devices simultaneously.
After the app is cross-tested, it can be rolled out to the Play Market. Later on, there might be some changes made as well since the community will always provide you with feedback on the product.
The work of professional coders in the US might seem pretty expensive. That’s why a distributed team can reduce development cost – in Ukraine, for instance, the average software engineer salary is a little over $1500 per month.
After the app is launched, you’ll have to pay a monthly fee of $99 dollars, so that’s important to keep in mind as well.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a fixed mobile app development cost since it depends on how complicated you want your app to be and how skilled of a team you need.
- Hybrid apps have a lot of advantages for a target audience- they are faster to load, easier in maintenance and can be run in a browser.
- HTML5-frameworks are a go-to tool for app developers. Among all the options on the market, Ionic is the most popular one. It has a lot of advantages indeed – the framework’s built on a familiar technology, has a strong built-in library, and a dedicated community of coders.
- Ionic development doesn’t take that much time. The development process can be easily broken down to a few basic steps – installing the framework, adding components, writing the back-end code, data binding, debugging, and rolling the app out.
- Hiring a team of developers could be pretty expensive. Yet, it’s not the case if you know how to hire a mobile app developer – distributed teams from Eastern Europe can provide the result that’s just as good for three times less of a wage.