Hybrid Mobile Development with Ionic Framework

We're right in the middle of a transition of platforms - in parts. We're moving from Desktop to Mobile Devices. Both highly powered by Web 2.0, and slightly different users expectations. On Desktop, people were happy with websites, it's on demand, usually we have a decent connection and we rarely miss a dedicated application for most of the things we do there. But when it comes to Mobile, well, we often have limited connection, and most of time we need quick information - no time for typing addresses, page loads. We need an app for (some of) that!

Coming from the not-so-old web 2.0, many of developers are way more familiarized with Web Development, and therefore, a lot of companies has mostly web-developers on their development team. Training/Studying a new platform can be done, but with a lot of platforms available (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, etc), having to develop everything almost from scratch for each of those... Well, moving to App development can be tricky.

Meet Hybrid Development

Pack a webpage into an Native App web-view. That's it. Ok, not that simple, but basically. You stick pretty much with web technologies (HTML, CSS, Javascript) and export it to Native Language Apps, that will usually pack the pages inside an Native App and offer ways to access device resources through a framework layer. 

Native vs Hybrid

Performance. That's the main reason most of debates says going native is the best option if you prior for User Experience. Most of the Hybrid Mobile Development frameworks stomps on that problem, having a webpage embed on a App doesn't always feels buttery smooth as a native app. But as technology evolved last years, and with the need for an easier way to jump into mobile development, many Hybrid platforms has been emerging and some are focusing mostly on the User experience in order to provide an as-close-as-possible to a native app. They may not be yet the fit-all solution for Mobile App development, but it's clear that for a great part of the applications the barrier between Native vs Hybrid has been taken down. 

Ionic Framework

Between all of the current options for Hybrid Development, Ionic has been the one putting all web top new technologies into a neat, easy to jump in, framework. It uses the Apache Cordova for communicating with Native Resources and Packing the Apps into native code, Angular(JS now, but with a Beta version aiming Angular 2 with Typescript) for all views and controllers management, and a bunch of pre-designed components for your app, which includes toolbars, menus, buttons, all designed to the look and feel of a Mobile Application, and if you need some customization, you can use SASS for customizing/overwriting the standard CSS.

Where to Start?

We recommend starting with the Ionic open source framework (http://ionicframework.com), with all documentation and tutorials needed to start development your Hybrids apps, even though it uses AngularJS, it's not hard to get the Angular concepts as you go through the examples Apps. If you like it and want to do some more serious work, take a look in all tool offered on the Ionic Platform (http://ionic.io). One of the great things with the Ionic Platform is being able to deploy your app in iOs native code without having a MacOS machine. 

Other Options: 




 

 

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