Development of mobile applications has seen a massive boost since the inception of smartphones. Today, every one of us uses smartphones for too many reasons, willingly or unwillingly. To cope up with growing demands, mobile apps are continually evolving to provide awe-inspiring customer satisfaction.
You can develop a mobile app in one of the two ways. The traditional approach is to develop every app individually for different platforms using technologies and languages native to the system you're designing for. So, you need to use Google's Android Studio and the Java programming language when developing an android app whereas you'd be using the Apple Developer Program and the Swift language for developing an app for iOS.
The second approach is to develop hybrid apps. These are mobile apps that you develop only once but works the same on every platform. The primary principle for developing such apps is to use web technologies that are universal to every platform.
Ionic is one of the most popular frameworks for developing hybrid mobile apps, aimed at reducing development time and increasing productivity. It was created by Max Lynch, Ben Sperry and Adam Bradley, three core developers of Difty Co. They were trying to develop a drag-and-drop interface building tool using jQuery and Bootstrap before curating their ideas together for building Ionic. Max is the current CEO of the framework's parent company Ionic. You can follow him on twitter.
We know you're not going to use yet another framework just because we say so. However, with its top-notch performance metrics prepackaged with convenient components, you'll be loving the framework as soon as you start developing with it.
Ionic is built on top of the Angular framework from Google and aims at reducing manual labor for you. It can save you a significant percentage of your overall development time and help you get your product out in the market very fast.
The open source nature of the framework ensures you'll always be able to find and use third-party solutions when developing most of the common functionalities for your app. You can even extend the functionality of those pre-existing solutions pretty quickly. Here is the list of various advantages and disadvantages of using the Ionic framework to build the robust hybrid apps:
Use Cases: When to Use
Not every approach is suitable for every app. In this section, we'll try to outline the best use cases of Ionic framework for app development. You can develop your mobile app with Ionic if you fall under any of the below-mentioned cases.
Hybrid apps primarily gained its traction because of their low development time paired with their consumption of less resource. Often when you want to launch your new business idea into production, you'll need a great app to ensure your success.
Ionic apps are very fast to develop and can go in production within weeks, depending on the urgency. This is why most starting entrepreneurs choose to side with hybrid apps.
Developing Ionic apps can open up new opportunities for both seasoned and starting developers alike. As the pioneer hybrid mobile app platform, Ionic apps consist of the majority of hybrid apps you can find on most app stores.
Just in 2015 alone, more than 1.3 million Ionic apps have made their ways into these app stores. So, choosing to develop Ionic apps can have a positive impact on your development career.
Often we receive numerous emails from our readers asking us advice on how they can build a new app for them real cheap. Although we always suggest you to opt-in for industry-grade apps, which are not-so-cheap, we know many of you will side with cheaper alternatives for specific reasons.
Thanks to Ionic, now you're able to get real world apps at a much competitive budget. As they require less resource, developers, and time, Ionic apps are considerably cheaper than their native counterparts.
Use Cases: When to go Native
Although impressive if judged by their approach, Ionic framework, like every other framework have their overheads and drawbacks in developing apps. Continue reading below to find out when not to use Ionic apps, but to side with native apps.
Well, let us all face it, despite how convenient they are, hybrid apps can never live up to the performance standards of native apps.
As native apps are created by using native technologies, they are perfectly compatible with the host system's architecture and components, thus making sure the performance always remains above the bar. If performance is something you don't want to sacrifice, develop your apps with native technologies.
Despite their excessive effort, Ionic apps are not exactly suitable for creating an app or game that need very complex navigational and routing logic.
As web technologies used by hybrid apps can not control these core system components as fluently as native apps, you should drop them for native applications.
Ionic framework is the de-facto platform to build hybrid mobile applications. And as the demand for fast and low-cost mobile apps continue to rise, they're surely going to retain their position. However, you should consider the requirements and use cases of your app first before choosing any technology over the other.