Before, building hybrid apps was in a routine, just not because it was difficult to build web pages, but because it was difficult to build full-cycle web applications. With coming of AngularJS, it changed. As a result, Angular became the core innovation through which building hybrid apps became possible. The enthusiastic developers at Drifty were some of the first to realize this and thereafter created the Ionic Framework to link the gap between AngularJS web apps and hybrid mobile apps. An year after launching, the Ionic Framework has quickly grown in popularity amongst developers and their main Github repo has over 13K stars as of this writing.
What is Ionic Framework?
Ionic is an open source framework that is used for developing mobile applications with native look and feel. It provides tools and services for building mobile UI. Ionic framework requires native wrapper to be able to run on mobile devices.
Ionic is front end HTML framework built on top of Cordova and AngularJS. According to official document, the definition of the Ionic Framework is given below:
Ionic is an HTML5 mobile app development framework focused at building hybrid mobile apps. Ionic is the front-end UI framework that handles all the look and feel and UI communications your app needs in order to be good looking. It is a kind of like "Bootstrap for Native," but with support for a wide range of common native mobile elements, sleek animations, and beautiful designs.
Ionic provides the same functionality for AngularJS that Android UI elements provides for Java, and that iOS UIKit provides for Obj-C/Swift. Core mobile UI prototypes are available to developers out of the box, which means that developers can target on making apps, instead of common user interface components. Some examples of these include list views, action sheets, tab bars, stateful navigation, and so much more.
Ionic Framework Features
Following are the most important features of Ionic framework:
Ionic uses AngularJS MVC architecture for making single page highly rich applications, optimized to run on mobile devices.
These components offer almost all elements that a mobile application needs, with native look and feel. Components default styling can be easily overruled to apply your own design.
This is NodeJS utility is equipped with commands to start, build, run and emulate Ionic applications.
This is very useful platform to upload, share and test your application on native mobile devices.
Ionic is released under MIT license.
Ionic Framework Advantages
a)Ionic is used for hybrid app development. This means that you can build only one application for IOS, Android, Windows Phone and Firefox OS and can save your lots of working time and money.
b)Ionic provides useful pre-generated app setup with simple layouts so, starting your app is very easy.
c)The apps built through it are highly maintainable and easy to update.
d)Ionic developers have a proper communication setup with Google developers to improve the functionalities of the framework.
Ionic Framework Limitations
•Due to hybrid working of the app, the testing can be tricky for a finished app because browser always can’t give you right information about every phone’s environment.
•It can be hard to combine different native functionalities. You may run into plugin compatibility issues, which can leads to build errors that are hard to debug.
•Hybrid apps tend to be slower than the native ones, but since the mobile technologies are improving fast this will not be an issue in the near future.