My name is Barbara Ondrisek and today I&apos;m going to give a talk about my experience and best practices with Ionic.
I’ve been working as a freelancer for more than 15 years for different companies mostly on Java web projects, but I also like mobile development a lot – especially Android.
I have a strong Java background – I love Java, but I always wanted to keep in touch with the frontend, respectively the frondendS, since apps are also “frontends” of a service.
My first “commercial” job was 2001 for Siemens, working on a prototype for a chat client running with J2ME. Since this job in 2001 I fell in love mobile development and I was even more happy after Android came to market 2008 because Android apps are developed in Java.
Although I’m a Java developer I was working lately for the Erste Bank on the new version of their netbanking system George and my group there was developing a sub-project in AngularJS.
Over time I developed a couple of Android apps, some commercial as a freelancer, others just for fun and suddenly one of my own apps gained more attention than I expected: The LIKE A HIPSTER app.
LIKE A HIPSTER is a fun project I started with a friend and my cat and it became more popular over the first month, more than we expected.
Due to severe group pressure and the success of the Android app I had to think about developing an iOS app too. I love to play around with new technologies so I thought – how hard can that possibly be to write an iOS version?
So, what about all the other mobile operating systems?
Mobile development is always a fight
because there are many different operating systems and devices. And as you might know there is not only the war between the companies themselfes but also one between the customers which phone is better, especially between Android and iOS.
When you want to implement the mobile version of your service you have to consider to implement a super-responsive, mobile optimized website too or – what most companies choose - a couple of different native apps for the various OSs...
...but in the end you might end up with many, many different implementations of the same stuff, which is pretty hard to maintain.
So you might develop the same feature in three different teams: the web-team, the Android-team and the iOS-team. Maybe additionally also a Windows-team or a Blackberry-team etc. with a bunch of different code-bases.
The cause for this “island-building” is that most developers specialize on a certain language and not many are truly &quot;multilingual&quot;, let alone multi-OS.
So the solution is...
Ionic is the “beautiful”, free and open source front-end SDK for developing hybrid mobile apps with web technologies for the latest mobile devices.
It utilizes the “mobile first” approach and offers a library of mobile-optimized HTML5, CSS and JS components, gestures, and tools for building highly interactive native apps.
It uses one code base that is written in...
In jQuery-apps the DOM often represents the model, but with Angular the business logic is decoupled from DOM manipulation, which leads to minimal DOM manipulation.
Angular calls its principle &quot;Model-View-Whatever&quot;:
You have a single page app divided into modules such as the login-component, a main screen, sub-screens, the admin-component. Simply speaking: An Angular app is a collection of modules.
Angular also offers basic stuff such as: Data binding, scope separation, dependency injection, validators, filters and also Angular-specific stuff like providers, directives, controllers, modules, factories, services.
To make things a little bit more interesting we now can add some native stuff; and this is accomplished with Cordova.
Apache Cordova is a tool to access native device APIs and functions, that also supports offline scenarios. More commonly known is Adobe PhoneGap as distribution of Cordova.
Core Plugin APIs are: Accelerometer, BatteryStatus, Camera, Capture, Compass, Connection, Contacts, Device-Functions, Events, File-handling and File Transfer, Geolocation, Globalization, InAppBrowser, Media, Notification, Splashscreen, StatusBar, Storage, Vibration.
...so all an app-developer needs and that ...
By building only one single AngularJS web app with Cordova extensions you now can deliver up to 8 different native mobile apps, namely:
Android, iOS, wp8 and windows (8.1, 10, phone 8.1) / blackberry10,
Ubuntu (Cordova), firefoxOS, LG webOS, amazon-fireOS
and last but not least the browser app itself!
Despite HTML5-functions and the frameworks AngularJS and Cordova, which merge perfectly together, Ionic also offers a platform for integrating services like push notifications and analytics, out of the box SASS-support and great build tools.
It is actively developed and continued and there is a huge community around it. It also has a View App to quickly check implementations, live-reload (even on your device) and logging integrated during development.
With Ionic you can really fast prototype! And the motto is: Develop once, deploy everywhere.
Ionic comes with a powerful command line interface including build tool:
You can use just one command to create, build, test, and deploy your Ionic apps onto any platform.
I’ll show you a simple example:
1. The first command is to install ionic via NPM. From there on you only use the ionic-CLI
2. 2nd command generates a project: You can create an Ionic project using one of ready-made app templates. If generates you an Angular webproject and you can just simply start expanding and altering it!
3. the third opens the webbrowser in the “Ionic Lab” displaying an Android and an iOS view
1. next you just add the platforms you want
2. now you can use Ionic to build your app
3. ..also to emulate the target environment
4. ..or even to run it on your device in debug mode
The two last ones can be run with the optional livereload which is a pretty cool option
5. ionic resources: generates all the various (iOS) icons and splashscreens out of two png-files in all the needed resolutions – which is really pretty handy
Native implementations only make sense with use of device features. You can access these with adding Cordova plugins!
First install the ngCordova service
Next you can add all the different cordova plugins:
Some to access hardware specific features of the phones, some to access app specific stuff and then there is also the deploy plugin.
This is a screenshot of the chrome browser I use when developing the LIKE A HIPSTER app.
Instantly you see the differences between the iOS version and the Android version, since Ionic offers adapted CSS files per native implementation.
And once you deploy a release it might look like...
Here you see the two variants:
iOS and web
As you see the iOS version has an adapted status bar color.
And the web version looks a little bit different. Here you see the responsive website. Obviously in the web-version all the cordova plugins such as vibration, acceleration etc. are not working.
My personal best practices are:
- use WebStorm as IDE instead of text editors for Mobile Development. It includes build tools, highlighting, “debugging” etc
- livereload in browser is awesome
- release early, release often!
- embrace your Beta-testers, they do help a lot
First of all:
-iOS developent sucks! It sucks really hard! See my rant “12 things I hate about iOS development” on electrobabe.at
IOS development feels like being squeezed into something super unintuitive and complicated
- not very surprising: not everything is working perfectly on native apps, ios different from android or web etc
- windows development sucks as well
Slides on Slideshare