This year we made the switch from developing apps in native iOS to developing with Ionic, a very slick hybrid development framework. There’s been a growing buzz around hybrid development recently, and for good reason!
Ionic is a platform that allows you to develop hybrid mobile apps (that can be used with iOS or Android). It uses AngularJS, a front-end web framework, HTML5, and Cordova. With these, you can write maintainable and universal code with the added bonus of accessing the device’s native functions like the camera and accelerometers.
Switching to Ionic was a no-brainer for us. No more developing two separate, different apps for Android and iOS means more time to make one really great app that works on both platforms. The folks who built Ionic really know their stuff. Their team consists of developers and designers, so Ionic looks and feels fabulous. The community around Ionic is vibrant and if you’re missing a component for an app you’re working on, it’s likely someone in the Ionic community has built it already!
The world before hybrid frameworks was a world full of folks only developing for iOS, or having to spend a lot in order to have apps on both mobile platforms. This meant either missing out on a huge chunk of the mobile app market, or paying two developers to make different versions of the same app! You had multiple code bases, multiple developers to maintain them, and needed all those developers to work on both app versions before pushing an update.
With Ionic, one developer can manage both the Android and iOS versions of an app. We think this is awesome, as it allows us to develop new apps (that look fantastic) at record speeds. We’re at a point where platform-specific development is just not feasible for new companies, and Ionic enables companies to compete in the market with significantly lower startup costs. The future is here, and we're loving it.