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Ionic & Firebase

Ionic & Firebase

What is Ionic?

Ionic is a platform designed from the ground up to build Hybrid apps. You may be wondering what’s a hybrid app. To put it in simple terms, a hybrid app is an app written in HTML5, JavaScript and other web technologies that is incorporated into a Web View of a native app. Plugins are incorporated into the app to allow the JavaScript code access native capabilities like location and contacts. The advantage of hybrid apps is that they can be written once and built for different platforms keeping one codebase. This is a huge advantage due to management of code and cost of development.

A few years ago, hybrid apps were frowned upon, but since then a lot has changed. The biggest issue with apps written in JavaScript was that they first need to be rendered by a web view, therefore decreasing their performance. Thanks to Moore’s Law, mobile device performance has grown over the last few years. There’s no significant difference in performance for a native app vs a hybrid app (unless you’re doing complex processes).

Another flaw was the non-native look and feel of the UI of HTML5 apps. Luckily Ionic stepped up and created a framework that feels like it was built for the target platform. Meaning an iOS app will keep to it’s UI guidelines, the same goes for Android apps keeping to Material design. This is how I fell in-love with Ionic because of the seamless building of one code-base into multiple platform apps and getting the look and feel of native apps.

Hybrid vs Native

To be honest with you, I was one of the “Native is the way” kind of people. I’ve even gotten into several heated arguments with web developers about the future of native apps and hybrid apps. Even though it’s hard to admit, I was wrong – hybrid apps have really, grown in the last 2 years. According to the 2017 Developer Survey, 20% of developers were surveyed to be developing using native tools 2 years ago. Fast forward to now and only 2.7% are using native tools. I’ve started using Ionic to build apps back in 2016 and I haven’t built a native app since than (8 apps later, and counting).

What about Firebase?

Let’s now talk about Firebase. Firebase is a Google owned platform for managing your backend infrastructure incorporating features like Analytics, Realtime Database, Authentication, Messaging, and Crash Reporting. In short, you don’t have to write your own API to manage resources and server logic. I’m talking about things like registering users, login by Facebook and even push notifications.

Conclusion

With these two tools, I believe anyone can be successful in creating rich, responsive multi-platform apps.

In my business as a Mobile Dev Consultant, I have used both Ionic and Firebase as my arsenal to build apps in record time. Have a look at some of the apps I’ve developed here. On this site, I will be teaching you how to use Ionic 4 & Firebase to build your dream app.

Tutorials


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