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ionic app development

October 05, 2023

Ionic app development: Pros and Cons 
byShreya DhingrainTips

Today’s time is filled with revolutionary technologies developed to simplify lives and business operations. Mobile app development is one such game-changer technology. Apps developed for mobile devices facilitate ease in different aspects of human life and simultaneously help organizations/companies achieve their business goals.   

Mobile app development is a process that leverages various powerful tools and technologies to offer utility to users and revenue to businesses. These tools include frameworks, libraries, etc. One such framework is Ionic. It is a platform that helps developers build cross-platform apps in no time.   

In this blog, we will talk about Ionic mobile app development, followed by its pros and cons.   

This would help businesses make the right choice when it comes to choosing the most suitable tools and technologies for their ambitious mobile app development projects.    

What is Ionic Mobile App development?  

The ionic framework was created in 2013 by Drifty Co. and it is not new to mobile app development. This framework allows developers to develop high-quality hybrid mobile applications using web technologies such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.  

Unlike React, Angular, and Vue, the Ionic framework is easy to learn for developers. Developing Ionic apps is based on the following principle – Write code once and run it everywhere. This allows developers to create apps that work across multiple platforms and devices.  

Since this framework has been developed, over 5 million apps have been created using it. Such cross-platform apps look like native apps and offer all the functionalities that are available to native iOS and Android apps.  

Is Ionic good for mobile development?  

Ionic is known to be a stable framework that builds cross-platform apps in no time, using a single code base and ready-to-use components. Furthermore, this platform gives access to native functionalities for every device and mobile OS type.   

The mobile-first approach of this framework, leveraging the power of HTML, CSS, and JS helps in the development of premium quality desktop, Android, iOS, and PWAs.  

Let’s look at some of the benefits that businesses get from Ionic mobile app development.   

Pros of Ionic Mobile app development  

Here are some advantages of Ionic Mobile app development:  

  1. Single codebase for multiple platforms  

With the Ionic framework, you can build cross-platform apps using a single codebase. Such functionality allows the developers to save their time and effort and lets them work on other aspects of the development process.  

If you are familiar with web technologies, you can still create native apps without the need for native developers. Hence, a single codebase feature helps companies to reduce their cost of development along with faster time-to-market applications.  

  1. Offers a rich library of UI components  

With its rich library of building blocks known as components, it allows developers to create interactive applications that give a native-like look and feel.   

Having such ready-to-go components as buttons, tabs, and other navigation elements, developers can focus more on the features of an app rather than creating UI components from scratch.  

  1. Open source  

While other app development frameworks are available for free, the ionic mobile app development framework is open source meaning it’s available for free.  

Moreover, Ionic has a big community wherein developers and programmers are always active on social media and the majority of them used to hang out in Slack channels.  

  1. Wide range of Integration capabilities  

The Ionic framework provides an array of integration capabilities, and you can integrate it with various tools that are mentioned on the Ionic website. Integration with such tools and technologies provides easy access to security, payment systems, and testing tools.  

In addition, developers can add a variety of features and functionalities to mobile apps with no more hassle.  

  1. Faster time to market  

With ready-to-go UI components and a single codebase, developers can create faster apps within a shorter span resulting in faster time to market.   

Despite all the benefits, the Ionic framework has some shortcomings that businesses need to consider before beginning the development process.   

Cons of Ionic Mobile app development  

The following are some disadvantages of Ionic mobile app development:   

  1. Performance issues  

Ionic framework develops hybrid apps, which means that all other platforms use a single codebase. As a result, the performance is slow and compromised in comparison to native apps.   

Furthermore, Ionic lacks suitability for the performance of heavy apps. Since it renders its graphic elements using a browser, the images shown on the screen are delayed. This happens due to the multiple steps involved in the process. The more input added in between, the longer the loading time, apart from the Cordova callbacks and CSS animations loading.  

  1. Plugin-related issues  

Apps developed with Ionic access native functionalities using the ready-made plugins offered at the time of development. With these plugins, finding a package to add the required functionality is easier. However, not every time could a developer find a suitable plugin or module. In such cases, a customized plugin must be developed for specific features.   

The issue that arises here is that the capabilities of Ionic are limited in this respect. It cannot implement native plugins without transforming them into JavaScript. It allows developers to go fully web, but the use of even a bit of native code is not possible.  

  1. No hot reloading  

The feature of hot reloading allows developers to add and apply changes without having to reload the entire app. The absence of this feature in the Ionic framework means that whenever changes are applied, the entire app restarts through a live reloading feature. This may slow down the entire development process, causing further delays in the project, and is not convenient to developers.   

  1. Not for every app  

Ionic mobile app development is not suitable for the development of some types of apps such as gaming apps. The apps that offer the 3D gaming experience cannot be developed using this framework. Since only CSS is used, the graphic quality and performance are often sub-standard.   

And when it comes to banking or finance-related apps or information-carrying apps, security is an issue. There is no built-in code uglification provided by Ionic CLI since its 4th version. Now, what is that? Code uglification is a common technique that raises code difficulty, making it difficult to read by hackers. Using Angular CLI or older versions of Ionic also does not make the situation any better. Developers need to uglify the code on their own in that case too.  

Conclusion  

Thus, like every other framework, Ionic has its pros and cons. Every business should weigh them and make a decision, accordingly, based on its needs.   

Ionic is the most suitable framework for developing creative hybrid apps with great UIs in less time. With limited features and drawbacks, it is not so suitable to create high-functioning native apps. Businesses should bear this in mind while making a choice.   

Despite all the shortcomings, Ionic is a powerful technology that deserves a fair chance to prove itself.   

Editor Notes: If you want to learn more about Cross-platform web/app development and Ionic framework, we have a full Podcast Episode dedicated on it with founder of Ionic Academy –  Simon Grimm.  

You can tune it here: https://podcasters.spotify.com/pod/show/developer-nation-br/episodes/Ep-05-ft-Simon-Grimm–from-DevDactic-and-galaxies-dev-e23s9jp/a-a9qk3gh 


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