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Hybrib Mobile Apps With Ionic

Hybrid mobile applications with Ionic Framework#


Open source frontend SDK (Standard Development Kit - Tools to develop) to develop hybrid mobile applications with web technologies

It is a web app run within a native web view component which has access to the native API‘s, it is then compiled into the native app. The ionic framework provides lookalike native components.

Ionic is built on top of Apache Cordova, an open source framework allowing developers to access native device functions eg. camera, accelerometer from JS.

Knowledge requirements#

  • HTML5
  • CSS
  • JS
  • Angular

Setting up Environment#

sudo npm install -g cordova
cordova -v
  • Install Ionic

sudo npm install -g ionic ionic -v

  • Install native mobile SDK’s
  • for iOS you need Xcode
    • Install Command line tools: Xcode -> preferences -> Components -> Select ones you want
    • iOS Simulator: sudo npm install -g ios-sim
    • iOS Deploy: sudo npm install -g ios-deploy
    • Provision phone for development - sign up as apple developer ($99 a month fee Madness!!)
  • for android you need Android SDK just need SDK android studio application is not required
    • Add the extracted folder tools and platform-tools to your bash path
    • Check by running android in terminal - should open the Android SDK Manager
    • Minimum requirements:
    • Android SDK Tools
    • Android SDK platform-tools
    • Android SDK build-tools
    • SDK Platform (Any android version preferably the latest stable)

What you need to know about Angular JS?#

Key Knowledge required about Angular JS

Start a New Ionic App#

ionic start <appname> <template>

Note: If app name has a space, rather edit this later leave it as unspaced here

<template>: 3 default tabs, sidemenu, blank


  • bower.json
  • config.xml - configure settings for cordova
  • gulpfile.js - taskrunner
  • hooks/ - execute user scripts during build (Read cordova docs)
  • ionic.project
  • package.json - dependencies
  • platforms/ - native applications are compiled and stored
  • plugins/ - cordova plugins
  • scss/ - style
  • www/ - application html, css and js (Where you will code)

Check the extensive ionic docs

Ionic CLI#

Getting help: ionic help

Local development server#

Preview app in browser

ionic serve --lab

--lab says display as iOS and android

Ionic View#

Free app on play store or app store to test apps

Need an account

Developing the ionic App#

Ionic adds iOS as a platform automatically. To add android use:

ionic platform add android
Style classes#
  • Styles are named by mood, not colour
  • positive, calm, energised, balanced, assertive, dark
Best practices#
  • Ionic will try and keep native as much as possible
Ionic hints#

For code hints and snippets if you are using Atom use Ionic atom plugin


The structure of the default controller

angular.module('starter', ['ionic']) - injects ionic framework and starter module

run() function - executes when the entire framework is ready (document.ready()..)

Ionic Icons#

Check out the Ionic Icons

Base button class is button to use an ionic icon as a button use button button-icon. Also add the ionic icon class.

Extending the App with Firebase#

Can store locally with cookies, local storage or web sql

Google owns firebase - synergy with angular

  • Real-time json database
  • tools to authenticate
  • rapid dev
  • angularfire 3-way data binding

In index.html:

Add the firebase js after ionic.bundle.js asit requires some ionic stuff

<script src=""></script>

In app.js:

Inject firebase


angular.module('starter', ['ionic', 'firebase'])

Create a factory service to point to your firebase url:

.factory('Items', ['$firebaseArray', function($firebaseArray){
  var itemsRef = new Firebase(
  return $firebaseArray(itemsRef);

Hybrid Mobile App Development with Ionic