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Is it smart for a startup to build a Hybrid App?

Hybrid App? So you are trying to build your new startup idea, it’s that mobile app that lets you know when your wife is mad at you and pre-orders flowers + chocolates for you (I actually would love something like that :stuck_out_tongue: )

Now it’s time for you to make a decision, are you going to build it first for iOS, android or build it for both platforms?

It’s expensive to build a native app for both platforms when all you got is an idea, so I want to talk to you about a set of tools that can help you build your app for both platforms capitalizing in the rising dominance of mobile devices without taking the time or budget building multiple native apps with overlapping functionality.

They are Ionic Framework and Firebase , they both serve different parts of the stack, but they integrate amazingly well together, so well actually that I once asked on twitter if someone was using both and I got responses from both Ionic’s founder & Firebase founder:

@javebratt @IonicFramework @Firebase it’s like peas and carrots!

— Max Lynch (@maxlynch) March 10, 2016

@javebratt @maxlynch @Ionicframework bangers and mash!

— James Tamplin (@JamesTamplin) March 10, 2016

Ionic Framework

I’ll talk to you a little bit about them, first, let’s talk about Ionic .

Ionic is the beautiful, open source, front-end SDK for developing hybrid mobile apps with web technologies.

But it does way more than that, Ionic actually helps you build apps faster and easier (in most cases) than with native technologies, I’ll cover a few of the benefits:

  • Beautifully designed , I’m a data person, I come from a back-end development background, so I have zero design experience, Ionic gives me all the CSS classes I need to make my apps look beautiful, with one major benefit, they follow design guidelines from the platform you’re running, so it looks different if you run your app in an android phone or an iPhone.

Is it smart for a startup to build a Hybrid App?

  • Ionic Native , previously known as ngCordova, is a curated set of wrappers for Cordova plugins that make adding any native functionality you need to your Ionic, Cordova, or Web View mobile app easy.
  • The Ionic Platform , so Ionic Framework is free and open source, but the company needs to make money someway, they found the best way to do it, building services around the Ionic Framework, they currently offer:
    • Live Deploys , where you update your apps through the platform and avoid re-submitting your app to the App Store, where it could take a week or more to approve your update.
    • User Auth , easily authenticate users with email/password, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and more.
    • Push Notifications , you can send targeted notifications. Send dynamic push notifications using a simple dashboard and API. No custom servers or learning different platform protocols.
    • Native build , don’t have a Mac? No problem, you upload your code to Ionic Platform and they package the native app for you!
    • Ionic Creator , a drag-&-drop prototyping tool for creating great apps using Ionic, with just a click of the mouse.
  • An amazing team! I’m no expert using Ionic Framework, I’ve run into some trouble like everyone does when learning something, but I’ve gotten amazing help from the community and from people inside the Ionic Team, and that’s one of the most important things when you’re choosing your tech stack!

As you see I have lots of nice things to say about Ionic, that’s because my experience has been truly awesome , I’ve developed 4 apps for clients, for internal use in their companies and I’ve also been able to release 2 of my own apps to Google Play , all that less than 5 months Is it smart for a startup to build a Hybrid App?

Firebase

Now the other tool I wanted to talk to you about was Firebase , they call themselves “ A powerful platform for your mobile or web application ” and indeed they are.

Firebase acts as a real-time database for your app, so you don’t have to worry about launching your own servers, but they offer more then just a database.

  • Firebase data is real-time , meaning that if several users are connected to the app and one of them updates the data, every single connected user will see that data updating in real time without needing to refresh their browsers or close/open their apps.
  • It offers user authentication , it handles every part of the auth process for you, they handle the email, password, encryption part, they offer social auth with google, Facebook, Github, etc, and it’s really easy to use.
  • It offers hosting , you get Firebase Hosting with your apps, where you can deploy to their hosting your static files, and the will serve them over a CDN for you! Also, everything is SSL by default, so your site will have https without you doing anything
  • AngularFire! They have a library called angular-fire that’s built to work with AngularJS & Ionic Framework, it make’s it so easy to build stuff with Ionic, for example:
peopleCreate: function(name, email){     var ref = new Firebase("https://your-firebase-url.firebaseio.com/teams");     var peopleList = $firebaseArray(ref);       return peopleList.$add({         name: name,         email: email,     }); } 

That code inside the function creates a new person to save in the database and adds it to a people array called peopleList , it also syncs it with the DB so every single thing that changes is pushed to the clients in real time. So easy!

Next time you think about building that new app give this 2 a chance, I’m confident that you won’t regret it!

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