Ionic 2 review - a real world experience

Stepan Hilbert
August 03, 2016
Ionic 2 review - a real world experience

We have just helped our client deliver a small project built on top of Ionic 2 beta. It is currently deployed as a web app and used internally on a mix of Android and Apple devices.

Ionic 1 is the most popular framework for building native-looking apps for iOS and Android with web technologies. How does it's next iteration feel? Very solid. With Angular 2 and TypeScript fully baked in, Ionic 2 will be a great fit for bigger teams.

Angular 2 has a well thought-out syntax and feels simpler, yet more powerful than Angular 1. That saying, it still feels a bit more complex than necessary - but a step forward in every way.

TypeScript helps enforce coding standards and coders coming over from Java, C# or Apache Flex will love it. It seems to deliver only positives. ES6 features? All there. Code hints in good IDE? Just like in Java. Don't want to use types? You don't have to. Worried about compilation? It's very fast and debugging (in Chrome) works perfectly.

Finally, Ionic 2 components work really well. Documentation sometimes lack, but dig into the source and for example is a pleasure to use. Any reasonable date format is accepted and all that matters is configurable.

But, there are reasons, why both projects are still in beta. Let's see what we encountered:

Ionic 2 beta 10 came out with a dramatically changed syntax. It's for the better, but shows that the oven is still very hot.

Browser history and deep linking is not supported - Ionic team appears to be waiting for Angular 2 Router which is not yet ready.

Angular 2 Date and Currency pipes rely on Intl support - making them work in Safari requires a polyfill which comes with it's own issues - we decided that falling back to MomentJS is currently the safest bet.

So, should you consider jumping onboard Ionic 2 now?

Absolutely. Think about what your most complex user interface should look like and see if Ionic has an out-of-the-box solution for you. You might be in luck. Feel free to contact us for more advice on Ionic 2 and web development in general.