If you’ve heard of hybrid apps, chances are that you’ve heard of Ionic as well. Touted as one of the best frameworks available for hybrid app development, Ionic comes with a lot of great features that contributed to its recent wide-scale adoption by app developers. The open source SDK features a library of UI components that can be used to develop blocks for an app.

Ionic 4

Two years have passed since the release of Ionic 3. And with a few more enhancements in functionality, documentation, build-time, multi-framework compatibility and a few other aspects, Ionic 4 was launched earlier this year. Ionic 4 seems to be the result of the team’s goal to make Ionic a robust platform for developing immersive progressive web applications (PWAs).

This is probably why the new version of the popular framework comes with an array of interesting tools, technologies, and concepts including but not limited to Ionic PWA Toolkit, Capacitor, Stencil etc. Ionic 4 allows the use of Ionic elements with React, Angular, Vue etc. which makes the latest iteration quite impressive compared to many of its tackier counterparts.

New features in Ionic 4

Ionic 4 is designed to be much easier to handle compared to the previous iterations of the SDK; developers won’t have to put much effort when it comes to rebuilding or retracing their apps. The upgrade added a number of features including Stencil and internal code refactoring to Ionic.

Let’s delve into the new features and enhancements of Ionic 4 in detail.

Web components

The addition of web components in Ionic 4 is probably one of the biggest enhancements of this version. These components are basically web platform APIs that enable creation of reusable and encapsulated custom HTML tags that can be used in both websites and web applications. Widgets and other elements built on these web components will work across popular modern web browsers and can also be used with any HTML-friendly JavaScript library or framework.

The browsers will essentially do the heavy lifting while also improving site/app launch and loading speeds. This feature would be useful when building high-performance PWAs.

Stencil

Another great addition from the Ionic team, Stencil is a framework-agnostic web component compiler designed to work with any JavaScript framework and even without a framework. Stencil also employs a few APIs including Virtual DOM, TypeScript, JSX and Async Rendering. Again, this is another feature ideal for PWAs.

Capacitor

It’s both a code execution layer and a cross-platform API added to Ionic 4 to make it easier to call native SDKs from web code to write custom Native plugins. Capacitor inherently supports Progressive Web Apps enabling developers to write one app and deploy it not only on app stores but also on the mobile web.

Lazy Loading

Lazy Loading is a great enhancement that can hold back initialization of components until it is needed; thus boosting app performance and speeding up the app load time by splitting it into a number of bundles which can be loaded on demand.

Routing

Ionic 4 also features some routing improvements. Developers are now required to map components to routes instead of pushing them into ion-nav directly. With a single ion-router component in the codebase, it can control all interactions with the browser history. Additionally, it utilizes an event system that aggregates updates making it easier to support native PWA development. Meanwhile, the ion-router outlet and the Angular router can assist developers with Angular projects.

Improved customizability

Customization with Ionic 4 is better than ever due to the improved CSS Custom Properties also known as CSS Variables. With the new CSS Custom Properties, developers can expose a ‘public theming API’ that provides structure. Subsequently, this feature also makes modifications easier.

Optimized to be 1.5x Faster

Having evaluated over 100 Ionic components reportedly, the Ionic team performed some major performance improvements on the latest version of the SDK. Additionally, they improved the UI and theme customizability. Furthermore, Ionic 4 includes a comprehensive overhaul on material design and iOS to match the latest standards. The components have been optimized for load and render performance so much that each component scored a 100/100 on Google’s Lighthouse benchmark tool.

An array of new components

Ionic 4 features a number of new components serving a variety of purposes that would help an app outshine its competitors.

Here are a few worth mentioning:

  • ion-backdrop
  • ion-picker
  • ion-ripple-effect
  • ion-skeleton-text
  • ion-select-popover
  • ion-searchbar
  • Ionicons 4.0

Conclusion

Some solid changes along with a number of notable improvements emphasize the Ionic team’s passion when it comes to transcending the capabilities of the beloved framework. It’s been just a few months since the release of Ionic 4 but the impact of the latest version is still apparent as a number of organizations including ours step forward to invest more on Ionic.

If your organization wants to give Ionic a shot in developing a high performance PWA, we can help you out with our expertise. Drop us a message to get started.


In diverse and dynamic markets, businesses would be counting on apps designed for quicker time-to-market to make their dreams come true. If a business application takes too long to build and deploy, it won’t be able to thrive in a market as the competition would already be having a firm grip there. All that effort and the app won’t even gain traction.

Development speed and quicker time-to-market are certainly two noteworthy factors that influence the success of an app. That’s why business owners are keen on getting their apps online in a market before competitors launch theirs. This demand for speed often comes at a price – quality. When quality is sidelined for faster market penetration, the app is more likely to fail in meeting target audience’s needs and expectations.

The solution, then, is to build android apps faster without compromising on quality.

But how?

Here are a few tips to speed up Android app development without a drop in quality.

Use low-fidelity wireframes

Wireframing is essential for proper mobile application development. But the development team often tend to go for detailed wireframes thinking that it’d make development easier for the entire team. The catch is that such high-fidelity wireframes take a considerable amount of time that developers would regret losing during deadline-impending scenarios.

A better approach is to use low-fidelity wireframes that are not that detailed but still gives a clear picture of the app to the design and development team.

Go Agile

With an Agile development methodology, the development team will be able to break up the app development model into smaller cycles via “sprints”. Each sprint includes specified development steps that essentially improves the product of the preceding sprint. The Agile approach ensures quality and reduces redundancy and production costs while delivering the app on time.

Launch MVP

Launching a minimum viable product (MVP) is a common practice, especially in Android app development. The MVP is basically a minor version of an app with just the basic features and functionalities. It’s developed primarily for faster access to market. Once the MVP is launched, the developers can collect user data and feedback to understand what’s working, what’s lacking, and what’s not working.

The measure of the MVP’s performance in the market gives the developers an idea of what exactly users expect from an app in terms of performance and value. The developers can then add to the list of features and/or improve existing features through periodic updates. Eventually the end product will be a full-fledged, risk-free and bug-free app that delivers on its promises and meets the expectations of the developers’ clients.

Prioritize core activities

In an app development process, there would be a number of tasks involved including app engagement enhancement, app performance analytics, app monetization strategizing etc. But these tasks cannot be categorized as core activities. Certain tasks are better taken care of with pre-designed applets that can be integrated into an app. If they can launch an MVP, they can work on off-core tasks on the go after gathering user data with the MVP.

Consider hybrid app development

It’s known that hybrid app development is considerably faster than native app development. However, hybrid apps don’t perform as well as native apps. Nevertheless, many businesses go for hybrid app development (despite a few drawbacks) to release the app early into the market. A more fluid and robust native app can follow once the hybrid app penetrates and dominates the market.

Automate and speed up testing

Mobile apps are powerful mediums that enable businesses to get in touch with and build relationships with their customers on their personal mobile devices. So the role of quality assurance cannot be underestimated. But testing the app for bugs and flaws, and ensuring its quality can also delay the app’s entry into the market. In this case, test automation can result in a fully secure, quality-assured app in a fraction of the time that manual testing can take.

Use the latest tools & technologies

Android app development involves several processes including designing, prototyping, coding, testing etc. All these processes require the use of a number of different tools that serve different purposes. To hasten app development and gain a competitive edge as an app developer, organizations will have to rely on the latest tools and development practices. Using outdated tools and technologies are more likely to slow down development.

Outsource when necessary

Not all organizations consider in-house app development a healthy investment. Many enterprises with vast resources are willing to invest in an in-house team to tailor an app that will meet the enterprise’s needs in a competitive market. However, not all enterprises can go for this approach.

The in-house team will need to be competent and experienced to craft mobile apps that can stand the test of time in a diverse and dynamic market. This is one of the reasons why many firms prefer outsourcing. Even with an in-house development team, enterprises can hasten app development by outsourcing certain areas of development to capable and punctual professionals. This way, the in-house team will be able to fully focus on core areas of the app while the outsourcing partner handles other modules.

A deterrent to this approach is the common misconception that outsourcing includes hidden costs. On the contrary, there are many development organizations an enterprise can outsource to that provide flexible engagement and development models that fit within the enterprise’s budget. Outsourcing can in fact be cheaper and more beneficial than they think provided they hand the task over to a reliable company.

Conclusion

The bottom-line is that Android app development is not as easy as it’s considered to be, despite the availability of tools and the presence of new-gen technologies and frameworks. There is more than one way for enterprises to hasten Android app development however, but not all those approaches can guarantee that there wouldn’t be a drop in quality.

The tips mentioned in this blog are practiced by leading developers in the Android app development industry for faster development and deployment of apps. AOT built our service reputation by developing and delivering products on time assuring faster time-to-market should our clients demand it. If you have more queries regarding how we have always been consistent when it comes to timely delivery, feel free to speak to our experts.


Though having a mobile app is very important for modern businesses, the sheer number of options presents them with a tough challenge when it comes to choosing the right development approach. Many developers make it easier for clients to understand by giving them 3 options – web, native, and hybrid apps.

This blog will be focusing on native mobile app development and why they are important for many businesses across multiple industries today.

Native mobile app development

A native mobile app is basically an app built to run specifically on one mobile operating system. Users download them from the platform-specific app store. The programming languages used for development will also be different; Objective-C or Swift for iOS apps and Java or Kotlin for Android apps.

Both Apple and Google can arm developers with their own unique development tools, SDKs, and other app elements. The only roadblock for businesses comes when they are required to choose the platform for their mobile app.

To choose the right platform, they need to be able to communicate.

Regardless, the common factor here is that enterprises tend to invest more in a native app than hybrid app, though the latter is slowly and consistently gaining momentum.

Why native?

For its many benefits, of course.

The best performance – Because the app is designed for a specific platform, it’d be highly optimized to demonstrate impressively high performance. Native apps are generally faster and more responsive compared to the alternatives. Basically, the app performs the way its platform wants it to, and while leveraging the device’s processing power. This means faster navigation and load speed, and overall a higher efficiency.

Smoother & secure – Native apps offer a richer, smoother experience to users as it leverages the mobile device’s features and hardware capabilities efficiently than any other types of apps. The superior UX of native apps are attributed to the apps sticking to platform-specific UI standards and effectively utilizing device features like camera, GPS, sensors, mic etc.

They are made accessible by their respective app stores after being tested and approved by the app store team, which is a testament to the apps’ reliability and security.

Fewer bugs during development – Hybrid app development relies on updated cross-platform development tools, and the developers will have to wait for the tool to support new features when a new version of the OS comes out. Native apps have fewer dependencies, and the developers will have faster access to official SDKs with the most recent features from platform providers. So there would be fewer bugs during development, leading to faster release of a fully functional app.

Conclusion

Native apps come with a lot of benefits that businesses would want from their investments. However, the initial cost of developing one is typically higher compared to hybrid app development. Nevertheless, the business would end up raking in impressive ROI in the long run while the business’ customers would be delighted with the personalized user experience and performance of native apps.

So conclusively, higher conversion rates and increased customer loyalty.

If you are thinking about getting a native app for your business, talk to the experts at AoT. We can help make the platform choice easier, and deliver one solid native app that’s going to make all the difference for your business.

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Back in the day, a business had to rely on TV or radio advertisements to let potential customers know that there is a store and the store provides a particular set of services or range of products. The potential customers, if they see or hear about the ads, would then may be seek the store to purchase something. The options were limited then.

Now, advanced technologies allow businesses to segment their target audience, tailor ads based on customer demographic and purchase behavior, and get those ads to appear on customers’ personal mobile devices…through apps.

The key is about accelerating business growth with smart mobile apps that help brands build great relationships with customers personally. So essentially, good mobile app development facilitates accelerated business growth and escalates business opportunities by building apps that leverage cutting-edge technologies.

But is there a catch?

The catch is that businesses will have to choose technology combinations and a platform for the app; with the help of capable developers of course.

For most businesses, choosing a platform for their mobile app is a difficult choice. Technology, fortunately, has a solution to that too – hybrid app development and cross-platform app development for apps that can run on different platforms. If they want an app for just a single platform, native app development is the answer.

And when it’s about hybrid app development, a booming industry today, Ionic app development should also be in the picture.

Hybrid App & Ionic App Development – The Connection

Built with HTML5, hybrid apps are designed to provide a great mobile and web experience. They are essentially web apps capable of running on multiple platforms. And Ionic is a platform to build top-notch hybrid apps.

The open source SDK developed by Drifty Co. gained popularity for its enterprise-friendly features and customization options. Ionic app development gives you cutting-edge apps while delivering the speed of web and a customized user experience through local portable application improvement. Hybrid apps developed with the Ionic framework can be distributed in the Apple, Google, and Windows stores.

Benefits of Ionic Framework

The AngularJS-based structure of the framework enables developers to make use of a combination of many programming languages including HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. But one of its biggest advantages is that you can design, develop, deploy, and monitor the app with the web.

Other key benefits include:

  • Platform independence: The flexibility that comes with Ionic allows developers to build cross-platform apps quickly without hassle. Building native apps for each platform requires the developers to learn multiple languages and invest a great amount of time and effort. It’s much easier with Ionic as there is no need for rewriting the code.
  • Cordova plugins: Plugins are what makes apps capable of performing various tasks like a native app. For apps built with Ionic, Cordova plugins work the magic. These plugins give the Ionic hybrid apps seamless access to various features of the operating system like the battery, camera, logs etc. thus enhancing the overall performance of the apps.
  • Better UI: Hybrid apps are often criticized for commonly sporting an unimpressive UI. Ionic changed this with a plethora of customizable options thanks to the SDK’s CSS and JavaScript support. Ionic also supports the depth and vibrant colors of the material design delivering appealing UI.

Easier testing

Testing is much easier with Ionic, as the framework allows the development team to test the mobile app on desktop/mobile browsers or perform simulator testing using Cordova commands. Remote debugging is another feature.

Backed by a big, reliable community

Being an open source framework built on popular technologies like Angular and Cordova, it’s not that difficult for rookie developers to figure out Ionic. The community is eager to help with every kind of technical queries and issues, and are constantly trying to improve the framework in more ways than one.

With the community’s help and the short learning curve, developers can build custom enterprise-grade apps at a much faster pace compared to many other frameworks in the market today. This reduces TTM (Time to Market) for app owners.

Conclusion

The framework is rising in popularity for more than one reason. It’s proven its worth as an effective platform for building high-performance hybrid apps with impressive user experience faster than with many other frameworks. In today’s market, speed is significant for businesses, and they are willing to invest in speedy delivery of a cutting-edge app which is exactly what Ionic offers.

If you are looking for a state-of-the-art hybrid app built using Ionic for your business, AoT could be of help. Start a conversation with our app development experts now to learn more.


Contrary to popular beliefs, app development is a complex project. Though it’s systematically done following various steps and by using efficient project management methodologies, each phase of development comes with its own fair share of challenges. Before the app development project begins, the features, functionality, budget, and project duration would be discussed and agreed upon by the project stakeholders. However, things may not always go as planned.

Uncertainties can become major roadblocks for developers making it difficult for them to achieve their goal in time. They would be left with two options in such scenarios – maintain speed by compromising quality or maintain quality by compromising speed. Choosing one of the two options still comes with costly consequences. This is one of the reasons why mobile app development is more complicated than web app development.

Ultimately, app development roadblocks spell trouble for the client who needs the app online urgently and the developers who are forced to complete the project in an impractical time frame.

Tackling such scenarios is still possible however. For starters, you can trim down the prolonged app development cycle. Here are a few ways how.

Low-fidelity wireframes

Framing a game plan before the development begins can make all the difference for the developers. It also helps them avoid a situation where they are trapped in the middle of development without knowing what to do next. Low-fidelity wireframes essentially present a roadmap of the app that needs to be developed.

The developers would be able to determine a specific architecture for the app, followed through from the design stage itself right till the deployment stage. The reason why low-fidelity wireframes are advised instead of high-fidelity ones is the simple fact that the latter takes up more time. In a nutshell, low-fidelity wireframing is a far-from-perfect sketch aimed at keeping designers, developers, and clients on the same page.

MVP

If coming up with the final product is nigh impossible, launch a trailer first or what developers would know as ‘Minimum Viable Product (MVP)’. The MVP should entice the users enough so they will wait for the robust, completely developed version of the app to show up in the market. The real merit of releasing a MVP first is that the developers would be able to gather early feedback with which they can improve the final product. However, the developers will have to plan a continuous cycle so as to release updates periodically; also keeping users in the loop.

Automated testing

Every app needs to be thoroughly tested before it hits the market. No matter how much time the developers spend on building the app, if the app ultimately fails to impress users or deliver what it promised, it’s all for naught. Testing ensures that this doesn’t happen.

However, manual testing can take a lot of time. Testing cannot be cut off in order to shorten the app development cycle. Instead, we can use cool new technologies to automate parts of testing making things easier for the testers. Repetitive testing tasks can be automated while testers can direct their focus on the critical features of the app. The advantage here is that automated testing delivers faster results, the same that can take manual testing a lot of time.

Hybrid app development platforms

Back in the day, native app development was the only option available. Today, we can choose from a plethora of mobile app development platforms such as React Native, Xamarin etc. just to name a few. The most popular app development platforms today are designed to get apps developed on the go with a shortened development cycle.

With such hybrid app development platforms, the developers won’t have to write separate code for various mobile operating systems which means the app won’t take long to develop. Cross-platform apps are trending in the present market, though many seem to be concerned about performance issues. But there’s an approach to tackle this as well.

Cross-platform apps can be quickly developed. Using such an app, a business can get a faster entry to market. The next step is to gradually replace the cross-platform app with a native app offering the best functionalities. This may sound like a hassle, but in the end, developers get to have a functional app released early into the market establish a good user base. They can then take their time slowly and consistently transforming the cross-platform app into a full native app with a much smoother performance.

Conclusion

You can try using any one of the four aforementioned solutions to check which one suits your project best. At the end of the day, each solution is meant to make shorten the development processes without compromising the app’s quality. It’s also important to find the balance between speed-to-market and product quality.

At AoT, we practice similar optimization principles when necessary while developing high-performance apps which gave us a great track record of timely project completion. If you are interested in learning more about how we craft innovative enterprise mobile apps here and how they helped businesses grow, get in touch with us today.

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