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Ionic
Ionic

3.1K
2.5K
+ 1
1.7K
PhoneGap
PhoneGap

418
326
+ 1
90
Xamarin
Xamarin

571
529
+ 1
703
- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Ionic?

Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.

What is PhoneGap?

PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.

What is Xamarin?

Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
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What are the cons of using Ionic?
What are the cons of using PhoneGap?
What are the cons of using Xamarin?
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What tools integrate with Ionic?
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What are some alternatives to Ionic, PhoneGap, and Xamarin?
NativeScript
NativeScript enables developers to build native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Universal while sharing the application code across the platforms. When building the application UI, developers use our libraries, which abstract the differences between the native platforms.
React Native
React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
Flutter
Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
Expo
Exponent lets web developers build truly native apps that work across both iOS and Android by writing them once in just JavaScript.
See all alternatives
Decisions about Ionic, PhoneGap, and Xamarin
Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 16 upvotes · 83.8K views
Pouchdb
Pouchdb
CouchDB
CouchDB
Font Awesome
Font Awesome
CSS 3
CSS 3
Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova
PhoneGap
PhoneGap
HTML5
HTML5
Ruby
Ruby
Babel
Babel
Webpack
Webpack
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
Figma
Figma
TypeScript
TypeScript
JavaScript
JavaScript
Framework7
Framework7
#Css
#CSS3
#SCSS
#Sass
#Less
#Electron
#HandleBars
#Template7
#Sketch
#GraphQL
#HTML5
#GraphCool

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, these are what I came up with that work for me today:

For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.

Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.

For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to #Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.

For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.

So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?

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Greg Neumann
Greg Neumann
Indie, Solo, Developer · | 6 upvotes · 9.9K views
TypeScript
TypeScript
Vue.js
Vue.js
Electron
Electron
Quasar Framework
Quasar Framework
ASP.NET
ASP.NET
Xamarin Forms
Xamarin Forms
.NET Core
.NET Core
Xamarin
Xamarin

Finding the most effective dev stack for a solo developer. Over the past year, I've been looking at many tech stacks that would be 'best' for me, as a solo, indie, developer to deliver a desktop app (Windows & Mac) plus mobile - iOS mainly. Initially, Xamarin started to stand-out. Using .NET Core as the run-time, Xamarin as the native API provider and Xamarin Forms for the UI seemed to solve all issues. But, the cracks soon started to appear. Xamarin Forms is mobile only; the Windows incarnation is different. There is no Mac UI solution (you have to code it natively in Mac OS Storyboard. I was also worried how Xamarin Forms , if I was to use it, was going to cope, in future, with Apple's new SwiftUI and Google's new Fuchsia.

This plethora of techs for the UI-layer made me reach for the safer waters of using Web-techs for the UI. Lovely! Consistency everywhere (well, mostly). But that consistency evaporates when platform issues are addressed. There are so many web frameworks!

But, I made a simple decision. It's just me...I am clever, but there is no army of coders here. And I have big plans for a business app. How could just 1 developer go-on to deploy a decent app to Windows, iPhone, iPad & Mac OS? I remembered earlier days when I've used Microsoft's ASP.NET to scaffold - generate - loads of Code for a web-app that I needed for several charities that I worked with. What 'generators' exist that do a lot of the platform-specific rubbish, allow the necessary customisation of such platform integration and provide a decent UI?

I've placed my colours to the Quasar Framework mast. Oh dear, that means Electron desktop apps doesn't it? Well, Ive had enough of loads of Developers saying that "the menus won't look native" or "it uses too much RAM" and so on. I've been using non-native UI-wrapped apps for ages - the date picker in Outlook on iOS is way better than the native date-picker and I'd been using it for years without getting hot under the collar about it. Developers do get so hung-up on things that busy Users hardly notice; don't you think?. As to the RAM usage issue; that's a bit true. But Users only really notice when an app uses so much RAM that the machine starts to page-out. Electron contributes towards that horizon but does not cause it. My Users will be business-users after all. Somewhat decent machines.

Looking forward to all that lovely Vue.js around my TypeScript and all those really, really, b e a u t I f u l UI controls of Quasar Framework . Still not sure that 1 dev can deliver all that... but I'm up for trying...

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Interest over time
Reviews of Ionic, PhoneGap, and Xamarin
Review ofXamarinXamarin

I'm working in Huge company and I'm in charge to choose the cross-platform environment to develop Mobile application for all our services. I choose Xamarin but because the error i get everytime in Visual Studio, I want to leave it and recommand another solution. In fact that's why I'm here.

Weird, Install VS2017 with Xamarin on a new PC Create a new app GOT ERRORS.....!!!!!

Thank you for considering this

Review ofIonicIonic

great framework,lots of resources,great community,easy to create UI

How developers use Ionic, PhoneGap, and Xamarin
Avatar of Foundbite
Foundbite uses XamarinXamarin

Xamarin enables us to develop for 3 platforms (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) with one core codebase coded in C#. Xamarin has allowed us to release an app on all three platforms and develop them simultaneously - not bad for a team of 2!

Avatar of Pascal Malbranche
Pascal Malbranche uses IonicIonic

We use Ionic as it is an awesome framework to build mobile hybrid apps with nativ access. Also Ionic has a nice community!

Avatar of Ana Phi Sancho
Ana Phi Sancho uses XamarinXamarin

Self taught : acquired knowledge or skill on one's own initiative. Platform: OSX 10.8 or later. Mac computer user.

Avatar of Christian Bryant
Christian Bryant uses IonicIonic

Cross-Platform goodness. I am a noob here...learning how to implement Ionic is on the top of my ToDo's

Avatar of Trading Log
Trading Log uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

We used phonegap best practices to compile and deploy our hybrid to android and ios markets.

Avatar of Robert Brown
Robert Brown uses XamarinXamarin

Build & ship OS X & iOS apps from Visual Studio on Windows. Requires paid team license.

Avatar of papaver
papaver uses IonicIonic

used on a recent project, an internal custom app developed for both ios and android.

Avatar of William Baker
William Baker uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

To release the JavaScript game Whack-A-Mol http://www.ethertear.com/apps.html

Avatar of Grupo Gamma Peninsular, SA de CV
Grupo Gamma Peninsular, SA de CV uses IonicIonic

Desarrollo de aplicaciones multi-plataforma con HTML5, JavaScript y CSS3

Avatar of Daniel Kovacs
Daniel Kovacs uses XamarinXamarin

Mobile app development with PCL and Xamarin.iOS and Xamarin.Android.

Avatar of AmericanBibleSociety
AmericanBibleSociety uses IonicIonic

We have plans to employ this frontend framework in future apps.

Avatar of Olo
Olo uses XamarinXamarin

Cross platform, white labelled native mobile apps

Avatar of Smileupps
Smileupps uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

to let web apps benefit of native device features

Avatar of Eyal El.
Eyal El. uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

Our Apps are wrapped with PhoneGap 7 & 8

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