Write handsome, hybrid mobile apps with Ionic

Cross-platform mobile dev tools ensure your app works on multiple devices, but for a stylish and functional UI, check out the Ionic JavaScript framework

Everyone wants the apps they write to run on multiple platforms, but no one wants to give up the native features of mobile devices. That's why you find so many tools to create hybrid apps, where core HTML5 and JavaScript code is packaged to run on Android, iOS, Windows Phone -- even on legacy BlackBerry and Symbian devices.

With technologies like Apache Cordova, it's easy to access hardware-specific features from your JavaScript code before wrapping apps and delivering them to your chosen app stores. They’re useful tools, but while they’re focused on getting apps to work well on mobile hardware, they’re not great for giving your app a modern look and feel.

That’s where Ionic, a relatively new JavaScript framework, comes into play. Ionic is designed to fill the UI gap in hybrid mobile apps, building on the familiar AngularJS MVC tooling with new interaction models and CSS styling.

You can build the core of your code in Cordova, then use Ionic to build the app’s UI. Iconic is a popular tool that shows up in the top 40 GitHub projects, with more than 500,000 applications using the framework. It’s designed to build mobile apps that bridge native and Web technologies -- don’t try to use it for a Web app, not even a mobile Web app.

Spinning up Ionic

Getting started with Ionic is easy: Use Node.js to download and install the Ionic and Cordova tooling.

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