Ionic Sept 16 Meetup Review

It had been a long, long time since the last Ionic Meetup, and much had changed in the Ionic landscape – not to mention Angular 2 – so I personally felt it was really good to see some of the community members again in person. The timing of this particular meet was also handy in terms of it following directly on from Angular Connect, as it offered us the chance to hear, in person, from some of the key folk (aren’t they all key?) from the Ionic team.

Ionic UK origaniser Ryan, and some of the Ionic core team.

Once again it was Ryan and Sani who organised the event, and arranged it to be held at the newly-opened Shoreditch Platform. The venue wasn’t a bad space at all, and it’s bar was funded by Ionic, so that was a bonus (for me at least) too.

There was one pre-planned talk, and this was sandwiched betwixt an introductory Q&A session with the Ionic team, and a more impromptu showcase session. The latter had be run at the previous meet, and is a really good way to show-off, and hear about, what folk are up to.

Ionic Chat and Q&A – The Ionic Team

As I’d mentioned, we were joined by a few folk from Ionic – in alphabetical order, Adam Bradley, Brandy Carney, Alex Muramoto and Ben Sperry (co-founder) . They had been talking, presenting and sponsoring at the recent Angular Connect conference in London, so for them to attend our meetup was a great opportunity.

Ben kicked us off with a few notifications – apologies if I missed any, but these two are hopefully big enough for you.

  • Ioinc2 RC is out. We were also told by Adam that they should only be working on bug-fixes from now until go-live.
  • Ionic Cloud is now out of beta.

The discussion then began between the panel and those in the audience. This was an excellent session that I personally enjoyed, and I believe I wasn’t the only one. There was a lot of topics covered, and I have to admit to forgetting to make notes on each subject as I was so absorbed. I hope, though, that this is a pretty comprehensive list;

Windows Support

Windows support, within Ionic Cloud, is being looked at (note, I don’t think being worked on)

PWA and Desktop Support

PWA support within Ionic Cloud (Push Notifications, etc) is also being looked at.

The subject of Desktop Apps was also raised, and the prospect of bringing in Electron as another target for the Ionic CLI seemed to be well entertained. This is very exciting and continues to push toward the dream of a single codebase for all targets.

Why Upgrade from Ionic1 to Ionic2?

Even with the continuing improvements to scrolling performance in Ionic1 (especially on Android), Ionic2 scrolling is even better. In fact performance is a real plus with Ionic2. The team said they’ve learnt a lot during the birth and evolution of Ionic1, and these lessons have been taken into the very core of Ionic2. Along with these Ionic specific improvements Ionic2, of course, also benefits from all the great optimisations that come with Angular2.

Performance is also improved through several other optimisations, such as tree-shaking – that includes the removal of un-used code – and Ahead of Time compilation. There was even a comment made that the ng2 Hello World is down to 24kb.

Ionic Native – Aaron Czichon

This talk was given by Aaron who heads up the Ionic Germany meetup, and he was here to talk to us about Ionic Native. Ionic Native is, according to their site, “a curated set of ES5/ES6/TypeScript wrappers for Cordova/PhoneGap plugins that make adding any native functionality you need to your Ionic, Cordova, or Web View mobile app easy.”. To me this looks like an ngCordova for Ionic2, with the bonus that it takes care of the TypeScript jump for you.


At the time of writing there are 105 cordova plugins supported, and Aaron was sure to mention that the team is very active and keen to add support for new plugins… so if there’s one that’s missing, please raise a ticket.

Aaron showed us some code for how easy it is to access any of the supported plugins through Ionic Native, and to be honest it seems to set the barrier to usage very low indeed. His example used Ionic Native with a plugin called Brightness, and it all looked incredibly simple.

One of the things that was really useful in Ionic1 was ng-Cordova, and its mocks. These allowed browser based testing of logic that used Cordova Plugins. I mentioned this point during the talk’s Q&As and Ben Sperry noted that mocks for Ionic Native are on their way (and should include Creator and View). Whilst on this topic it was also pointed out that Microsoft Code has an extension called Cordova Tools Extension that adds support for some plugins built in, this might be well worth investigating.

Slides for Aaron’s talk on Ionic Native can be found here.


The showcase session is an informal “show and tell” and it’s a great chance to see how other developers and businesses are using Ionic.

Sportmate – Tom Haleminh

Up first was Tom Haleminh who showed off Sportmate. Sportmate is a fantastic looking app that aims to help players of sport to find others to play with and book up facilities like football pitches. Tom said that they’d had some external investment and had seen some amazing growth. I noted down a figure of 40%, but I can’t remember what this was precisely in relation to.


We’d seen Jambuster at previous meetups’ showcases and it was displayed again. It’s a really smart looking service for folk wanting to keep on top of their travel across London. In their own words “Jambuster is a new, innovative app to help you drive around London. When traffic problems occur, our systems automatically track the problem, analyse it and where appropriate, predict how long it could take to clear and can send you ongoing personalised notifications bringing you up to date. We do the hard hard work so you don’t have to”.

There was a third really interesting demo that showed off some hardcore camera integration, but sadly none of my notes on this make any sense… I can only assume I was too engrossed to be able to write clearly. If anyone has any details on this then please let me know, thanks!

Wrap Up

I thoroughly enjoyed the sessions and thank Ryan, Sani, and Ionic for organising and sponsoring the meetup.

As with other meetups that include them, the informal chats afterwards proved to be just as interesting… I do hope that other groups make these a more standard part of the event. During the after-chats Justin and I talked at some length with Ben about how MobileCaddy and our partners are leveraging Ionic to deliver true robust, enterprise grade applications and how many of our joint clients are astonished to hear that the apps aren’t native and are in fact hybrid apps.

Here’s hoping that it won’t be so long until the next Ionic UK meetup, and perhaps it’ll even be in a city other than London.

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