The Official Ionic Blog

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Hey Ionites,

It’s no secret that the Ionic team has built a lot of products and services over the last few years. Some were only meant to be curious experiments, and some are major product efforts. Our Discover Ionic page is an almost comical testament to the prolific nature of the team.

Over the last few months, we’ve been doing a lot of soul searching at Ionic to figure out where we can best spend our energy. One thing has been made clear that we haven’t always focused hard enough on the things we are uniquely good at, and where we can provide the best value to the world.

Today, we’re making some changes to help our team focus on what we do best: making amazing open source mobile development software, and backend services that power them.

Goodbye to Ionic Lab

Ionic Lab, not to be confused with ionic serve --lab, was built to essentially be a frontend GUI to our command line tools. In fact, Ionic Lab is a great example of how Ionic can be used to build Electron apps and we’re incredibly proud of the product and the team that built it back in 2014.

After we launched Lab, it was clear that the maintenance and upkeep effort on the project was going to be high, and the tools available to solve the pain point Lab solved had evolved such that the investment was brought into question.

One big change was Microsoft adding Cordova and Ionic support to Visual Studio. Developers on Windows that aren’t comfortable with the command line can use a best-in-class tool they might already be using to build and test Ionic apps.

Additionally, developers are increasingly comfortable with the CLI and we want to take a step back and rethink how we can provide an awesome CLI experience while also looking ahead at the potential for future desktop Ionic tools that can run directly in the browser instead of requiring a bundled install like Lab did. Most likely this will mean expanding ionic serve --lab into a much more feature rich experience.

Towards the end of the year, we will be shutting down Ionic Lab’s download page and focusing on our CLI toolchain and build scripts.

Refocusing Ionic Cloud

Ionic Cloud has gone through a number of iterations as we’ve tried to figure out where we can add the most value to the Ionic Framework experience, and at the same time the mobile market has changed dramatically.

Today, not only are developers looking at building cross-platform apps for the app stores, but they’re increasingly interested in deploying their apps to the web to gain the wonderful benefits of Progressive Web Apps.

We think Ionic Cloud can add a ton of value to both Ionic apps in the app stores, but also Ionic Progressive Web Apps. In order to get there though, we need to shift resources on our team to build out a scaffolding that will help Ionic Cloud be a leader in cross-platform mobile development services.

With that in mind, we have made the tough decision to stop development on Ionic Analytics and will be sunsetting that product by early 2017. We realized that we weren’t providing enough value over existing analytics tools, and that we could be putting that engineering effort into unique Ionic services around Progressive Web Apps and web-first realtime databases. This isn’t to say analytics won’t be a part of a future product effort, but most likely will be integrated rather than a standalone experience.

For those concerned about this shut down, please contact me at max@ionic.io to talk through a transition plan.

Adios, Appcamp

Appcamp was an experiment in building an interactive learning course for Ionic and Angular, focused on specific tutorials and a live coding environment.

While we’re immensely proud of Appcamp and for the team that built it, we realized that we could be providing better learning materials in a way that required less of an engineering effort while still providing most if not more value than Appcamp does today.

We will be shuttering the Appcamp you see today early 2017.

On to Ionic 2!

Every year we try to take a step outside of Ionic the company and look at the products we’ve built and the investments we’re making, to make sure we are being as effective as possible with the most limited of resources we have: focus.

We’re pumped to be shortly releasing one of the best Ionic releases yet with Ionic 2, as well as a much more cohesive and powerful story around Ionic Cloud and how it fits into Ionic apps. By focusing on these projects Ionic will be stronger and more powerful than ever before.

None of this is to say we won’t ever try new things or experiment, but sometimes those experiments have to be put to rest for us to come up with bigger and better things.

Onward!

  • https://javebratt.com Jorge Vergara

    I’m really proud of you as a company and team, I’m very happy with the decision I made on focusing on Ionic πŸ™‚

    • Ben Sperry

      Thanks, Jorge, we are grateful to have awesome people like you in the community! ❀️

      • https://javebratt.com Jorge Vergara

        πŸ™‚

  • http://www.carlrydings.com/ Carl Rydings

    Although I’m sad to see Ionic Lab (the software) going away i completely understand the reasons why, especially if it means more features for ionic serve –lab.

    I really do hope Ionic Cloud will have more support for Windows going forward (i.e. Packaging, resources, etc). It would be nice to have the same features supported for all three main mobile OS’s.

    As for PWAs, they need more UI features (as does iPad, Surface Tablets, etc) for split-panes, etc inside Ionic.

    Looking forward to the final release of Ionic 2 and to see what the future holds.

    Thanks for making such a great framework! πŸ™‚

  • Alecks Gates

    Loving Ionic 2 very much. Glad to see more of the team will be able to focus on it!

  • http://www.raymondcamdencom/ Raymond Camden

    I know this was a hard decision to make, but it makes perfect sense. Thank you for having the courage (and real courage, not the headphone jack removing kind) to make the best decision!

  • https://Savelist.co Rodrigo FernΓ‘ndez

    I know this must have been a difficult decision (especially for Max & Ben) but I agree with every word. Focusing on what makes you awesome, will make you awesome-r 😎

  • EralpB

    I can’t believe!!! This is the best decision that could ever be made! Ionic has awesome potential, but you had too many things to do. It was impossible to keep all those things running. I’m really happy to know that we will now go forward faster πŸ™‚ There are tons of great analytics tools, as well as push tools etc. but there’s only one Ionic! πŸ™‚

  • Carlos Rojas

    Good decisions πŸ™‚

  • Mike Strawhat

    Great thanks to the Ionic team. Giving up to achieve more. πŸ™‚

  • Bob

    I understand your reasons but for me personaly the ease of use of ionic lab was exactly the reason to use and learn ionic at all. coming from a very different field of work its strange and funny at the same time to see that so many things related to development still need the commandline or are switching to it in your case. anyway, i hope you will develop something similar fun and easy to use to appeal to the design and usability savvy under us.

  • faraazc

    Hey guys.. thanks for ionic 2 and ionic cloud.i am using real-time db .loving it ..one thing I would like to request is please add more querying features.preferred approach would be using REST similar to elasticsearch querying interface..querying capabilities can only differentiate ioNic db from firebase and other databases..thanks again for all your awesome work.community loves you all.

  • http://devdactic.com/ Simon Reimler

    All of the decisions are very reasonable and I think you are doing the right think by focusing on what matters most. Good job, looking forward to all the awesome features and functions you will come up with in 2017 (especially the Firebase replacement)!

  • https://adventures.firebaseapp.com Juarez Filho

    We all appreciate the amazing efforts y’all are investing on Ionic and the entire ecosystem. IonicBrazil is coming back on 2017 in full power to help out the Brazilian community (and all Portuguese speakers).
    I’m also really excited to see PWAs growing strong inside of the Ionic team. Way to go! 🎒

  • Sagiv Frankel

    Here here!!

    This is great news! You guys have been rocking it lately, the error handling feature is so simple, yet so helpful, Ionic native is a big win and Ionic2 is getting to a very good place.

    Now we can start building our businesses fast and with a little more investment in ionic cloud both developers and the Ionic company can benefit.

    Ionic –lab can be very useful at times and so can the Ionic view.

    The one other thing I would add is an easy way to get Ionic working nicely in the browser.
    With not to much work you could get component looking pretty nice in the browser, and with a little work on the build side you could easily have a web app (or maybe even an electron app). This would be a huge boost for some businesses.

  • http://urbanway.net/ Flakerim Ismani

    Please fix Ionic Storage as part of release ionic 2.
    Ionic is best thing happened to me in 2016, in mobile dev. I am glad I found it.