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Ionic Platform for Mobile App Development: Features & New Releases

Since its release in 2013, the Ionic platform has gained huge respect in the hybrid and mobile development community.

As of January 2019, Ionic has a git repo of 39.9k stars with an active support community. Its open-source mobile app development framework helps to build top-quality native and progressive applications. 

Before we dig into details, let’s first look at the three main features of the Ionic framework.

  • OSS Framework: Ionic provides open-source, free mobile UI toolkit for building cross-platform apps (iOS, Android, and web) from a single codebase.
  • Mobile DevOps: It addresses the complete lifecycle of mobile DevOps with automated native builds, live-updates, and CI/CD.
  • AngularJS: It uses the AngularJS frontend Javascript framework for building scalable applications.
  • Integrations: Ionic allows integrating community plugins along with premium supported integrations.
  • Compiler: It uses Capacitor, Cordova, and PhoneGap compiler for native mobile applications with CSS, HTML, and Javascript.
  • App Builder: Through Ionic Studio, it provides a visual development environment to build functional apps in minutes.

Packed with lots of useful & out-of-box CSS components, the Ionic platform provides extensive documentation, examples, and starter videos. It helps to simplify the learning curve and get developers up and running quickly.

ionic platform benefits

Advantages of Ionic Platform

Ionic is an open-source SDK for hybrid mobile app development. It wraps the AngularJS framework with HTML5 and CSS and uses Cordova to access native device functions. The biggest advantage of using Ionic is — it allows building hybrid apps with amazing UI, which behave like native apps and rely on a single shared codebase. 

If you’re scared of Javascript, then trust me, with Ionic it’s not as bad as you might think. Look at these advantages of the Ionic platform.

  1. Cross platform: The code you write once runs effectively on web, iOS, and android. 
  2. Open source: It’s free to use with a number of community generated plugins integration.
  3. Development environment: Majority of components are developed in HTML, CSS, and JS, which almost all web developers are familiar with.
  4. Frontend development: AngularJS is embedded in Ionic by default allowing to build scalable applications.
  5. Deeplinking: To load a specific page on the app through a web link.
  6. Live Reload: It helps developers to compile and redeploy apps at every stage of development.

The Ionic platform provides a set of Angular directives (custom HTML elements) for its components. This makes using widgets as easy as writing a line of HTML code. Plus, the developers get access to Angular’s touch recognizers, view animation logic, HTML sanitation, and asynchronous communication.

While the developers can use Ionic straight after cloning or unpacking the library zip, they can also install their Node.js-based CLI through NPM and start quickly with their seed project.

Also read – Trending JavaScript Frameworks in 2020

What’s New in Ionic

Ionic React

On October 14, 2019, Ionic released Ionic React — a native react version of the Ionic framework. Using the standard react-dom library, Ionic has successfully expanded its ecosystem around the web platform.

With developers’ growing intent towards progressive web apps, Ionic’s integration with React provides one of the best PWA solutions to generate highly efficient web components. 

Read the details about the Ionic React announcement here.

Capacitor

Addressing many developers’ concerns about Cordova’s performance, Ionic released Capacitor 1.0 on May 22, 2019. Ionic still supports Cordova. However, new apps will run on this new cross-platform engine — Capacitor, which majorly aims at supporting progressive web apps. 

The capacitor is available as a Javascript API and developers can import it directly to their apps. Also, exposing new native SDKs to Capacitor is extremely easy! Developers will need just a little wrapper code with first-class support for Swift on iOS and Java on Android.

Read more about how the Capacitor is different from Cordova here.

Ionic Studio

Ionic Studio is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) for an amazing developer experience for building Ionic apps. It offers a robust code editor with TypeScript support, auto compilation, and debugging. 

It brings forth a visual development environment with AWS Amplify for backend integrations. Ionic Studio also eliminates the need for developer docs.

Ionic Framework Use Case

Recently, Mantra Labs has built a mobile application using Ionic for its client — Ezetap. The app generates an invoice for merchants and takes payment against it. It helps the merchants manage their purchase records, accounts, and customer data. The app is currently used by leading businesses like Dominos, Indian Oil, Deccan Herald, Indane, and many more.

Read case study

Ionic Platform Installation Guide

For installation help and smart suggestions from developers, you may refer to the Ionic Documentation.

Please note, the platform is the actual hardware/software on which an application or software is built. Whereas, a framework is a collection of libraries and classes that provide a structure for app development. Ionic is thus, both a platform and a framework for building web and mobile applications.

If you’re planning for mobile app development or have queries related to the Ionic framework, feel free to reach out to us at hello@mantralabsglobal.com. Our developers are here to clear doubts and offer suggestions based on your business and technical needs.

[Related: Learn Ionic Framework From Scratch in Less Than 15 Minutes!]

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Retention playbook for Insurance firms in the backdrop of financial crises

4 minutes read

Belonging to one of the oldest industries in the world, Insurance companies have weathered multiple calamities over the years and have proven themselves to be resilient entities that can truly stand the test of time. Today, however, the industry faces some of its toughest trials yet. Technology has fundamentally changed what it means to be an insurer and the cumulative effects of the pandemic coupled with a weak global economic output have impacted the industry in ways both good and bad.

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Source: Deloitte Services LP Economic Analysis

For instance, the U.S market recorded a sharp dip in GDP in the wake of the pandemic and it was expected that the economy would bounce back bringing with it a resurgent demand for all products (including insurance) across the board. It must be noted that the outlook toward insurance products changed as a result of the pandemic. Life insurance products were no longer an afterthought, although profitability in this segment declined over the years. Property-and-Casualty (P&C) insurance, especially motor insurance, continued to be a strong driver, while health insurance proved to be the fastest-growing segment with robust demand from different geographies

Simultaneously, the insurance industry finds itself on the cusp of an industry-wide shift as technology is starting to play a greater role in core operations. In particular, technologies such as AI, AR, and VR are being deployed extensively to retain customers amidst this technological and economic upheaval.

Double down on digital

For insurance firms, IT budgets were almost exclusively dedicated to maintaining legacy systems, but with the rise of InsurTech, it is imperative that firms start dedicating more of their budgets towards developing advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics, AI-driven offerings, etc. Insurance has long been an industry that makes extensive use of complex statistical and mathematical models to guide pricing and product development strategies. By incorporating the latest technological advances with the rich data they have accumulated over the years, insurance firms are poised to emerge stronger and more competitive than ever.

Using AI to curate a bespoke customer experience

Insurance has always been a low-margin affair and success in the business is primarily a function of selling the right products to the right people and reducing churn as much as possible. This is particularly important as customer retention is normally conceived as an afterthought in most industries, as evidenced in the following chart.

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        Source: econconusltancy.com

AI-powered tools (even with narrow capabilities) can do wonders for the insurance industry at large. When architected in the right manner, they can be used to automate a bulk of the standardized and automated processes that insurance companies have. AI can be used to automate and accelerate claims, assess homeowner policies via drones, and facilitate richer customer experiences through sophisticated chatbots. Such advances have a domino effect of increasing CSAT scores, boosting retention rates, reducing CACs, and ultimately improving profitability by as much as 95%.

Crafting immersive products through AR/VR

Customer retention is largely a function of how good a product is, and how effective it is in solving the customers’ pain points. In the face of increasing commodification, insurance companies that go the extra mile to make the buying process more immersive and engaging can gain a definite edge over competitors.

Globally, companies are flocking to implement AR/VR into their customer engagement strategies as it allows them to better several aspects of the customer journey in one fell swoop. Relationship building, product visualization, and highly personalized products are some of the benefits that AR/VR confers to its wielders.  

By honoring the customer sentiments of today and applying a slick AR/VR-powered veneer over its existing product layer, insurance companies can cater to a younger audience (Gen Z) by educating them about insurance products and tailoring digital delivery experiences. This could pay off in the long run by building a large customer base that could be retained and served for a much longer period.

The way forward

The Insurance industry is undergoing a shift of tectonic proportions as an older generation makes way for a new and younger one that has little to no perceptions about the industry. By investing in next-generation technologies such as AR/VR, firms can build new products to capture this new market and catapult themselves to leadership positions simply by way of keeping up with the times.

We have already seen how AR is a potential game-changer for the insurance industry. It is only a matter of time before it becomes commonplace.

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