Summer is typically a time to wind down and relax, but our product teams have been BUSY. They’ve been cooking up some fresh updates, and the latest Ionic Show walked through them all.
Couldn’t make the show live? You can watch the full recording here, and read on for a handy recap. Here’s what you may have missed:
The current (and future) state of mobile app development
The show kicked off with Mike and Max talking about the state of the Ionic community. This year, Ionic turned 10 (I know, we look great for our age), and at 1:25 Max reflects on the history of the company. We’re beyond proud of the thriving community we’ve built, and we’re excited to host our first ever in-person ioniconf later this year to celebrate that.
At the 8:55 mark, Max takes us through some trends in the mobile space. Major trends to look for:
- Modernization – complex apps using legacy tech stacks can fall behind, but micro frontends with Ionic Portals can help modernize apps without needing to rebuild them
- Consolidation – lots of large organizations use multiple apps, and consolidating apps into a single ‘superapp’ makes it more efficient for dev teams to maintain while also keeping users from hopping between apps
- PWA’s – 2023 is the year of the Progressive Web App, with PWA’s being critical to app modernization efforts
- AI – what’s hype and what’s real? Where can AI actually add value for developers?
Then the team got into the finer points of smoked meats – is it even worth making ribs without them? At 19:33, Max weighs in.
At 20:57, Framework Team Lead Liam (AKA Hair Force One) joined Mike to chat about all of the exciting updates that Framework has seen recently.
Long-requested Input Masking was created in collaboration with the Maskito team and enables text formatting as users type. For instance, adding a US phone number would automatically add the hyphens and parentheses – talk about a time saver!
The release of Ionic 7 saw many new features, such as HTML Labels for Select. We added a label slot that lets you pass in any HTML you want for the label, which is great for adjusting colors/decorations on a label. Similar to Select, we also added a label slot for Input and Textarea.
The team also added lots of new CSS shadow parts and CSS variables for datetime styling, giving devs more control over how datetime looks in their project. We added APIs to customize the look of the wheel picker, the time button, and the month/year toggle button.
There are tons more improvements recently made to Framework, including custom icons for select, select styling, segment type improvements, and Angular NavController improvements. And, as always, a huge thank you to the community that continues to contribute to improving Framework! At 28:46, catch Liam’s controversial BBQ opinions.
The Stencil team has been hard at work, and at 29:40, ever-stylish Engineering Manager Sean joins Mike to talk about Stencil v4 which was released earlier this year.
Within v4, we’ve enabled a flag that allows for Typescript path configurations to be used in your Stencil project. We’ve also added TypeScript 5 support (in v3.3.0 and later). Stencil also now offers a new feature called primary output target validation, which helps guide developers and warns if you have incorrect configurations in your package.json. You can check out the full list of changes for Stencil v4 in the migration guide.
When asked what’s coming next (34:10), Sean noted that the team is moving into development for scoped slot enhancements, improving the compatibility of using the slots in non-shadow dom elements. We’ve started discovery around adding Element Internals support to Stencil and have an open discussion about Stencil testing infrastructure.
Capacitor rocks (no cap)
For an update on Capacitor, Mike tossed it over to very festive Product Owner Dallas and all-decked-out-for-summer Product Marketing Manager Conner to talk about what’s happening in the great wide world of web native land.
At 39:19, they cover Background Tasks, which is a game-changing new Capacitor feature. While hard to perceive in a short demo, there are tons of scenarios where background tasks are helpful. Whether collecting geolocation points or syncing data (such as uploading photos to a server while the photo app is backgrounded/closed), Background Tasks is sure to be the unsung hero of your next project. You can see it in action in this livestream.
We also recently debuted the Capacitor Plugin Registry, which makes it easier than ever to find the perfect plugin for your projects. Easily search and filter over 1100 plugins to find exactly what you’re looking for. You can also use our VSCode extension (which recently eclipsed 200k downloads) to access the plugins from the plugin registry directly in your project- see a live demo at 43:04.
Major updates to Appflow
Next up, we passed things off to Cecelia, Ashwini, and Matt from the summer-ready Appflow team, to talk about the latest happenings with Ionic’s Mobile CI/CD solution. After a good-spirited discussion about their favorite summer foods, the team introduced a brand new Appflow feature that makes testing your mobile applications a breeze. Powered by Appetize.io, Appflow now supports in-browser testing for iOS simulator and Android debug builds.
Additionally, the team has been hard at work on all things build stacks. In order to support Capacitor 5, we created a new Linux build stack that includes Gradle 8 and Java JDK 17. Additionally, new Mac and Linux versions support Ionic CLI 7, Cordova CLI 12, and the latest versions of Xcode and cocoapods. Learn more at 52:55.
The team also debuted the biggest updates to live updates in recent memory. We’ve rebuilt the core functionality of live updates from the ground up in native ios and android libraries. In our initial testing, we’ve seen massive improvements in reducing the time it takes to download and apply a new live update, and you can learn more at 53:40. As part of this effort, a new Capacitor-based plugin will be available soon.
AI has been making a huge splash lately, and Appflow is riding those AI waves to make debugging build errors easier than ever. The team put openAI to work and we are happy to introduce “Appflow Assist”. See a demo of this new functionality at 56:45.
We take your data privacy very seriously, so we’re excited to announce that Ionic the company and Appflow the mobile CI/CD platform are both now SOC2 Type 2 certified! The process takes many months to complete, but a huge shout out to the Appflow team because we set a record with our vendor for the fastest time to earn Type 2 certification (not to brag). Learn more about what this cert means and why every cloud vendor you work with should have it.
What can Portals do for you?
The Appflow team then kicked it over to Portals experts Christine and Josh to talk about what’s going on in the wonderful world of micro frontends. The team did a quick retro of the Micro Frontends Summit, which we hosted back in February. It was chock-full of engaging talks from some of the leading minds in micro frontends – you can check out a recap here.
Around 1:01:39, the team delved into superapps – What are they? What are they not? Who are they for? They explained the differences between superapps and micro frontends, and highlighted business cases for both. At 1:04:50, Josh walks us through a live demo of Ionic’s Superapp SDK, Portals, which can help large enterprises build more seamless, user-friendly digital experiences.
Curious about how Portals can change the way your team builds apps? Head over to ionic.io/portals to set up a demo with one of our Portals product specialists.
See you soon!
To close things out, Mike reiterated how much he wants to hang out with each and every one of you at ioniconf, which is happening live in Austin, TX this October. You can learn more and grab tickets on the event website.
The team is also heading to THAT Conference in Wisconsin later this month. If you’re going, come see one of our three (!) talks and grab some cheese curds with the team after.
The Summer 2023 Ionic Show concluded with live Q&A at 1:07:34, where our product teams fielded questions from the community. Thanks for another great Ionic Show, and we’ll catch you at the next one!