The Ionic framework utilizes the capabilities of AngularJS and Apache Cordova to create a set of tools that simplify native app creation greatly.
By using Ionic, it's possible to create apps for Android, iOS, and more, with only a minor amount of coding or development experience. With hundreds of templates available, this gap closes even more, allowing individuals to create complex apps with ease, and for advanced developers to create increasingly complicated user experiences with less time and resource investment.
For those whose vision falls outside of a template, it can be difficult to put together all of the pieces necessary to complete your app. Luckily, that’s where Ionic app builders and frameworks come into play.
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What Is an Ionic App Builder?
When it comes to Ionic, there are actually a few levels to what can be considered an app builder.
On its own, Ionic provides a substantial app builder that allows for the creation of many apps and elements. Beyond the basics of the provided app builder, there are a variety of themes, templates, app builder extensions, and working skeletons.
While templates and themes help to create a specific type of app or provide a limited range of elements to work with, extensions and frameworks are a bit different.
These often expand the functionality of the app builder itself in some form, or create/add/modify a number of highly customizable elements. In some cases, these might also include utilities that prepare a different format of application (such as a web app) to be used within Ionic.
What Is an Ionic Framework App?
Since Ionic itself is a framework, it can be a bit confusing to have a “framework” app as an available tool. Framework apps can take a number of different names and forms, though, such as application skeletons, bootstrap kits, or universal app themes.
Each of these fits a similar role, providing a large number of screens and components that allow for maximum customization and integration. The key part here is that these skeletons typically go far beyond the features that can be found in an app theme alone.
These extensions of the capabilities of the app builder and the extent of customizability available are what differentiate these app builder themes from other templates for Ionic.
Ionic App Builders and Frameworks on CodeCanyon
Though they come in many forms, app builders and frameworks all have one thing in common: they expand the functionality of Ionic beyond that of just an app theme or template alone. This extension is what gives them their usefulness, customizability, and that extra bit of power when handling complex projects.
With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most popular kits available from Envato:
We talked about frameworks extending beyond the features typically available in simpler app themes, and the Ionic Framework App does just that.
Following a modular architecture, this framework allows you to build your own screens easily, putting together elements and modules without the fuss of loading an entire screen before deleting the pieces you don’t need.
This modular system allows for the creation of thousands of screen variations, making it much simpler to put together the perfect user interface.
Here are some of the other standout features of the Ionic Framework App:
- support for i18n and multi-language apps
- 20+ modules following the official Angular 5 modularity patterns
- includes 35+ components, properly declared and exported within modules
- support for the WordPress REST API
- Firebase 4 Integrations
- support for Facebook Connect, Google Maps, YouTube, RSS feeds, and more
If you’re looking to build an app that falls outside of the niches present in most Ionic Mobile app templates, then this framework will help you to put together exactly the functionality that you need!
Different than the drag-and-drop builder that is available with Ionic by default, IMABuildeRz is a stand-alone web tool that generates Ionic compatible code using its own interface.
By using this tool, you can use a simplified administrative dashboard to create HTML, TypeScript, SCSS, PHP, and MySQL code and files with little or no coding experience. This capability allows you to create more complex apps, or to stitch together the gaps left behind by other app templates.
Here are some of the features that come with IMABuildeRz:
- no limit to the number of apps you can create
- code can be both generated and directly edited
- capability to create plugins to integrate with WordPress or your own app CMS
- a number of add-ons allow for specific code pieces to be completely generated
If you need to create a complex back end for your app but don’t necessarily have a ton of experience in languages such as PHP, this tool can help you put together the app that you’re after.
Closer to the app template side of things, Barebone Ionic provides a base to build on, with a variety of architecture choices and features that make it versatile enough to be considered a framework.
Structured to be highly modular, this framework can be built, arranged, and rearranged to create most screens needed within any app you might be designing. Its well-documented code, paired with Grunt integrations, means that you can extend this framework to create any missing feature that you might need.
Here are some of the other features in Barebone Ionic:
- support third-party APIs such as WordPress, Drupal, YouTube, Facebook, AdMob, Firebase, Play Store, and more
- native integrations such as voice calls and local storage
- content modules that can hook into JSON data
For those that need to build a variety of apps or one that is likely to have frequent updates, the Barebone Ionic framework will get your app together quickly, while providing the tools needed to maintain it.
An app skeleton with a wide range of features, Ion2FullApp lets you create a project outside of the standard niches that templates allow.
With uncommon features, more than a dozen integrations, and 35+ available screens, this app skeleton can be easily paired with Ionic’s own app builder to create complex projects with little or no coding necessary.
This app base comes in three versions, with the number of features and screens included increasing with each package.
Some of Ion2FullApp’s more notable features are:
- free tutorials and thorough documentation
- Cordova plugins that make using native device features a breeze
- uncommon and useful screens, such as onboarding walkthroughs, schedule listings, and advanced filtering
- native login integrations, including Google, Facebook, and Twitter
- multi-language support
- pre-built forms with validations and custom validators
- integrations for app ratings and advertising
Should You Use a Universal App for Your Ionic Project?
We’ve looked at some of the most popular app builders and framework extensions for Ionic. Do any of them seem like a good fit for your own project?
If you’ve used one of these kits or templates in your mobile app, let us know how it went in the comments below!