Developing mobile apps is an interesting yet challenging task. Different
mobile platforms have their own ecosystems. There are new programming
languages, frameworks, libraries, and tools to learn. Building complicated
mobile apps or games requires a lot of experience. But not all mobile apps
are complicated. There are still many mobile apps that are content-centric.
This kind of apps focuses on content presentations and doesn’t use many
native features. For these kinds of apps, PhoneGap and its successor
Apache Cordova offer a different way to build them.
Mobile platforms usually have a component to render web pages. Cordova
uses this component to create a wrapper for running web pages. Cordova
provides different wrappers for different platforms. The web pages become

the mobile apps to develop. After using Cordova, developers can use front-
end skills to create cross-platform mobile apps. This empowers front-end

developers to create good enough content-centric mobile apps. Many other
frameworks build on top of Cordova to provide out-of-box components to
make building mobile apps much easier.
This book focuses on the latest version 2 of the popular Ionic framework.
The best way to learn a new framework is using it in real product
development. This book is not a manual for Ionic 2, but a field guide of
how to use it. We’ll build a Hacker News client app using Ionic 2 and use
this as the example to discuss different aspects of Ionic 2. This book not
only covers the implementation of the Hacker News client app, but also
the whole development life cycle, including unit tests, end-to-end tests,
continuous integration, and app publish. After reading this book, you should
get a whole picture of building mobile apps using Ionic 2.
Most of the nontrivial mobile apps need back-end service to work with them.
Using mobile apps back-end services is a new trend that eliminates the
heavy burden to write extra code and maintain the back-end infrastructure.
Google Firebase is a popular choice of mobile apps back-end services. The
Hacker News client app uses Firebase to handle user authentication and
user favorites data storage. After reading this book, you should be able to
integrate Firebase in your own apps.

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