Are CocoaPods necessary to use Google Sign-in?

I’m trying to implement Google Plus Sign-In using the Ionic Google Plus login. When I get to the step of enabling the Google Sign-in service (https://developers.google.com/mobile/add) and I can download the GoogleService-Info.plist file, there is the following message:

CocoaPods
To use the SDK, ensure you have CocoaPods installed and configured for your project. In your Podfile, include the following:
pod 'Google/SignIn’
Is it really necessary to install CocoaPods? I’m having the hardest time getting a build to complete without failing and the errors always point back to CocoaPods.