Feedback on Ionic Pro


#1

Thought I would share the feedback I sent to ionic about ionic pro.


Here is some feedback for what it is worth.

First, I love the ionic framework.

As for Ionic Pro, not so much.

I started writing an app initially using ionic Cloud, it used Push, Auth and Deploy functionalities. At the time I liked these because they were well integrated.

Shortly after the app went live you guys announced ionic pro, initially saying that Push and Auth would be part of it, albeit in some modified fashion. Fine, so I knew I had to move to ionic pro and spend a couple of weeks changing my app.

Than you announced that Push and Auth were no longer part of your plans. This meant I had to spend more time changing my app to use FCM directly. At this point the only feature I would be using would be Deploy.

But even that was not good, since in Pro I am only allowed a single update channel. In my app I use multiple update channels Production, Staging, BetaTesters, Internal, WhiteLabel etc…

At that point I started looking at CodePush, turns out their offering is more robust than Deploy (faster, more features etc).

So now I have spent another week changing my app to use CodePush.

Currently I have released the ios version of the app that no longer uses any PRO features and the android version is in testing and should be released tomorrow. At that point I will send one last push message using ionic telling the users to update and be closing my ionic accounts.

Here is a summary

  • All those changes cost me a lot of time.
  • Features of PRO are a downgrade from what you have in Cloud.
  • Push service was unreliable (pushes sometimes arrived hours after they were sent)
  • Other features of PRO are of no use to me
    • Ionic Creator: Maybe ok for some simplistic prototyping, but is of no real use in a real app
    • Ionic View: Seemed interesting but since my app has many custom plugins I never got it working properly and update channels is all I needed to test and share
    • Ionic Deploy: CodePush is better
    • Native Builds: I have no need for that, not sure any serious dev would either.
    • Ionic Monitor: Would probably have used this if I was using other features, but by itself is not worth tying myself to Pro.
  • Support was ok

My suggestion to Ionic is to bring back Push and Auth, making sure they are robust. The key to adoption is to provide a well integrated set of core services. What you provide now is easily replaced with better/cheaper alternatives.

Sorry if this seems a bit harsh, but just trying to give some honest feedback, since I think your work on the ionic framework is superb and I would love to see you guys succeed.


#2

You just explained perfectly why it does not make sense for Ionic to have a push and auth solution: The existing/previous offering was not robust. Both are easily replaceable by better offerings, that additionally are mostly free. There is no additional value that Ionic can create for both.


#3

The value they can create is in simplifying a developers life. Take Push/Auth all I initially had to do was tell ionic what the user email was (cant remember the api right now). I did not have to keep track of push tokens or associate them with a user. On my server I could than use ionics api to push to specific users by email. Using firebase etc a developers life is complicated, I need to setup a bunch of plugins, deal with a bunch of apis on the server etc…


#4

I agree. With both of you. Initially, it was confusing, frustrating, migraine-inducing, and disheartening. After banging my head against a brick wall for weeks, something dawned on me.

Before the changes that were made, using Ionic was really, really easy. So easy that I was accomplishing things that far outweighed my actual ability. I was very much a hack, and it didn’t matter. After getting my ass kicked by that brick wall for a month, we came to an uneasy truce, and now are working together in a somewhat harmonious way.

I have improved exponentially after struggling for this long, and now consider myself half the hack I used to be.

In the end, taking the Longview, the changes that once drove me to consider dropping ionic have forced me to improve the quality of my work and that is a very good thing.

So, @haninaguib, while I sincerely understand your view-point, I have come to see these hardships as challenges, and opportunities for growth.


#5

thanks, but are you still using ionic pro and if so what services do you make use of?


#6

I am. I am using Git, and have integrated my github repositories with Ionic’s, I have built IOS packages with Ionic Pro, I have deployed updates, have gained a far better understanding of what the actual build process entails, have been able to integrate OneSignal, use GoogleMaps to handle my navigation which is extremely smooth and a vast improvement on simply using Ionic’s ready-made mapping, etc.

I realize that some of those statements may be a contradiction in terms, but in my opinion, this is closer to what a product like Ionic is meant to be. A tool to facilitate those achievements, and provide a framework that breeds quality as opposed to quantity. For example, a year ago I added ionic-native onesignal to an app, it worked, i started sending push notifications. It’s not quite that simple anymore. Now I understand the inner workings of that particular service to a degree I never would have if I had continued to be spoon-fed solutions.

I would say the most important service I am still using is Ionic. And Ionic is making a quality programmer out of me.

Futher, by forcing individual users to look for outside solutions like OneSignal or other push services (etc…) collaboration between Ionic, those other services, and us as individuals is enriched. In the end, this will make for more robust relationships between all parties involved. That = growth.

It also suggests that the Ionic Team has taken an approach that will allow them to develop their core-competencies which will, in the end, provide a much stronger product and a stronger company.


#7

Thanks for the feedback @jaydz and @haninaguib! I reached out to both of you via email if you guys have time to chat more :slight_smile:


#8

@mattkremer, I scheduled a chat session with you, so we will talk soon! Have a good weekend


#9

Thanks for the feedback everyone, we very much appreciate it and are already discussing how to act on it. Pro is in active development (and we’re hiring as fast as we can for it), so expect it to evolve quickly.

About Auth and Push, we know these services helped developers and many are sad to see them go. I think @Sujan12 said it perfectly: those industries have become a race to the bottom with a lot of companies doing it well and charging almost or exactly nothing for it. Auth in particular is on the fringes of mBaaS and without other mBaaS features (like a database), we felt like it didn’t make sense. Finally, we want to work with cloud vendors instead of trying to do everything ourselves, and those vendors have mBaaS features but almost none of them have something like Pro, so we felt like it was doubly wrong for us to do it: we couldn’t create unique value and we weren’t solving the unsolved problems Ionic devs face.

A few things I want to mention about where we’re going with Pro and why I hope you’ll find it the best app dev/lifecycle/productivity companion for Ionic dev out there. First of all, every service you see today will be increasingly automated. For example, soon monitoring will automatically map your sourcemaps for you and track runtime issues from a git push. You’ll be able to automatically host a PWA from your app and configure important PWA features. We will track runtime performance of your app at a deep level in your Ionic code because we are 100% focused on it. Those are some examples.

Beyond that, we will be baking it more closely into the whole experience (optionally, of course!) so it’ll feel like a natural extension of just using Ionic. Expect tools like the next version of Creator to provide a really strong all-in-one development experience using Framework + Pro.

Please keep the feedback coming, it really helps us get better. Pro has been out for ~one month as a soft launch only as we knew we had to get it out there and learn and improve quickly. Luckily, the response has generally been really positive and strong so we’re confident this is the right product for Ionic and will help us continue to build Ionic into a strong company that can continue to invest in awesome open source products, and services for professionals and businesses that demand more. We know what is out there today isn’t the best it could be and we are working hard to improve it and make it awesome which we can only do with your feedback.


#10

Thanks for the feedback, I have also scheduled a meeting.