iOS statusbar not transparent but blank white

I set the status bar in app.component.ts.

import { Component } from '@angular/core';
import { Platform } from 'ionic-angular';
import { StatusBar } from '@ionic-native/status-bar';
import { SplashScreen } from '@ionic-native/splash-screen';

import { MyView } from '../pages/map/map';
import { LoginPage } from '../pages/login/login';

import { UserDataProvider } from '../providers/user-data/user-data';
import { ErrorHandlerProvider } from '../providers/error-handler/error-handler';

  templateUrl: 'app.html',
  providers: [UserDataProvider,ErrorHandlerProvider]
export class MyApp {

  constructor(platform: Platform, 
              statusBar: StatusBar, 
              splashScreen: SplashScreen,
              private _userData: UserDataProvider,
              private _errorHandler: ErrorHandlerProvider) {
    platform.ready().then(() => {
      this.rootPage = MyView;

      .then((user) => {
          this.rootPage = MapView;
          this.rootPage = LoginPage;

      .catch((error) => this._errorHandler.logError(error));


Using default returns an ugly grayish bar. I would like to use translucent, but then the bar becomes just blank white. Do I have to use a combination of translucent and background color? Do I have to add some special xml settings in the config.xml for iOS? Transparnt/ translucent used to work in ionic1.