“Out of adversity comes opportunity” as the quote goes, and the COVID-19 lockdown in the UK was a great example for us here at Filter to put this into practice.
During the early stages of the pandemic, as we were learning more about COVID-19, we spent time considering the impact on both our own working environments and how others might be affected.
Over the past couple of years, we have been gravitating to remote working with Filter employees now working out of Edinburgh and Amsterdam, but still retained our office space at WeWork in Soho.
We knew that we want to spin up a POC quickly, and that we also wanted to use it as an opportunity to extend our own knowledge, so we quickly settled on using the Ionic Framework with React.
Typically, we use React Native for app development and used both React and Vue in our website builds. The move from Ionic to add front-end libraries such as React to their core framework, as well as their recent upgrades to CapacitorJS, meant that we could now try it out (we’ve avoided using Angular, so until React came along we hadn’t made the jump).
Of course, we’re old enough and experienced enough to know that you never really know a framework until you have developed with it for long enough to uncover what frustrates you about it.
However, despite the challenges we’ve faced over the past 6 months since we first picked it up, I’m happy to report that the overall we’ve had a positive experience.
Although this post isn’t designed to be a comparison or deep dive into the what is good or bad about Ionic, I do at least want to give high-level pros and cons and mention a couple of the gotchas that we noticed along the way.
Overall, the last 6 months of using Ionic + React, and Capacitor, have been a great experience. Our Safe For Work app is now live in both the App Store / Play Store and is already being piloted by care homes and businesses that want to check on the health of their employees before they come into work.
We’ve fully integrated Firebase Authentication, Cloud Store and Notifications, and are currently working on new features related to geolocation and QR codes. In addition to that, we’ve automated our CI/CD process to the stores via AppFlow and reduced our time to release to the point where we can comfortably push a new update out daily.
To return to the quote I started with “Out of adversity comes opportunity”, I think we’ve proved that it’s true – despite the lockdown, and the pandemic, we’ve grown in experience and knowledge and found a new platform that we will be using much more in the future.