Ionic’s native runtime exceeds 230K monthly installs; poised to eclipse Cordova as the #1 platform for hybrid mobile apps
Ionic, the most widely used platform for building mobile and desktop apps using web technology, today announced the release of Capacitor 2.0, the latest version of its cross-platform native runtime. Capacitor makes it easy to build web apps that run on iOS, Android, and on the web as Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) — all powered by a single codebase, using familiar web languages. The new version brings the latest in native platform capabilities and mobile device features, security, and performance to hybrid application development, helping developers craft modern mobile experiences with ease.
Capacitor was launched in May 2019 as an alternative to using Apache Cordova/Adobe PhoneGap when deploying hybrid mobile and web apps to other platforms. Building on the cross-platform advantages pioneered by Cordova, Capacitor brings a more modern, web-first approach, with much greater native power and control, including full access to the native Android and iOS SDKs when needed, plus first-class support for PWAs. Capacitor is now poised to eclipse Cordova as the number one native runtime for hybrid mobile apps, with more than 230,000 monthly downloads, and growth of over 47% quarter-over-quarter. Capacitor currently powers thousands of apps, supporting major organizations like the Tim Hortons and Popeyes mobile apps, serving millions of users worldwide.
“Professional developers and teams are recognizing the advantages of cross-platform development,” said Ionic CEO and co-founder Max Lynch. “At the same time, we recognized that the core native container that powers hybrid development had to evolve to take full advantage of all that the latest native SDKs and web APIs had to offer. Capacitor makes it easy for web developers to reuse their skills to build quality apps for all platforms, while significantly reducing the odds that they’ll get stuck on native-specific issues. At the same time, it unlocks an unprecedented degree of native power and control, and better features and performance to support mobile web apps and PWAs. With this version, we’re adding even greater power, security, and stability to make sure Capacitor becomes the dominant native runtime for teams building cross-platform mobile and Progressive Web Apps.”
Capacitor 2.0 updates its underlying technology that supports the latest versions of programming languages and operating systems that power all Capacitor apps. This enables improved performance, security, and modern development experiences.
Other updates include:
- Swift 5 and Xcode 11+ support brings smaller app bundle sizes, modern development tooling and features, and compatibility with earlier versions of Swift
- Android 10 (SDK 29) provides improved security and biometrics via Face Unlock and Iris Unlock for Identity Vault users, audio/video capabilities, and system-wide dark mode
- AndroidX replaces the Support Library, providing feature parity and backward-compatibility, while also providing improvements to library modularity, smaller code size, and a better developer experience
- An expanded plugin library makes it easy to access core device features and third-party integrations, with timely updates, fixes, and usability improvements for all existing plugins
“When we were revisiting the architecture for our Ionic V1 app migration, we wanted to make sure we were building on a modern hybrid foundation that gave our users the best possible experience and protection,” said Rakesh Gadapa, Application Developer III at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “Capacitor’s support for the latest in security, performance, and native platform capabilities, makes it easy to build compelling, modern app experiences that our users want, without having to worry about all the underlying complexity of the native SDKs and iOS and Android specific code.”