Today I’m excited to announce Ionic Identity Vault 4.0, the latest release from our suite of pre-built mobile solutions. Identity Vault makes it easy to add secure biometric authentication to your Ionic apps in minutes, using the latest in native security best practices.

This latest release of Identity Vault offers enhanced Android support by adding Android 10 (SDK 29) and AndroidX support. With this addition, Face Unlock and Iris Unlock are now available.

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Let’s face it: the keyboard is a constant source of pain and frustration for users and developers. Much of this has to do with the limited control browsers provide with keyboards. For native apps, we’ve even gone as far as creating plugins to help ease the pain of keyboards. Thankfully, browser vendors have agreed that the keyboard experience on the web is less than ideal and have decided to do something about it. In this blog post, we’ll look at some new APIs available on the web and discuss how we’re using them in Ionic to help developers.

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We’ve just published a new Appflow guide covering how to transfer your PhoneGap Build-based application to Ionic Appflow. Check it out here.

The past few years have seen the rise of build-in-the-cloud services. Why? To put it mildly, not everyone enjoys setting up and maintaining build systems to compile their native mobile applications. As just one example, you must have access to a Mac in order to compile a native iOS application. This, and plenty of other challenges, have led to offerings such as Adobe’s PhoneGap Build.

While it is currently still up and running, it is not getting a lot of attention from Adobe. This is problematic in today’s ever-evolving mobile landscape as developers try to keep up with a barrage of security fixes, new mobile operating system updates, and more.

So, as part of their broad strategy to provide a full spectrum of solutions to web developers building cross-platform apps, Ionic created its own cloud build service, Appflow.

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Few business or IT leaders would argue that mobile is no longer optional. This reality has never been more true as we navigate a global pandemic that’s changing almost everything about how we go about living our daily lives. Companies, employees, families, and just about everyone is #AloneTogether, making mobile not just a nice-to-have, but the principal method of communicating, be it with loved ones or employees.

While the case for mobile apps is airtight, an existing shortage of developer talent has hindered companies’ ability to push out the apps their employees need and their customers want in a timely and non-complex manner. In fact, Gartner predicts that through 2021, market demand for app development will grow at least five times faster than IT’s capacity to deliver it. That’s a striking number.

The question is: with mobile more important than ever, how can enterprise teams meet demand?

Today we are pleased to launch our State of Enterprise Mobile App Development research report, which surveyed more than 1,700 professional developers, architects, and IT leaders to find out what’s happening in enterprise app development today. The research report was conducted in tandem with our 3rd annual Ionic Developer Survey, released last week.

The results uncover significant information organizations need to catalyze change, including the fact that supply and demand are out of sync and enterprise teams are facing a growing app backlog.

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A few weeks ago, we shared how the Ionic community is tackling the COVID-19 crisis by building apps to help inform the public.

The efforts are incredibly inspiring – while COVID has upended normal life and forced us inside, that doesn’t mean that the community’s desire to connect with other members or learn new skills has stopped. Quite the opposite, in fact.

During the early days of Ionic, hosting meetups was a great way to connect with local community members, improve your web development skills, and keep up to date with the latest in Ionic tech. So, to help facilitate our community learning and growing together, we’re putting renewed effort into making Ionic Meetups easy and fun again.

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Today I’m thrilled to announce the 2.0 release of Capacitor, Ionic’s native runtime that makes it easy to build web apps that run on iOS, Android, and on the web as Progressive Web Apps— all powered by a single codebase.

Developers use Capacitor as a native app container for packaging and deploying their Ionic apps to various mobile and desktop platforms. Capacitor allows them to access native features like the Camera using the same code across all platforms – without having to worry about platform-specific details.

This new version updates Capacitor and its project templates to the latest security, bug fixes, and features including:

  • Swift 5 and Xcode 11+ support
  • Android 10 (SDK 29) and AndroidX support, which makes Face Unlock and Iris Unlock available now in Ionic Identity Vault.
  • Bug fixes and usability improvements to 23+ core plugins

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This is a guest post from Simon Grimm, Ionic Developer Expert and educator at the Ionic Academy. Simon also writes about Ionic frequently on his blog Devdactic.

Introduced a while ago, Sign in with Apple makes it easy for users to sign in to your apps and websites using their Apple ID. As of April 2020, this feature is required if you use any sort of 3rd party or social login on iOS (some exclusions apply). This includes Facebook Login, Google Sign-In, Sign in with Twitter, Sign In with LinkedIn, Login with Amazon, or WeChat Login.

The flow of this authentication process is mostly the same as with any other OAuth provider, which means it should be familiar, but it involves a lot of detailed configuration in different places.

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It seems that any time Apple releases something there is bound to be some noise regarding it. This time, it’s in regards to browser storage and Apple’s recent proclamation that such data will be deleted after 7 days. Well let’s break this down and see what this really means for developers.

Let me start by saying that these are only my opinions. These do not reflect the opinions of Ionic or the rest of my coworkers. In fact, there’s healthy disagreement and differing views among our team, as I’m sure there are on yours.

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Update: The publish to app stores feature is now available on all paid Appflow plans! 🎉 Upgrade your plan from the Appflow dashboard’s Subscriptions page.

Today the Appflow team put the finishing touches on a brand new feature that we’ve been working on for almost a year.

It’s possibly the most anticipated Appflow feature since we first launched the product (originally called “Ionic Pro”) back in summer 2017, and the one we’re most excited about personally: the ability to publish directly to the Apple and Android app stores, right from Appflow.

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As the world tries to make sense of the rapidly evolving COVID-19 outbreak and ensuing social and economic crisis, developers in the Ionic community are leading the charge to inform and help the public.

In the last few weeks, we’ve been made aware of many efforts across the world by Ionic developers to build useful apps for mobile and web, and we want to take a second to share those.

Parting thoughts

One thing that has become crystal clear in the last few weeks is just how crucial the open web and Progressive Web Apps have been to the developers building coronavirus apps. As Apple and Google notify developers of increased app store review times and seem to be blocking and even suspending most coronavirus apps, developers are turning to the web to share their apps with the largest number of people in the shortest amount of time. I’m glad that Ionic is able to facilitate this Progressive Web App-first approach and many are taking advantage of it.

If I had to guess, one of the biggest changes that will come from this period in terms of app development will be the establishment and growth of Progressive Web Apps, as they seem to be the only way to get any kind of Coronavirus app to market right now.

From all of us at Ionic, we’re so proud of the time and effort the Ionic community is putting into the response and we promise you we will be standing by to help promote your work. You all make us feel like we’re doing something, however small, to get information and help to the world. You are truly what makes this community so special.

If you’re building something that was not mentioned here, please tweet @maxlynch and we will get this updated.

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