Make HTTP Requests In Android And iOS With IonicFramework

As a modern developer, at some point in time you’re going to find yourself needing to work with a RESTful API.  You’re going to need to make HTTP requests to get data into your app or even change data on a remote database.

Lucky for us, making HTTP requests with IonicFramework is a heck of a lot easier than making them with native code.

The following will show you how to make GET requests for JSON data at some fictional API endpoint.  It is for Ionic Framework 1.  If you’re looking for how to make HTTP requests using Ionic 2, check here.

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Use Font Awesome Glyph Icons With Android

Creating clean looking user interfaces in Android can often be challenging.  With all the screen resolutions and screen densities that exist for Android, a lot more must be taken into consideration than iOS apps.

A nifty trick I figured out is being able to use font glyphs instead of PNG or JPEG images.  When using standard images you must create an image for every density (xxhdpi, xhdpi, hdpi, mdpi) and even then it still might not look clear.  When using font glyphs, the images will always look crisp because they are vector graphics.

For this example, I’m going to use Font Awesome because it is open source and there are more than 400 glyphs included.

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Add A Splash Screen To An IonicFramework Project

It is always nice to have splash screens in your application.  It is a great way to get your branding out, and show that your application is currently loading.  No one likes to see a blank white screen for five seconds during launch.

Lucky for us, it is incredibly simple to add a splash screen to our Ionic project.  Using Apache Cordova’s Splashscreen plugin, we can add a splash to our application with just two lines in our config.xml file.

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Bypass CORS Errors When Testing APIs Locally

Anyone who has worked with a RESTful API using JavaScript knows that testing can be a complete pain if the API owner hasn’t enabled CORS on their server.  So what is CORS?  According to Wikipedia, it is the following:

Cross-origin resource sharing (CORS) is a mechanism that allows many resources (e.g., fonts, JavaScript, etc.) on a web page to be requested from another domain outside the domain the resource originated from.

Often API owners will leave CORS disabled even though their API is open to the public.  In my opinion it doesn’t feel public if the API owner is not allowing requests from all angles.

Here are a few tricks I’ve picked up in regards to bypassing the awful CORS errors you receive in your browser when testing.

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Internationalization and Localization with IonicFramework and Angular Translate

There are roughly seven billion people in the world (7,000,000,000) and roughly 6,500 languages.  Lucky for us, Android and iOS does not support all 6,500 of these languages.  However, many are supported and this means that when you make an application in your native language, chances are your audience is only going to be a fraction of these people.

Recently I discovered Angular Tranlate, a JavaScript library for AngularJS.  It allows you to create translation tables in your web application to quickly switch between depending on the language you desire.  When you pair this with IonicFramework, which supports AngularJS, you have a great way of adding internationalization and localization into your mobile application.

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So You Made An App, Now What?

So you’ve just made an awesome app and you have no idea how to get the word out.  This is a problem most app developers have, so you’re not alone.

I’ve released many mobile apps to the app store, most of them Android, but still a diverse collection.  It has been tough work, but I’ve established myself by getting many downloads, maintaining a high average rating, and getting a few hundred dollars monthly in app revenue.
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Using An Oauth 2.0 Service With IonicFramework

Many APIs such as Google, Twitter, and Facebook require Oauth in order to use.  This can get tricky when it comes to mobile because authorization must happen externally in a web browser.  To our advantage, we can handle Oauth 2.0 using the InAppBrowser plugin for Apache Cordova.

Basic instructions on using the InAppBrowser with IonicFramework can be found in one of my earlier blog posts.  If you’re looking to use Oauth in an Ionic 2 application, visit here, otherwise proceed with Ionic Framework 1.

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