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Ionic: A quick guide from project initialization to release of Android / iOS packages (apk / ipa)

fabiotrotta profile image Fabio Trotta Updated on ・4 min read

Preface

This is a quick guide made to summarize and keep track of the steps useful for the initialization and release of iOS and Android apps with the Ionic framework.

 

Prerequisites

Clone the project from git or initialize a new Ionic project.

 

Check environment requirements

The dependency versions of the develepoment environment (Node, Ionic, Cordova and Angular) must be compatible with those indicated in the app package.json.

It's necessary that the node version in use is compliant with the Angular version according to this table:

Angular version Node.js version Angular CLI version
2.x 6.0.x or later minor version -
4.0.x/4.1.x 6.9.x or later minor version 1.0.6
4.0.x/4.1.x 6.9.x or later minor version 1.1.3
4.0.x/4.1.x 6.9.x or later minor version 1.2.7
4.2.x/4.3.x/4.4.x 6.9.x or later minor version 1.3.2
4.2.x/4.3.x/4.4.x 6.9.x/8.9.x or later minor version 1.4.10
5.0.x/5.1.x 6.9.x/8.9.x or later minor version 1.5.6
5.2.x 6.9.x/8.9.x or later minor version 1.6.7
5.2.x 6.9.x/8.9.x or later minor version 1.7.4
6.0.x 8.9.x or later minor version 6.0.8
6.1.x 8.9.x or later minor version 6.1.5
6.1.x 8.9.x or later minor version 6.2.9
7.0.x 8.9.x/10.9.x or later minor version 7.0.7
7.1.x 8.9.x/10.9.x or later minor version 7.1.4
7.2.x 8.9.x/10.9.x or later minor version 7.2.4
7.2.x 8.9.x/10.9.x or later minor version 7.3.9
8.0.x 10.9.x or later minor version 8.0.6
8.1.x 10.9.x or later minor version 8.1.3
8.2.x 10.9.x or later minor version 8.2.2
8.2.x 10.9.x or later minor version 8.3.29
9.0.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 9.0.7
9.1.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 9.1.x
10.0.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 10.0.8
10.1.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 10.1.7
10.2.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 10.2.x
11.0.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 11.0.7
11.1.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 11.1.4
11.2.x 10.13.x/12.11.x or later minor version 11.2.x
12.0.x 12.13.x/14.15.x or later minor version 12.0.x

 

Setup development environment

1) Install Node: Download the needed version from the official website

2) Install Angular

npm install -g @angular/cli
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3) Install Ionic

npm install -g @ionic/cli
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4) Install Android SDK: Guide to install the Android SDK on Windows, Mac and Linux

 

Launching app on Android

Navigate to the project root directory and type the following commands:

npm install
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ionic cordova platform create android
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ionic cordova run android
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To launch the app in reload live mode and view the changes in real time:

ionic cordova run android -l
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Launching app on iOS

1) Navigate to the project root directory and type the following commands:

npm install
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ionic cordova platform create ios
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ionic cordova platform prepare ios
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2) Open the native project created in the platform folder with XCode and build and run on the iOS device.

 

Release apk

1) Enter the command:

ionic cordova build android --release
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2) Rename the apk generated in: \platforms\android\app\build\outputs\apk with: {APP_NAME}-release-unsigned.apk

3) Move the apk to the jarsigner path Eg: C:\Program Files\Java\jdk1.8.0_201\bin (Alternatively set the jarsigner in the environment variables).

4) Move the .keystore file for the app always in \bin.

5) Enter the command 'jarsigner' to sign apk (enter the keystore password when required):

jarsigner -verbose -sigalg SHA1withRSA -digestalg SHA1 -keystore {APP_NAME} -release-key.keystore {APP_NAME} -release-unsigned.apk {APP_NAME} -key
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6) Move {APP_NAME}-release-unsigned.apk to: C:\Users\{USER_NAME}\AppData\Local\Android\Sdk\build-tools\{API you want to build with (Eg. android-4.4.2 or 29.0.2}

7) Navigate to: C:\Users\{USER_NAME}\AppData\Local\Android\Sdk\build-tools\{API you want to build with (Eg. android-4.4.2 or 29.0.2)}

8) Enter the command 'zipalign':

zipalign -v 4 {APP_NAME}-release-unsigned.apk {APP_NAME}_{RELEASE_DATE or APP_VERSION}_{ENVIRONMENT_BACKEND}.apk
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9) Your apk is ready to be delivered!

 

Release ipa

1) Enter the following commands:

ionic cordova platform prepare ios
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ionic cordova build ios --release
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2) Import the Enterprise account certificate to the MAC. If the certificate has already been created, you can export it from another MAC or you can create it (https://help.apple.com/xcode/mac/current/#/dev154b28f09).

3) Enter the provisioning profile of the app which can be downloaded from the Apple Developer website (Download manual provisioning profiles: https://help.apple.com/xcode/mac/current/#/deva899b4fe5).

4) Open the native project with Xcode.

5) Choose "Generic iOS Device" as run device.

6) Select Product -> Archive from the top menu.

7) Your ipa is ready to be delivered!

Image credits:
Top 7 Reasons to Pick IONIC Framework for Mobile Apps

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