Making mobile apps is pretty fun if all you have to do is write css and javascript. Angular makes it more fun, and Generator M gets us off the ground pdq.

Note I assume you know Angular and aren’t afraid of yeoman generators.

Setting up

  1. Install Generator M
  2. Make a new directory and generate app scaffolding within that. I like ‘tabs’ personally.
  3. Tada! note we aren’t stopping here…

Just run gulp watch and it will pop open a local browser for you to see your new app in development (resize your browser to phone-size for best experience :)

Change things

I’ll give you a brief overview of where stuff is and you can change it a little before building your app.

app/* and the main module app/main/* are where all the cool stuff is. Assets, controllers, templates, styles, etc.

The main index (i.e. app/index.html) loads in our javascript dependencies, application module, and lays out the header and tab based navigation.

Tab templates are in app/main/templates – you start out with list, list details, debug, and tabs.

List is the homepage – this and other routing is specififed by the angular ui config in main.js. Note the ‘otherwise’ route.

More details about where stuff is can be found in the Generator M docs.

More options

When making changes, note that there is a grid system (and many other cool components) provided by Ionic. You can also just use Flexbox to lay out your elements – who really needs a grid system anymore?

Also, I highly encourage exploring the testing integration and adding in e2e tests with protractor.

Compiling and installing

Add the platform of your choice to ionic, build for it, emulate it, and install it on your phone. We’re done :)

Here’s some helpful commands:

gulp build
ionic platform add android
ionic build android
ionic emulate android

Note: the www/ folder is built by gulp, and then ionic builds the apk to platforms/android/build/outputs/apk/android-debug.apk


AngularJS can power a mobile app, as well as a web page. Ionic integrates Angular and Cordova quite nicely. Yeoman generators are what you want for speed of setup.

Testing is your friend.