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Hello, friends! We’re excited to announce the eleventh beta of Ionic 2! Beta 11 includes several bug fixes and enhancements. More importantly, Beta 11 lays the foundation for moving towards a release candidate (we plan to release one more beta before the release candidate). We’ve been busy dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s, double checking every detail to get ready. Take a look at the changelog to see all of the changes. There are some important breaking changes, so please follow these instructions on how to upgrade to Beta 11. Please let us know if you experience any challenges upgrading.

Here’s what you have to look forward to in Beta 11:

Overlays

Overlay components such as Alert, Modal, Popover, etc. should now be created via their injected controller. Rather than creating an Alert using a static method, an AlertController provider is now injected into a component. By injecting overlay providers, it has become much easier to unit test components! See a full list of affected components here.

Tabs

Tabs are updated to match the latest version of the Material Design spec. In other words, Tabs have moved to the bottom of the screen by default when using Material Design. This can be overridden in an app’s config. The config options are detailed in the Beta 11 upgrade instructions.

Angular Upgrade

Ionic is now utilizing Angular RC 4 and takes advantage of the new @angular/forms module. ?

Moving Forward

With Beta 11 out the door, our focus will now turn to Beta 12 and the Ionic 2 release candidate! ? Here’s what you can expect in Beta 12:

Performance Improvements

Ionic 2 will take advantage of Ahead-of-time (AoT) compiling, a technique to pre-process Angular templates. Without AoT compiling, when a template is loaded, it must be parsed and compiled before it can be executed. AoT compiling moves the parsing and compiling step from runtime to the build process, resulting in noticeably quicker start-up times.

In addition to AoT compiling, we’ve come up with a way to take advantage of a faster WebView on iOS called WKWebView, which will result in significant performance improvements. We’re working on the finishing touches right now, and we’ll be ready to share more soon!

URL Support

Making the URL a first-class citizen in Ionic 2 is very important for Progressive Web Apps, so we’ll be spending some time in the next few weeks focusing on this. Stay tuned for more details in the near future!

Build Process Improvements

Beta 12 will debut the new Ionic 2 build process, which will utilize a technique called “tree shaking.” Tree shaking is used to shrink the build output to include only the JavaScript and CSS of the components being used. To utilize tree shaking, we’re migrating from Browserify to Webpack 2. This will result in significantly faster build times and dramatically reduced bundle sizes. The new build will also include TypeScript 2.0 and the use of npm to manage type definitions.

We’ll be sharing additional details on the new build process shortly—we’re really excited about it!

Conclusion

We’re looking forward to delivering a high quality release candidate in the coming weeks, and we want to say thank you to the community for all of the great contributions, via GitHub issues and pull requests. It is an incredible privilege to work with such an awesome community!

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