Sworkit App Case Study: Bringing Cross Platform Mobile Development to the Fitness Industry

How a premium digital fitness company and leader in the fitness app space grew to millions of delighted users with a cross platform mobile development solution

Sworkit brings cross platform mobile development to the fitness industry with their apps: Sworkit word on an orange background

The Sworkit Story

In 2012, developer Ryan Hanna was still learning to code when he began working on a passion project: an app to help people of all ages get fit. Hanna rebuilt Sworkit with Ionic in just ten weeks after struggling to maintain performance and quality with other technology stacks. Sworkit quickly became a popular fitness app, rising to the top five in the iOS App Store and on Google Play.

Sworkit was acquired in June 2014 by Nexercise, who recognized its potential to become the global standard for all instructional exercise.  Ryan is now the VP of Product & Engineering, and the Sworkit team at Nexercise operates completely remotely, employing six team members across the globe, three of whom are core developers on the app.

The stability and top-notch performance of our primary app has allowed us to focus on growing our business.

Ryan Hanna

As of April 2016, Sworkit’s flagship app has 2.5 million monthly active users and over 10 million downloads, and the Sworkit team has created a total of nine apps using Ionic, including Sworkit Premium and Sworkit Kids. “Physical Education teachers around the world are using Sworkit Kids for their classes,” says Hanna.

Hanna emphasizes that Ionic’s reliability has allowed the company to scale as a remote, global business: “Ionic has given Sworkit peace of mind,” says Hanna, “The stability and top-notch performance of our primary app has allowed us to focus on growing our business.”

Discovering the Solution: Cross Platform Mobile Development

When Hanna was choosing a mobile development tool, he knew he wanted to use Cordova, given his familiarity with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, but still needed a comprehensive UI framework to complement it. “I wanted to work with a framework that was just as open as Cordova, one that I could use to customize the app to fit our brand,” he says.

The biggest factor that drove me to choose Ionic was its design and flexibility.

Ryan Hanna

Working as a lean team, hybrid mobile development was Hanna’s most attractive option. Given the speed and quality of mobile devices today, he knew hybrid app performance would equal that of a native app.  “Ionic makes it easy to go from an idea to a fully functioning app, and the framework’s robust components rival those used in native development,” says Hanna.

Screenshot of Sworkit's app

Saving Time & Money with Ionic Products

Because the Sworkit team was able to leverage one single code base to build iOS and Android apps, Hanna says Ionic cut Sworkit’s development time in half and saved well over $200,000 a year in salaries for the two additional developers they’d have needed to build native apps.

Ionic cut Sworkit’s development time in half and saved well over $200,000.

“I always joke that I have the best app infrastructure for free because of Ionic, while many other companies would need to dedicate an entire team towards reusable components of code,” says Hanna. “Ionic is our development cycle. It is our main focus in terms of anything app-related.”

The Sworkit app is available in the iOS App Store, the Google Play Store, and the Amazon App Store.

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