Multiple Calls to $ionicPlatform.ready()

July 12, 2015

I’ve recently been working in the Ionic framework for creating mobile apps. It’s quite capable and really an amazing tool for creating a certain class of apps. In fact, I and the team working on our most recent project began to trust it so much, we assumed it could do more than it really can.

The documentation for the $ionicPlatform service shows that it provides a ready function that takes a callback. That callback is executed when the ionic platform is loaded and ready or immediately if the platform is already loaded. So in different places in the application — such as starting the main app module and starting up a location tracking service — we happily fed the ionic service our callback functions.

When testing in the browser everything went great. On a mobile device using the Ionic View application (another awesome resource that Ionic provides) everything continued to work great.

Then we started the app deployment testing. That’s when we started running into problems. We could never get the navigation service to load correctly. After I spent a day of debugging and thinking I was tracking down some type of strange async issue, I found the real problem. It turns out, during the previous tests, the ionic platform was already ready before we invoked the ready call on the service. However, during the app deployment testing, the ionic platform was not yet ready. In that circumstance it turns out the first callback function passed to $ionicPlatform.ready() wins and is called back when the platform really is ready. Unfortunately, other callbacks passed to the function are silently ignored. (ARGH!)

To get around this, I read the fine print. In addition to taking a callback function as a parameter, it returns a promise for the platform being ready. (Why would it need a callback parameter at all?)

I ultimately solved this problem by creating another Factory service that simply returns the promise. And whatever needs to execute when Ionic is ready simply provides a callback to the then of that promise. (I no longer trusted the service itself to return the promise correctly on multiple calls.)

angular.module("appName").factory("ionicReady", function ($ionicPlatform) {
  var readyPromise

  return function () {
    if (!readyPromise) {
      readyPromise = $ionicPlatform.ready()
    return readyPromise

Then I replaced calls to the function with:

ionicReady().then(function () {
  // Stuff to do when the platform is finally ready.

As my kiddo says, Easy Peas-ee.

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👋 Hi, I'm Bob. I'm a User Experience designer turned Front-end Software Engineer working @FwdNetworks in Atlanta, GA. I love building effective and delightful user interfaces for organizations making a positive difference in the world.

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