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Venkatesh Kumar

How to build your first hybrid mobile app with Apache Cordova


Apache Cordova

There are various ways to build a mobile app in the mobile application development landscape such as Native iOS, Native Android, Cordova, Appcelerator Titanium and more.

Native vs Cross platform vs Hybrid apps

  • Native mobile apps are developed in a programming language native to the device and operating system.

          iOS (Objective-c or Swift), Android (Java) or Windows Phone (C#/Visual Basic & XAML).

  • Cross-platform mobile apps are developed using an intermediate language, such as Javascript, that is not native to the device’s operating system.

          Xamarin, Appcelerator, React Native and NativeScript.

  • HTML5 hybrid mobile apps are cross-platform apps but render the user interface using an embedded web browser, leveraging HTML, CSS and Javascript.

         Cordova, Trigger.IO, Ionic Framework and Telerik Platform.

Which cross platform framework is right for you?

Not all cross-platform solutions are created equal. Create great hybrid apps across different mobile devices with Apache Cordova. Getting started with Cordova App Development is easy. Cordova is a feature-packed which allows you to develop, compile, and deploy highly functional mobile apps. PhoneGap also supports technologies many front-end developers already know. There’s a free plan, or a paid plan that offers increased data and access to more plugins.

Building the App with Apache Cordova

Apache Cordova is an open-source mobile development framework which allows you to leverage standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform mobile application development. With Apache Cordova framework build native-like applications targeted iOS and Android devices by accessing device's capabilities such as sensors, data, network status, etc.

Web Views

The user interface for Apache Cordova applications is created using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The web view used by application is the same web view used by the native operating system

Embedding Web Views

  • iOS: Objective-C UIWebView class
  • Android: android.webkit.WebView
  • Windows Phone 7: WebBrowser
  • Windows Phone 8: WebBrowser control (Internet Explorer 10)
  • BlackBerry: WebWorks framework

Web Apps

The application itself is implemented as a web page, by default a local file named index.html, that references CSS, JavaScript, images, media files, or other resources are necessary for it to run.

Plugins

The application itself is implemented as a web page, by default a local file named index.html, that references CSS, JavaScript, images, media files, or other resources are necessary for it to run.

Cordova Command Line 

$ sudo npm install -g cordova - Install Cordova
$ cordova create hello com.example.hello HelloWorld - Create App
$ cordova platform add ios - Adding ios platform
$ cordova platform add android - Adding Android platform
$ cordova build android - Build your app
$ cordova run android - Run your app on devices
$ cordova emulate android - Run your app on emulator
$ cordova plugin add cordova-plugin-camera - Adding plugin to app
$ sudo npm update -g cordova - Updating your app for latest Cordova


As you have seen Cordova reduces development time since you don’t need to develop a separate app for every platform that you’re planning to support. Moving forward, we recommend you to implement mobile app solutions with Apache Cordova framework.

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