What is Apache Cordova?
Who uses Apache Cordova?
Apache Cordova Integrations
Why developers like Apache Cordova?
Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Apache Cordova in their tech stack.
I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research, trying different tools, and many years of mobile and web software design & development, these are what I came up with that work for me today:
For the client coding I chose Framework7 because of its performance, easy learning curve, and very well designed, beautiful UI widgets. I think it's perfect for solo development or small teams. I didn't like React Native. It felt heavy to me and rigid. Framework7 allows the use of #CSS3, which I think is the best technology to come out of the #WWW movement. No other tech has been able to allow designers and developers to develop such flexible, high performance, customisable user interface elements that are highly responsive and hardware accelerated before. Now #CSS3 includes variables and flexboxes it is truly a powerful language and there is no longer a need for preprocessors such as #SCSS / #Sass / #less. React Native contains a very limited interpretation of #CSS3 which I found very frustrating after using #CSS3 for some years already and knowing its powerful features. The other very nice feature of Framework7 is that you can even build for the browser if you want your app to be available for desktop web browsers. The latest release also includes the ability to build for #Electron so you can have MacOS, Windows and Linux desktop apps. This is not possible with React Native yet.
Framework7 runs on top of Apache Cordova. Cordova and webviews have been slated as being slow in the past. Having a game developer background I found the tweeks to make it run as smooth as silk. One of those tweeks is to use WKWebView. Another important one was using srcset on images.
For the user interface design and prototyping I use Figma. Figma has an almost identical user interface to Sketch but has the added advantage of being cross platform (MacOS and Windows). Its real-time collaboration features are outstanding and I use them a often as I work mostly on remote projects. Clients can collaborate in real-time and see changes I make as I make them. The clickable prototyping features in Figma are also very well designed and mean I can send clickable prototypes to clients to try user interface updates as they are made and get immediate feedback. I'm currently also evaluating the latest version of #AdobeXD as an alternative to Figma as it has the very cool auto-animate feature. It doesn't have real-time collaboration yet, but I heard it is proposed for 2019.
For the UI icons I use Font Awesome Pro. They have the largest selection and best looking icons you can find on the internet.
For the backend I chose Graphcool Framework. It has great customer support and a very accessible free startup plan for working on new projects. I was never a fan of relational databases so I'm very pleased to see NoSQL / GraphQL databases coming to the fore and I'm happy to use them. No more server side API development required! NoSQL databases are so much more flexible and the way I think databases were meant to be from the start. GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language like #Cypher, but I'm still enjoying it in its current incarnation.
For the IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is blazingly fast and silky smooth for editing code, and integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).
I use some Ruby scripts to process images with ImageMagick and pngquant to optimise for size and even auto insert responsive image code into the HTML5. Ruby is the ultimate cross platform scripting language. Even as your scripts become large, Ruby allows you to refactor your code easily and make it Object Oriented if necessary. I find it the quickest and easiest way to maintain certain aspects of my build process.
I use PhoneGap when testing the app. It auto-reloads your app when its code is changed and you can also install it on Android phones to preview your app instantly. iOS is a bit more tricky cause of Apple's policies so it's not available on the App Store, but you can build it and install it yourself to your device.
So that's my latest mobile stack. What tools do you use? Have you tried these ones?
For a front end dev like me, using a mobile framework for side projects makes more sense than writing a native app. I had used Apache Cordova (formerly PhoneGap) before (because React Native didn't exist yet), and was happy with it. But once React Native came out, it made more sense to go that way instead. It's more efficient and smooth, since it doesn't have the simulation overhead, and has more access to hardware features. It feels cleaner since you don't need to deal with #WebView, using native UI widgets directly. I also considered Flutter . It looks promising, but is relatively new to the game, and React Native seems more stable for now.
So, i am preparing to adopt NativeScript.
For years my hybrid projects used Apache Cordova.
"Let's avoid to maintain two teams and double the deliver velocity".
It was good for a few years, we had those september issues, (i.e. apple broke some backward compatibility) , but for the last years, things seems to be losing the grip faster.
Last breaking changes, for instance, seems to have a workaround, however that growing feeling that simple things can not rely on so fragile webviews keeps growing faster and faster.
I've tested nativescript not only on it's "helloworld", but also on how do they respond on issues.
I got tweed support. I opened an github issue and got answers on less than 10 hours (yes i did it on another timezone and very close to a weekend). I saw the faulty docs get corrected in two days.
The bad news is i only can adopt nativescript on newer projects, since there is no budget to revamp the current solutions.
The good news is i can keep coding on Vue.js , without vou router, but that's ok. I've already exchanged vanilla html for real native app with background magic enabled, the router can be easily reproduced.
Write code once for many platforms! Apache Cordova is the only tool I know of today that can create high performance mobile (iOS, Android & Windows Phone), desktop apps (MacOs, Linux & Windows) and web apps from a single code base. What's more, it's #OpenSource and #free. I like to use it in conjunction with #Framework7.
Apache Cordova's features
- Cross-platform (CLI) workflow
- Platform-centered workflow
- Hundreds of plugins