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What is Apache Cordova?

Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
Apache Cordova is a tool in the Cross-Platform Mobile Development category of a tech stack.
Apache Cordova is an open source tool with 767 GitHub stars and 329 GitHub forks. Here’s a link to Apache Cordova's open source repository on GitHub

Who uses Apache Cordova?

Companies
140 companies reportedly use Apache Cordova in their tech stacks, including Teleport, App Development, and JustWatch.

Developers
337 developers on StackShare have stated that they use Apache Cordova.

Apache Cordova Integrations

Sentry, Greenhouse, Meteor, Bitrise, and JScrambler are some of the popular tools that integrate with Apache Cordova. Here's a list of all 8 tools that integrate with Apache Cordova.

Why developers like Apache Cordova?

Here’s a list of reasons why companies and developers use Apache Cordova
Apache Cordova Reviews

Here are some stack decisions, common use cases and reviews by companies and developers who chose Apache Cordova in their tech stack.

Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 15 upvotes · 54.3K views
Pouchdb
CouchDB
Font Awesome
CSS 3
Apache Cordova
PhoneGap
HTML5
Ruby
Babel
Webpack
Visual Studio Code
Figma
TypeScript
JavaScript
Framework7
#GraphCool
#HTML5
#GraphQL
#Sketch
#Template7
#HandleBars
#Electron
#Less
#Sass
#SCSS
#CSS3
#Css

I needed to choose a full stack of tools for cross platform mobile application design & development. After much research and trying different tools, 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.

I use #Template7 for the for the templating system which is a no-nonsense mobile-centric #HandleBars style extensible templating system. It's easy to write custom helpers for, is fast and has a small footprint. I'm not forced into a new paradigm or learning some new syntax. It operates with standard JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS 3. It's written by the developer of Framework7 and so dovetails with it as expected.

I configured TypeScript to work with the latest version of Framework7. I consider TypeScript to be one of the best creations to come out of Microsoft in some time. They must have an amazing team working on it. It's very powerful and flexible. It helps you catch a lot of bugs and also provides code completion in supporting IDEs. So for my IDE I use Visual Studio Code which is a blazingly fast and silky smooth editor that integrates seamlessly with TypeScript for the ultimate type checking setup (both products are produced by Microsoft).

I use Webpack and Babel to compile the JavaScript. TypeScript can compile to JavaScript directly but Babel offers a few more options and polyfills so you can use the latest (and even prerelease) JavaScript features today and compile to be backwards compatible with virtually any browser. My favorite recent addition is "optional chaining" which greatly simplifies and increases readability of a number of sections of my code dealing with getting and setting data in nested objects.

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.

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 with several variations in styles so you can find most of the icons you want for standard projects.

For the backend I was using the #GraphCool Framework. As I later found out, #GraphQL still has some way to go in order to provide the full power of a mature graph query language so later in my project I ripped out #GraphCool and replaced it with CouchDB and Pouchdb. Primarily so I could provide good offline app support. CouchDB with Pouchdb is very flexible and efficient combination and overcomes some of the restrictions I found in #GraphQL and hence #GraphCool also. The most impressive and important feature of CouchDB is its replication. You can configure it in various ways for backups, fault tolerance, caching or conditional merging of databases. CouchDB and Pouchdb even supports storing, retrieving and serving binary or image data or other mime types. This removes a level of complexity usually present in database implementations where binary or image data is usually referenced through an #HTML5 link. With CouchDB and Pouchdb apps can operate offline and sync later, very efficiently, when the network connection is good.

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?

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Apache Cordova
redux-saga
React Native
AngularJS
Redux
React
#JavascriptMvcFrameworks

We had contemplated a long time which #JavascriptMvcFrameworks to use, React and React Native vs AngularJS and Apache Cordova in both web and mobile. Eventually we chose react over angular since it was quicker to learn, less code for simple apps and quicker integration of third party javascript modules. for the full MVC we added Redux.js for state management and redux-saga for async calls and logic. since we also have mobile app along with the web, we can shere logic and model between web and mobile.

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Sezgi Uluçam
Sezgi Uluçam
Sr. Software Engineer at StackShare · | 6 upvotes · 27.7K views
Flutter
React Native
PhoneGap
Apache Cordova
#NativeApps
#MobileFrameworks
#JavaScript

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.

MobileFrameworks #JavaScript NativeApps

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Sebastian Gębski
Sebastian Gębski
CTO at Shedul/Fresha · | 6 upvotes · 6.5K views
atFresha EngineeringFresha Engineering
ESLint
Webpack
Apache Cordova
React
JavaScript

Initially, all our users accessed the platform using web apps, but at some point mobile was a must, not an option. We've decided to go for relatively unpopular option - share as much of Front-End JavaScript code by bundling React applications on the top of Apache Cordova. This way we didn't have to hire Android/iOS developers & we've simplified testing of our apps. We knew it won't be possible to achieve fully native UI/UX on both platforms (Google Play & iOS App Store), so we've ... decided to design our own look'n'feel, which is not native, but attractive enough to stand out in the eyes of our users. All our Front-End apps are built with Webpack (pretty much an industry standard these days ...) & static-checked with ESLint (we have a locally customized set of rules).

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leonardo silveira
leonardo silveira
Software Engineer at Casa Magalhães · | 2 upvotes · 20.5K views
Vue.js
Apache Cordova
NativeScript

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.

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Jonathan Pugh
Jonathan Pugh
Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 2 upvotes · 1.2K views
Apache Cordova
#Framework7
#Free
#OpenSource

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.

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Apache Cordova's Features

  • Cross-platform (CLI) workflow
  • Platform-centered workflow
  • Hundreds of plugins

Apache Cordova Alternatives & Comparisons

What are some alternatives to Apache Cordova?
Xamarin
Xamarin’s Mono-based products enable .NET developers to use their existing code, libraries and tools (including Visual Studio*), as well as skills in .NET and the C# programming language, to create mobile applications for the industry’s most widely-used mobile devices, including Android-based smartphones and tablets, iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
PhoneGap
PhoneGap is a web platform that exposes native mobile device apis and data to JavaScript. PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status.
React Native
React Native enables you to build world-class application experiences on native platforms using a consistent developer experience based on JavaScript and React. The focus of React Native is on developer efficiency across all the platforms you care about - learn once, write anywhere. Facebook uses React Native in multiple production apps and will continue investing in React Native.
Electron
With Electron, creating a desktop application for your company or idea is easy. Initially developed for GitHub's Atom editor, Electron has since been used to create applications by companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Slack, and Docker. The Electron framework lets you write cross-platform desktop applications using JavaScript, HTML and CSS. It is based on io.js and Chromium and is used in the Atom editor.
Ionic
Free and open source, Ionic offers a library of mobile and desktop-optimized HTML, CSS and JS components for building highly interactive apps. Use with Angular, React, Vue, or plain JavaScript.
See all alternatives

Apache Cordova's Stats

Apache Cordova's Followers
385 developers follow Apache Cordova to keep up with related blogs and decisions.
Razvan Stoenescu
Ryan Hicks
kryskros2
Moulaye Keita
Himansu Sekhar
Fernando Osuna
upgradesebastian
Andrei N
max ro
Murat Denizli