Apache Cordova
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JUniversal

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Apache Cordova vs JUniversal: What are the differences?

Developers describe Apache Cordova as "Platform for building native mobile applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript". 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. On the other hand, JUniversal is detailed as "A new, Java-based approach to cross-platform mobile apps (used by Google Inbox and Google Spreadsheets)". The vision of JUniversal came from some guys at Nokia who possess considerable expertise both in Java and in building cross-platform apps. They built this tool to provide an elegant way to translate source code and make it useful across multiple platforms. JUniversal offers you the freedom to write your shared code in Java and then translate it to C# (available now) or to C++/Objective C++ (coming soon). You can also combine JUniversal with Google’s j2objc translator to translate Java to Objective-C for iOS.

Apache Cordova and JUniversal belong to "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Apache Cordova are:

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

On the other hand, JUniversal provides the following key features:

  • OAuth (based on Scribe)
  • JSON
  • Unit testing (JUnit)

Apache Cordova and JUniversal are both open source tools. It seems that Apache Cordova with 766 GitHub stars and 327 forks on GitHub has more adoption than JUniversal with 132 GitHub stars and 22 GitHub forks.

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.

What is JUniversal?

The vision of JUniversal came from some guys at Nokia who possess considerable expertise both in Java and in building cross-platform apps. They built this tool to provide an elegant way to translate source code and make it useful across multiple platforms. JUniversal offers you the freedom to write your shared code in Java and then translate it to C# (available now) or to C++/Objective C++ (coming soon). You can also combine JUniversal with Google’s j2objc translator to translate Java to Objective-C for iOS.

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        What are some alternatives to Apache Cordova and JUniversal?
        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
        Decisions about Apache Cordova and JUniversal
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        How developers use Apache Cordova and JUniversal
        Avatar of Google
        Google uses JUniversalJUniversal

        Comment from HackerNews (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8998736)

        This is how Google Inbox and Google Spreadsheets works. See the slides from my recently produced GWT Create Session (http://t.co/ZvoaHxCoZT). J2ObjC slide deck here (https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1mW_Plm5jAygELf7qjVK7...) Videos of the conference will be online soon.

        Prior to that, some 20% Googlers also produced the PlayN library (https://github.com/threerings/playn) This was taken over by Michael Bayne who added an iOS backend by Bytecode -> IKVM -> Mono conversion. I beleive j2objc and RoboVM backends exist now as well.

        The major benefit of the j2objc approach is the avoidance of GC in favor of ARC, the conversion of message-sends into C-method calls when possible, and integration with existing iOS toolchain.

        When we started, it seemed like an iffy idea, but after developing a product delivered to millions of users on a high volume site (gmail) that has 70% code sharing, and being able to simultaneously develop, test, and deploy across the platforms reasonably efficiently, a lot of skeptics have become converts to the concept.

        Avatar of papaver
        papaver uses Apache CordovaApache Cordova

        used in conjunction with ionic to build out ios and android app for a client. a little slow to run on devices but saves a ton on development time.

        Avatar of Ralic Lo
        Ralic Lo uses Apache CordovaApache Cordova

        Used Apache Cordova to package single page web application written HTML/CSS/javascript as a iOS/Android application.

        Avatar of MobiBoats
        MobiBoats uses Apache CordovaApache Cordova

        Used with Ionic to support various plugins and integrations with the native environment of iOS and Android.

        Avatar of João Alvarenga
        João Alvarenga uses Apache CordovaApache Cordova

        Compilar o webapp, transformando-o em aplicativos nativos

        Avatar of Evan Luc
        Evan Luc uses Apache CordovaApache Cordova

        Cross platform mobile development framework.

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