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Apache Cordova

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NativeScript

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516
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Apache Cordova vs NativeScript: What are the differences?

What is Apache Cordova? 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.

What is NativeScript? Build truly native apps with JavaScript. NativeScript enables developers to build native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Universal while sharing the application code across the platforms. When building the application UI, developers use our libraries, which abstract the differences between the native platforms.

Apache Cordova and NativeScript can be categorized as "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" tools.

Some of the features offered by Apache Cordova are:

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

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

  • 100% Access to Native Platform API
  • NativeScript is free of charge as an open source project
  • Code with JavaScript. Style with CSS

"Lots of plugins" is the top reason why over 31 developers like Apache Cordova, while over 55 developers mention "Access to the entire native api" as the leading cause for choosing NativeScript.

Apache Cordova and NativeScript are both open source tools. It seems that NativeScript with 17.1K GitHub stars and 1.26K forks on GitHub has more adoption than Apache Cordova with 762 GitHub stars and 327 GitHub forks.

According to the StackShare community, Apache Cordova has a broader approval, being mentioned in 96 company stacks & 45 developers stacks; compared to NativeScript, which is listed in 10 company stacks and 23 developer stacks.

Advice on Apache Cordova and NativeScript

Hello,

We're just brainstorming for the moment and we have a few questions.

We have an idea for an app that we want to develop, here are the prerequisites:

1) cross-platform (iOS, Android, and website);

2) as easy to maintain as possible / well documented / widely used;

3) Visual Studio Code and Copilot compatible;

4) Text to speech;

5) Speech recognition;

6) Running in background (screen off with TTS and speech recognition);

7) could be using TypeScript;

8) Monetized through ad and in-App payment for premium version;

9) Display on lock screen (Android only I guess)

So what would you recommend?

I've been trying to review the options available, and I've considered:

  • NativeScript

  • React Native

  • Flutter

  • Any other?

Thanks in advance for your help, and I'm open to any comments.

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Replies (1)
Gabriel Alao
Lead Developer at The Web Gurus LLC · | 2 upvotes · 4.3K views
Recommends

Use Flutter and Firebase as a backend service, Firebase also helps to speed up the development and rollout of the app. The cloud-hosted NoSQL database provides a real-time database that helps you store and synchronize data between the clients. This indeed makes it easier for you to access the data using any of the devices.

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I would like to evaluate a good option to migrate an existing WordPress portal, where the customer can continue to access the news and also have a private area where they can receive personalised information and can demand or interact with the company and also have mobile support on both iOS and Android.

Currently the whole back system is in SAP and my main doubts are;

  • Best solution for the web portal that can generate content and can render well in the mobile solution.
  • Best option for the mobile implementation of the same portal and its private area ( React Native?)
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Replies (2)
Recommends

I think that React Native or Vue Native is the best choice for modern cross-platform mobile applications. And both of these frameworks have a large community. Apache Cordova was the pioneer in this way. We used it in projects in 2014. Ionic is also an old tool and in 2014 it was based at Apache Cordova. I don't think that it has so a big community like React Native or Vue Native.

For a web system, React or Vue is a good and modern choice too.

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Brad Jones
CTO/founder at Meet Kinksters · | 2 upvotes · 7.5K views
Recommends

No shade on the hard work of/on Ionic and Cordova over the years, but they are not the future and you will be going down a dead-end for maintainability going forward. React Native is an excellent bridge for any pre-existing JavaScript/TypeScript skills you might already have from web development.

Flutter is worth considering as a close second but I would recommend RN for the above reasons. Also consider using Expo to ease your build process.

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Needs advice
on
Apache CordovaApache Cordova
and
Vue NativeVue Native

Heya, I'm very new on here! And I hope I can get advice on this matter :

We are working on a new app. The web version is on Sails.js (V1)/node.js/vue.js. Started with the Web App default settings (including login and payments, which we are using use). We started with a web version to give access to the customer to start creating the data while building the mobile version. (iOS and Android)

I heard of Apache Cordova, that using the same JavaScript/css could be used to not re-code the front-end of the app for iPhones and Androids. I've been told that it is end-of-life now (? - I couldn't find this info myself).

I saw that Vue Native might be an alternative and would only need a few adjustments from our web version as we are using Vue.js for the frontend.

I know next to nothing on this, so I would really appreciate it if you guys could point me to possible solutions you've used and why instead of searching through all the existing solutions. (I'm very open to know if there are alternatives to those two too !!)

We will need to be using the GPS functions of the mobiles, which is a big part of the app.

Thank you!

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Replies (1)
ahmed Tirhmert
Fullstack Web Developer · | 3 upvotes · 57K views

i don't have any experience with the vue native what so ever but i think Quasar and Ionic are the best options for an HTML/CSS/JS based mobile app ionic has full support of vue and quasar is built on vue you may have to change some configurations in your project files

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Decisions about Apache Cordova and NativeScript

I wanted to develop a student app that possibly could be used by many teams (students from other schools)

I chose Ionic, because:

  • single codebase: previously, we used React Native for Android and Angular for web/PWA, which was troublesome

  • portability: runs on PWA (which is important, because iOS license is too expensive for school app), web, Android iOS (+ others, if needed)

  • full use of web technologies: Next.js, Tailwind, React in this example (in oppose to Flutter/Java/Kotlin)

  • stability and maintainability: low-entry level due to basic web technologies without new syntax (in oppose to React Native and Flutter), web is really stable and won't lose support (which doesn't have to be true with Flutter/Dart)

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James Bender
Lead Application Architect at TekPartners · | 5 upvotes · 33.2K views

I've yet to see a non-native application that I felt performed as well and/or provided the same user experience with Cordova/PhoneGap/Xamarin. Frankly, at best they all seemed like underpowered web applications deployed to a sandbox that ran on a phone. They didn't feel "slick" or "mobile-first" and in some cases the performance was unacceptable. At previous companies, we built a few of these apps at the client's insistence, and in every case, they re-engaged us about 18 months later to re-write the app(s) natively.

We are doing some research on React Native and Flutter, but I am not yet convinced that they can provide the same level of experience and performance as native, though I am trying to keep an open mind.

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Gabor Galazzo

As a startup, we need the maximum flexibility and the ability to reach our customers in a more suitable way. So a hybrid application approach is the best because it allows you to develop a cross-platform application in a unique codebase. The choice behind Ionic is Angular, I think that angular is the best framework to develop a complex application that needs a lot of service interaction, its modularity forces you (the developer) to write the code in the correct way, so it can be maintainable and reusable.

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Aleksandr Filatov
Contract Software Engineer - Microsoft · | 2 upvotes · 265.2K views

I've done some Hybrid Mobile apps with both technologies Apache Cordova and React Native and described my experience in my blog.

In a few words, I would suggest to use each technology in accordance what what is your current code base and what do you want to achieve.

React Native is a great option if you need that extra edge in performance with multi-threading and native UI rendering. Or you already have a web app based on React which you want to port to mobile.

On the other hand, if you have an existing web application code and you want to reuse some or all, including the ability to use web third-party libraries, then Cordova is the best option.

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Aleksandr Filatov
Contract Software Engineer - Microsoft · | 2 upvotes · 92.7K views
What is Proguard?

ProGuard is the most popular optimizer for Java bytecode. It makes your Java and Android applications up to 90% smaller and up to 20% faster. ProGuard also provides minimal protection against reverse engineering by obfuscating the names of classes, fields and methods.

How to use it in Cordova app?

I didn't find any plugins for it. So I've implemented it by myself and shared it on GitHub.

Feel free to use!

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Pros of Apache Cordova
Pros of NativeScript
  • 46
    Lots of plugins
  • 35
    JavaScript
  • 26
    Great community
  • 24
    Easy Development
  • 18
    Easy to learn
  • 15
    Cross platform
  • 7
    Open Source
  • 6
    Lots of descendants; PhoneGap, Ionic, Intel XDA etc
  • 6
    Easy, fast, not buggy in my experience with my code
  • 4
    Rich HTML 5
  • 4
    Easy debugging
  • 4
    Can use CSS3
  • 3
    HTML, CSS and JS
  • 3
    Fast and hot reload
  • 3
    Rich css ui
  • 3
    Use what you code in your browser
  • 2
    Need a light system
  • 2
    Native Web Technologies
  • 2
    Without extra tooling needed
  • 2
    One code base everywhere
  • 0
    44
  • 75
    Access to the entire native api
  • 47
    Support for native ios and android libraries
  • 46
    Support for javascript libraries
  • 46
    Angular 2.0 support
  • 44
    Native ux and performance
  • 37
    Typescript support
  • 35
    Backed up by google and telerik
  • 29
    Css support
  • 27
    Cross-platform declarative ui and code
  • 25
    Fully open source under apache 2.0 license
  • 11
    Vuejs support
  • 9
    60fps performance
  • 6
    Powerful data visualization with native UI
  • 5
    VS Code integration
  • 5
    No need for Mac to build iOS apps in Telerik Platform
  • 5
    Angular, typescript and javascript support
  • 4
    Extended CLI support
  • 4
    Cloud builds as part of Telerik PLatform
  • 4
    Truly Object-Oriented with Typescript
  • 4
    On-device debugging
  • 4
    Extensibility
  • 3
    Access to entire native api
  • 3
    0 day support for new OS updates
  • 3
    Easiest of all other frameworks
  • 3
    Easy to learn
  • 3
    Backed by google
  • 3
    Live reload
  • 3
    Publishing modules to NPM
  • 2
    Vue.js support out of the box
  • 2
    VueJS support
  • 2
    Svelte support
  • 2
    Powerfull mobile services as part of Telerik Platform
  • 2
    Native ui with angular
  • 2
    Vue support
  • 1
    Playground
  • 1
    Hot Reload
  • 1
    HMR via webpack
  • 1
    Very small app size
  • 1
    Write once, use anywhere
  • 1
    Easy to use, support for almost all npm packages
  • 1
    Rich ecosystem
  • 1
    Compile to Apple/Google Stores via CloudCompiler
  • 1
    Has CSS ;-)
  • 1
    It works with Angular
  • 1
    Code reuse with your website
  • 0
    Dart

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Cons of Apache Cordova
Cons of NativeScript
  • 2
    No native performance
  • 1
    Hard to install
  • 0
    Hard to install
  • 5
    Lack of promotion
  • 1
    Slower Performance compared to competitors

Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

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 NativeScript?

NativeScript enables developers to build native apps for iOS, Android and Windows Universal while sharing the application code across the platforms. When building the application UI, developers use our libraries, which abstract the differences between the native platforms.

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What are some alternatives to Apache Cordova and NativeScript?
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