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Apache Flex
Apache Flex

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PhoneGap

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PhoneGap vs Apache Flex: What are the differences?

Developers describe PhoneGap as "Easilily create mobile apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript". 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. On the other hand, Apache Flex is detailed as "The open-source framework for building expressive web and mobile applications". It is a software development kit for the development and deployment of cross-platform rich Internet applications based on the Adobe Flash platform.

PhoneGap and Apache Flex can be primarily classified as "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" tools.

Some of the features offered by PhoneGap are:

  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • iOS

On the other hand, Apache Flex provides the following key features:

  • UI components
  • Buttons
  • Forms

PhoneGap is an open source tool with 4.14K GitHub stars and 972 GitHub forks. Here's a link to PhoneGap's open source repository on GitHub.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Apache Flex?

It is a software development kit for the development and deployment of cross-platform rich Internet applications based on the Adobe Flash platform.

What is 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.
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      What are some alternatives to Apache Flex and PhoneGap?
      HTML5
      HTML5 is a core technology markup language of the Internet used for structuring and presenting content for the World Wide Web. As of October 2014 this is the final and complete fifth revision of the HTML standard of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). The previous version, HTML 4, was standardised in 1997.
      AngularJS
      AngularJS lets you write client-side web applications as if you had a smarter browser. It lets you use good old HTML (or HAML, Jade and friends!) as your template language and lets you extend HTML鈥檚 syntax to express your application鈥檚 components clearly and succinctly. It automatically synchronizes data from your UI (view) with your JavaScript objects (model) through 2-way data binding.
      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.
      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.
      Flutter
      Flutter is a mobile app SDK to help developers and designers build modern mobile apps for iOS and Android.
      See all alternatives
      Decisions about Apache Flex and PhoneGap
      Sezgi Ulucam
      Sezgi Ulucam
      Developer Advocate at Hasura | 6 upvotes 290K views
      Apache Cordova
      Apache Cordova
      PhoneGap
      PhoneGap
      React Native
      React Native
      Flutter
      Flutter
      #JavaScript
      #MobileFrameworks
      #NativeApps

      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

      See more
      Jonathan Pugh
      Jonathan Pugh
      Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect | 24 upvotes 868.6K views
      Framework7
      Framework7
      JavaScript
      JavaScript
      TypeScript
      TypeScript
      Figma
      Figma
      Visual Studio Code
      Visual Studio Code
      Webpack
      Webpack
      Babel
      Babel
      Ruby
      Ruby
      HTML5
      HTML5
      CouchDB
      CouchDB
      Pouchdb
      Pouchdb
      Font Awesome
      Font Awesome
      Apache Cordova
      Apache Cordova
      CSS 3
      CSS 3
      PhoneGap
      PhoneGap
      #Css
      #CSS3
      #SCSS
      #Sass
      #Less
      #Electron
      #HandleBars
      #Template7
      #Sketch
      #GraphQL
      #HTML5
      #GraphCool

      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?

      See more
      Interest over time
      Reviews of Apache Flex and PhoneGap
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      How developers use Apache Flex and PhoneGap
      Avatar of Trading Log
      Trading Log uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

      We used phonegap best practices to compile and deploy our hybrid to android and ios markets.

      Avatar of William Baker
      William Baker uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

      To release the JavaScript game Whack-A-Mol http://www.ethertear.com/apps.html

      Avatar of Smileupps
      Smileupps uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

      to let web apps benefit of native device features

      Avatar of Eyal El.
      Eyal El. uses PhoneGapPhoneGap

      Our Apps are wrapped with PhoneGap 7 & 8

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