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Electron vs PhoneGap: What are the differences?

Developers describe Electron as "Build cross platform desktop apps with web technologies. Formerly known as Atom Shell, made by GitHub". 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. On the other hand, PhoneGap is detailed 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.

Electron can be classified as a tool in the "Cross-Platform Desktop Development" category, while PhoneGap is grouped under "Cross-Platform Mobile Development".

Some of the features offered by Electron are:

  • Use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with Chromium and Node.js to build your app.
  • Electron is open source
  • maintained by GitHub and an active community.

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

  • Android
  • Blackberry
  • iOS

"Easy to make rich cross platform desktop applications" is the primary reason why developers consider Electron over the competitors, whereas "Javascript" was stated as the key factor in picking PhoneGap.

Electron and PhoneGap are both open source tools. Electron with 74.4K GitHub stars and 9.72K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than PhoneGap with 4.15K GitHub stars and 974 GitHub forks.

Slack, WebbyLab, and triGo GmbH are some of the popular companies that use Electron, whereas PhoneGap is used by WebbyLab,, and Infoshare. Electron has a broader approval, being mentioned in 213 company stacks & 366 developers stacks; compared to PhoneGap, which is listed in 86 company stacks and 34 developer stacks.

Decisions about Electron and PhoneGap
Aleksandr Filatov
Contract Software Engineer - Microsoft · | 2 upvotes · 55.2K 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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