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Expo
Expo

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23
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PhoneGap

428
336
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90
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Expo vs PhoneGap: What are the differences?

Developers describe Expo as "Making React Native Easier". Exponent lets web developers build truly native apps that work across both iOS and Android by writing them once in just JavaScript. 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.

Expo and PhoneGap belong to "Cross-Platform Mobile Development" category of the tech stack.

"Free" is the top reason why over 6 developers like Expo, while over 44 developers mention "Javascript" as the leading cause for choosing PhoneGap.

Expo and PhoneGap are both open source tools. Expo with 6.55K GitHub stars and 748 forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than PhoneGap with 4.15K GitHub stars and 974 GitHub forks.

WebbyLab, Binary.com, and Infoshare are some of the popular companies that use PhoneGap, whereas Expo is used by Discontinuity, PUBLY, and Mifos Initiative. PhoneGap has a broader approval, being mentioned in 86 company stacks & 34 developers stacks; compared to Expo, which is listed in 27 company stacks and 26 developer stacks.

What is Expo?

Exponent lets web developers build truly native apps that work across both iOS and Android by writing them once in just JavaScript.

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 Expo and PhoneGap?
    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.
    Create React Native App
    Create React Native App allows you to work with all of the Components and APIs in React Native, as well as most of the JavaScript APIs that the Expo App provides.
    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.
    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.
    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 Expo and PhoneGap
    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sr. Software Engineer at StackShare · | 6 upvotes · 57.1K views
    Flutter
    Flutter
    React Native
    React Native
    PhoneGap
    PhoneGap
    Apache Cordova
    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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    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sezgi Uluçam
    Sr. Software Engineer at StackShare · | 6 upvotes · 71.5K views
    Android SDK
    Android SDK
    Android Studio
    Android Studio
    React Native
    React Native
    Xcode
    Xcode
    Expo
    Expo

    I've recently switched to using Expo for initializing and developing my React Native apps. Compared to React Native CLI, it's so much easier to get set up and going. Setting up and maintaining Android Studio, Android SDK, and virtual devices used to be such a headache. Thanks to Expo, I can now test my apps directly on my Android phone, just by installing the Expo app. I still use Xcode Simulator for iOS testing, since I don't have an iPhone, but that's easy anyway. The big win for me with Expo is ease of Android testing.

    The Expo SDK also provides convenient features like Facebook login, MapView, push notifications, and many others. https://docs.expo.io/versions/v31.0.0/sdk/

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    Jonathan Pugh
    Jonathan Pugh
    Software Engineer / Project Manager / Technical Architect · | 19 upvotes · 184.8K views
    Pouchdb
    Pouchdb
    CouchDB
    CouchDB
    Font Awesome
    Font Awesome
    CSS 3
    CSS 3
    Apache Cordova
    Apache Cordova
    PhoneGap
    PhoneGap
    HTML5
    HTML5
    Ruby
    Ruby
    Babel
    Babel
    Webpack
    Webpack
    Visual Studio Code
    Visual Studio Code
    Figma
    Figma
    TypeScript
    TypeScript
    JavaScript
    JavaScript
    Framework7
    Framework7
    #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
    Vishal Narkhede
    Vishal Narkhede
    Javascript Developer at getStream.io · | 19 upvotes · 86.3K views
    atStreamStream
    Babel
    Babel
    styled-components
    styled-components
    Expo
    Expo
    JavaScript
    JavaScript
    Chat by Stream
    Chat by Stream
    React Native
    React Native
    Stream
    Stream

    Recently, the team at Stream published a React Native SDK for our new Chat by Stream product. React Native brings the power of JavaScript to the world of mobile development, making it easy to develop apps for multiple platforms. We decided to publish two different endpoints for the SDK – Expo and React Native (non-expo), to avoid the hurdle and setup of using the Expo library in React Native only projects on the consumer side.

    The capability of style customization is one a large deal breaker for frontend SDKs. To solve this, we decided to use styled-components in our SDK, which makes it easy to add support for themes on top of our existing components. This practice reduces the maintenance effort for stylings of custom components and keeps the overall codebase clean.

    For module bundling, we decided to go with Rollup.js instead of Webpack due to its simplicity and performance in the area of library/module providers. We are using Babel for transpiling code, enabling our team to use JavaScript's next-generation features. Additionally, we are using the React Styleguidist component documentation, which makes documenting the React Native code a breeze.

    See more
    Interest over time
    Reviews of Expo and PhoneGap
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    How developers use Expo 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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