Phone Gap is Adobe’s commercial version of Cordova along with its associated ecosystem. Many other tools and frameworks are also built on top of Cordova, including Ionic, Monaca, TACO, Onsen UI, Visual Studio, GapDebug, App Builder, Cocoon, Framework7, Quasar Framework, Evothings Studio, NSB/AppStudio, Mobiscroll, the Intel XDK, and the Telerik Platform. These tools use Cordova and not Phone Gap for their core tools.
Use Apache Cordova if you are:
- A mobile developer and want to extend an application across more than one platform, without having to re-implement it with each platform’s language and toolset.
- A web developer and want to deploy a web app that’s packaged for distribution in various app store portals.
- A mobile developer interested in mixing native application components with a Web View(browser window) that can access device-level APIs, or if you want to develop a plugin interface between native and Web View components.
There are several components to a Cordova application. The following diagram shows a high-level view of the Cordova application architecture.
Command Line Interface :
This tool allows you to create new projects, build them on different platforms, and run on real devices or within emulators. You can also use the CLI to initialize project code, after which you use various platforms’ SDKs to develop them further.
What role does CLI play in Cordova?
- Cordova is totally dependent on CLI, so without it, we can’t execute a single process.
- It is used,
- To create a Cordova project.
- To add a platform for which we want to develop an app.
- To add plugins.
- To generate APK.
For these listed tasks, we have to pass command line arguments.
Cordova Core Components:
Cordova provides core components that will be used for creating a base of the app so we can spend more time to implement our own logic. Cordova offers a set of core components that every mobile application needs. These components will be used for creating a base of the app so we can spend more time to implement our own logic.
Suppose you want to pick a contact from the contact list, then how will you do this through your app, so here we need a plugin which communicates with the native feature of the device and requests to grant permission
Types of Plugins
There are many types of plugin, some are:
- Camera Plugin (To open camera)
- Geolocation Plugin (It captures your location coordinates → latitude, longitude)
- File Transfer Plugin (It transfers the file from your storage to somewhere else → say to the server)
- Contact List Plugin
- Push Notification Plugin
Tools for App Development
Now we will learn about the various tools which we will require for App development. We have to download 5 different tools:
- Cordova CLI
- Apache Ant
- Android SDK
- Java JDK
The command line interface of Cordova is used to create, build, deploy and manage applications based on Cordova. From creating the project to building the executable file, we will use the command line interface in this tutorial.
It is a Software Development Kit(SDK) which includes all the necessary libraries required to build an Android App. So if we wish to develop Android Apps, we need this.
It is a Java Development Kit (JDK) which is used to develop Java Applications. Again very important.
Benefits of Apache Cordova Cross Platform
Helps Developers to Make Mobile Apps More Powerful: Apache Cordova helps developers developing an application by using the properties of the native resources of a device. Then the application can access powerful native features like a phone’s camera, accelerometer, compass, messages, contacts, geolocation, network, notifications (alert, sound, vibration) and media storage. Apache Cordova can make a business owner’s life easier without compromising user experience.
Cost Effective Development: Apache Cordova is a cost-effective technology to build a mobile app in that it leverages high quality and multiple sets of features as well as providing the tools required to reduce development time. Once a developer builds the Apache Cordova application, then it can deploy it everywhere and submit it to all of the platforms. So, you can save a lot of development money, efforts and time by not building the native apps using different programming language for each platform.
Apache Cordova Plugins: Apache Cordova plugins are an extensive feature. It supports a model of plug-in architecture that allows the developers to extend more functionalities of an application. Its extensive architecture helps you to utilize native features, the full potential of the phone device and it provides the feature to access the cloud service. This is so, that you can push the technology notifications with enhancements, tutorials, and examples.
The obvious benefits of Apache Cordova applications are that it uses less and more simple code, which iterate faster. It is profitable for all the business owners because less effort is required to develop an application to work across all mobile platforms. Phone Gap is the most popular technology to develop a code extensive mobile application with tremendous features and great framework.