Mobile apps are a fixture in our society—they’re used on smartphones, tablets, watches, and even new inventions like smart refrigerators and washing machines.
With so many products utilizing mobile applications, it’s important for developers to ensure the app they create be simple for development but still functional for the public that awaits.
When it comes to the actual app development, the first thought may be that you need to develop your desired app in all platforms available; however, this is likely an unachievable and exhausting task, particularly if your business has limited resources or if you are your business’s only app developer.
What is Apache Cordova?
Who Uses Cordova?
Cordova is perfect for:
- Developers who want to be able to produce an application capable of using multiple platforms without the need to recreate the app in a separate platform language or even new tools
- Developers who want to be able to launch their app in multiple app stores
- Developers who want to be able to mix the components of native apps in WebView and then access this across APIs
- Developers who need the ability to use interface plugins for both WebView and native components
Useful Cordova Terminology
The following are some helpful Apache Cordova keywords that those new to Cordova should know.
WebView is a special application browser window that, when enabled with Cordova, provides access to the whole application user interface. Some platforms allow for WebView to be a functioning component inside a larger application which then mixes with “native application components.” WebView is also required for executing apps when a native app wrapper (for app store distribution) is required. You’ll recognize this file from its config.xml name.
Web Apps is the part of Cordova where all of the code you’ve produced for your application lives. By default, within Cordova, your code will be given the name index.html and it will be applied as a web page. The file name index.html calls into reference all of the resources required for the mobile application to run, including:
- Media files
Cordova Development Paths
There are two basic workflows for mobile app creation through Apache Cordova. Either will allow you to achieve your ultimate goal; however, they each have their advantages.
Cross-platform (CLI) Workflow
If you want your app to work across multiple operating systems without platform-specific development requirements, cross-platform (CLI) workflow will meet your needs. This specific workflow focuses on Cordova CLI which is a tool that allows for builds on multiple platforms at once. It achieves this by copying web assets and placing them in subdirectories according to the desired mobile platform. It then makes any changes in terms of configuration that may be required and then generates app binaries by running build scripts. Additionally, CLI gives your app a common interface for plugins.
For those focusing on a single platform, developers will want a platform-centered workflow. This approach will allow for modification at a lower level; thus, it works best if you need to mix web-based Cordova with native components. Typically, this approach is used when developers require modification within an SDK. Cross-platform development is possible, but it is more difficult. For more in-depth information on Apache Cordova, contact the Cordova consultants at Bizmosis.
It’s likely that mobile application use will only continue to increase especially as more technological advances are made. Developers will need access to tools like Cordova and the assistance of experts in mobile app development.