Developing apps with Apache Cordova

App Factory

© Lead Image © venimo,

© Lead Image © venimo,

Article from Issue 193/2016

Roll out an app elegantly and quickly for up to eight operating systems using the Cordova framework. According to the Apache Foundation, the only requirements are knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

In early 2009, the small company Nitobi introduced a software tool named PhoneGap. Web developers could use this tool to develop complete apps in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that simultaneously ran on iPhones, Androids, and BlackBerrys. Only two-and-a-half years later, Adobe took over Nitobi, and PhoneGap along with it. Adobe passed the source code on to the Apache Foundation, which is developing the framework under the name Cordova [1] (see the "Oh, You Beautiful Cordovas" box).

The takeover did not change the basic way the framework functions. As a developer, you can program a complete app in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in Cordova, which then runs on iOS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Windows, Firefox OS, WebOS, Ubuntu Touch, and even as a normal web application in the browser. Cordova also supports Amazon's FireOS, although this option is considered deprecated.

Practical Testing

The source code is subject to Apache License 2.0. Cordova has already helped launch numerous apps, including fitness app Sworkit [2] and the baby monitoring software Clever Baby [3]. Many other developer tools harness the Cordova framework and development environment, such as Ionic [4] and PhoneGap by Adobe [5]. The company continues to use the original name of the project.


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