Why Apache Cordova is Optimal for Cross-Platform App Development


At present, enterprises are trying to build cross-platform apps that influence huge audiences irrespective of the platform they use. Therefore, the market for cross-platform development is increasing at a faster rate. Similarly, the need for a framework that can assist developers in building platform-independent apps is also increasing. A true cross-platform framework should aid developers to create a common codebase for different platforms and allow users to run the application without any complications on any device that they own. One of the leading cross-platform development frameworks used by enterprises is Apache Cordova.

Introduction to Apache Cordova

PhoneGap is a mobile app development framework built by the Nitobi community in 2009. Later, in 2011, Adobe Systems acquired Nitobi Corporation and retitled PhoneGap as Apache Cordova. Cordova enables developers to build cross-platform applications for mobile devices using web technologies like JavaScript, CSS3, and HTML5, instead of relying on platform-specific APIs in iOS, Android, and Windows.

Apache Cordova offers native plug-ins and APIs, allowing developers to include more features within their applications. This eases the learning curve and allows developers to build ‘Write Once, Run Anywhere (WORA)’ applications for operating systems like iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry, and others. It has been estimated that around 3399 companies across the world used Apache Cordova for cross-platform development.

Business Benefits of Apache Cordova Framework

  • Cost Effective – Since developers don’t have to code separately for different platforms, the Apache Cordova framework can help enterprises save time, and infrastructural costs, and earn greater ROI. Though it’s easy to learn, enterprises should hire skilled Apache developers to design and deploy apps globally. Because that would help organizations to build apps that adhere to 100% compliance and standards of different platforms.
  • Robust Development – Apache Cordova helps enterprises develop an application by including the functionalities of the native resources of a device. By using Cordova, developers can access incredible native features like a camera, compass, accelerometer, biometric, messages, geolocation, contacts, network, sound notifications, and media storage.
  • Highly Scalable – The case with Apache Cordova application development is that developers need to make use of plugins to run applications on native devices. This can be beneficial for enterprises to scale up/down their apps quickly. Developers or business users can enable and disable the plugins of Cordova-built apps as and when required based on the workloads. Besides, developers can modify, and configure built-in Apache Cordova plugins as per their requirements.
  • Better Compatibility – As said before, apps built using the Apache Cordova framework run seamlessly on all standard mobile platforms. With cross-platform development, enterprises can reach out to a huge number of people and stay ahead of their competition.

Why Use Apache Cordova for Cross-Platform Development

There is a common misconception among enterprises that Apache Cordova is a dwindling framework. Many organizations think that competitors like Flutter, Ionic, and React Native might be a reliable substitute for Cordova in the domain of cross-platform app development. But the market share of Cordova is ever-increasing. Besides, the features offered by Apache Cordova are significantly greater than other frameworks.

Comparing Apache Cordova with other cross-platform frameworks is the best way to describe its effectiveness:

Apache Cordova vs. React Native

Both Apache Cordova and React Native offer pre-built plugins & components to optimize app performance and the user experience. But despite React Native’s lack of plugin customizability, the framework as a whole diminishes in comparison to Cordova.

On the other hand, plugin configuration and customization are crucial aspects of the Cordova ecosystem. Developers can modify, configure, and customize platform-specific native UI plugins. In this way, Cordova developers can build native-like performing apps that React Native programmers might not be able to. Overall, Apache Cordova offers more scalable pre-built plugins than React Native.

Apache Cordova vs. Flutter

A smooth and quick testing process plays a significant role in the whole app development quality and speed. Apache Cordova framework enables automated testing, which evaluates code or snippets and highlights possible errors. This feature saves significant time for developers. In addition, Cordova offers a hot reloading feature, which rapidly updates the app when any changes or modifications are made to the code.

Though having some user-friendly debugging tools, Flutter doesn’t offer such automated code analysis features as Apache Cordova. Flutter developers can have the LiveReload technique, which is similar to Hot Reload. But, the time taken to save code changes after recompilation is more than Apache Cordova. Therefore, end-users may likely encounter problems like overloaded or overworked servers, request latency, and others.

Apache Cordova vs. Ionic

Applications built with Ionic use a web-based UI functioning in a WebView. This denotes, an app follows one design style and can maintain a single appearance across Android, iOS, and other mobile platforms. Though it is beneficial, unified app design can impact user experience at large. Apps built using Ionic often look more like websites rather than an app.

As for Cordova, developers can decide whether their app will appear native-like or will have a uniform style for all mobile platforms. Cordova’s integrated tools allow developers to flexibly modify it. Apache Cordova doesn’t use native UI elements of the platform, but it automatically adjusts the feel (tapping effect and scrolling speed) and the look of mobile apps according to the platform’s properties. This way developers can bring a native UI feel within Cordova-built apps, which is treasured by many mobile users. Enterprises can partner with the right Cordova app development services provider to build apps including native elements.

Summing Up

A great way to drive brand presence is by developing cross-platform mobile apps. Using the Apache Cordova framework for app development helps enterprises gain more brand recognition without devoting huge resources. Apache Cordova comes with a lot of built-in plugins and library options making it easier for programmers to build fully-featured apps.

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6 thoughts on “Why Apache Cordova is Optimal for Cross-Platform App Development

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