Adobe PhoneGap to Apache Cordova

There is a lot of confusion about what Apache Cordova is, and whether it is a replacement to PhoneGap or a mere name change. In this article, I will break it down for you and we shall explore what the consequences of this move to the app development community might be.

Let us first understand what PhoneGap is. PhoneGap is an open source software app development tool used to build cross-platform apps, using tools like HTML, CSS and JavaScript. In October 2011, Apache Software Foundation took PhoneGap under its wing under the name Apache Cordova. Apache Cordova distributes and can be thought to ‘power’ PhoneGap now. Apache Cordova is a group of APIs which enable access of native device functions from JavaScript. Using suitable User Interface framework, one can now enter app development and build an app using just HTML, CSS and JavaScript. No native code is required to build an app anymore. Cordova is available for Windows, iOS, Blackberry, Android, Symbian, Bada and Palm Web OS.


So what has changed? Right now, the name seems to be the only thing. For an app developer using PhoneGap for app development, PhoneGap remains free, open source and helps you build cross platform apps with HTML, JavaScript and CSS. Even if you are an app developer who contributes to PhoneGap, things pretty much are like before. You can still help develop the Apache Cordova code base, which remains an Open Source Software.

So what is all the hoopla about? Everything seems to be the same right? Well, the change is a more long term one. The Apache Software Foundation supports the technology of tomorrow. By taking PhoneGap under its wing, it has widely broadened the PhoneGap community and will increase the lifetime of this technology, proving the technology for cross platform app development, is here to stay. Also, probably somewhere down the line, Apache Cordova will allow the use of additional tools with their Adobe services.

It is no surprise that Apache Cordova is widely popular for app development considering the advantages of being able to build an app on multiple platforms. It is even accepted by the Apple’s App Store for developing iPhone apps, and it does not violate the ‘Terms and Conditions of the App Store. Apache Cordova seems to have evolved into the perfect tool for app development.

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