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What is the Difference Between Appery.io and PhoneGap?

A common question we get asked is: “What is the difference between Appery.io and PhoneGap?”. The simple answer is Appery.io platform uses PhoneGap (actually Apache Cordova). But let’s look into this more.

First, what is difference between PhoneGap and Apache Cordova?. Cordova is an open source framework that has two core capabilities:

  • It allows to package an HTML/JS app as hybrid mobile app. Basically you run HTML/JS app inside a native wrapper (hybrid app) but it basically looks and behaves like a native app. This allows you to target multiple mobile platforms using a single code base.
  • It provides a simple Javascript API to access native device features such as Camera from HTML/JS app

PhoneGap is owned by Adobe and the name it uses for the product. Adobe acquired Nitobi in 200x the maker of PhoneGap and donated the library source to Apache under the name of Apache Cordova. PhoneGap today is Adobe’s product that consists of Cordova plus some extra features around the framework (to make it a product and brand name).

Even thought most people use the names PhoneGap and Cordova interchangeably, Appery.io bundles Cordova in every app.

Cordova allows to package the app as hybrid and provides API to access native device features. You still need a development tool (IDE) to build the app with Cordova. You need a Javascript framework that provides UI components for your app. You still need to connect to REST API services in your app and you need an API backend for your app such as a cloud database, push notifications and server code.

All these features and more are provided by Appery.io. Cordova is just a component within Appery.io platform which enables to build hybrid apps. Appery.io and Cordova don’t complete but compliment each other.


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More Stories By Max Katz

Max Katz heads Developer Relations for Appery.io, a cloud-based mobile app platform. He loves trying out new and cool REST APIs in mobile apps. Max is the author of two books “Practical RichFaces” (Apress 2008, 2011), DZone MVB (Most Valuable Blogger), and is a frequent speaker at developer conferences. You can find out what Max is up to on his blog: http://maxkatz.org and Twitter: @maxkatz.