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Free Preview: Building an App With Cordova


  • Overview
  • Transcript

The Cordova platform is a cross-platform framework for building apps. Instead of building an app with native languages like Java or Objective C, you can build it with familiar web technologies and bundle it in a native container for your target platform. Cordova allows you to build apps for Android and iOS, as well as Amazon Fire, BlackBerry, Firefox, and Ubuntu.

Despite using web technologies, Cordova has robust support for using the features and facilities of a mobile environment. In this course, we'll pay special attention to the camera, contacts and navigation.

Envato Tuts+ instructor Reggie Dawson will teach you a cross-platform development workflow with Cordova. You’ll learn about some of the options for front-end frameworks, how to work with Cordova plugins, and how to test and debug apps with an emulator. Along the way, you'll build a useful Cordova app! The course project will be to build a simple tool for real-estate agents in the field.

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Build on your knowledge of Cordova in our course: Publish an App With Cordova.

1. Introduction

1.1 Introduction

Hello everyone. This is Reggie Dawson. Welcome to the Publish an App With Cordova course for tuts+. Developing an app in Cordova allows web developer to create apps that behave like native apps. After building your app you then need a way to compile it and submit it to the app stores. Cordova includes the ability to build your app locally but it's restricted to the SDK you may have installed in your system. We can also compile Cordova projects, as well as Ionic projects, through the PhoneGap Build service. This has the advantage of allowing you to build your app for iOS, Windows Phone, and Android. After that all you need to do is sign up for your app store and submit your app for the world to see. Of course you'll have to meet the requirements of the respective app store, and in the case of Android and iOS devices pay a fee. But you have to admit, releasing an app is not a complicated affair. Check out this course and learn how to prepare, package and release your app.

2. Getting to Know Cordova

2.1 What Is Cordova?

Hello everyone. This is Reggie Dawson. Welcome to the Building an App with Cordova Course with Tuts+. Apache Cordova is a framework that allows you to build mobile apps for a variety of platforms. As opposed to building an app in native code such as Java or C, we can instead build our apps using web technologies such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript. You may also hear Cordova refered to as PhoneGap. PhoneGap was donated to the Apache Software Foundation as an open source project with the name Apache Cordova and PhoneGap exists as a separate but interchangeable distribution of Cordova. The main difference is that PhoneGap has tools to work with the PhoneGap build service. Otherwise the project structure and commands available to you are the same. Cordova allows you to build mobile apps that allow access to the hardware of a device. Normally a webpage, or in this case, a webview on a mobile device, would not allow you to access the camera of your device, for example. Cordova has a set of APIs that allow you to write code that interacts with the hardware of the device. It does this through plugins that allow you functionality that you would not normally have. What Cordova does not provide is any front end components or framework to incorporate external data into your apps. That part is left up to you. The only limitation is that your solution is built in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. There are many frameworks to choose from and even frameworks not designed for mobile such as bootstrap can be used. You can also take the time to develop your own components, but it is much easier to choose a framework and tweak the components already created. Cordova allows you to develop apps for Amazon Fire, Android, BlackBerry, Firefox, iOS, Ubuntu, Windows Phone and Tizen. The only requirement is that you need to be able to run the SDK for the platform on your development machine. For example, you can only create an iOS app with the a Mac. The exception to this is the Phonegap Build Service. This Cloud based service lets you build your app for any platform you choose. In this course, we're going to learn to develop Cordova apps using a cross-platform workflow. First, we will talk about our options in frontend frameworks. Then we will learn to install Cordova and use the comand-line interface. Then we will look at our configuration file and learn how to add and configure plugins. And finally we will use our emulator and test and debug our apps. After we build a small app to get familiar with Cordova, we will build a full featured app. This app will be for a fictional business and will use a few different Cordova APIs. You should then be comfortable with building apps with Cordova. That's all for this video. In the next video, we will talk about some front-end frameworks you can use in your projects, and the benefits of using them.