Plaforms HTML5 Java software

PhioneGap platform

Mohammad Rashid Founder at Windows Metro Solutions

March 19th, 2013

I am thinking about using PhoneGap as platform to write applications for different phones platforms.

Would you recommend using it?



CJ Barker

March 19th, 2013

I've run into this question numerous times.  I'm going to pull in one of my previous responses from another forum.  

The short answer depends.

Developers need to treat mobile computing more like 1980/90s micro computing.

You have limited resources with numerous environmental factors that need to be accounted for and respected (ex: bandwidth, latency, CPU, GPU, memory, UI/UX, async task handling, and most importantly BATTERY LIFE).

It is a different mindset when developing for mobile that needs to account for finite resources. If you're greedy, careless, or just don't really think through and test your app appropriately it makes for a horrible user experience.

Regarding the HTML5 vs. Native Apps:

HTML5/CSS/JS and frameworks that allow you to write once and convert to native apps (ex: Phone Gap) have their place. The core take away is that without developing native apps directly you’ll never get to maximize the phone’s hardware and performance will suffer. UIs will be sluggish and network IO suffers from high latency (wrappers).

HTML5/CSS/Javascript frameworks like Phone Gap cannot take full advantage of the hardware and SDK features like alarms, custom hardware access/config/acceleration, background services, and (taking advantage of) the standard UI controls (transitions, buttons, look ‘n feel).

If you’re focusing on content display/information consumption and your app doesn’t need to rely on high performance from hardware and the UI then HTML5 is most likely a good fit. If performance, high availability/background service, native look and feel and the such is critical to an app then native is a better route.

My 2 cents.

Shoukri Kattan

March 19th, 2013

I would recommend Appcelerator Titanium ( 
You code in javascript and it "compiles" to native. So Your UI is native, you have access to all the native APIs , and you get to re-use as much as possible. 

Titanium also has extensions so worst case you can build your own Native modules. 

Bo Han tinkerer

March 19th, 2013

Is question more about HTML5 Hybrid App vs. Native App or whether to hard coding native wrapper vs using PhoneGap for a HTML5 Hybrid App?

Use PhoneGap/HTML5 Hybrid if you:
-Need a really quick MVP
-Need to support more than Android + iOS
-Have very limited experiences with Objective C + Java
-Don't plan to support it for the long term

Stay away from PhoneGap/HTML5 Hybrid if you:
-Only really care about iOS and/or Android
-Are OCD about code quality and size
-Planing on doing some very graphic intensive 
-Expect perfection or fastest interface

Depending on the complexity of project, coding a HTML5 App that offers comparable user experiences to a native app is not trivial. Here's Linkedin as a case study:

Jonathan Bond-Caron

March 20th, 2013

It depends on your experience with JavaScript, HTML and CSS and understanding of Webkit. For iOS, Phonegap and Webkit performance is really good while Android WebView is an ugly fragmented, slow mess. If you are targeting Android 4.1+ only and iOS, you should be fine. IE 10 is the only platform not WebKit based so there's some slight learning needed there as well, but performance is great.

Going HTML5/web is a more complicated environment to develop in but in the long term definitely a better investment of your time. I'd highly recommend using Phonegap, JavaScript is a language that will be around for a long time (for better or worse).

Disagree with everyone about 'experience' polish and not being a good long term solution. You can use 'native' components and use just HTML/CSS for presentation. A hybrid PhoneGap app can be 20% mobile (html, css) and 80% native code (objective c, java, etc...).

 Like I said, it will be complex but IMHO a better investment of your time in the long run.


Steve Cosman Co-founder of Shoebox

March 20th, 2013

Typically executing well on 1 platform is better than a mediocre implementation on many platforms. Unless it really has to be cross platform, focus on 1 and kill the execution. PhoneGap apps are always a little slower and less appealing that native equivalents.

If you absolutely need to be on many platforms (most ideas don't) it's a good tool for a MVP, but you'll end up rewriting it if you are successful.

Keenan Wyrobek CEO at Open Reading

March 19th, 2013

I second Bo. I second most of CJs comments.

I have used Phonegap for a few products successfully and when I was starting with Phonegap I tried to use it one some products that really could only be done native.

I can give you better guidance if you can tell me a little more about the app you are making.


Kevin Cocco Strategic Consulting at SproutLoop

March 20th, 2013

I really like and agree with Bo's above pro/con lists. 

I have written a PhoneGap/Cordova app and here are few links that I think you will find useful in understanding PhoneGap:
-  PhoneGap Build:   Service pulls code from GitHub and builds your apps:
-  Great PhoneGap examples open sourced by Christophe Conenraets:
-  List of Native controls avail to PhoneGap apps (but, yes not all):
-  JQueryMobile, PhoneGap friendly, one of many UI options:

Happy hacking

Daniel Wolchonok Product Manager at HubSpot

March 20th, 2013

Thank you for your email. I will be traveling internationally on a school trip until March 24th. I will have limited access to email, but I will respond as quickly as possible. Thank you in advance for your patience. If you need to get in touch with me, I can be reached at this number from March 12th-March 20th: +971-50-8791267 Best Regards, Dan -- Dan Wolchonok MBA Candidate, Class of 2013 Yale School of Management Email:

Mohammad Rashid Founder at Windows Metro Solutions

March 20th, 2013

My app is location-base with heavy use of Maps, geo-location, Camera, push technology, e-mail, notification, Azure service, with some travel/booking. It has images, but not gaming or graphics. I already wrote it for Win 8 Metro in .Net, but I don't want to learn Objective C and don't want to re-write for different platforms. However, I will re-design it for mobile and have no problem with HTML5/Java. Thanks

Junhui Deng Senior Software Engineer at IDEACore

March 20th, 2013

PhoneGap is going to be less than ideal for any production level user experience. Last time I used it (about a year ago), its still noticeably slow on an iPhone 4. Not a big deal if your user doesn't play with your app all the time. That said, it you are looking for quick prototyping, maybe. But I don't think you want your final product built on this level of user experience. Give it another year or so for JavaScript to run better on smartphone, then I would re-look into this again. Sent from my iPhone