PhoneGap, Apache Cordova, Sencha Touch, Appcelerator Titanium. What is it?

Is creating mobile apps a trend nowadays? We think: Definitely yes! In our article we’ve chosen 4 solutions for creating mobile apps to look at more closely. So, let’s start.

  1. Phonegap is an open-source framework for building apps for mobile devices using HTML 5, CSS3, JavaScript produced by Nitobi, purchased by Adobe Systems. It allows you to launch the same application on different devices.
    It is frequently mistaken that PhoneGap converts the code of HTML, CSS and Javascript page to native code of app for a particular platform (Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, etc). But the reality is that the reflection of HTML+CSS is made due to the page loading in special webView (which has advanced JavaScript engine , WebKit as a rule) which is no worse than a usual browser.

  2. Apache Cordova. Very often the term Cordova is related to the term PhoneGap. So the question arises: What is Cordova, and how does it relate to PhoneGap? Let’s try to find it out. Apache Cordova is a platform for building native mobile applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. One opinion is that PhoneGap is one of the products on Apache Cordova platform. But Wikipedia gives it as two different names for one and the same product.
    The fact is that previously PhoneGap was called Apache Callback, but now Apache Cordova. PhoneGap was an open source project started by a company called Nitobi. As part of Nitobi’s purchase by Adobe, because the PhoneGap project had many contributors from large companies like IBM etc, the project was contributed to the Apache Software Foundation.
    At first the name was changed to “Callback”, but then was renamed to “Cordova” (after the street the Nitobi offices were on at some point). This is because unlike the project itself, the name PhoneGap is part of Adobe’s purchase of Nitobi. So the opinions differ.

  3. Sencha Touch. Let’s proceed to one more term-Sencha Touch. Sencha Touch — is the first HTML 5 framework for building mobile apps, written on JavaScript which is supported by devices Android, BlackBerry and iOS. Sencha may not work on desktop browsers as it is developed for the Mobile Web. Sencha works on almost all webkit browsers including Chrome, Safari, Opera. So you may be sure that a user interface is displayed in the same way on mobile devices iPhone, Android, Blackberry, iPad.
    With the help of Sencha Touch you can easily build mobile apps and you can easily host them on your web server so the access to it is available from the users’ browsers. Sencha Touch, being a JavaScript framework, consists of both UI and data libraries. Using the data libraries, web applications can retrieve data from remote servers. In case any other distribution needed e.g. via various app stores you can use the “magic” of the above-mentioned PhoneGap which allows you to package your Sencha Touch code and resources into a binary app – ready to distribute to Apple, Android, Palm, Symbian, and BlackBerry devices.

  4. One more tool for building mobile apps is Appcelerator Titanium. It is an open-source and free of charge platform for building of apps which will allow you to create/develop native mobile and desktop programs using well-known web-technologies such as JavaScript, HTML, CSS, Python, Ruby and PHP. So Titanium allows you to create all-purpose, full-scale apps which will cater for the users’ needs despite the platform they are on.
    Titanium is the first mobile platform that combines the flexibility of open source development technologies with the power of cloud services. It is one of several phone web based application framework solutions allowing web developers to apply existing skills to create native applications for iPhone and Android. Yet, while using the familiar JavaScript syntax, developers will also have to learn the Titanium API, which is quite different from familiar web frameworks such as jQuery.
    Titanium Studio– is one more product of Appcelerator, Inc. Titanium Studio is an extensible, Eclipse-based IDE for building Titanium Mobile applications and web applications.
    Appcelerator, Inc. also offers cloud-based services for packaging, testing and distributing software applications developed on the Titanium platform.

Hope it was useful to learn about these solutions. And do you use these tools for building apps? What would you think best? I’m eager to see your comments! 🙂