Update on Discontinuity of PhoneGap and Switch to Appflow – Konstantinfo

Reasons to migrate all your PhoneGap /Cordova apps written in jQuery Mobile, Framework 7, Sencha, KendoUI, or your custom solution into Ionic Appflow before September 30, 2020!

Optimized for quick response, Ionic is a mobile development platform for web developers that powers approximately 10% of the world’s apps. It inherits from the web and JavaScript to develop fast applications. As it helps developers use the same code across the web and mobile applications with instant deployment, own git repos, ready UI templates, easy project start-ups, structure templates – this makes Ionic one of the best hybrid app framework, of course imbibing HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript and tons of plugins tweaking back-end a bit with AWS and Firebase. It used to majorly focus upon two wrapper classes: PhoneGap and Cordova – supported by Apache.

Origin of PhoneGap

Adobe/Nitobi donated PhoneGap codebase to the Apache Software Foundation (ASF) for incubation to ensure proper maintenance and open governance that was well documented and understood. This step was implemented to ease the process of large organizations to contribute.

What’s The Difference Between Apache Cordova and PhoneGap?

PhoneGap is essentially a distribution of Apache Cordova. Later can be perceived as the engine that powers’ PhoneGap. It added upon some additional tools over time, tied up with Adobe Services which would not be appropriate for an Apache project. PhoneGap Build and Adobe Shadow were built to make a whole lot of strategic difference. PhoneGap was created as a free + open-source software as a distribution of Apache Cordova.

How Does a PhoneGap Developer Perceive Apache Cordova?

The answer to this is: It’s a method to build apps. Nothing much has been changed for a developer who wants to build iOS applications. PhoneGap used to be a canonical source for edge documentation earlier.

How Does Apache Cordova Developer Perceive PhoneGap Contributor?

The answer to this is Someone who wants to fix bugs, contribute to code, add tests and write documents. It was once felt that Apache Cordova will be the ultimate destination for those interested in improving Apache Cordova Codebase.  PhoneGap used to be an ambitious project that relied massively on community support to brute force many operating system implementations to converge into one. The future of web technology is intertwined with API and tool support from the sandbox.

The Inherent Goal of PhoneGap

PhoneGap was all set to bring the complete power of the web applications into the mobile applications, in a way to enable mobile developers to create performant apps with a single codebase. PhoneGap was developed to bring native-app capabilities into the web apps through offline support, push notifications, home screen icons and full-screen view control without the need for containers.

The Declension of PhoneGap

Adobe is now focussed on providing a platform that would enable developers to build, extend, customize and integrate with all the products that Adobe provides now. Adobe will no longer develop PhoneGap and PhoneGap build and will subsequently stop all the investment in Apache Cordova. PhoneGap Build service is officially going to be discontinued from October 1, 2020, onwards.

For a Smooth Transition from PhoneGap

Adobe has cited a few options to ensure a smooth transition for your mobile app through the PhoneGap:

  • Apache Cordova will still exist as an open-source fork PhoneGap project. So Cordova based tools can still be used as an alternative to the PhoneGap specific workflows.
  • Best practices to move your PhoneGap application to Ionic Appflow are documented.
  • Alternatively, the PhoneGap code can be migrated to:
  • Monaca (can be referred from PhoneGap Migration Guide)
  • Onsen UI (Front-End UI Framework)
  • Framework7
  • NativeScript
  • Ionic Capacitor
  • Progressive Web Apps

What Will Happen To The Apps Already Built-In Phonegap?

All the PhoneGap content is compatible with Apache Cordova.

Can PhoneGap Applications Be Still Used After Adobe Revokes Its Support?

PhoneGap will remain as a free and open-source alternative wrapper class for iOS app development but it will no longer be openly developed and all hosted services will be revoked by October 1st, 2020. But it will gradually become incompatible with the latest version of Apache Cordova. So it’s is advisable to migrate all the data to Apache Cordova to continue with the development.

How Will This Change Affect The Stored Files?

All the stored files will get deleted once the services are shut down. So it is advisable to backup everything, latest by September 30, 2020, and consider implementing Apache Cordova for all valid reasons.

Is Adobe Supporting Any Other Similar Relevant Open Source Initiatives?

  • Adobe has continued investing in the Magento Platform with Magento Open-Source Community.
  • Adobe has recently open-sourced React Spectrum Libraries and Tools to help developers develop better.

Conclusive: When PhoneGap Shuts-Off, Appflow Comes To Rescue!

Appflow from the Ionic Development team is being considered as a drop-in replacement of the Apache PhoneGap.

It is a mobile cloud build service that supports hybrid app development and as well as supports PhoneGap, Cordova, Capacitor Apps, thus providing managed and secure build environments for iOS, Android and the Web.

Apps built with Appflow can be directly published to the app store with remote app updating, which fares better than app built-in PhoneGap.

But Appflow’s pricing model differs from that of PhoneGap, therefore the users must anticipate some pricing and plan changes.

The teams at ionic are pretty clear and confident with their latest tidings and reckon it as a viable prospect for all cross-platform hybrid app development in the upcoming times. This will in turn will be helpful to handle all the teams and their subsequent apps impacted by this change. Contact Konstant for a quick check-in on what’s new and upcoming!

About Author

Neeti Kotia

Neeti Kotia

Neeti got her master’s degree in software engineering in 2009 and has been working since for software companies of all sizes as a technical writer. What started as a high school passion has now been converted into a serious profession. She has a special knack of learning from all verticals and imbibing the extracts into her writing. She enjoys learning technical aspects of writing from her tasks where her experience and understanding are most impactful.

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