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Thread: Next step after phonegap

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    Software Carpenter dee-u's Avatar
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    Question Next step after phonegap

    I've recently tried phonegap and so far it has been able to meet my needs but I am just wondering if there is a 'better' alternative out there. I've came across posts about this react native, will it be better to invest time to study it or just stick to phonegap?
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    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    I thought PhoneGap was called cordova now ?

    anyway there is no simple answer to this, React Native is based upon the JavaScript React framework for web, i had a quick look at it and its a declarative language and so feels a bit weird to use, so there would be a learning curve (if you've not used react before) there in which you would need to get used to the framework.

    However React appears to compile basically to a native app (from what i could see) and so it looks like its a viable Native Mobile app option, and cross platform at that which is a big deal as you can see from the below. Only Xamarin really do cross platform currently and no-one would say they do a really great job of it

    If you want to write Native mobile apps then your options are as far as i know anyway;

    - React (cross platform)

    - Xamarin (Xamarin Forms is Cross Platform, or you have Xamarin Android / Xamarin IOS)

    - B4A / B4X (Basic For android / Basic For OSX)

    - Objective C / Swift (Apple only)

    - Android Studio (Java ,C++ , Kotlin) - Android Only
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  3. #3
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    Update:

    Dee-u it looks like i might be creating a test app in React Native for my work to compare it to the Xamarin project we did earlier in the year. From the reading i have done it sound like it might be easier to use than Xamarin, and Quicker, and so it will be interesting to get that direct comparison for myself.

    I will post back once i have done my test project which will probably be within the next few weeks dependant on other work !
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post

    - B4A / B4X (Basic For android / Basic For OSX)
    I think B4X is the name they use to cover all of their tools the one for iOS is B4i and of course B4A for Android they also have B4J [Java] and another for Windows mobile though not sure what it is called nor if it is still in production.

  5. #5

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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    Quote Originally Posted by NeedSomeAnswers View Post
    Update:

    Dee-u it looks like i might be creating a test app in React Native for my work to compare it to the Xamarin project we did earlier in the year. From the reading i have done it sound like it might be easier to use than Xamarin, and Quicker, and so it will be interesting to get that direct comparison for myself.

    I will post back once i have done my test project which will probably be within the next few weeks dependant on other work !
    Any update on your adventure with React Native?
    Regards,


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  6. #6
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    Unfortunately i couldn't persuade my work to go down the react route when we have already invested in Xamarin.

    I did look into it a bit, but the React Native framework is very different from anything i am currently using and i just dont have the time to spend personally learning it.

    What i can tell you is this;

    Xamarin if your coming from a C# background is an easier learning curve than React. If your coming from a JavaScript Background then React is (probably) easier to learn

    I have developed 2 apps with Xamarin Forms now and i actually have really started to enjoy working with it.

    Since it has been taken over by Microsoft has become much more stable, I can say my experience now is much more positive than when i started using Xamarin when you really had to struggle though the bugs and nuances of it, it now feels like its gaining some maturity and community around it and there is starting to be a set of resources around it on the internet particularly on YouTube.

    It really depends on what your developing but Xamarin Forms (which is cross platform, and compiles to native) i feel is a pretty decent option now.
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    A few words about B4X tools. B4X is the name of the programming language. We consider it a modern version of VB.
    There are four tools:
    B4A - Native Android apps.
    B4i - Native iOS apps.
    B4J - Desktop, server and Raspberry Pi programs. Based on Java.
    B4R - Arduino and ESP8266 programs.

    B4R and B4J are free.
    B4A, B4i and B4J can share most of the code.

  8. #8
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    While i haven't used the B4X tools myself (for the same reason i haven't spent any time on React Native) it is by all accounts another option to consider and if you are coming form a classic VB background then it might be the easiest learning curve for you.

    Erel from what i understand you do need to write separate projects though currently for Android and IOS ?

    Xamarin Forms & React Native have a single solution (and a single code base), It should be noted that both Xamarin and React Native are kind of hybrid platforms and there are some API restrictions, meaning that you cant do all the native phone actions that a truly native app can. However this is balanced out by the ease of creating UI'S and the shared code base.

    For most apps you want to develop the API restrictions probably wont matter (i certainly haven't hit a restriction yet but that probably down to the types of apps i am creating) anything but you would obviously be best checking before you make a choice.
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    Erel from what i understand you do need to write separate projects though currently for Android and IOS ?
    A lot of work was done in the last two years to allow you to share most of the code between B4A, B4i and B4J.
    You do have a different project for each platform but they can share the same code modules (the modules are linked).
    In most cases this is an advantage as most applications do need to access some of the platform specific features. Android, iOS and desktops have many things in common and also many differences.

    You can see an example of the cross platform features in our new game framework: https://www.b4x.com/android/forum/th...le-pack.96454/
    99+% of the code is shared between the three platforms.

    The same is true for non-game solutions.

  10. #10
    Superbly Moderated NeedSomeAnswers's Avatar
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    Re: Next step after phonegap

    You do have a different project for each platform but they can share the same code modules (the modules are linked).
    This is similar to Xamarin Forms then. In my Xamarin forms Solution i have shared data & forms projects, and then platform specific Android & IOS projects.

    When you compile you compile against either the Android or IOS project for debugging and for Building your package

    You can code directly in the Android & IOS projects but i have yet to find a reason to do so, and all my code is in the shared projects.
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