Developing an app in it's native languages has it's own downsides. One of them is to have to maintain seperate codebase to each of different platforms. There are different problems in maintaining several codebases. It's very difficult to update a feature and to maintain consistency across all platforms if we have multiple codebases.

The solution for the above problem is cross-platform or multi-platform development.

Cross-platform or multi-platform development refers to development of an app with a single codebase that will ultimately run on various platforms. To put in simple terms, one technology that runs on multiple platforms.

One of such cross-platform solutions is to develop apps or games with JavaScript+HTML5 and export them as apps to be distributed to different appstores. 

 

So what exactly Phonegap and Ludei are?

Well, these are the tools that enable us to export our mobile application as a packaged app (.apk or .ipa files). The role of these technologies does not stop there.

These tools help us to communicate the device API, to perform things that we cannot do with JavaScript alone. In general the communication happens through plugins.

 

Phonegap:

Phonegap is a free and open source framework that allows us to create mobile apps and games using standardized web APIs for various platforms like Android, iOS and windows.

We can use phonegap for games as well as applications. The beauty of it lies in freedom of choosing the framework to develop an application. An application can be developed by using any framework we like, depending on our requirement. For example we may use Bootstrap+AngularJS for an application or CreateJS or Phaser for a game, it just works fine.

Once we develop the application, we can package the application into mobile using phonegap build or phonegap CLI. We can target different platforms like iOS, Android and windows with a single codebase.

With phonegap plugins we can communicate with the device API to perform such tasks that are not accessible to web APIs.

There are different plugins available for various tasks. Eg., to access camera, to send an SMS, to vibrate the device, flashlight etc.

 

Ludei/CocoonJS:

CocoonJS is a platform to test, accelerate, deploy and monetize your HTML5 apps and games on all mobile devices with many interesting features to help you deliver great web products faster.

Performance is key to mobile web app and game development, and CocoonJS was designed from the ground up to accelerate all aspects of HTML5 execution. CocoonJS provides the best JavaScript and HTML5 execution environments to choose from, depending on the type of your project and the platforms you want to deploy it to.

 

If the project is an HTML5 canvas game,

  • CocoonJS provides the most performant canvas 2D and WebGL implementation in the market for iOS and Android. This environment is a highly specialized JavaScript virtual machine with a blazing fast implementation of everything needed to make canvas 2D or WebGL based games scream on mobile!
  • CocoonJS is the only platform to date that allows WebGL native app deployment in both iOS from version 5.0 and above and Android from version 2.3 and above.

If the project is HTML5 general purpose web app or DOM based game,

  • CocoonJS provides a consistent and accelerated environment to close the gap between web and native apps. You get all the benefits of a modern mobile browser while developing a native app.
  • A custom webview that is called Webview+. A blazing fast webview specially designed for HTML5 app developers. You'll also have a uniform view on any Android device. The dream of all HTML5 developer!

Features:

  • This is suitable for games as well as apps as the performance is good compared to phonegap
  • The CocoonJS Launcher App works very similar to a web browser allowing you to execute remote URLs or even complete projects stored on the device-- great for executing your project anytime, anywhere even being offline. It also allows you to access some of the services the platform has to offer, like Cordova plugins and the CocoonJS extensions.
  • CocoonJS is also compatible with Apache Cordova/PhoneGap projects. You can provide your existing project and still improve your overall HTML5 execution speed, testing/debugging capabilities and deployment and monetization experience thanks to CocoonJS. Of course, you can still use existing Cordova plugins and even develop and use your own!

Believe Creative has built quite a few mobile applications using Phonegap, one of them being Wonderwords.

Screenshots of the work done so far

HTML5 - Phaser: Wonderwords - Background
HTML5 - Phaser: Wonderwords - Game plan
HTML5 - Phaser: Wonderwords - Letters
HTML5 - Phaser: Wonderwords - Menu