05-07-2013 03:33 PM
I just getting down to work to port an iOS phonegap app over to WW BB and I am wondering: is keeping phonegap is necessary or wise?
The old app on iOS uses phonegap 2.2 (recently upgraded to that from a very old version) and some plugins like mapkit (uses that alot, I cannot just drop the mapping features - like show location on map and show directions).
Will keeping phonegap and using a BB version of mapkit (if there is one) be easier than just porting to WebWorks?
Also bear in mind that I will want to port to BB10 and OS7 and may - if it's easy - also to OS5-6 and I don't want to have very different codebases for different BB OS versions. I already have an old java version of the app running on OS4-6 but it would be nice to put out a new version for those old devices too.
I haven't done a webworks app yet so I don't know much about it yet so sorry if this is a bad question.
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05-10-2013 06:43 PM
PhoneGap/Cordova supports BlackBerry by calling WebWorks. Cordova doesn't support BB10 until 2.3.0 or 2.4.0, though so you will need to update if you are going to use it. We're also going all out to make Cordova the standard and official way to build HTML5 apps on BB10, so sticking with Cordova is the right thing long term.
However, I'm not aware if there is a mapkit port on BB10. Certainly you can do mapping, but you might have to take one of our mapping samples and wrap it up in the same API if you want it to work seamlessly.
Now, porting to OS7 should be okay, but when you talk about going to OS5 and 6, you may run into more problems. At this point, those are very old devices. The The Browser engine in them is a good few years old - OS5 is also not running WebKit. The memory and CPUs are half of what's available in OS7 devices. You're going to have to be very efficient to make it run the way you want.
It's hard to give really good advice without knowing your target market, demographics and region, and what kind of capabilities you are trying to deliver (besides maps). Those factors will determine what kind of userbase you can hope for on the various OS versions, and wether it's better to port the PhoneGap version for the old phones, or update the Java version. Take a look at the BlackBerry World user stats we publish and your own user base numbers. We've generally found that the users with the latest hardware are also the ones who buy apps or spend money on them, and the ones with the latest or fairly recent devices are the ones who download. Make sure you balance development time with the opportunity available.