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Deploying Chrome Apps on Android&iOS with Cordova 3.3.0

by Abel Avram on Jan 29, 2014 |

Developer can now deploy Chrome apps on Android and iOS with Apache Cordova 3.3.0.

Six weeks after Adobe made available PhoneGap 3.3, Cordova 3.3.0 was made available on PhoneGap Build. Beside supporting Android KitKat, Cordova 3.3.0 adds support for remote webview debugging from Chrome on Android,  and remote debugging with Safari on iOS. The release notes contain details for each operating system supported: iOS, Android, Windows. Cordova 2.5.0 and 2.7.0 will be deprecated in the near future, Blackberry, WebOS, or Symbian developer being invited to use version 2.9.0.

Back in September, Google announced the possibility to create Chrome applications that can be deployed to the desktop (samples of such apps can be found here). These apps can run on Windows, Mac or Linux either in online or offline mode. Recently, Google has expanded Chrome apps’ reach to mobile platforms, Android and iOS, via Cordova 3.3.0.

To create their Chrome app for mobile, developers need to use a tool-chain based on Node.js, JDK 7, Android SDK 4.4.2, and Apache Ant for Android, or Xcode 5, ios-deploy, ios-sim for iOS, and use Cordova to wrap the application in a native shell, then publish it on Google Play or Apple App Store.

The following Chrome APIs have been made available for mobile apps:

  • identity - sign-in users using OAuth2 without prompting for passwords
  • payments (currently Android only) - sell virtual goods within your mobile app
  • pushMessaging - push messages to your app from your server
  • sockets - send and receive data over the network using TCP and UDP
  • notifications (currently Android only) - send rich notifications from your mobile app
  • storage - store and retrieve key-value data locally
  • syncFileSystem - store and retrieve files backed by Google Drive
  • alarms - run tasks periodically

Beside those, developers can make use of a large number of Cordova APIs providing wide access to native functionality.

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