Apparently, everything sounds great for an outsider. But the roadmap of being great is not without pain. Being part of Cordova development, you might have confronted, sometimes, with this harsh reality. This post 10 Tips To Ace Cordova App Development by Root Info Solutions is aimed at alleviating those hassles.
1. Use a task runner on top of Cordova
Hence, to catch with all, it’s highly recommended to use a reliable task runner like Grunt or Gulp. With this in place, you don’t need to build and configure your code before running with the emulator or device.
2. Scaffold Cordova in your build process
A Cordova project directory comprises of a good deal of files and those files also get interchanged between the CLI and platform versions. To make those files work amicably and cohesively, a PhoneGap developer also needs to add or remove or update plugins. Hence, maintaining the Cordova project directory is a tedious job and any non-compliance would result into build errors. Certainly, this is a time killer. At Root Info Solutions, we got a remedy of it by automating the scaffolding process using grunt and grunt-cordovacli by calling Cordova from our Gruntfile. After scaffolding, the configuration and build hooks are copied into the project folder. Streamlining the plugin or file update, meeting deadlines has become easier than ever before.
3. Use hooks to perform any modifications to the generated project files
In the app development process, the best is sometimes obtained through a trial-n-error methodology. File modification is an endless process and it continues till the final build gets delivered. But modifying files at different places, whether to stay up to the expectation of the client or to meet the compliances of a regulator is easier said than done.
4. Use native remote debugging or weinre
Remote debug the WebView of the build in Chrome or Safari. Interestingly, remote debugging works with Android or iOS akin to any ordinary web page. YOu get access to a whole range of developer tools, both on the emulator and on real devices connected via USB to perform your task.
5. Get familiar with the native tools
No doubt, Apache Cordova brings in features and capabilities corresponding to different native platforms at your disposal but it can’t present the right substitute for every native resource or component. Despite being an avid disciple of Cordova app development, you have to acquaint the expertise, including installing the SDK components, connecting to devices, viewing device logs and code-signing for release. Knowledge of third-party plugins, Java and Objective-C skills is also desirable.
6. Test on as many devices as possible, use emulators
An app interacts with the operating system as well as the device. And the better it does, the better becomes the user experience. Hence, make sure that your app build is compatible with both. Hence, before going for the app release, run and test your app across different devices running different versions of the target operating system. This will help you to avoid any minor and major glitches.
7. Use Crosswalk for Android
Think of Crosswalk when you are destined not to serve to a user-base below Android 4.0. Crosswalk exhibits a portable WebVew based on Chrome and helps in bypassing WebView fragmentation. How to get it? Just install the corresponding plugin and the system WebView in your app will get replaced automatically. Crosswalk brings HTML5 support, remote debugging and, most importantly, a consistent and dependable runtime environment across all Android versions. On the higher Android version, Crosswalk helps with resisting unforseen changes introduced by automatically deployed updates to the system WebView. However, it’s likely to increase the build size of the app by 25MB.
8. Be wary of buggy plugins
Core plugins offered with Cordova play a vital role in ascertaining a smooth connectivity between Cordova and the native operating system. They also rope in the device’s capabilities like sensor, network, data, camera, etc., thereby, make the app more purposeful and engaging. Hence, Cordova developers are recommended to use only proven plugins. Strain from using plugins derived from untrusted sources.
9. Don’t be afraid to create your own plugins
If you are at home with Java and Objective-C, don’t be scared of innovating plugins of your own. At Root Info Solutions, we have created many smart plugins that add value to the user-experience. Developed plugins can be injected easily in the app directory by using CLI plugin-add command.
10. Familiarize yourself with the deployment process
Before making an app available to the target audience through App Store or Google Play, it’s a must for a developer to review the the quality as well as the marketing parameters enforced by them. App Store wants its developers to adhere to the iOS Human Interface Guidelines and App Store Review Guidelines. Likewise, Developer Policy Center of Google, lays out the necessary guidelines for those who target the Android. In no way, a developer or company should resort to misleading marketing methods, doing so is an offence. Remember, everything that has been laid down in the book are to make sure that users get the exceptional experience through the app you built.