Web Apps Compared to PhoneGap Apps

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AppStudio apps can be deployed two different ways: as Web Apps or compiled into PhoneGap apps. Web Apps are loaded by the browser and can be saved to the Home screen. PhoneGap apps are full native apps, able to be submitted to app stores.

PhoneGap has two ways you can work with it. The PhoneGap Build option is easy to use and the one we primarily are dealing with here. PhoneGap CLI is much more complex, but provides additional features. Check out our tutorials for iOS and Android.

If you want to see the rap version of this chart, check out Mobile Dev Rap Battle: Native Code vs. Web Apps!

Web App PhoneGap App
Size of created apps (minimum) About 100K About 250K
Maximum size of app + data 25 megs (iOS) Limited by device itself; 40 megs for PhoneGap Build.
Can apps run offline? yes yes
Where are apps stored on device? In browser's sandbox. In regular file store.
Performance Excellent Slower for CPU bound operations.
Eligible for Store? No. iOS: Yes. Can go into App Store.

Android. Yes. Can go into Marketplace.

Distribute without going through store? Yes. iOS: No.

Android. Yes.

Percent you have to give up 0% iOS: 30%

Android. 30% (MarketPlace)

Security of code OK: obfuscated OK: obfuscated
Additional Plugins Many - see the complete list on PhoneGap's site.
How to deploy To the test server: hit F6.

To your own server: Set up username and password, then hit F6. Then, on the device, enter the app's URL into the browser, then save to Home screen.

iOS: join Apple's developer program, get certificates (Mac required), enter certificates into PhoneGap Build, use Apple's upload tool to submit to App Store, wait for approval or rejection. Customer can then get app through App Store.

Android: Download result file from PhoneGap Build and distribute directly or through Google marketplace.

How to update a deployed app Deploy the app to the server. Next time the user starts the app, it will be automatically updated. iOS: Go through the whole submission process again. Once complete, app will show up as an update in the App Store.

Android: distribute directly or through Google marketplace.

How to delete a deployed app User can delete manually. If app is deleted from server, it will be automatically deleted from user's device. User can delete manually.
How to delete app's data User can delete manually in Settings. If app is deleted from server, it will be automatically deleted from user's device. Will be deleted with app.
Sharing data between apps Apps from the same server can share SQLite databases (subject to 5 meg limit) Apps are sandboxed and cannot interfere with each other's data.
Other software needed Nothing. iOS: iOS Application Installer

Android: Nothing

Development OS Windows 7, 8 or 10 iOS: OS X

Android: Windows, OS X or Linux