Hybrid Mobile App Development

With Progress AppBuilder, you can develop hybrid mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

The hybrid development approach combines the best characteristics of native and web development. A hybrid mobile app developed with Apache Cordova is basically web code running inside a native webview and wrapped as a native app on iOS, Android or Windows Phone. Such apps carry more web characteristics than native ones. Typically, hybrid apps have a consistent, responsive web-like user interface and browser-like performance across platforms. Contrary to web apps, hybrid apps can access some native capabilities of the device such as the accelerometer and compass sensors, the camera, the geolocation features, and others.

At the core of hybrid mobile apps is the webview—a native minimal chromeless browser. Apache Cordova, the hybrid mobile framework integrated in the Progress Telerik Platform, embeds HTML5 code in the webview and then provides an interface to access the native resources on the device via JavaScript code. Out of the box, Apache Cordova provides support for the file system and the basic hardware sensors. With the help of additional plug-ins, developed by the community and Telerik, Apache Cordova greatly expands on the supported device capabilities.

Some of the biggest strengths of the hybrid mobile approach are its cross-platform nature, the extensive code reuse and the reduced development time and cost. For a complete breakdown of the strengths and challenges of this approach, see Hybrid or NativeScript—Choosing the Path for You.

Supported Apache Cordova Versions

In AppBuilder, you can develop with the following Apache Cordova versions:

  • 6.4.0 (iOS 4.3.1) (Android 6.1.0) (Windows Phone 3.8.2)
  • 5.2.0 (iOS 4.2.0) (Android 5.2.1) (Windows Phone 3.8.2) - Experimental
  • 5.0.0 (iOS 4.0.1) (Android 5.1.0) (Windows Phone 3.8.2)
  • 4.0.0 (iOS 3.8.0) (Android 4.1.1) (Windows Phone 3.8.0-2)

Experimental framework versions have not been thoroughly verified and you might experience multiple issues when working against them.

For more information about how to change the Apache Cordova version of your app, see Configure the Target Apache Cordova Version.

Supported Mobile Platforms

AppBuilder lets you develop, test, build and publish hybrid mobile apps for the iOS, Windows Phone and Android mobile platforms. The target Apache Cordova version for your app determines the supported mobile platform versions and devices on which you can deploy your app.

  iOS Support Android Support Windows Phone Support
Device Simulator In the simulator, you can simulate running your app on iOS 4.3, 5.1, 6.0, 7.0, 8.0, 9.0, 9.1 and 10.0. In the simulator, you can simulate running your app on Android 2.2, 2.3, 4.0, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.0, 5.1 and 6.0 devices. In the simulator, you can simulate running your app on Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 8.1.
Connected or Remote Devices You can build and deploy your app on devices running iOS 6.0 and later. You can build and deploy your app on devices running Android 4.x, Android 5.x and Android 6.x devices. You can build and deploy your app on devices running Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1.*
Developer App You can test your app in the developer app on devices running iOS 6.0 and later. You can test your app in the developer app on devices running Android 4.x, Android 5.x and Android 6.x devices. You can test your app in the developer app on devices running Windows Phone 8 or Windows Phone 8.1.*

* You need to manually set the target Windows Phone SDK in your app properties. For more information, see Configure Your App and Windows Phone Properties.

In this section, you will find the following resources:

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