Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Which thing to use: phonegap or codename one?

I have been puttering around with Phonegap and then I stumbled upon CodenameOne. Both are frameworks for making applications for mobile devices and will run on Netbeans (although Android support for Netbeans could be better). So which leads us to the question of the moment: which thing to use?

Let's start with what's common with the two:

1. One code base for almost all mobile platforms: IOS, Android, Blackberry and Windows Phone. PhoneGap is the only one that (right now) supports Windows 7. CodenameOne promises to support it soon. CodenameOne now supports Windows Phone.

2. Both use the pay for building app model. Assuming that you are using the free account; With Phonegap you are limited to 1 app/1 collaborator while CodenameOne limits you to 100 build credits every month and 1 app at the time.

PhoneGap Codename One
IDE Support Optimal on Eclipse; Can be used on Netbeans but stifled because of Netbean's weak support for Android. Has an excellent plugin for both Eclipse and Netbeans
Tooling HTML5, CSS and JavaScript Just Java
Supports IOS, Android, BlackBerry, WebOS, Symbian, Windows Phone IOS, Android, BlackBerry, J2ME, Windows Phone
Documentation Excellent Also excellent
Feels like ...making a website; lots of JavaScript ...old school Swing desktop development

So which one to use? Truth be told, that depends on what you are comfortable with. If you're an old hand with Java and you want to make mobile applications then (I suggest that you) go with Codename One but if started out as a web developer then you might want to go with PhoneGap.

Although both fill the mobile development niche, but have different approach vectors. Different strokes for different folks.