Sunday, February 01, 2015

Apache Cordova : Create your First Android app (the easy way) + ios/ Windows Phone/Store + Firefox OS


If you have considerable amount of knowledge in developing web based applications using HTML, CSS and Javascript and also very much interested in developing applications across multiple platform such as Android, iOS and Firefox OS, Apache Cordova is just for you. Apache Cordova is a cross platform application developmental framework based on HTML, CSS and JS. In this tutorial, I will be helping you to develop your first cordova app. If you face any challenges in either of the step, please comment.

1.    While learning Javascript, you would have probably come across this cliché “Javascript is a client side scripting language”. Well, you would not be believing this if you have come across Node JS. Node JS is a runtime environment for server side and networking applications. Apache cordova needs Node JS. So, Install Node JS.

2. After Installing Node JS. Set up your Android developer environment. You can either download them as a package or you can install Android as a plugin in your eclipse. Please refer this for reference. Anyway, before starting with step 2, make sure you have Java installed.

3. I hope that you have completed step 1 and 2 without any complications. Node JS installation in Step 1 will also install Node JS command prompt. So search for Node JS command prompt and open it.

4. Once you open node js command prompt enter “npm install –g cordova”. If you face something like “npm command not found”, you have either not installed node js properly or the npm has not been added to the path in the environment variable.

5. If step 4 is completed, you are well set to create your first app. Go to Node JS command prompt and navigate to the directory in which you want to set up your project. Enter “cordova create <name of the project directory> <like package name in java (domain style identifier)> <Application name>”. For example: “cordova create hello com.example.hello HelloWorld”.

6. Enter the newly created directory “cd ”.

7. To view the different platform that you app can be scaled in enter “cordova platform ls”

8. To add a platform enter “cordova platform add android” and to remove a platform “cordova platform remove ios”.

9. Once the platform for the project is ready. Enter “cordova build”. If the build is successful, you are ready with your first android project.

10. To view the application, go into eclipse and import this project from existing application, create an Android virtual device and run the android application.

11. Now inside eclipse, in the project directory in the left, there will be a folder called www where you can develop your application with html, css and javscript.

12. For further documentation and deployment refer here.

One of my apps that I published in Windows Phone store was also built using Cordova.

Note: This article is solely based on my experience during installation process. The content posted is original and not replicated from any external source.

If you want any intermediate step as a separate article (such as how to add the directory path in the environmental variable), please let me know.

Stay tuned for more.


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