Is Phonegap viable for Mobile Yet? (r173/174)

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Wed Jun 25, 2014 4:28 pm

Hello All,

With all the updates related to phonegap over the past few releases, it makes me wonder has it actually become a viable format for publishing to Mobile (Android/iOS). I have not been able to work in C2 for a couple months (changing jobs and moving) so figured I would see what your experiences have been with it so far since the new updates. @Ashley any input from you on your thoughts would be welcome as you seem to have put more focus on PhoneGap support lately in the more recent builds...

Thanks!
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Post » Wed Jul 09, 2014 11:43 pm

@BluePhaze I have the exact same question
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Post » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:52 am

I've been looking at this also, in part because I have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud which includes PhoneGap.

The word on the street is that PhoneGap is okay for simple stuff, but isn't really aimed at gaming.

The crux of the problem is what HTML5 browser bits are available on a particular phone. Nobody seems to be getting this right 100%. Right now Construct 2 is recommending Ejecta for iOS and Crosswalk for Android, but CocoonJS is hanging in the background.

I'm more interested in Android and my impression is that Ashley likes to export for Crosswalk because it has more HTML5 bits than Cocoon. But there's the tradeoff of a big company like Intel (Crosswalk) supporting something small, vs. Cocoon, which sounds like a small company with their developers in Spain, but their company is one the line if they can't do it well, whereas Intel has many other things on its mind.

My own experience is that Construct 2 exports flawlessly to Firefox OS, pretty well to Windows, and only sometimes if you're lucky to Android and iOS.

And I have to compare that to GameMaker, which is you pay them lots of money, will export to native iOS and Android. But I find GameMaker hard to wrap my head about and the people running it seem not very responsive. I like Construct 2 because the people here will answer questions and the developers seem to be really on top of things and communicate well. Ashley's blog is an education in itself. Of course the main issue is where does HTML5 fit in, and I think we're still moving toward HTML5 as a universal platform, but a little too slowly.

When browsers are good and standard on phones, that will be the day that everything just works. If it wasn't such a quagmire, I'd be more interested in Windows because at least they use a standard browser. Now that IE 11 supports WebGL, I have more hope for them, but it sounds like no one is using their phones anyway. (Although hiring 25,000 people from Nokia may change things.)

So the answer is nothing is working perfectly and that the answers seem to vary for iOS and Android. But both iOS and Android are pushing out new versions every day and they seem to be committed to HTML5, so I'm still hoping that Construct 2 will meet them somewhere in the middle.

I keep coming back to Construct 2 because they are improving by leaps and bounds and the communication here is very good, both among the users, and the devs!
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Post » Thu Jul 10, 2014 6:22 am

Crosswalk/XDK will be great once its got AdMob & IAP. That's all there is to it really, as a wrapper, it already functions very well if you optimize your games.

And Ejecta again, it doesn't do IAP with the current C2 plugin, there's no options for it and no examples of working games on iOS with IAPs using C2's IAP & Ejecta plugin. The only example of an Ejecta game on iOS with IAP was via an older custom Ejecta plugin that was hand-coded & modified, but that revision was buggy & didn't have memory management.

So we're kinda in a mess. C2 mobile devs are stuck with CocoonJS because it does work even if it has flaws.

Intel have said that XDK will be getting an update to add AdMob & IAP support via phonegap plugin, and that C2 will have to support it with their own XDK plugin (that sounds like more hassle tbh, C2 XDK plugin talking to XDK that talks to phonegap!). Now, Intel is aiming to release the update this month. I wonder if @Ashley is working closely with them to coordinate a C2 plugin that actually works.
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Post » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:11 am

I hadn't put that into the equation because I'm still too far away from publishing to think about how to make money.

It sounds like you just can't put an app in any app store and charge $0.99 for it any longer? Weird!

I will be curious to see the new XDK release and how quickly Ashley will upgrade Construct to match the new features. I would suspect he'll work fast, and that XDK is a good long-term bet because it has those juicy Chromium bits inside.
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Post » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:07 pm

PhoneGap will work great from iOS 8 and Android L. Previously iOS and Android's webviews were very slow; from these releases they will be GPU-accelerated with WebGL support and full-speed Javascript. See https://www.scirra.com/blog/146/webgl-arrives-on-ios-8-and-more.

Ejecta will more or less be obsolete after iOS 8; it will still cover older versions of iOS, but since iOS updates tend to reach about 90% distribution pretty quickly, I think it would be wise to simply target iOS 8+ only and enjoy the far better compatibility with a real browser engine.

Crosswalk will still be useful for a while after Android L's release, since Android updates take such a long time to propagate. Until Android L+ reaches vast majority marketshare (like Android 4+ is only just achieving recently), Crosswalk will be the way to use a real browser engine to reach all Android 4+ systems. Hopefully their ads+iap support will come soon, they tell me it's effectively ready but needs to sort out some legal issues (don't know what those might be).

Eventually though in the long term PhoneGap will basically cover both platforms with excellent performance and support.

IAP support is already coded in for Ejecta, if there's a problem with it then please file a bug report!
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Post » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:24 pm

@Ashley Thanks for clarifying issues.

Am I understanding it correctly, that when XDK update to support Ad/IAP, you guys are required to update C2 with an XDK plugin to take advantage of those features?
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Post » Thu Jul 10, 2014 3:42 pm

@Silverforce - I'm not sure, it depends on what the XDK support looks like, but it's just a detail.
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Post » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:09 pm

"nothing is working perfectly"

I don't agree. ios8 & androidL will change the world of mobile. With wearables supporting both platforms most people will adopt these 2 OS by the end of 2014.

So we will just have to care about Phonegap, which has a long history and is quite a solid option. Also bytewise, Phonegap does not have 40mb of overhead!
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Post » Thu Jul 17, 2014 5:48 am

Ashley wrote:PhoneGap will work great from iOS 8 and Android L. Previously iOS and Android's webviews were very slow; from these releases they will be GPU-accelerated with WebGL support and full-speed Javascript. See https://www.scirra.com/blog/146/webgl-arrives-on-ios-8-and-more.

Ejecta will more or less be obsolete after iOS 8; it will still cover older versions of iOS, but since iOS updates tend to reach about 90% distribution pretty quickly, I think it would be wise to simply target iOS 8+ only and enjoy the far better compatibility with a real browser engine.

Crosswalk will still be useful for a while after Android L's release, since Android updates take such a long time to propagate. Until Android L+ reaches vast majority marketshare (like Android 4+ is only just achieving recently), Crosswalk will be the way to use a real browser engine to reach all Android 4+ systems. Hopefully their ads+iap support will come soon, they tell me it's effectively ready but needs to sort out some legal issues (don't know what those might be).

Eventually though in the long term PhoneGap will basically cover both platforms with excellent performance and support.

IAP support is already coded in for Ejecta, if there's a problem with it then please file a bug report!


This is very exciting. I look for the day when PhoneGap can be used for iOS and Android. Especially Android!
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