Hybrid Apps with Sencha – Part 2

This will be turning into more multi-parts than Hybrid Apps with Sencha – Part 1 intended.

Increase in the number of parts revolves around other areas of development for hybrid apps. With Apple with the release of iOS 11.3 opening the door more to Progressive Web Apps, the game is kind of changing.

Change is coming in development. Sencha is working to support the best means to achieve your goals.

Hybrid apps require either PhoneGap or Cordova. These two are extremely similar in PhoneGap is built on Cordova. Limitations exist with using either PhoneGap or Cordova. Currently Cordova is lagging behind in Apple’s coming deadline of March 19th. This date is the date all new apps being submitted for review require being developed in Xcode 10. Cordova is currently missing the new WKWebKit in Xcode 10.

Progressive Web App (PWA) are taking risks in working with the manifest.json file. Currently this is in working draft state with the W3C. It means it is subject to change without notice and can introduce complete breaking changes causing your PWA to stop functioning as expected.

Neither of these feel like sound replacement for native apps. As developers we can agree native apps are expensive to develop, require to code bases and even constant changes in iOS along with changes in Apple’s developer requirements.

Too often our focus is “Apple is the problem”. Easy to define them as the problem until you understand more about Apple and the platform they created. Realize, Apple is a hardware company, not a software company. This gives them more control on what you can and cannot do. It is also what gives Mac users consistency when moving from app to app. Navigation is consistent, look is consistent, flow is consistent; all themes you can be assured change dramatically in both Android and Windows environments.

Sencha does bridge the gap here a bit as it is JavaScript based and consists of their components. Being built on JavaScript it will be consistent between Android and iOS, but one or the other will users will have to learn something new unless you plan on creating one for iOS and one for Android. Yes, to do things as users would expect you would still need to maintain two different themes. Themes can help bridge the gap between Android and iOS users allowing you to deliver the UI experience they have become accustomed to.

As I proceed with this series, please keep an open mind. I’ve been in IT to some degree since 1977. Back then we have been praying for a develop once, deploy on all solutions and it still has not been delivered. So don’t expect it to happen today.

With that in mind, join me on the rest of this series as you will why I recommend Sencha Ext JS for your solution. It may not be the end all, do all solution we’ve prayed for but it comes closer to it than anything still available today.

Just one additional thought. Should anyone ever develop an end all, do all, develop once, deploy on everything solution; within days of it coming to the light of developers someone will scream monopoly and squash it from getting anywhere.

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Author: aallord

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