Jerry Nixon on Windows: Did you know you can use Visual Studio to write an Android app?

Jerry Nixon on Windows

Friday, August 22, 2014

Did you know you can use Visual Studio to write an Android app?

imageYou might think you need x-code to write an iOS app. You might think you need eclipse to write an Andriod app. Visual Studio, is it just for Windows?

The answer is a solid “No”. Since the recent update of Visual Studio 2013 Update 3, developers have comprehensive tooling to support Apache Cordova.

What’s Apache Cordova?

Apache Cordova was PhoneGap; it was purchased by Adobe, then spun off as an open source project to build a consistent, universal shell to run apps written with HTML/JavaScript/CSS across all the mobile platforms. Today we call PhoneGap, Apache Cordova.

Lots of developers know how to build iOS apps. Lots of developers know how to build Windows apps. Lots of developers know how to build Android apps. But, every developer knows how to write HTML, code in JavaScript, and edit CSS. Look at your development team; are they ready to write a mobile app? Before you answer, ask: do they know how to code for the web?

The consistent, universal shell that makes Cordova work across platforms connects your app’s JavaScript with native APIs and device hardware. You get the capabilities you want, cross-platform. You use the responsive design techniques you already know. You use the UI tooling you already have. And, you use the client-side libraries you already love.

Introducing Multi-Device Hybrid App Tooling for Visual Studio

Before Visual Studio’s support for Cordova projects, developers had to use all kinds of crazy tools cobbled together in a delicate dance. With Multi-Device Hybrid App Tooling for Visual Studio, consumer and enterprise developers accustom to the power and love of Visual Studio, keep the IDE benefits that make them productive, and release cross-platform apps to whatever mobile store they choose. They really do.

Who’s the target?

The reality, almost every app is a candidate for Cordova. If you think about apps that have a branded, identical, cross-platform look-and-feel, those are a great candidate. If you think about apps that today are simply mobile web sites, those are great candidates. if you think about version 1 apps that are just dabbling in the mobile space, those are great candidates. And if you think about internal apps that an enterprise needs to extend to more devices, those are great candidates. But, those are the only good candidates. They are, certainly, the sweet spot for Apache Cordova solutions.

You might wonder where to get this tooling. You get it here.

Best of luck!