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at Adobe Systems Inc.

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Create new PhoneGap/Cordova projects using cordova-create-gui

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cordova_bot_osxThis is for OS X only, and does not check for project requirements yet (which may be coming with the bin/check_reqs scripts in 2.7.0). Essentially this proof of concept project is a GUI wrapper for the bin/create scripts you know and love. You could use this against the the iOS, OS X, Android and BlackBerry source (although I have only tested it for iOS and OS X projects). Think of this as Handbrake for ffmpeg.

The project routes the stderr and stdout from the script call back to your callback function, and also reports the resultcode for you to further process.

Ideally this would be a GUI for cordova-cli instead, that may come in the future. This app was also created using itself, and Cordova OS X.

Download the complete runnable project.

View and fork the source on Github.

The GUI itself won’t win any awards yet, but is workable (click to enlarge):


Written by shazron

April 16, 2013 at 12:53 am

Posted in cordova, phonegap

Cordova OS X – Resurrection

with 15 comments

cordova_bot_osxNo, I didn’t use an Alien Queen embryo for this one. Dormant for so long, this has been brought up to date vis-à-vis the iOS Plugin architecture, and supports OS X 10.7 (Lion) and 10.8 (Mountain Lion). This means that if you know how to create an iOS Plugin, you can create an OS X one as well. The JavaScript to native bridge is synchronous, while the native to JavaScript bridge is asynchronous, just like iOS.

Not all core plugins are there. The only core plugins available at the moment are the Connection API, and the Device API, and the only event supported is the deviceready event.

To create a new project, follow the same command line usage as iOS. Download the source code.

The WebView used is from the system WebKit, which varies depending on your OS X version. Since it uses the system WebKit, the Web API support follows from it, and running Modernizr on a Cordova OS X project on OS X 10.8.3 there is broad support for most of the APIs out there except for indexeddb, some advanced input types, flexbox and WebGL. WebGL can be enabled in code however. See the Modernizr report below:


Future updates will add support for the rest of the Cordova APIs, whether as a JavaScript shim or as complete plugins. Interfaces to create/update the native menus, and native context (right-click) menus are also on the plate as well. Full-screen support is there already. JavaScript bindings for native objects for plugins is being considered as well.

Written by shazron

April 9, 2013 at 12:22 am

Posted in cordova, phonegap

What’s new in Cordova iOS 2.6.0

with 8 comments

cordova_bot1. Config.xml <preference> changes – added KeyboardShrinksView and HideKeyboardFormAccessoryBar. UIWebViewBounce renamed to DisallowOverscroll. EnableLocation deprecated.

HideKeyboardFormAccessoryBar will hide the form accessory bar (the Next, Prev and Done buttons) when the keyboard is shown for  handling input in a textbox.

KeyboardShrinksView will shrink the WebView when the keyboard comes up. The WebView shrinks instead of the viewport shrinking and the page scrollable. This applies to apps that position their elements relative to the bottom of the WebView. This is the default behaviour on Android, and makes a lot of sense when building apps as opposed to webpages.

The UIWebViewBounce preference was changed to DisallowOverscroll to be consistent with Android (thus the default value is the opposite).

The EnableLocation preference is deprecated – set  the “onload” attribute of the CDVLocation plugin element instead.

2. InAppBrowser API – “loaderror” event added

You can listen for the loaderror event to be notified of any errors in loading any URLs in the InAppBrowser.

3. Notification API changes

notification.prompt feature added – allows a customizable prompt versus the JavaScript one. Also, You can also use commas for button labels for notification.confirm.

4. FileTransfer API changes

FileTransfer download allows setting of headers now. Both FileTransfer upload and download will now support Basic Auth automatically when the username and password is encoded in the URL.

5. Camera API changes

You can now select the front or back camera on Camera.getPicture().  EXIF metadata is also included in the images returned from the Camera API, see this issue. Fixed crash when camera not available.

6. Various splash-screen issues fixed

See this issue.

7. Various iframe issues fixed

See this and this.

8. Various FileReader issues fixed

See this and this.

9. Multi-part plugin result is now supported

See this and this. Basically now callbacks can receive more than one argument.

10. Plugins can be dynamically registered (outside of config.xml)

See this issue.

Other fixes are in the RELEASE NOTES.

Written by shazron

April 8, 2013 at 11:53 pm

Posted in cordova, phonegap

What’s new in Cordova iOS 2.5.0

with 20 comments


Mainly bug fixes.

1. New functionality for Plugins

Lots of enhancements, and one removal. See the Plugin Upgrade Guide. Of note, you can load plugins at startup now.

2. config.xml root element is <widget>

Shouldn’t affect your current config.xml since the config parsing doesn’t care about the root element name. There’ll be further changes to config.xml so we conform to the widget spec as we go along.

3. Better FileTransfer errors

Now you get the response body in the FileTransferError object returned.

4. Enable NSURLCache for better app performance

Set in the app template.

5. Added support for Native URIs (iOS’ assets-library:// scheme)

See CB-2213.

Written by shazron

March 4, 2013 at 5:44 pm

Posted in cordova, phonegap

What’s new in Cordova iOS 2.4.0

with 13 comments


1. Removal of JSONKit, replaced with NSJSONSerialization

Since we dropped support for iOS 4.x, this is now possible. See the Plugin Upgrade Guide.

2. Support for ArrayBuffer arguments over the exec bridge

Only for top level arguments (nothing nested). It converts the ArrayBuffer to a NSData object, and vice-versa. See CB-2189 and CB-2215.

3. The start page can be specified in config.xml

Through the content tag.

4. FileTransfer “trustAllHosts” parameter

This is now supported. Set to true to trust hosts with self-signed certificates, for example.

5. InAppBrowser enhancements, and fix

Enhancements are specified here. Basically these are the same settings as in the Project Settings, also presentation and transition styles are added. The fix for InAppBrowser is specified here. Basically, on iOS 6, when you load PDFs in the InAppBrowser, it resets the User-Agent for all UIWebViews which we rely on for our exec bridge — our fix helps work around that, with caveats.

6. Custom url-scheme handler ‘handleOpenURL’ not called on startup

It was not being called on first app launch, but has now been fixed. Resume from backgrounding has always worked.

7. FileTransfer failing for file:/// urls

Fixed. An alternative is to use xhr.

8. require.js lazy loading of cordova.js

This should  work now.

9. Various deprecated methods removed

See the wiki.

10. Default splash-screen sizes 10x smaller

Shouldn’t affect you much.

11. There was an ARC issue in Contacts

See this issue.

12. Support Reading Slices of Text Files.

From Simon McDonald’s blog post regarding Cordova Android 2.4.0:

The File object now has a slice method. Suppose the file we’re reading contains the text:

“All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.” 


  • f.slice(4, 8) would result in “that”
  • f.slice(9) would be “is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.”
  • f.slice(-5, -1) would be “lost”

[NOTE] I want to also draw attention to cordova-cli being released with 2.4.0. More on Raymond Camden’s blog. In a nutshell, this is an abstraction for the command-line utilities that are included for the different platforms all in one easier to use interface, plus the ability to add and remove plugins.

Written by shazron

February 8, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Posted in cordova, phonegap

What’s new in Cordova iOS 2.3.0

with 40 comments


1. iOS 5.x and above support only

We are dropping iOS 4.x support and only supporting iOS 5.0 and greater, going forward.

2. Cordova.plist is changed to config.xml

The configuration Cordova.plist file has been changed to config.xml – it comes in a new format that is the same as the Android config.xml. If you are upgrading, you will need to convert your existing Cordova.plist by running the bin/cordova_plist_to_config_xml script. The 2.3.0 project itself will warn you (in the console log) if you are still using the old Cordova.plist and tell you to upgrade.

The new project settings are documented here.

An example config.xml:

        <preference name="MySetting" value="true" />
            <plugin name="MyPlugin" value="MyPluginClass" />
        <access origin="*" />

3. InAppBrowser – includes events

More details here. In a nutshell, this has the same functionality as the ChildBrowser, and has events support as well. It supports this simplified spec. Also, the InAppBrowser does not use the app whitelist. Example usage:

var ref ='', '_blank');
ref.addEventListener('loadstart', function(event) { alert(event.type + ' - ' + event.url); } );
ref.addEventListener('loadstop', function(event) { alert(event.type + ' - ' + event.url); } );
ref.addEventListener('exit', function(event) { alert(event.type); } );

// also, you can do ref.removeEventListener('loadstart', myfunc) .. etc

4. LocalNotification  plugin event, AppDelegate override

Your project’s AppDelegate.m can add a new AppDelegate override so your plugins can receive LocalNotification events. Uncomment these lines  to enable your plugin to receive the notifications in their overrides.

5. Renaming of Cordova cli commands

The new list of commands are here. Basically debug has been renamed to build, and new release,  and run commands have been added. This is common across all the platforms.

6. Objective-C plugins are not white-listed anymore

With the InAppBrowser release, we restructured the whitelist to only apply to the main Cordova WebView. As a consequence, the whitelist does not apply to all connections for the app, thus connections from your plugins are not whitelisted. To whitelist your connections with the app whitelist, you will need to set the “User-Agent” header of the connection to the same user-agent as the main Cordova WebView.

You can get this by accessing the userAgent property off the main view-controller. The main view-controller (CDVViewController) also has a URLisAllowed method for you to check whether a URL will pass the whitelist. See this guide.

7. Device API changes

Minor changes as specified here. For iOS, device.platform used to return “iPhone”, “iPad” or “iPod Touch” — now it returns (correctly) “iOS”. For iOS, (now deprecated for all platforms) used to return the name of the user’s device (e.g ‘Shazron’s iPhone 5′) — now it returns what device.platform used to return: “iPhone”, “iPad” or “iPod Touch”.  For all platforms, there is a new property called device.model — this returns the specific device model, e.g “iPad2,5″ (for other platforms, this returns what used to return).

8. CommandDelegate overrides

The command delegate could not be overriden properly, now fixed. Please look at this issue on how to override the delegate functions, for inspection.

Check out the Release Notes for other minor changes.

Written by shazron

December 10, 2012 at 9:37 pm

InAppBrowser (based on ChildBrowser) in Cordova 2.3.0

The inclusion of the InAppBrowser in iOS and Android will be new for Cordova 2.3.0. You can play with the InAppBrowser today if you download the latest code and help us test.

The InAppBrowser is a built-in web browser for your app that has an API that follows web standards. It follows the API, except for a new window target that we introduced: “_system“. Read our simple specification.

Does this mean the ChildBrowser is going away? Not really. These two plugins can co-exist, and ChildBrowser has added features that are not present in the InAppBrowser, particularly events. [UPDATE: see below]InAppBrowser also has no dependencies on a .xib or external images, so it is easy to integrate for upgrades.

What’s also new with the InAppBrowser implementation for iOS is, the white-list is not applied application wide anymore, the white-list will only apply for the main Cordova UIWebView only. Now you can load non-white-listed URLs into the InAppBrowser and the ChildBrowser.

There are several enhancements for plugins related to this new white-list exception functionality as well – please see issue CB-1889. The enhancements should land before the final 2.3.0 is released.

Please help us test by downloading the latest code or RC and giving this new feature a spin!

[Update Nov 28 2012]: The InAppBrowser on iOS has support for events now (Android in progress). You can listen to the ‘loadstart‘, ‘loadstop‘ and ‘exit‘ events. The callback function is passed an event object that has two properties: type, and url. You will need to grab the latest code and javascript (create a new project).

Example usage:

var ref ='', '_blank');
ref.addEventListener('loadstart', function(event) { alert(event.type + ' - ' + event.url); } );
ref.addEventListener('loadstop', function(event) { alert(event.type + ' - ' + event.url); } );
ref.addEventListener('exit', function(event) { alert(event.type); } );

// also, you can do ref.removeEventListener('loadstart', myfunc) .. etc

[Update Nov 30 2012]: Changes for InAppBrowser events for Android are in cordova-android now.

[Update Jan 7 2013]: If you have a multi-page app, and you use InAppBrowser, and you use iOS 6, you must use iframe bridge mode. More details here.

Written by shazron

November 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Cordova plugins? Put them in your own repo

with 19 comments

[edited: removed reference to pluginstall which is PhoneGap Build centric, to Plugman which is based on pluginstall but is Cordova centric, and more frequently updated]

Right now, there is one repo that contains the majority of plugins available for Cordova at:

We don’t want to “clutter” this repo with code anymore. Authors should maintain the code in their own repos and publish them to the Cordova Plugin Registry.

Having the plugins in separate repos also enables less clutter for pull requests and bugs, with it all being in one repo it is hard to get attention for an issue since that can be buried. I know that I like to fix some of my plugins, but it’s hard with it all lumped in there with other unrelated plugin issues.

As a reminder, this is how to write a Plugin:

For examples of plugins that conform to the Cordova Plugin spec and are plugman-able:


I’ve already moved out the plugins that I started implementation on (iAdPlugin, KeychainPlugin, PayPalPlugin, TorchPlugin, TestFlightPlugin). I suggest that you do the same.

Written by shazron

November 7, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Posted in cordova, phonegap

What’s new in Cordova iOS 2.2.0

with 58 comments

1. Set Xcode 4.5 minimum (iOS 6 SDK, iOS 4.3 deployment target, no armv6)

Submission to the Apple App Store requires the latest SDK, which is iOS 6. The iOS 6 SDK only comes with Xcode 4.5. Xcode 4.5 drops support for armv6, thus the minimum deployment target supported is iOS 4.3. This means that support for the iPhone 3G, and iPod Touch 2nd Generation is dropped.

2. Fixed iOS 6 and iPhone 5 issues

  1. iOS 6 Contacts permissions support – this was the only API issue for iOS 6 that did not make it into 2.1.0
  2. Capture API – for capturing audio, a new microphone image has been added for the iPhone 5 dimensions, and the Capture API view controllers support the new iOS 6 orientation delegate methods
  3. Added iPhone 5 sized Splash Screen
  4. Added new iOS 6 orientation delegate methods, and fixed orientation bug:
  5. iOS 6 LocalStorage changes (backup flag), see issue and new Cordova.plist setting change to allow for iCloud, local or no backup. 

3. FileTransfer API changes

  1. Added support for the onprogress event to get progress events for a FileTransfer operation
  2. Added the abort function to cancel a FileTransfer operation

See the API doc.

4. Cordova.plist new properties, and changed a property

  1. Added the iOS 6 property SuppressesIncrementalRendering – set to YES (defaults to NO) to wait until all new view content has been received before it is rendered.
  2. Added the iOS 6 property KeyboardDisplayRequiresUserAction – set to NO (defaults to YES) to open the keyboard when form elements get focus via JavaScript focus() call.
  3. Changed the property BackupWebStorage (string, defaults to ‘cloud’) – valid values are ‘none’, ‘cloud’ and ‘local’. Set to ‘cloud’ to allow the web storage data to be backed up to iCloud, and set to ‘local’ to only allow local backups (iTunes sync). Set to ‘none’ to not allow any backups of web storage. The previous boolean property is deprecated and mapped to ‘cloud’ (true) and ‘none’ (false).

See the Project Settings doc.

5. Graduated the Globalization plugin to core

This plugin was previously in the phonegap-plugins repo (BB WebWorks 5, iOS, Android). The globalization object obtains information and performs operations specific to the user’s locale and timezone.

See the API doc.

6. bin/create script changes

In 2.2.0 by default, the CordovaLib sub-project is copied into your project folder. Previously the CordovaLib sub-project was linked in to your project as a shared project. To still use a shared CordovaLib, add “–shared” as the first parameter to bin/create. This is useful for committers to just point to the CordovaLib from their git repo.

7. uncrustify hook for committers

Uncrustify is a utility that beautifies your code — essentially it enforces certain code formatting conventions. Right now it is only added to the iOS repo as a trial. See the issue:

In the root of your iOS repo, using the command line:

cd .git
rm -r hooks
ln -s ../hooks .

Otherwise, you should run the bin/ command manually before checking in code on iOS.

8. onReset() override for plugins

Add a onReset() method to your plugin — this is called on top-level navigation or refresh, so that plugins can know to cancel any long-running requests and reinitialize themselves. This is for the situation where your WebView has been refreshed, and any operations and callbacks for plugins are invalid.

9. iOS JavaScript-Obj-C bridge improvements

  1. no longer broken for non file:// pages
  2. No longer shows failed requests in the remote web inspector
  3. 15% speed improvement in benchmarks

10. Splashscreen API

The Splashscreen API is now formally documented for iOS and Android.

View the Release Notes for other changes.

Written by shazron

October 27, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Automatic Reference Counting (ARC) and Cordova Plugins

with 11 comments

With the release of Cordova 2.1.0, CordovaLib will have been fully migrated to use Automatic Reference Counting (ARC). In a nutshell, ARC is automatic memory management for Objective-C objects and blocks (simply – you don’t have to worry about retains and releases for the most part).

What does it mean for your third-party Cordova iOS plugins?

Nothing1, if your project itself does not support ARC, and the default project template does not support ARC for Cordova iOS 2.1.0.

If you do upgrade your project itself to ARC through running the Xcode migration wizard from the menu: Edit -> Refactor -> Convert to Objective-C ARC… (then de-select libCordova.a) then you need to be aware that your plugins need to be upgraded since 99% of the plugins out there are not ARC compatible yet.

How do you get your plugin upgraded?

  1. The plugin author should upgrade the plugin to conditionally support ARC (through the __has_feature(objc_arc) macro) which would maintain compatibility
  2. You can upgrade them yourself using the Xcode migration wizard (Edit -> Refactor -> Convert to Objective-C ARC…) and selectively choose the plugin files only
  3. Don’t upgrade but set a compiler flag for your .m file in your Target settings to not compile your plugin for ARC. Select the Build Phases tab, expand the “Compile Sources” list, and select your .m file. Double-click in the “Compiler Flags” column, and enter the value -fno-objc-arc

[1] In the rare case that you encounter a plugin that is ARC only and you need to use it in your non-ARC project, do step 3 above but use the compiler flag -fobjc-arc instead.

Written by shazron

September 5, 2012 at 1:41 am


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