Shazron's Cordova (aka PhoneGap) Blog

at Adobe Systems Inc.

The State of PhoneGap with Windows Mobile

with 3 comments

Well there is no state really, except for the proof of concept currently (by PhoneGap contributor Jose Noheda). I was re-factoring the PoC code, and getting everything working with the PhoneGap Javascript common code. In a nutshell, PhoneGap WinMo cannot use the existing PhoneGap js [1], as js support in the IE control in WinMo is too primitive. The current IE in WinMo is based on desktop IE 4 (released in 1997) and only supports JScript 3/Javascript 1.3.

So where does this leave PhoneGap WinMo? These are the ways we can proceed:

  1. Have a totally separate Js codebase, based on JScript 3, for WinMo. Con: Maintenance nightmare?
  2. Upgrade to IE Mobile 6. This discussion has its own section, below.
  3. Use WebKit with Qt [5]. Pro: We can probably use Qt Webkit in Nokia phones (soon, not supported yet), because well, Nokia owns Qt. Con: Using Qt adds a 10MB overhead, minimum.
  4. Use our own WebKit control. Con: I don’t know how long this effort will take, and it is the riskiest.

Internet Explorer Mobile 6

IE Mobile 6 is based on desktop IE 6 (which was released in 2001) but with the IE 8 Javascript engine [2]. However, only newer (unreleased as of yet) phones will get this version, according to Microsoft [3]. Although there are development emulator images available, they are no substitute for testing on a device.

Even if we somehow get IE Mobile 6 on existing phones (with unofficial ROMs, eg through xda forums[6]), .NET code cannot take advantage of this, because Microsoft does not want to break existing compatibility with existing code that uses hosted controls [4].


[1] Sample PhoneGap Javascript code that fails under IE Mobile 4 JScript

[2] IE Mobile 6 release blog post

[3] IE Mobile 6 will not be available for current phones [All comments were deleted after the fact by MS]

[4] IE Mobile 6 will not be available in hosted controls (ie .NET WebBrowser component)[All comments were deleted after the fact by MS]

[5] Qt toolkit

[6] XDA Developers forum


Written by shazron

June 2, 2009 at 12:22 pm

Posted in phonegap

3 Responses

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  1. My favorite mobile phone is still Nokia. I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

    Symbian Software

    July 26, 2009 at 5:27 am

  2. […] see what we can do with getting a working branch of PhoneGap running on a Windows Mobile device. Shaz had done some previous research into this work, but we didn’t have more than basic scaffolding source code and a general idea on how to do […]

  3. When I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each and every time a comment is added I get four emails with the very same comment. Is there any way you could remove me from that service? Thanks!

    proxy for senuke

    February 8, 2012 at 5:06 pm

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