Home > Articles

Learn Apache Cordova 3 Programming

John M. Wargo addresses the mechanics of Apache Cordova development. He begins the chapter by addressing some of the issues a Cordova developer must deal with, then covers the development process and some of the tools you can use to test and debug your Cordova applications.
This chapter is from the book

This chapter is from the book

Each of the mobile platforms supported by Cordova has a process and tools you can use to test and, in the unlikely event your code has bugs, debug Cordova applications. In general, you can load a Cordova application into a device simulator or emulator, provided as part of the mobile platform’s SDK, or you can load an application onto a physical device. There are also third-party solutions you can use to test your Cordova applications within a desktop browser interface.

Some processes and capabilities apply across all supported mobile device platforms. In this chapter, I address the mechanics of Apache Cordova development. I begin the chapter by addressing some of the issues a Cordova developer must deal with, then cover the development process and some of the tools you can use to test and debug your Cordova applications.

Cordova Development Issues

Before we start discussing how to develop Cordova applications, let’s address some of the issues that you will face as you work with the framework. The Cordova project is supported by developers from all over the world, developers who may have experience with only one or a small number of mobile platforms, developers who have a strong opinion about how something should be done. The problem is that when you take development projects written by different people and try to collect them into a single framework, you will likely bump up against some inconsistencies. Add the fact that every mobile platform supported by Cordova is different and has different ways of doing things, and you have a difficult task to make everything work cleanly and seamlessly.

In the predecessor to this book, I used this section of the chapter to highlight all of the issues I’d encountered while learning (at the time) PhoneGap and later writing the book. Back then, there were a bunch of issues, and they created some interesting problems for developers. The good news is that over time, the Cordova development team has done an amazing job in eliminating most of them. All that’s left are two, and they’re not that complicated.

Dealing with API Inconsistency

Figure 6.1 shows the supported feature matrix from the PhoneGap website (the Cordova team doesn’t seem to publish a matrix); you can find the page at http://phonegap.com/about/feature/. As you can see, the table is pretty complete; there are some gaps, but it’s more full than empty. If a particular feature you want to use in your application is supported only on some mobile platforms, then you’ll have to make special accommodation within your application for platforms that do not support the particular API.

Figure 6.1

Figure 6.1 Cordova-Supported Feature Matrix

If your application uses an API that isn’t supported on all of the mobile devices that your application will target, then your application’s code can use the Device API discussed in Chapter 5. Your application should use device.platform and, as necessary, device.version to determine which platform and OS the application is running on and disable any unsupported feature if the application is running on a device that doesn’t support the API. Another option is to simply wrap the call to a particular API with a JavaScript try/catch block and deal directly with any failures that occur.

Application Graphics

Each mobile platform and, often, different versions of a particular device OS have different requirements for application icons and splash screens. Developers building Cordova applications for multiple device platforms must be prepared to create a suite of graphics for their application that addresses the specific requirements for each target device platform and/or device OS. For application icons, the PhoneGap project maintains a wiki page listing the icon requirements for the different supported operating systems here: https://github.com/phonegap/phonegap/wiki/App-Icon-Sizes.

Additionally, for some devices on some carriers (older BlackBerry devices, for example), mobile carriers apply a specific theme to the OS to help distinguish themselves in the market. Any application icon designed for one of these devices will need to accommodate, as best as possible, rendering pleasantly within different themes. Fortunately, with the merges capabilities described later in this chapter, you have the ability to easily merge the appropriate graphics files (and other content as needed) into your project depending on which mobile platform you are building for.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020