Cordova - Overview

Cordova is a platform for building hybrid mobile applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

The official documentation gives us the definition of the Cordova −

"Apache Cordova is an open-source mobile development framework. It allows you to use standard web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript for crossplatform development, avoiding each mobile platform native development language. Applications execute within wrappers targeted to each platform, and rely on standards-compliant API bindings to access each device's sensors, data, and network status."

Cordova Features

Let us now understand the features of Cordova in brief.

Command Line Interface (Cordova CLI)

This tool can be used for starting projects, building processes for different platforms, installing plugins and lot of other useful things that make the development process easier. You will learn how to use the Command Line Interface in the subsequent chapters.

Cordova Core Components

Cordova offers a set of core components that every mobile application needs. These components will be used for creating base of the app so we can spend more time to implement our own logic.

Cordova Plugins

Cordova offers API that will be used for implementing native mobile functions to our JavaScript app.


Cordova is licensed under the Apache License, Version 2.0. Apache and the Apache feather logos are trademarks of The Apache Software Foundation.

Cordova Advantages

We will now discuss the advantages of Cordova.

  • Cordova offers one platform for building hybrid mobile apps so we can develop one app that will be used on different mobile platforms – IOS, Android, Windows Phone, Amazon-fireos, blackberry, Firefox OS, Ubuntu and tizien.

  • It is faster to develop hybrid app then native app so Cordova can save on the development time.

  • Since we are using JavaScript when working with Cordova, we don't need to learn platform specific programming languages.

  • There are many community add-ons that can be used with Cordova, these have several libraries and frameworks, which are optimized for working with it.

Cordova Limitations

Following are the limitations of Cordova.

  • Hybrid apps are slower than native ones so it is not optimal to use Cordova for large apps that require lots of data and functionality.

  • Cross browser compatibility can create lots of issues. Most of the time we are building apps for different platforms so the testing and optimizing can be time consuming since we need to cover large number of devices and operating systems.

  • Some plugins have compatibility issues with different devices and platforms. There are also some native APIs that are not yet supported by Cordova.