Difference Between PhoneGap and Cordova

PhoneGap is an application development framework, like Cordova.


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An important point about both is that it allows you to build applications that work on different devices and applications but with a traditional user experience for each OS.

There is, however, a slight difference between the two.

PhoneGap vs Cordova

The difference between PhoneGap and Cordova is that they only differ in their names and their branding. Cordova was created before PhoneGap by Nitobi Software, but when Nitobi software was bought by Adobe in 2011, to retain the open-source or Cordova, they created the Apache PhoneGap with slightly tweaked features.

PhoneGap vs Cordova

PhoneGap is a platform for application development for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers. Allows the development of web applications in JavaScript and other web technologies.

Indigenous mobile applications are built using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript with device-specific user interactions created in the target language of the target device.

Cordova is a popular framework that allows you to create separate mobile applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

It uses Apache Cordova’s command-line interface to build native Android and iOS apps. Cordova is a mobile application development framework that allows you to use web technology to build mobile applications.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPhoneGapCordova
HistoryPhoneGap was made based on Cordova by Adobe.Cordova was originally made by the company Nitobi Software.
SourcePhoneGap is also open-source.It is open-source software.
In-App purchasingPhoneGap does not support in-app purchasing.Cordova supports in-app purchasing.
Platform DependentTesting of apps with PhoneGap can be done on Windows as well for iOS apps.To test an iOS app made with Cordova one especially needs an iOS simulator.
Adobe BuildIt was a paid service available in PhoneGap.No such service was available in Cordova.

What is PhoneGap?

PhoneGap is an application development tool that allows developers to write code with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

As a result, they can create a traditional app that is used on different platforms such as iOS, Android, and Blackberry.

Because PhoneGap is used by mobile application developers, they do not have to use a different language across the platform.

In other words, PhoneGap allows developers to write once and use it on multiple phones. Also, you can use PhoneGap to upgrade mobile apps with a single codebase that will work on different mobile platforms.

One of the most popular mobile app builders, PhoneGap is an open-source, licensed Apache 2.0 project from Adobe. It is available as a free download, and it is not expensive to use it.

PhoneGap is an HTML5 mobile framework for building mobile applications using web technologies such as CSS3, HTML5, and JavaScript.

Allows developers to use existing skills, forums, and tools for writing mobile applications using web technologies.

PhoneGap eventually stopped making any progress, as a result of which it was discontinued and renamed Apache Cordova, owned by the Apache Software Foundation.

However, it was a very effective app made in mind to make the app-building experience easier and faster.

What is Cordova?

Cordova is a mobile development platform. Allows you to write a single set of code and build applications that run on multiple mobile devices using your favorite web technologies such as HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.

This can save you a lot of time and energy if you develop the app. Cordova is free and open source. However, you will need to purchase Android and iOS licenses separately.

Cordova is a software development kit that allows you to create mobile applications using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript without having to learn different languages. Cordova will also allow you to use cross-platform development tools using a framework such as Angular JS or Ionic.

Includes a plugin system that allows access to native device functions. PhoneGap is based on Cordova code.

It is designed to be open and free to use, but as it is developed under the name Apache, it may not always be free to use. This is the greatest difference between the completely free PhoneGap and Cordova.

After you get your app code, you can apply it to the template or install it on the device. You can also create plugins to increase Cordova functionality.

Several products on the market use Cordova’s basic code, such as Ionic, Onsen UI, Visual Studio, and so on.

Main Differences Between PhoneGap and Cordova

  1. Cordova can use PhoneGap libraries, whereas some of the Cordova libraries are not compatible with PhoneGap
  2. PhoneGap has the same purpose as Cordova, but it cannot use in-app purchasing while in Cordova, and it also uses a feature called in-app purchasing.
  3. PhoneGap is additionally promoted by Adobe which means it enjoys added perks from the company in contrast to Cordova.
  4. PhoneGap can be referred a distribution, a classification of Cordova. In essence, they are both based on the same base, but PhoneGap has slightly different features.
  5. PhoneGap is no longer an active application and has been shut down. However, Apache Cordova is still functioning.


  1. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/978-1-4302-3904-8.pdf
  2. https://elibrary.ru/item.asp?id=29340402
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