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Is Phonegap viable for Mobile Yet? (r173/174)

  • Hello All,

    With all the updates related to phonegap over the past few releases, it makes me wonder has it actually become a viable format for publishing to Mobile (Android/iOS). I have not been able to work in C2 for a couple months (changing jobs and moving) so figured I would see what your experiences have been with it so far since the new updates. Ashley any input from you on your thoughts would be welcome as you seem to have put more focus on PhoneGap support lately in the more recent builds...

    Thanks!

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  • BluePhaze I have the exact same question

  • I've been looking at this also, in part because I have a subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud which includes PhoneGap.

    The word on the street is that PhoneGap is okay for simple stuff, but isn't really aimed at gaming.

    The crux of the problem is what HTML5 browser bits are available on a particular phone. Nobody seems to be getting this right 100%. Right now Construct 2 is recommending Ejecta for iOS and Crosswalk for Android, but CocoonJS is hanging in the background.

    I'm more interested in Android and my impression is that Ashley likes to export for Crosswalk because it has more HTML5 bits than Cocoon. But there's the tradeoff of a big company like Intel (Crosswalk) supporting something small, vs. Cocoon, which sounds like a small company with their developers in Spain, but their company is one the line if they can't do it well, whereas Intel has many other things on its mind.

    My own experience is that Construct 2 exports flawlessly to Firefox OS, pretty well to Windows, and only sometimes if you're lucky to Android and iOS.

    And I have to compare that to GameMaker, which is you pay them lots of money, will export to native iOS and Android. But I find GameMaker hard to wrap my head about and the people running it seem not very responsive. I like Construct 2 because the people here will answer questions and the developers seem to be really on top of things and communicate well. Ashley's blog is an education in itself. Of course the main issue is where does HTML5 fit in, and I think we're still moving toward HTML5 as a universal platform, but a little too slowly.

    When browsers are good and standard on phones, that will be the day that everything just works. If it wasn't such a quagmire, I'd be more interested in Windows because at least they use a standard browser. Now that IE 11 supports WebGL, I have more hope for them, but it sounds like no one is using their phones anyway. (Although hiring 25,000 people from Nokia may change things.)

    So the answer is nothing is working perfectly and that the answers seem to vary for iOS and Android. But both iOS and Android are pushing out new versions every day and they seem to be committed to HTML5, so I'm still hoping that Construct 2 will meet them somewhere in the middle.

    I keep coming back to Construct 2 because they are improving by leaps and bounds and the communication here is very good, both among the users, and the devs!

  • Crosswalk/XDK will be great once its got AdMob & IAP. That's all there is to it really, as a wrapper, it already functions very well if you optimize your games.

    And Ejecta again, it doesn't do IAP with the current C2 plugin, there's no options for it and no examples of working games on iOS with IAPs using C2's IAP & Ejecta plugin. The only example of an Ejecta game on iOS with IAP was via an older custom Ejecta plugin that was hand-coded & modified, but that revision was buggy & didn't have memory management.

    So we're kinda in a mess. C2 mobile devs are stuck with CocoonJS because it does work even if it has flaws.

    Intel have said that XDK will be getting an update to add AdMob & IAP support via phonegap plugin, and that C2 will have to support it with their own XDK plugin (that sounds like more hassle tbh, C2 XDK plugin talking to XDK that talks to phonegap!). Now, Intel is aiming to release the update this month. I wonder if Ashley is working closely with them to coordinate a C2 plugin that actually works.

  • I hadn't put that into the equation because I'm still too far away from publishing to think about how to make money.

    It sounds like you just can't put an app in any app store and charge $0.99 for it any longer? Weird!

    I will be curious to see the new XDK release and how quickly Ashley will upgrade Construct to match the new features. I would suspect he'll work fast, and that XDK is a good long-term bet because it has those juicy Chromium bits inside.

  • PhoneGap will work great from iOS 8 and Android L. Previously iOS and Android's webviews were very slow; from these releases they will be GPU-accelerated with WebGL support and full-speed Javascript. See https://www.scirra.com/blog/146/webgl-arrives-on-ios-8-and-more.

    Ejecta will more or less be obsolete after iOS 8; it will still cover older versions of iOS, but since iOS updates tend to reach about 90% distribution pretty quickly, I think it would be wise to simply target iOS 8+ only and enjoy the far better compatibility with a real browser engine.

    Crosswalk will still be useful for a while after Android L's release, since Android updates take such a long time to propagate. Until Android L+ reaches vast majority marketshare (like Android 4+ is only just achieving recently), Crosswalk will be the way to use a real browser engine to reach all Android 4+ systems. Hopefully their ads+iap support will come soon, they tell me it's effectively ready but needs to sort out some legal issues (don't know what those might be).

    Eventually though in the long term PhoneGap will basically cover both platforms with excellent performance and support.

    IAP support is already coded in for Ejecta, if there's a problem with it then please file a bug report!

  • Ashley Thanks for clarifying issues.

    Am I understanding it correctly, that when XDK update to support Ad/IAP, you guys are required to update C2 with an XDK plugin to take advantage of those features?

  • Silverforce - I'm not sure, it depends on what the XDK support looks like, but it's just a detail.

  • "nothing is working perfectly"

    I don't agree. ios8 & androidL will change the world of mobile. With wearables supporting both platforms most people will adopt these 2 OS by the end of 2014.

    So we will just have to care about Phonegap, which has a long history and is quite a solid option. Also bytewise, Phonegap does not have 40mb of overhead!

  • PhoneGap will work great from iOS 8 and Android L. Previously iOS and Android's webviews were very slow; from these releases they will be GPU-accelerated with WebGL support and full-speed Javascript. See https://www.scirra.com/blog/146/webgl-arrives-on-ios-8-and-more.

    Ejecta will more or less be obsolete after iOS 8; it will still cover older versions of iOS, but since iOS updates tend to reach about 90% distribution pretty quickly, I think it would be wise to simply target iOS 8+ only and enjoy the far better compatibility with a real browser engine.

    Crosswalk will still be useful for a while after Android L's release, since Android updates take such a long time to propagate. Until Android L+ reaches vast majority marketshare (like Android 4+ is only just achieving recently), Crosswalk will be the way to use a real browser engine to reach all Android 4+ systems. Hopefully their ads+iap support will come soon, they tell me it's effectively ready but needs to sort out some legal issues (don't know what those might be).

    Eventually though in the long term PhoneGap will basically cover both platforms with excellent performance and support.

    IAP support is already coded in for Ejecta, if there's a problem with it then please file a bug report!

    This is very exciting. I look for the day when PhoneGap can be used for iOS and Android. Especially Android!

  • Hello there,

    I'm using the Construct2 since the last year, but only now I'm creating games for android. So, I've heard a lot about the construct2 doesn't work well when it export to Apk. The exportation is low quality. Yesterday I exported a project to Android (Galaxy S3) and I realized that the image quality was low. My question is: Is the construct2 a good engine for Android development?

    Sorry for make this post here, but until now, I didn't find an answer!

  • ramos3d - the image quality should be the same as the images you import to Construct 2. Did you try using Crosswalk?

  • Ashley I didn't yet. But I will do it today! I used the Phonegap!

  • 2 days ago i used the Intel XDK for the first time to export to Crosswalk.

    I didn't read any guides, just went for it.

    all worked fine, artwork looks as crisp as the original art. I used 1280 x 720 resolution so maybe that's the reason

  • There is a known issue with C2 => XDK for graphics quality, you need to flag in C2 Use High DPI to yes, it defaults to no. I encountered the same thing since I didn't mess with that setting and left it default.

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