PhoneGap is a distribution of the Apache Cordova. So you can see Apache Cordova as an engine that powers the PhoneGap just like the WebKit(an engine that is capable to power the Chrome and Safari). PhoneGap was previously a product of Adobe. Because of keeping PhoneGap as an open source always, its codebase was handled by the Apache.
PhoneGap is defined as an API used for accessing the native mobile resources that enables the developers to create mobile applications using the standard web technologies. It is powered by Apache Cordova and consist some extra Adobe stuff.
The PhoneGap distribution includes some additional tools that are linked to other Adobe services such as PhoneGap Build and Adobe Shadow. It is always an open source software that remains free distribution of the Apache Cordova.
Differences between Cordova and PhoneGap
PhoneGap and Cordova, both are the most common terms that are used in the mobile development. The differences between Cordova and PhoneGap are as follows:
If you develop a hybrid mobile app, you can create it by using the both, Cordova or Adobe's ecosystem by using the PhoneGap distribution of Cordova.
Both these technologies are open source and delivered by Apache.
Adobe also provide some paid services like PhoneGap Build Service that allows the developers to build an application in the cloud, without requiring to install an additional local SDK.
Future of PhoneGap and Cordova:
When cross-platform apps come into the picture, it highlights the usage of PhoneGap that provides better functionality and new features. Due to this, there is an enhancement of mobile users that cause lead to increase in the app development. PhoneGap is used by many users and it mainly focuses on creating multi-platform apps and software that can be reused easily.
Recently, the demand of PhoneGap is increasing and adding some new rich features that makes it more easy and convenient to use. So, in upcoming future, PhoneGap users will increase because it will not only provide cross-platform but also add some new features.
PhoneGap Plugins are defined as an additional features for enhancing the functionalities of PhoneGap. It provides a user friendly environment to access the native apps and cloud services.
This section defines the specific capabilities of PhoneGap which are as follows:
1. PhoneGap Build Service:
Adobe created the PhoneGap Build Service to help the non-native mobile developers to deliver the Cordova applications. It is a commercial service that provides a cloud-based environment for packing a web application into the Cordova container.
2. PhoneGap Developer App:
Adobe created free PhoneGap Developer App to simplify the process of testing and debugging of PhoneGap applications. Building the PhoneGap applications through the shared infrastructure of the PhoneGap Build service is a time-consuming process. As a developer updates an application, most of the time is spent on waiting for completing the build process. This delay of time affects the productivity of the application.
To solve this problem, PhoneGap Developer app build processes by providing a pre-built app that developer can use to test their apps. The developers can install the PhoneGap Developer app on one or more test devices. It uses command-line tools to deploy updated web application content to the pre-built application.