PhoneGap/Cordova: A Key to Apps Portability for All Users
A G3ict Business Case White Paper Series
Researched in Cooperation with Adobe Systems, Inc. | Published by G3ict in February 2015
As adoption of smart mobile devices becomes more mainstream, we will begin to see new user groups, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities expecting a level of support, approaching, if not equaling, what they would receive on a desktop application or web browser. App developers face the increasingly crucial task of designing mobile browsers that are accessible, user-friendly and adaptable to any mobile operating system.
Operating systems are built on distinct infrastructures, including in their hardware. A great user experience needs to take into consideration the needs of diverse user groups, including senior citizens and persons with disabilities, and should enable them to access apps and customized usage settings.
Mobile devices require built-in accessibility support similar to what can be found on PCs. This report highlights the features of Adobe PhoneGap, a free and open source framework that allows developers to create mobile apps using standardized web APIs for cross-platform development, avoiding each mobile platforms' native development language. The PhoneGap Mobile Accessibility
Plugin works by providing developers access to each mobile device’s built-in accessibility features, allowing them to build apps that can be compiled to run on any given operating system.
Mobile operating systems have their own accessibility APIs available to developers to report whether a specific accessibility feature is engaged, so it can communicate what’s happening on the device when it’s running, and stay idle when it’s not. PhoneGap, published by the Apache Foundation under the name Apache Cordova, made it possible to add this sweeping new functionality quickly, test it within the accessibility community, and deploy and update the module without waiting to publish on PhoneGap’s release cycle. This same process allows PhoneGap to add new accessibility features, as each operating system evolves and improves. With this new functionality, Adobe PhoneGap/Cordova is able to help improve the accessibility of thousands of apps built using PhoneGap technology.
The plug-in enables persons with disabilities to now choose from a selection of off-the-shelf alternatives for their mobile needs, without paying more. And designers can reach all users with a single interface. This plugin allows PhoneGap apps to look and feel even more like native applications by taking into accounts the preferences of the person using the device.
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The G3ict White Paper Business-Case Series documents innovative accessibility solutions and good practices with real-world case studies for users and organizations seeking to improve the accessibility of their information technology, applications and services.
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