Developing Hybrid Mobile Apps

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1 Introduction

Mendix apps can simply be viewed in mobile web browsers. However, some features of mobile devices cannot be accessed through HTML and JavaScript. Also, if you want to publish your app on the Apple App Store, Google Play, or Microsoft Phone Store, you have to wrap your app in a native shell. We use PhoneGap to do this. PhoneGap creates a native wrapper around a web application and provides access to native functions through a JavaScript API.

These apps are also called “hybrid” apps because they are a hybrid of a web and a native app. Mendix facilitates the creation of hybrid mobile apps in a number of ways.

2 The Mendix Mobile App

While developing a hybrid mobile app, you can quickly preview it in in the browser by using the View Hybrid Phone App Online or View Hybrid Tablet App Online from the toolbar or through the Run menu.

However, when you use native widgets on your hybrid pages, some of these widgets might not work in the browser. Some of these widgets will offer an alternative implementation for when they are running in an ordinary browser; others will not work at all. To see what your app will look like inside the PhoneGap wrapper, you can use the Mendix mobile app. In the Desktop Modeler, you can reach the hybrid mobile app dialog box via View in the Mendix App in the toolbar or through the Run menu. It shows a QR code that can be scanned with that app. This is a quick way to load your app into a PhoneGap compatible environment.

For more information about how to download the Mendix mobile app, see Getting the Mendix Mobile App.

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