BlackBerry 10 - Phonegap | Pros & Cons

BlackBerry 10 is mobile operating system for BlackBerry line of smartphone and tablet handheld devices. It provides a variety of development environments ie;
  1. BlackBerry Native SDK (c,c++)
  2. The Cascades SDK
  3. BlackBerry SDK for Adobe AIR
  4. HTML5 WebWorks
  5. Runtime for Android apps (android java)

Our development choice is based on a combination of familiarity, possibility with our pre-existing codebase as well as the target devices we wish to serve. Considering that we already have a HTML5-Phonegap app for iOS and Android, based on our findings we have tried 4 possible ways to create BlackBerry app ie;

  1. Android app (APK) to BlackBerry 10 (BAR) conversion
  2. Create a new BlackBerry 10 Native App
  3. Create a new BlackBerry 10 WebWorks App using our HTML5 codebase
  4. Create a new BlackBerry 10 PhoneGap App using our HTML5 codebase

Pros & Cons of our approaches are:

Android app (APK) to BlackBerry 10 (BAR) conversion
BlackBerry itself provides an official BlackBerry online conversion tool to convert an Android app to BlackBerry app and there are two more options for the same, one is BlackBerry Eclipse plugin to build BlackBerry app (straight from the Android code) and second is lots of online Android to BlackBerry conversion tools (eg) where we can upload our compiled apk build file and they will provide the BlackBerry thing.

After converting an native Android app we have found that it is working like a charm on BlackBerry 10 (Alpha) simulator but in case of a Phonegap Android app the Phonegap Plugins part is not working properly might be because of its .JS file is configured for some specific Android code and that was changed by the converter. Because of this roadblock the further development is closed on this track.

Create a new BlackBerry 10 Native App
This approach is totally a crap because it won’t support our previous codebase and we need to make a new start.

Create a new BlackBerry 10 WebWorks App using our HTML5 codebase
WebWork is somehow similar to Phonegap which provides a JavaScript layer to interact with BlackBerry core device features like camera, file system etc. It is the best approach to chose if an app is not using any device utility but for other apps they needs to rewrite phonegap layer js and need more extra efforts.

Create a new BlackBerry 10 PhoneGap App using our HTML5 codebase
It is the best approach to create a separate PhoneGap application by using Android/iOS Phonegap app because we don’t have to rewrite plugins and other native stuff. Only we need to work on designing side (CSS) and replace phonegap.js rest will be done by phonegap itself.

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