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    Best practice: SmartGWT applications for mobile devices - PhoneGap or PWA?

    Hi Isomorphic,

    we are preparing to release parts of our application as App for mobile.
    As written here, we are planning on doing this with PhoneGap.

    The features we need from PhoneGap are geolocation and notifications.

    Now I read about Progressive Web Apps and perhaps they are an alternative for us as well.
    It seems that the most important parts (Service Workers, Web App Manifest) are supported in iOS and Android.

    It also seems, Push Notifications do not work with iOS as of today:

    Advantage of using PWAs (if notifications are supported eventually) would be to be independent from App Store Review (don't know if this will be a problem for my CRM-like application) and from PhoneGap.

    Do you have any experience with SmartGWT/SmartClient applications as PWAs you can share? Pros and Cons? In general I don't see a reason why this should not work, but perhaps you have already tired it.

    Thank you & Best regards

    We’ve used web manifests to demonstrate perfect cachability and offline operation. Works fine.

    We have not had a use case come up where Service Workers or Push Notifications would have been useful.


      Hi Blama,

      Have you gone through the process of converting existing SmartGWT application into PWA app? Or PhoneGap packaging?
      Can you share your experience eventually?



        Hi michalg,

        yes, we have our app packaged as well as PhoneGap-app (extras notifications and geolocalization).
        In general it "just works", but there are some minor gotchas, as the handset/tablet usage clearly isn't as common as the normal one. So there as some issues you'll find from time to time (Isomorphic: I'll create reports soon).

        We don't use the full adaptive feature set which surly will be great if you structured your app correctly from the beginning (we did not, so we have a big "if (mobile)" at the beginning and try to reuse classes inside of it).
        mathias and perhaps claudiobosticco and paulwilhelm might have more insights.

        Other than that it is very unfortunate that both Apple and google don't treat HTML5 Apps as first class citizens. So I'd say it depends on your skillset and budget.
        We did a very minimal native iOS proof of concept something related to our software - that it still at POC level and took 8 weeks plus and does not include Android obviously - so HTML5 is very compelling here. And at least for iOS it is not the way that it "just works". You have to style your widgets, will have problems with the widgets, might need a 3rd party library, ...

        I hope this helps.

        Best regards


          I'm sorry but i don't have much experience with PhoneGap. I made our IOS and Android apps in ObjectiveC/Java. The problem with PhoneGap and other abstraction layers is that while it can work if the functionality does not require much native stuff, ours has Siri support, complex push notifications, NFC, Geofences and various geolocation related functions, positioning etc. Those are kind of hard to realize with an abstraction layer technology.

          We're currently starting to try and rewrite our web so that it's a better experience on mobile (through the browser) though, so any tips are appreciated.
          Last edited by mathias; 20th May 2020, 01:13.