Using native plugins

by Andrea Maioli on 07/15/2016

After the break last week when we saw how to configure Cloud Connectors, we’ll pick up again with our learning tour of Instant Developer Cloud, exploring how to use the native functions of smartphones and tablets and how to test the application directly on the devices.

Instant Developer Cloud, like the Foundation edition, uses a native shell that the JavaScript application runs in. So it’s a hybrid architecture that makes it possible to reuse the code on both iOS and Android devices as well as web browsers.

Differently from the Foundation edition, the shell is based on Apache Cordova. This way you can use the many native plugins that are already available for controlling the device.

But it doesn’t end there. In fact InstaLauncher, the Instant Developer Cloud shell, also provides other advantages, including:

  • it contains more than twenty preconfigured plugins, such as the NFC and Beacon interfaces, Facebook APIs, notifications, and location detection in the background. This is a great advantage, because often Cordova plugins suffer from incompatibilities and it’s not easy to keep it all together.
  • InstaLauncher connects directly to your IDE session in the cloud. Installing and testing the app on a smartphone, and even debugging it on the fly, has never been so easy. Also, while you’re testing it, you can have a remote user connected through telecollaboration use the application.
  • Plugins can be used in both an offline or online application model. So if you’ve developed an online app and you want to read the device token to be able to send notifications, you can do so and you’ll receive it directly from the server.
  • InstaLauncher is the prototype shell for all your apps developed with Instant Developer Cloud. So in addition to being able to upload individual apps to the store, you can create actual containers: apps that contain other apps, downloaded directly at runtime and completely controllable remotely.

If you’d like to see how TripTrak works directly on your smartphone, all you need to do is take this interactive tour.

Until next time!

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