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Multi-platform Mahara mobile app, using Cordova (PhoneGap)
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Mahara Mobile

A Mahara app for offline use.

The technology is JavaScript ES6, React, Redux, and Phonegap.


  • Mahara 16.10+
    • The Mahara site you're connecting to must have activated the new "mobileapi" module added in Mahara 16.10:
    • Once that's added, you'll need to activate the plugin by going to "Administration -> Extensions -> Plugin configuration -> module/mobileapi" and using the auto-configure tool.
  • Node.js (version 4 or later)

Dev Install

To install all the NPM and Cordova dependencies:

npm install

Running in a browser

For basic debugging and development, the site can be run in a Chromium browser on your local machine. (Note: Some Cordova plugins don't work in the browser, so some functionality may be missing.) To launch the browser, just run:

npm start

To rebuild the app in the browser, after you've made changes:

npm run build-browser

... and then refresh the browser.

Running in an Android emulator or USB-connected device

To build the Android app, you'll need the Oracle version of Java 8. Here's how to install it on Ubuntu:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer oracle-java8-set-default

Then download and install Android studio from

Launch Android Studio and run through the first-time wizard. Then from the tools menu, launch the SDK Manager. Install:

Android SDK Tools
Android SDK Platform-tools
Android 6.0 -> SDK Platform
Android 6.0 -> Intel x86 Atom_64 System Image

Once those are installed, close the SDK Manager and launch the AVD Manager. Create an Android 6 (API 23) virtual device, and launch it. (Or alternately, you could connect up a physical Android device via USB, and put it in development mode.)

Then finally, run:

npm run android

To update the app in Android after you've made changes to the code, run npm run android again.

Compiling the Android executable

You can use the cordova command-line tool. To produce an APK that can run on a normal Android device, you'll need an Java keystore to sign it with. See the Android documentation for instructions on how to generate an acceptable keystore.

`npm bin`/cordova build \
    --release \
    --device android \
    -- \
    --keystore=/PATH/TO/YOUR/KEYSTORE.keystore \

Running on IOS

npm run build-ios


  • The app currently does everything in redux using the basic synchronous data flow
  • Data is stored in LocalStorage, which is not guaranteed to be persistent in iOS!
    • The best solution seems to be to move the data storage into a SQLite database file, placed in a location where iOS won't delete it.
  • Camera support (instead of just gallery support)
  • Tags on images
  • More informative error messages
  • Better control flow for situations where the user's token is no longer valid.
  • Testing on iOS
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