FAQ

Guillaume Gendre edited this page Feb 4, 2016 · 15 revisions

Here are some questions we received, and our answers...

Can I use Cobalt in an existing native app?

Yes. Cobalt is meant to be an hybrid framework, not a all-in-one HTML5-only framework. You can use Cobalt in only one view of your app, just to show an ad, mixed with native content in a small part of the screen or anything. All you have to do is include the framework in your app as described for ios and android and have fun!

What does it change to a web app developer?

Each view of the app will be in a separate html page so you will have to use localStorage or the native side to keep the context between your views.

You can still use the same app.js file in the whole app and so, be aware on which page your user is. We will add more information about this soon. In the meanwhile, have a look on the Catalog sample www code!

Do I need native skills?

It depends : If you only want to display a few HTML pages in a native navigation, you will only need to have the install native IDEs, open an Android or iOS project and press the play button.

If you want to use some plugins, you will need a low level of iOS/Android knowledge.

If you want to create a real hybrid app, mixing both native and web, well, then you will definitely need some native skills, or friends...

Is Cobalt free to use?

Yes. And it will remain free.

Is there a paid support?

No, it's not planned yet. But if you find that our documentation is lacking of something, tell us, we will try to improve it. You can also use the issue tracker to ask for help.

Can I use cobalt with jQueryMobile or senchaTouch?

Yes you can. You can use any javascript framework you like. But keep in mind that every page will have to be in a separate html file, so you won't be able to use those frameworks navigation system.

How does Cobalt compare to Cordova?

Cobalt is easier than Cordova to build hybrid apps with a lot of exchanges between web and native. It has a built-in native navigation which definitely adds a lot of speed to your app.

We think Cobalt is more flexible than Cordova too.

But we admit that Cordova has a way larger and complete API to access native resources and functionalities directly from the web.

We hope that our plugin system will help to reduce this gap and solve more of the app-makers needs.

How does cobalt compare to Sencha Touch?

Sencha Touch is more a UI framework than an hybrid framework. The Sencha Build feature only encapsulates the web in a unique controller. So Sencha Touch has got, on mobile, the same drawbacks than Cordova : a lack of speed in page transitions and a lack of native feel.

How does cobalt compare to trigger.io?

Well, we believe trigger.io is probably the hybrid framework that works the most like Cobalt. But we admit that we haven't really tried this framework because of the price : It's way too expensive for most apps!

Cobalt is free. Make your choice! :)

How does Cobalt compare to ionic Framework?

Despite the hype around Ionic Framework those days (Good work, guys!), Ionic is still a UI framework built on top of Cordova. No native navigation. So unless you have very good Javascript and CSS skills, you will hit the same limits than Cordova as much as your app grows.

How does Cobalt compare to NativeScript (Telerik)

The global idea of the two framework are very distinct :

  • With Telerik you write your app in XML, a reduced set of CSS styles and a JavaScript API. The whole thing generate a native iOS and a native Android app. Main drawbacks are that there is a whole API to learn and maybe a lack of customization.

  • On the Cobalt side, apps are using classic HTML/CSS/JS and native code. There is a JS API to easily exchange with the native side and access some native components, and (most important feature) a JS API to use a native navigation between web pages.

Who is behind Cobalt?

The most active cobaltians are for the moment the Kristal crew. People at Yool are also helping a lot.

As an Open Source project, we are more than happy to work with others! Have a look on our contribute page.

Submit your questions!

Send a mail to cobaltians@gmail.com or drop us a note on twitter to help us completing this list.