PhoneGap/Cordova - Native iOS - Demo of cool hybrid tech
Objective-C Ruby
Latest commit fe86137 Jan 28, 2016 @imhotep Update

PhoneGap day workshop

This workshop requires a Macintosh computer and an iOS device (version 8 or above).

We will be building a very simple Instagram like app using iOS native features and web tech.


  1. Follow steps in phonegap-webview-ios to set up a new iOS native project
  2. Updating www

    1. Clone phonegap-start somewhere temporary
    2. Delete www/index.html, www/css/index.css and www/js/index.js under Pods/Pods/phonegap-ios-template/Resources.
    3. Replace files from Step 2.2 with respective files from the phonegap-start repository.

      Copy www

    4. Run the app

      PhoneGap is ready

  3. Adding native view elements to storyboard

    1. Click on Main.storyboard and drag & drop a View to it. Add constraint to to center the View horizontally

    2. Drag&drop a Button to storyboard and give and label it "Surprise". Add constraint to it to center horizontally
    3. Replace ViewController.h with the following code

      #import <UIKit/UIKit.h>
      #import <Cordova/CDVViewController.h>
      #import <AVFoundation/AVCaptureSession.h>
      #import <AVFoundation/AVCaptureVideoPreviewLayer.h>
      #import <AVFoundation/AVMediaFormat.h>
      #import <AVFoundation/AVCaptureInput.h>
      #import <AVFoundation/AVCaptureOutput.h>
      #import <AVFoundation/AVVideoSettings.h>
      #import <ImageIO/ImageIO.h>
      @interface ViewController : CDVViewController
        @property(nonatomic, weak) IBOutlet UIView *vImagePreview;
        @property (weak, nonatomic) IBOutlet UIButton *surpriseBtn;
        @property(nonatomic, retain) AVCaptureStillImageOutput *stillImageOutput;
        - (void)captureNow:(void (^)(NSData*))sendImageToJS;
    4. In Main.storyboard make sure "ViewController" is selected (as shown below).

    5. Go back to storybord, select the assistant editor on the top right, ctrl-click on UIView and drag it to the vImagePreview property on the right editor

    6. Repeat same operation on Button, drag it to the surprise surpriseBtn property on the right editor

  4. add the following code to the ViewController.m file

    - (void)viewDidAppear:(BOOL)animated {
        [super viewDidAppear:animated];
        // hide button
        self.surpriseBtn.hidden = YES;
        // creating capture session
        AVCaptureSession *session = [[AVCaptureSession alloc] init];
        session.sessionPreset = AVCaptureSessionPresetMedium;
        // creating a view layer to preview the capture using the session above
        CALayer *viewLayer = self.vImagePreview.layer;
        NSLog(@"viewLayer = %@", viewLayer);
        AVCaptureVideoPreviewLayer *captureVideoPreviewLayer = [[AVCaptureVideoPreviewLayer alloc] initWithSession:session];
        // setting the session bounds
        captureVideoPreviewLayer.frame = self.vImagePreview.bounds;
        [captureVideoPreviewLayer setVideoGravity:AVLayerVideoGravityResizeAspectFill];
        // adding the preview layer to the view
        [self.vImagePreview.layer addSublayer:captureVideoPreviewLayer];
        // setting the device (front vs back facing camera)
        AVCaptureDevice *device = [AVCaptureDevice defaultDeviceWithMediaType:AVMediaTypeVideo];
        NSError *error = nil;
        AVCaptureDeviceInput *input = [AVCaptureDeviceInput deviceInputWithDevice:device error:&error];
        if(!input) {
            NSLog(@"Error: trying to open camera: %@", error);
        [session addInput:input];
        self.stillImageOutput =[[AVCaptureStillImageOutput alloc] init];
        NSDictionary *outputSettings = @{ AVVideoCodecKey: AVVideoCodecJPEG };
        [self.stillImageOutput setOutputSettings:outputSettings];
        [session addOutput:self.stillImageOutput];
        [session startRunning];
    - (void) captureNow:(void (^)(NSData*)) sendImageToJS {
        AVCaptureConnection *videoConnection = nil;
        for(AVCaptureConnection *connection in self.stillImageOutput.connections) {
            for(AVCaptureInputPort *port in [connection inputPorts]) {
                if([[port mediaType] isEqual:AVMediaTypeVideo]) {
                    videoConnection = connection;
            if(videoConnection) { break; }
        NSLog(@"Requesting capture from: %@", self.stillImageOutput);
        if([videoConnection isEnabled]) {
            [self.stillImageOutput captureStillImageAsynchronouslyFromConnection:videoConnection completionHandler:^(CMSampleBufferRef imageSampleBuffer, NSError *error) {
                CFDictionaryRef exifAttachments = CMGetAttachment(imageSampleBuffer, kCGImagePropertyExifDictionary, NULL);
                if(exifAttachments) {
                    NSLog(@"attachments: %@", exifAttachments);
                } else {
                    NSLog(@"No attachments");
                NSData* imageData = [AVCaptureStillImageOutput jpegStillImageNSDataRepresentation:imageSampleBuffer];
        } else {
            NSLog(@"Video connection is disabled");
        self.surpriseBtn.hidden = NO;
  5. Click on File > New > File. Select iOS/Source -> Cocoa Touch Class. Click Next and name it MyCustomCameraPlugin

    1. Your MyCustomCameraPlugin.h should look like this

      #import <Cordova/CDVPlugin.h>
      @interface MyCustomCameraPlugin : CDVPlugin
      -(void)captureNow:(CDVInvokedUrlCommand*) command;
    2. Your MyCustomCameraPlugin.m should look like this

      #import "MyCustomCameraPlugin.h"
      #import "ViewController.h"
      @implementation MyCustomCameraPlugin
      -(void)captureNow:(CDVInvokedUrlCommand *)command {
          NSLog(@"Capturing now...");
          ViewController* mvc = (ViewController*)[self viewController];
          [mvc captureNow:^(NSData* imageData) {
              NSLog(@"Sending imageData back to Javascript");
              CDVPluginResult* pluginResult = [CDVPluginResult resultWithStatus:CDVCommandStatus_OK messageAsString:[imageData base64EncodedStringWithOptions:NSDataBase64Encoding64CharacterLineLength]];
              [self.commandDelegate sendPluginResult:pluginResult callbackId:command.callbackId];
      -(void)surprise {
          [self.commandDelegate evalJs:@"app.surprise();"];
  6. Add the following lines in Pods/phonegap-ios-template/Resources/www/index.html after line 38

      <section id="imageSection">
          <img src="" alt="image will be displayed here..." id="myPic">
      <button type="button" id="captureNowBtn">Capture Nao!</button>
    1. Also add the following css link tag

      <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="css/image.css">
    2. Your Pods/phonegap-ios-template/www/js/index.js should look like this

        var app = {
            clean: false,
            // Application Constructor
            initialize: function() {
            // Bind Event Listeners
            // Bind any events that are required on startup. Common events are:
            // 'load', 'deviceready', 'offline', and 'online'.
            bindEvents: function() {
                document.addEventListener('deviceready', this.onDeviceReady, false);
            // deviceready Event Handler
            // The scope of 'this' is the event. In order to call the 'receivedEvent'
            // function, we must explicitly call 'app.receivedEvent(...);'
            onDeviceReady: function() {
            // Update DOM on a Received Event
            receivedEvent: function(id) {
                var parentElement = document.getElementById(id);
                var listeningElement = parentElement.querySelector('.listening');
                var receivedElement = parentElement.querySelector('.received');
                listeningElement.setAttribute('style', 'display:none;');
                receivedElement.setAttribute('style', 'display:block;');
                console.log('Received Event: ' + id);
                var captureNowBtn = document.getElementById("captureNowBtn");
                captureNowBtn.addEventListener('click', this.captureNow);
            captureNow: function() {
                var win = function(r) {
                    if(app.clean === false) {
                        // deleting deviceready
                        var deviceready = document.getElementById("deviceready");
                        var drp = deviceready.parentElement;
                        // changing app css a bit
                        var appCss = document.getElementsByClassName("app")[0];
               = "25%";
               = "none";
                        // deleting title
                        var h1 = document.getElementsByTagName("h1")[0];
                        var parentH1 = h1.parentElement;
                        app.clean = true;
                    var myPic = document.getElementById("myPic");
                    myPic.src = "data:image/jpeg;base64,"+r;
                var fail = function(e) {
                    console.log("An error occurred", e.message)
                cordova.exec(win, fail, 'MyCamera', 'captureNow', []);
            surprise: function() {
                var filters = ["grayscale", "blur", "saturate", "sepia", "invert", "brightness", "contrast", "opacity"];
                var imageSection = document.getElementById("imageSection");
                imageSection.className = filters[Math.floor((Math.random() * 10) + 1)];
    3. Create a new file under Pods/phonegap-ios-template/Resources/www/css, name it image.css and add this to it

      .grayscale img
          filter: grayscale(1);
          -webkit-filter: grayscale(1);
          -moz-filter: grayscale(1);
          -o-filter: grayscale(1);
          -ms-filter: grayscale(1);
      .grayscale img:hover img:active
          filter: grayscale(0);
          -webkit-filter: grayscale(0);
          -moz-filter: grayscale(0);
          -o-filter: grayscale(0);
          -ms-filter: grayscale(0);
      .blur img
          filter: blur(5px);
          -webkit-filter: blur(5px);
          -moz-filter: blur(5px);
          -o-filter: blur(5px);
          -ms-filter: blur(5px);
      .blur img:hover img:active
          filter: blur(0);
          -webkit-filter: blur(0);
          -moz-filter: blur(0);
          -o-filter: blur(0);
          -ms-filter: blur(0);
      .saturate img
          filter: saturate(500%);
          -webkit-filter: saturate(500%);
          -moz-filter: saturate(500%);
          -o-filter: saturate(500%);
          -ms-filter: saturate(500%);
      .saturate img:hover img:active
          filter: saturate(100%);
          -webkit-filter: saturate(100%);
          -moz-filter: saturate(100%);
          -o-filter: saturate(100%);
          -ms-filter: saturate(100%);
      .sepia img
          filter: sepia(1);
          -webkit-filter: sepia(1);
          -moz-filter: sepia(1);
          -o-filter: sepia(1);
          -ms-filter: sepia(1);
      .sepia img:hover img:active
          filter: sepia(0);
          -webkit-filter: sepia(0);
          -moz-filter: sepia(0);
          -o-filter: sepia(0);
          -ms-filter: sepia(0);
      .invert img
          filter: invert(1);
          -webkit-filter: invert(1);
          -moz-filter: invert(1);
          -o-filter: invert(1);
          -ms-filter: invert(1);
      .invert img:hover img:active
          filter: invert(0);
          -webkit-filter: invert(0);
          -moz-filter: invert(0);
          -o-filter: invert(0);
          -ms-filter: invert(0);
      .brightness img
          filter: brightness(50%);
          -webkit-filter: brightness(50%);
          -moz-filter: brightness(50%);
          -o-filter: brightness(50%);
          -ms-filter: brightness(50%);
      .brightness img:hover img:active
          filter: brightness(100%);
          -webkit-filter: brightness(100%);
          -moz-filter: brightness(100%);
          -o-filter: brightness(100%);
          -ms-filter: brightness(100%);
      .contrast img
          filter: contrast(0.3);
          -webkit-filter: contrast(0.3);
          -moz-filter: contrast(0.3);
          -o-filter: contrast(0.3);
          -ms-filter: contrast(0.3);
      .contrast img:hover img:active
          filter: contrast(1);
          -webkit-filter: contrast(1);
          -moz-filter: contrast(1);
          -o-filter: contrast(1);
          -ms-filter: contrast(1);
      .opacity img
      .opacity img:hover img:active
          -webkit-transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;
          -moz-transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;
          -o-transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;
          -ms-transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;
          transition: all 0.3s ease-in-out;
          width: 240px;
      img:hover img:active{
          -webkit-transform: scale(1.1);
          -moz-transform: scale(1.1);
          -o-transform: scale(1.1);
          transform: scale(1.1);
  7. Go back to the assistant editor with Main.storyboard on the left and ViewController.m on the right and Ctrl-drag from Surprise button to just above the captureNow method.

    1. create an action and name it surpriseMe and add the following code to it

      - (IBAction)surpriseMe:(id)sender {
          MyCustomCameraPlugin *plugin = [self.pluginObjects objectForKey:@"MyCustomCameraPlugin"];
          [plugin surprise];
    2. Also add this header at the very top

      #import "MyCustomCameraPlugin.h"
  8. Add the following lines to your Pods/phonegap-ios-template/Resources/www/config.xml between the two <widget> tags

    <feature name="MyCamera">
      <param name="ios-package" value="MyCustomCameraPlugin" />
  9. Run the app!