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Guest blog post: Monaca, Onsen UI and Crosswalk

This is a guest blog post by the Monaca X Onsen UI Team. Interested in contributing a guest post to the Crosswalk blog? Reach out to us on Twitter!

Monaca is the leading hybrid app development platform, designed to achieve a native look and feel of hybrid HTML5 Web and mobile applications. Enabling streamlined mobile development with zero-time setup, Monaca toolkit runs mobile apps quickly, using real devices. Powerful CLI (command-line tool) and desktop app (for Windows and Mac OS) simplifies complicated tasks, while its development stack includes TypeScript, WebPack and Cordova. Everything is integrated with an debugging app with live-reload feature, remote-build and many other cloud services.

Monaca is tightly integrated with Onsen UI, which started as Monaca’s open-source side project with an aim to bring more flexibility to mobile developers. Being framework-agnostic, it supports AngularJS 1 and 2, React and jQuery. It contains over 100 UI Components for both Material Design for Android and Flat design for iOS, bringing simplicity, fun, and efficiency to hybrid app development.

Giving hybrid app developers access to the latest technology is our priority. That’s why we need to keep up with latest OS versions at all times. Since Crosswalk includes a WebView, based on Google Chromium with the latest rendering engine, it brings great value to Monaca users, supplying the access to the latest version without an OS update. Crosswalk supports newer HTML5 functions, which enables the most advanced web innovations in intuitive and fast mobile app development.

Monaca was previously only providing native WebView, which wasn’t an optimal solution due to its slow rendering and animation. Animations often experienced flickering and choppiness, and Crosswalk fixed that issue for good. Differing WebView implementations also caused JavaScript or CSS bugs with inconsistent interpretation by devices.

Taking part in the Crosswalk Project, we achieved incremental improvements. One of the examples is the binary data sent by xhr (XMLHttpRequest), which becomes available even for Android 4.0,4.1 or 4.2. Without Crosswalk, the default browser for those Android versions wouldn’t be able to process the binary data sent by xhr.

Furthermore, we like Crosswalk as it decreases the device dependency to the bare minimum.

For small businesses like ours, careful budget planning is essential. Crosswalk adds a great value by saving our company testing costs.

On the product side, we see a great benefit in the frequent update of Crosswalk. In case a developer encounters a critical issue, a fixed version is expected to become available soon, which is a reassuring factor in any development process. In addition to the minimal device dependency mentioned before, being able to change the Crosswalk version of a Cordova project comes in handy at any time.

Our team definitely benefits from Crosswalk, which manifests in general improvement of the performance, as well as shorter development cycle. Saving production costs, as well as shortening the time-to-market, are adding incredible value to both Monaca core Team and our developers.

Get more hybrid app secrets

Build powerful hybrid apps for Android or Cordova / PhoneGap more reliably with tips from the Intel Crosswalk team.