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Best [Free] Framework for Mobile Apps


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Hey all,

I have recently started work on a tool to automate the build process of html5 games.Right now, desktop support has been implemented using node-webkit, and performance is really good. My ultimate goal, however, is to automate the build of mobile apps as well. The easiest tool to do this with would be PhoneGap, but I have heard mixed reviews about it's performance. CocoonJS looks very cool, but I don't want users to have to pay for something to use this tool.


For iOS, Ejecta seems like it would work well, but I am having trouble finding an Android equivalent. Ideally, I would like a tool that would allow me to copy a production ready app into a folder and kick off a compile process from the command line.


Anyway, I know a lot of you are much more experienced in this area, so any help would be greatly appreciated.



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I'm a Phonegap user and have recently begun looking into viable alternatives.  Like you my main requirements are:

1. I want to use standard JavaScript.

2. I want support to be nearly ubiquitous.

3. I want it to be free, or very low cost.

LOL, I don't ask for much. :)


Phonegap does indeed have performance issues, particularly on Android, but it is the best all around solution meeting the above requirements for mobile apps - at least in terms of coverage.  Most of Phonegap's performance problems are a result of it relying upon the browser's Webview implementation.  While this maximizes portability, some of the native Webview implementations are simply horrible.  This is particularly evident on Android.  As old hardware/software get replaced by newer, Phonegap should get better and better.  However, if you need Android performance today, it may simply be unusable, depending upon the graphics requirements of your game.


Cocoon looks to be the best choice for mobile game apps (again, conforming to the basic requirments listed above) with any kind of graphic complexity - but if you want to take advantage of it's speed, requires a canvas implementation.  For games that work like that, Cocoon seems to be the way to go.  A caveat here is that I believe the pricing model for Cocoon is not yet known.  I think it is still beta(?).  Currently you can use it for free but you must include a Cocoon splash screen, or so I am told.  I have not yet personally used Cocoon.


There are probably other systems that I have not heard of that provide other alternatives, however it seems to me that if you want to utilize standard, non-proprietary JavaScript, the two systems above are representative of the possible approaches.  Any other solution will probably fall into one or the other of the two camps.

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