Crosswalk Project – Handling Hybrid Mobile Fragmentation

When developing hybrid mobile solutions one of the major challenges every developer faces is to handle the device fragmentation. There are an overwhelming number of devices out there, that it is sometimes impossible to cater to all of them and to provide a uniform user experience through a single hybrid mobile solution.

One of the main reasons this has become a challenging task is that the in app browsers or in simple terms the web views are vastly different from device to device. Also the capabilities, features, and the version differences of the web views can differ from device to device. Therefore this acts as a barrier when using some of the new HTML5 features such as WebRTC and WebGL for HTML5 supported games in the hybrid solution.

Project Crosswalk, attempts to provide a solution to minimize the hassles caused by device fragmentation. Crosswalk provides a replacement to the default web-view and the in app browser of the device, by replacing it with an embedded chromium web view based, on the Blink rendering engine. This provides the web-view within the hybrid application itself solving a majority of the fragmentation issues.

By maintaining a common chromium platform helps to improve performance, and allows freedom to the developer to go in par with the latest HTML5 features without compromises in older devices.

Crosswalk supports all of the major hybrid platforms such as Cordova and Intel XDK. Setting up using Cordova is just simple as executing one single command in the terminal. Read here for Setting up Crosswalk with Cordova.

It is in fact true that this approach increases the app size and the download size for the users, but nevertheless the benefits that you gain could be far more in terms of considering the increased app size.

In summary crosswalk would be your life saver to support you to deal with those numerous android devices out there and to provide a seamless user experience without compromising hardware due to the device been outdated. Crosswalk would in fact make your new apps work smarter on older devices with minimum effort at development time.

References

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