Why Trigger.io doesn’t use PhoneGap – 5x faster native bridge

Firstly, our own native bridging technology is significantly faster – up to 5x on Android according to our testing below.

We wanted to design the best experience for web developers to create native mobile apps by having:

  • a super fast build-test cycle
  • no need to write any native code,
  • no need to setup your environment for local compiles,
  • no need to setup XCode and Eclipse

These design constraints mean that our approach includes a ton of small differences from PhoneGap, not just in our native bridge but in the code around it to provide the best possible API and best possible build process for developers coming from web technologies.

We’re not averse to using existing solutions, and working to promote them and improve on them, where it’s right for our customers (our Catalyst debugging tool is a hosted build of Weinre). PhoneGap is a great product with lots of flexibility to write your own platform-specific native code in conjunction with HTML5 (which is not something Trigger.io offers). Strobe and appMobi both decided to use PhoneGap rather than developing their own native bridge.

Performance

Speed is a big concern for developers considering HTML5 and hybrid frameworks as opposed to native. So how does Trigger.io’s native bridge perform in practice?

On iOS, compared with PhoneGap we saw that our bridge performed at a similar level to PhoneGap with a small increase in speed:

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