Sunday, October 12, 2014

Hybrid app developer for IOS! Good news

With iOS8 Apple has introduced/exposed the true webkit based webview (WKWebView) which native apps can use to embed the HTML content and URLs. In previous version, it was UIWebView. UIWebView was not same as WebKit used by Safari and hence had performance issue compared to native apps. Availability of WebGL was absent to UIWebView and also javascript performance was significantly faster on native safari.

PhoneGap, as we all know, is built around this UIWebVIew and loading URL/local pages using file:// protocol.

There are test that have been done to benchmark the performance improvement and it is expected that application would have around 20% performance improvement with new WKWebView. Supposedly WebGL support should enhance 3D rendering and WebKit javascript engine is significantly fast as well. Also we have indexedDB support as part of WKWebView as well.

To view some statistics around the performance gains, read here:
 http://www.sencha.com/blog/apple-shows-love-for-html5-with-ios-8

If not as good as native, but this definitely will have significant impact on Hybrid application and frameworks.

Unfortunately, PhoneGap is still using UIWebView because of a defect in iOS 8 webkit view. Hopefully the bug is fixed soon and is not an policy as part of the new webkit.

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