What are the basic differences between PhoneGap, Ionic, Titanium and Cordova?

Cordova can wrap up an app that runs in a WebView that has additional native extentions, which is the definition of a hybrid app. Cordova is the open source platform that the original PhoneGap became.

Ionic Framework is based on Cordova, comes with a set of standard controls that mimic native controls, and Ionic comes with Angular. Using Ionic with Angular can help you organize your app and give it a solid look. Ionic also includes bindings to the Ionic services. See Ionic.io for more information.

PhoneGap at this point is based on Cordova, but is more of a distribution of Cordova with few custom packages and tweaks. Adobe also provides a build service.

Titanium is not, contrary to popular opinion, a hybrid solution. The original Titanium did use a WebView and therefore was hybrid, but they ditched the WebView some time ago. It is a full native solution that is scripted with JavaScript. It’s more like Xamarin, but using JavaScript instead of C#.

To be complete, NativeScript and React Native are cross platform development environments that feel somewhat like hybrid, in that they use web frameworks or view layers (Angular 2 and React), but they don’t rely on a WebView, and are therefore native approaches that simply rely on JavaScript instead of the native language on each platform.

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