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This is a cross post from my personal blog, which you can find here: davevoyles.azurewebsites.net.

I've been pushing HTML5 cross platform applications for some time now. I frequently give talks on how to use tools like Telerik's App Builder, Adobe's PhoneGap Cloud, and my personal favorite, Intel's XDK. You can find my open sourced Cordova app here. Previously, Cordova was a cumbersome command line tool for building cross platform HTML5 mobile apps. it was not fun, and was incredibly painful to use, due to the constantly outdated documentation.

Even worse, even if you did get an HTML5 app running on Windows Phone, you didn't have a debugger! For those reasons, I've been using the various tools listed above. Well as of today, Cordovaa will be integrated into visual studio for cross platform development, which will allow developers to make use of many of the tools that Visual Studio offers, including a debugger!

What do we get out of it?

Using Multi-Device Hybrid Apps for Visual Studio extension, developers will gain:

  • The ability to streamline multi-platform device development and improve efficiency through the use of existing tools
  • A great code editor
  • Advanced debugging tools
  • Testing capabilities for all platforms
  • Various open source front-end frameworks such as Angular, Bootstrap, Backbone, Underscore and WinJS
  • Integration with Microsoft services such as Azure Mobile services, Azure AD, Application Insights and Office 365

Web developers have nothing to fear, as many, if not most, of your favorite libraries will work fine. I've built several apps using this one flavor of Cordova or another, and I've loved it. The phone team has included a number of samples which take advantage of these libraries for you: Angular, Backbone and WinJS, as well as a demo app.

Get it now

The preview release of the Multi-Device Hybrid apps for Visual Studio can be downloaded here. You can also learn more about this new feature on MSDN. More info here.