Using Polymer With Apache Cordova

Making great mobile applications used to require a certain type of skill, but with the latest technologies you don’t need much more than basic web design knowledge.  With the aid of Apache Cordova, developers can make native API calls directly from JavaScript functions.  Pair this with a front-end framework like Adobe PhoneGap or my current favorite, IonicFramework, and you can create stunning mobile applications with no more than CSS and HTML skills.

However, I recently discovered Polymer, a project by Google, and it looks pretty slick.  The best part is you can easily use Polymer with Apache Cordova to create a native mobile application.


Using Google Analytics With IonicFramework

Apple and Google don’t offer much in terms of analytics after an app has been downloaded.  Google will take it a step further than Apple and show how many devices have the app installed rather than just downloads, but nothing in terms of usage.  To use Google Analytics with IonicFramework, not much is required.

There is a convenient plugin created for Apache Cordova by Dan Wilson called simply Google Analytics Plugin.  With a bit of adjusting we can easily use it with AngularJS.


Using Admob With IonicFramework

Having your mobile application generate some kind of revenue is usually critical.  Not many people want to spend endless hours slaving over an app without some kind of profit.  Luckily, using IonicFramework with Apache Cordova device APIs in addition to a nifty and easy to use Admob plugin, you can take full advantage of Google Admob in your cross platform application.

To use Admob with IonicFramework we will be using the floatinghotpot Cordova plugin.

If you’re using Ionic 2, you should visit the revised tutorial I wrote to accommodate the Angular 2 differences.  Otherwise, continue for Ionic Framework 1 and AngularJS.


Using Volley To Make Android HTTP Requests

Threads and asynchronous tasks have never been pleasant in Android.  It is a nightmare to handle screen orientation changes or update the UI from a common thread.  However, the guys at Google came up with Volley and it is an excellent way to make Android HTTP requests.

Out of the box you have the ability to make a request that will return a JSONArray or JSONObject which is pretty slick because most APIs use those as a standard.


Check Network Connection With IonicFramework

When creating a mobile app, specifically one that makes heavy use of the internet, it is often necessary to make sure an internet connection exists at launch and possibly display a message or perform an action if one does not exist.

The following is for an Ionic Framework 1 application.  If you’re using Ionic 2, you will want to check here.

The following chunk of example code is typically found in your IonicFramework project’s js/app.js file.  It demonstrates how to check if a network connection exists on application load and how to display an Ionic popup that is nicely styled in comparison to a JavaScript alert dialog.


Monetize with Chartboost

I’ve recently switched from using Admob in my games to Chartboost.  This switch made sense because most of the ads that were filling with Admob were not relevant to gaming.  For example, many of the ads Turbo Prop was receiving were dating and real-estate related.  This resulted in very poor eCPM.

The following is a great (and quick) way to get Chartboost ads for iOS and Android in your Unity3D 4.3+ game.