Building a Better Web
June 19–20, 2017: Training
June 20–22, 2017: Tutorials & Conference
San Jose, CA

Cross-platform progressive web apps

Simon MacDonald (Adobe)
3:35pm–4:15pm Thursday, June 22, 2017
Cross-Platform and Mobile
Location: 210 DH
Secondary topics:  Mobile, Native and hybrid mobile apps, Progressive web apps
Average rating: ****.
(4.86, 7 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Engineers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • An understanding of web app development (HTML and JavaScript)

What you'll learn

  • Understand how to take advantage of progressive web app APIs, even on platforms that don't support them all, using one code base


Progressive web apps (PWAs) are the new hotness, and Google is pressing hard to make them the de facto choice for building mobile applications. But what about iOS, where many of the key APIs are not supported? Cordova/PhoneGap offers a solution, polyfilling the missing functionality. Simon MacDonald demonstrates how to create a PWA that runs on the web, Android, and iOS from a single code base.

Topics include:

  • A brief overview of PWAs, the features that make your web app progressive, and the APIs you can take advantage of
  • Availability on various platforms
  • An introduction to Apache Cordova/PhoneGap
  • How Cordova plugins allow us to polyfill the missing functionality on iOS
  • Demo: Getting a PWA running on the desktop in Chrome, Android in Chrome, and as a compiled hybrid app on iOS—all from the same codebase
Photo of Simon MacDonald

Simon MacDonald


Simon MacDonald is a senior software scientist at Adobe, where his current focus is contributing to the open source PhoneGap project to enable developers to create cross-platform mobile applications using web technologies. Simon has over 20 years of development experience and has worked on a variety of projects, including object-oriented databases, police communication systems, speech recognition, and unified messaging. Simon’s been building web applications since the days they were written using shell scripts—he still has nightmares about those dark times.

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Picture of Simon MacDonald
06/22/2017 9:33am PDT

The slides from my talk are available at:

Feel free to ask follow up questions on twitter. I’m @macdonst

Sorry for the technical difficulties at the start. I even tested everything in the room on Wednesday.