Apache Cordova vs. Adobe PhoneGap: what is their status, their differences and which one should be used? Providing simple answers in this short article.


Around 2009 Nitobi creates PhoneGap framework (source).
September 2011 Nitobi donates PhoneGap code to Apache Software Foundation (source).
October 2011 Nitobi announces that it has been acquired by Adobe (source). Adobe supports open sourcing PhoneGap’s code. Renaming the project has been suggested because of legal reasons.
February 2012 The project maintained by Apache is renamed “Cordova”, after Cordova Street in Vancouver where Nitobi had its office (source).


Apache Cordova is the core open source project where development and contributions happen.

Adobe PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova that additionally provides integration with Adobe’s utilities and services, e.g. PhoneGap Build.

Both Cordova and PhoneGap are extremely similar and their names are often used interchangeably. Apache Cordova receives updates slightly quicker, has a slightly simpler interface and lacks out-of-the-box integration with Adobe services.

Which one to use?

Are you going to use Adobe’s services? Pick Adobe’s PhoneGap. If not, Apache Cordova might be a better fit for you.