What is Cordova and its relation to PhoneGap?

Apache Cordova and Adobe PhoneGap is a platform for building hybrid mobile applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript. Here’s a tiny bit of explanation.

What is Apache Cordova :  
Apache Cordova is a set of device APIs that allow a mobile app developer to access native device function such as the camera or accelerometer from JavaScript. Combined with a UI framework such as jQuery Mobile or Dojo Mobile or Sencha Touch, this allows a smartphone app to be developed with just HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Difference with Adobe PhoneGap : 
PhoneGap is a distribution of Apache Cordova.You can think of Apache Cordova as the engine that powers PhoneGap, similar to how WebKit is the engine that powers Chrome or Safari.

History of these technologies : 
PhoneGap was an open source project started by a company called Nitobi. As part of Nitobi’s purchase by Adobe, because the PhoneGap project had many contributors from large companies like IBM etc, the project was contributed to the Apache Software Foundation.

At first the name was changed to “Callback”, but then was renamed to “Cordova” (after the street the Nitobi offices were on at some point). This is because unlike the project itself, the name PhoneGap is part of Adobe’s purchase of Nitobi.

Conclusion :
You can think of Apache Cordova as the engine that powers PhoneGap. Over time, the PhoneGap distribution may contain additional tools and thats why they differ in command But they do same thing.
Apache Cordova is the destination for those interested in contributing to the open source project powering PhoneGap.

PhoneGap App Dev Framework = Apache Cordova App Dev Framework

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