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The Mobile Application Hacker's Handbook by Dominic Chell, Tyrone Erasmus, Shaun Colley, Ollie Whitehouse

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CHAPTER 18Cross-Platform Mobile Applications

This book has focused on the four mainstream mobile platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and BlackBerry. There is however a growing demand for mobile applications that can operate across multiple platforms. This topic is now explored in this chapter.

This chapter introduces the subject of cross-platform mobile applications, exploring why they are a growing trend and the benefits they bring to an organization. It also documents how cross-platform applications typically operate and expose native functionality, and how in some cases this can lead to serious vulnerabilities. The typical security considerations for cross-platform applications are then illustrated using one of the most common frameworks, PhoneGap.

Introduction to Cross-Platform Mobile Applications

Cross-platform mobile applications, or hybrid applications as they are also sometimes referred to, are apps that combine both web and mobile technologies to operate across multiple mobile platforms. This is typically achieved using platform-agnostic web programming languages such as HTML, JavaScript, and CSS that live in a platform-specific native container.

The individual cross-platform applications are developed using a framework that provides the native container and execution environment for the application; this is typically nothing more than an embedded, platform-specific web browser. For example, on iOS the embedded web browser is often just a UIWebView. However, ...

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