Tools for Apache Cordova Update: Windows Phone 8.1 Debugging Support

For those of you running Visual Studio 2013, yesterday we released Tools for Apache Cordova CTP 3.1. This release contains a large number of performance and reliability improvements (many of which you’ve reported) along with support for Windows Phone 8.1 debugging.

Note:
If you use Visual Studio 2015 and have CTP6 installed, you already have all of these improvements! The CTP6 blog post summarizes more concisely the Tools for Apache Cordova improvements this post expands on.

Windows Phone 8.1 Debugging Support

With our Visual Studio Tools for Apache Cordova releases, our goal has been to provide you with a great set of tools for building Android, iOS, and Windows apps using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. A large part of this revolves around helping you debug your code. With this release (and CTP6 for Visual Studio 2015), you can now debug your Apache Cordova apps that target Windows Phone 8.1.

The following video gives you a quick overview of this functionality:

Our debugging support for Windows Phone 8.1 joins with the other family of platforms you can already debug to, such as Android 4.4, Android 4.0+ or 2.3 with jsHybugger, iOS 6+, Windows Phone 8, Windows Store 8, and Windows Store 8.1. Across all of these platforms, you can set breakpoints, inspect variables, use the console, and perform all the various other debugging tasks to help you find issues quickly.

Other Improvements and Fixes

Besides expanding our debugging support to include Windows Phone 8.1 emulators and devices, we’ve made dozens of bug fixes in the few months since our last release. Some of our notable changes include:

  • Updating to Cordova 4.1.2. With CTP3.1, you can create projects targeting the latest version of Cordova – version 4.1.2. This new version includes, among other things, better support for iOS and Windows Phone 8. You can read about the full list of changes on the Apache Cordova blog.
  • Performance Improvements. Late last year, we outlined our plans to improve the performance to make common tasks faster. This time around, we focused on improving how long it takes for you to work with plug-ins. For example, the time for adding a local plug-in in our earlier CTP3 was around 2 minutes. In this release, we reduced the time to under 3 seconds!
  • Addressing our Packaging and Build Functionality. Building and deploying projects across all platforms should be more reliable with this release. We addressed issues that prevented building when you switched from one platform to another, and we made another round of certificate updates to ensure building for Windows platforms works more reliably.
  • Improving our Ripple Support. For many of you, Ripple is a popular alternative to an emulator or device for testing your app’s functionality and simulating device capabilities. In this release, we addressed some of your top concerns such as debugging Ripple while the Android emulator is running, connecting to Ripple when VS is running in Admin mode, Office 365 sign-in issues, and other reliability problems.

Like we’ve mentioned in the past, if you’ve already installed the tools and are actively using it, thank you! The improvements and bug fixes we prioritize are based largely on your feedback, so please don’t feel shy in contacting us via UserVoice, Twitter, and StackOverflow.

Cheers,

Kirupa

image Kirupa Chinnathambi, Program Manager, Visual Studio Client Team

Kirupa Chinnathambi is a Program Manager on the Visual Studio team where he spends a lot of time thinking about (and occasionally working on) how to improve the HTML developer experience. When he isn’t busy writing about himself in third person, he can be found on twitter (@kirupa), Facebook, and on kirupa.com.