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I am going to build a native mapping application that I would like to offer for Android and IOS devices. I am an accomplished developer of web-based app using javascript, html and css. I am also familiar with node.js. I would like to continue using my existing stack and use Leaflet and Mapbox for the mapping components.

Can I develop my app as I always have using javascript, html and css? What would I then need to do to make my app available in the Apple and Google app stores?

Is my app going to be limited by taking this approach rather than using Mapbox's SDKs?

  • I'm curious to see how others respond to this. While I've never tried it, I've heard the Ionic framework can be used to compile your HTML5 projects to native device applications. – elrobis Oct 23 '15 at 19:50
  • See github.com/camsys/onebusaway-nyc-atstop for example using Ionic Framework – Sean Barbeau Oct 24 '15 at 13:55
  • Good comments re. Ionic - I am going to dig in a little bit more and see how it fits for my project – jotamon Oct 26 '15 at 17:19
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I'm the maintainer of the app that Sean Barbeau linked to, and I must say that yes, Leaflet is pretty solid on mobile. You can install the MTA Bus Time app to see how it performs.

That said, Leaflet 1.0 looks like it will be even better. If your requirements are not onerous (e.g. you don't need OpenGL), it's the easiest way to go.

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Besides Ionic, there is also Cordova: https://cordova.apache.org/

Good luck!

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