Android Browser Plugin Development – Add New Abilities to your Mobile Browser


Android supports plug-ins. From building a cross browser application by using PhoneGap, whose features can be extended using plug-ins, to running a specific program in the Android environment, everything works with Plug-ins’ support. This article justifies the use of plugin while also giving readers an insight into why the trend of plug-in travelled from web to even the mobile sector.

Journey from web to mobile

Browsers had a meaning only after 90s when internet was in the growing phase. This is when users felt the need of interacting with the computer and connecting with users across the globe. As the web progressed, internet became an essential thing. This triggered the search for an ideal browser that would enable users to perform a plethora of activities without much of a hassle. However, browsers always had limitations, and creating a new browser enriched with more and more functionalities was not possible in every short interval. Hence, the concept of browser plug-in development came into existence.

Ideally, plug-in is a piece of software, which adds specific abilities to the browser. The use of (Application Programming Interface) API enables third-party to create plug-ins that interact with the browser.

Prominent Android Plugins

The best example of Android browser plug-in development is Adobe Flash. Adobe Flash is the most powerful plugin, which allows users to view embedded Flash websites and videos, otherwise not available for devices that do not support Flash.

Android plug-in for Eclipse serves as yet another prominent extension. Eclipse being a fully featured, free, Java IDE, its plug-in allows users to create Android-specific projects, compile them and use the Android Emulator to run and debug. This plug-in for Eclipse automatically configures compiler settings and creates files. This saves the precious development and reduces the learning curve, enabling developers to invest time in creating incredible Android apps.

The android plugin development/programming practice has even leveraged the most prominent cross- platform mobile application development framework. PhoneGap makes apps run in almost every mobile environment: iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry and more. Normally, PhoneGap supports native plugins. The development of extensions is possible because PhoneGap application container exposes native operating system functionality to JavaScript-based applications. Native plugins in PhoneGap are not the regular add-ons in desktop browsers. They allow the third-party or the community to extend the capability of the PhoneGap framework through custom code development and expose the native code to your apps via the native-to-JavaScript bridge. This enables developers to expose any native library or framework to the PhoneDap application, extending its capability to no limit.


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