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Visual comparisons of PhoneGap Notification UIs

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Visual comparisons of PhoneGap Notification UIs

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If you are a PhoneGap user, hopefully you know about the various aspects of the Notification API. The Notification API allows for visual, audio, and tactile notifications. In this post I want to focus on the visual notifications and how they differ from the built in web view notifications.

To begin, I created a simple HTML interface with buttons that would let me test alerts, confirms, and prompts. These are the three forms of visual notifications both in vanilla JavaScript as well as PhoneGap's Notification API.

<button id="jsAlert">JS Alert</button>
<button id="jsConfirm">JS Confirm</button>
<button id="jsPrompt">JS Prompt</button>


<button id="nAlert">Native Alert</button>
<button id="nConfirm">Native Confirm</button>
<button id="nPrompt">Native Prompt</button>

I used my epic CSS skills to make this a bit more touch friendly:

Now let's look at the JavaScript.

document.addEventListener('deviceready', deviceready, false);

function deviceready() {

    document.querySelector("#jsAlert").addEventListener("touchstart", function() {
        alert("JavaScript Alert");
    }, false);

    document.querySelector("#jsConfirm").addEventListener("touchstart", function() {
        var idontcare = confirm("This is a JavaScript Confirm?");
    }, false);

    document.querySelector("#jsPrompt").addEventListener("touchstart", function() {
        var istilldontcare = prompt("Answer this JavaScript Prompt","Some Default");
    }, false);

    document.querySelector("#nAlert").addEventListener("touchstart", function() {
        navigator.notification.alert("Native Alert", null, "Custom Title", "Custom Button");
    }, false);

    document.querySelector("#nConfirm").addEventListener("touchstart", function() {
        navigator.notification.confirm("This is a Native Confirm?", null, "Custom Title", "Bad,Good");
    }, false);

    document.querySelector("#nPrompt").addEventListener("touchstart", function() {
        navigator.notification.prompt("Answer this Native Prompt", null, "Custom Title",["NO!","OK"]);
    }, false);


The first three event handlers are for the vanilla JavaScript notifications. Notice how in confirm and prompt the result is handed back to a variable. The only real customization available is with the prompt method which allows for a default.

Here is the alert being fired:

Here is the confirm:

And finally the prompt:

Now let's consider the native options. First note that they allow for customization. In each one you can tweak the button (or buttons) as well as the title. Be aware that confirm takes a list of button labels while prompt takes an array. (I consider that a bug and I hope they fix that soon.) Also note that all three have callbacks for handling button presses. I've used null as a way of signifying I don't want to do anything, but you would normally have some kind of logic there.

Here is the native alert:

Here is the native confirm:

And lastly, the native prompt:

Just to be clear, do remember that you can build your own alerts, confirms, and prompts as well if you feel like it.


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