Microsoft releases open source Cordova Tools extension for Visual Studio

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Visual Studio’s Tools for Apache Cordova (or TACO for short) has long been used by developers to build mobile apps for iOS, Android, and Windows using a shared JavaScript codebase. The easy-to-install software even allows developers to 100% code re-use by leveraging Cordova’s shared JavaScript API to access native device capabilities like the camera, calendar and contacts.  Today, Microsoft has announced new ways to use Cordova to build, debug, and preview apps using the VS Code and the Cordova Tools extension.

Amongst other features, the extension allows the debugging of hybrid apps, Cordova specific commands in the Command Palette, and the use of IntelliSense to browse objects, functions, and parameters.  The extension can be used with both “stock” versions of the apache Cordova framework and downstream frameworks like Ionic, Onsen, PhoneGap and SAP Fiori Mobile Client.  Furthermore, the TACO extension is adaptable to the JavaScript framework of your choice.   Lastly, Visual Studio Code + Cordova Tools currently support debugging apps on emulators, simulators, and tethered devices for Android and iOS.

To get the extension, you first need to download Visual Studios Code for Mac, Windows or Linux. Next up you can install the Cordova Tools extension directly from within the code editor by invoking the Command Palette (Cmd+P on Mac, Ctrl+P on Windows), and typing “>ext install cordova”

The Cordova Tools extension is open source and can improved by users.