How works...

This screencast shows Forge in action.

Forge is a development framework which enables you to create native apps for multiple platforms from a single HTML5 codebase.

It consists of a JavaScript API that exposes device functionality and UI components such as the Camera, SMS, Contacts, Topbar and Tabbar navigation. And a cloud build service to compile your app for each platform that you want to support.


Apps created using our framework are native: they can use device features / UI components and can be submitted to galleries such as the App Stores and Google Play.

Your HTML5 code runs inside our native wrapper. The native wrapper consists of:

  • Native UI components such as the topbar and tabbar
  • Implementations of native features such Camera, SMS and Contacts
  • A bridge between JavaScript and native so that your JavaScript code can call Forge APIs to control native features.

Your native wrapper is compiled by our cloud build service based on the configuration of your app, but your code is never sent to our servers.

Start by setting up your environment

Sign-up and download the Toolkit.

You can use the lightweight Toolkit UI or command-line tools to make it simple to interact with our cloud build service. Toolkit screenshot

Develop using your normal IDE and our fast build / test cycle

Write your HTML5 code using your standard libraries and IDE

When you want to test your code, use our tools to build, run and debug your app in emulators or devices in seconds. Our tutorial shows detailed instructions.

You can even develop iPhone and iPad apps without a Mac.

Package your app and submit it to app stores

Our tools help you package and sign your app ready for submission to the App Store and Google Play.

And once you've released your app for testing or in the stores, you can push updates to the HTML code in your app immediately using Reload.

You can even re-use your same codebase to build for the web and deploy to Heroku. Toolkit screenshot

Comparison Table


Code using open standards

HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript

Portable across platforms

Common codebase works across multiple phone, tablet and browser platforms

Native power and UI

Camera, File, Contact, SMS, Fine geolocation, Push notifications, In-app payments. Native tabbar and topbar.

App gallery distribution

Apps ready to distribute in popular app galleries like Google Play and Apple App Store.