Build Native Mobile Application

With the help of Rikulo Gap, Rikulo leverages and integrates with Cordova/PhoneGap platform allowing you to create native mobile applications and get access to native device resources in Dart and HTML5.

Apache Cordova/PhoneGap is a platform for building native mobile applications using HTML, CSS and JavaScript.

Rikulo Gap is the library which bridge Dart program to Apache Cordova/PhoneGap's JavaScript APIs.

Install Rikulo Gap

Add this to pubspec.yaml (or create it) of your application:


Then run the Pub Package Manager (comes with the Dart SDK):

pub install

Download PhoneGap

You can download Cordova/PhoneGap here.


Cordova/PhoneGap supports multiple mobile platforms including Android, iOS and others. Each platform needs its own specific libraries, SDKs, and development environment.

Though each supported mobile platform in Cordova/PhoneGap needs its own specific libraries, SDKs, and development environment, however, only one Rikulo application is required to run on across all mobile platforms.

For convenience, following we use the Android platform and the Hello World example mentioned in previous section to show you the steps of building a native Rikulo mobile application.

For other platforms such as iOS, you can check the document here.

  1. Compile your Rikulo application from Dart to JavaScript.

    • Open your application folder in Dart Editor.
    • Select the dart file with void main() function from your application folder; e.g. HelloWorld.dart.
    • Select Tools/Generate JavaScript from the DartEditor menubar. Two new files with extension .dart.js and .dart.js.map will be generated in the same folder. e.g. For HelloWorld.dart will generate HelloWorld.dart.js and HelloWorld.dart.js.map two files

    DartEditor actually calls dart2js in dart-sdk to do the compiling job.

  2. Install and setup a new HelloCordova project in the Cordova/PhoneGap Android developing environment as specified here.

    Now you shall have had a working HelloCordova sample application running in Cordova/PhoneGap environment. The entry point of the HelloCordova application in Cordova/PhoneGap environment is the index.html file under assets/www folder.

  3. Replace the index.html under assets/www with the one from our Rikulo program.

    • Copy index.html of our Rikulo example onto assets/www folder and replace the old one.
    • Copy all resource files needed for the Rikulo example onto assets/www folder. e.g. the resources folder and files under.
    • Copy the compiled xxx.dart.js file onto assets/www folder. e.g. the HelloWorld.dart.js.
  4. Remove the version number from the file name of the cordova JavaScript file under assets/www folder. e.g. rename cordova-2.1.0.js to cordova.js.

  5. Now you are ready to deploy and run the Rikulo program as a native mobile application.

Cordova Android Development Environment

Access native mobile devices' resources

Sometimes you might want to access the mobile devices' native resources such as Camera, Accelerometer, Compass, Geolocation, Contacts and so on. Rikulo Gap integrates with Cordova/PhoneGap and provide these features seamlessly.

Following we show you the basic elements of how to access device native resources in Rikulo by enhancing the simple Hello World example application.

The Dart Code

import 'package:rikulo_ui/view.dart';
import 'package:rikulo_gap/device.dart';
import 'package:rikulo_gap/accelerometer.dart';

showAcceleration() {
  //prepare a text view to show the acceleration information
  TextView welcome = new TextView("Hello Accelerometer!");
  welcome.profile.text = "anchor:  parent; location: center center";
  new View()..addToDocument()

  //watch accelerometer and show the acceleration in x, y and z axis.
    (accel) {
      welcome.text = "${accel.timestamp},\n"
        welcome.requestLayout(true); },
    () => print("Fail to get acceleration"),
    new AccelerometerOptions(frequency:1000)

void main() {
  //enable the device
    .then((device) => showAcceleration())
    .catchError((ex) {
      print("Fail to enable the device.");
      return true;

As shown above:

  1. Import package:rikulo_gap/device.dart and package:rikulo_gap/accelerometer.dart libraries along with others.
  2. Call global method enableDeviceAccess() in the main method which will return a Future<Device>.
  3. Use the native resource accelerometer via the global variable called accelerometer when the device is ready.

Import package:rikulo_gap/device.dart and package:rikulo_gap/accelerometer.dart libraries along with others

The package:rikulo_gap/device.dart library is the library holding device resources. The package:rikulo_gap/accelerometer.dart library is the library that handle the device motion sensor.

Enable Device Accessibility

Calling global method enableDeviceAccess() in the main method to enable and initialize the device accessibility. This method returns a Future<Device> object. After the device is enabled and ready, the function in the Future's then() method will be called with the enabled device as the function argument. If failed to enable the device or timeout, the onException function in Future's catchError() method will be called with the thrown exception object.

Access the Device Resource

Via the global mobile facility variables such as accelerometer you are able to access all mobile device's native resources.

In this application, we register a success callback function and an error callback function to Accelerometer.watchAcceleration() method with the frequency of the AccelerometerOptions set to every 1000 milliseconds. This makes the mobile accelerometer service return the Acceleration information via the registered success callback function every 1000 milliseconds.

Per the different kind of native resources, you can access the device resources by calling directly the APIs or by register proper callback functions.

For details about what device resources are available, please check Rikulo Gap.