What problem do these two things solve?
ManifoldJS aims to make the life of a mobile developer easier than ever, by utilizing Web App Manifests, which allowing websites to declare app-like properties. ManifoldJS uses that standard for those platforms that support it, but falls back to Cordova for those who don’t. Cordova is great, but the W3C also considers work done at Mozilla (Firefox Open Web Apps), Google (Chrome Hosted Apps) and Microsoft has done (Windows 8 had local web apps, Windows 10 extends over to hosted web apps). With this, we can now wrap websites and creating hybrid applications which can be deployed in the various app stores, while still taking advantage of many native aspects for each device (contacts, calendar, file storage, gyro, GPS, etc.).
When we combine the two, we can create applications at near-native speed which can be deployed in a number of app stores, and utilizing largely one code base. There is no silver bullet for mobile development, but this certain makes the process easier.
An example and some code
Jeff Burtoft has some samples and further illustrates how this all works on his site, This Here Web.
- Microsoft Edge Web Summit 2015 (a complete series of what to expect with the new browser, new web platform features, and guest speakers from the community)
- Hosted Web Apps and Web Platform Innovations (a deep-dive on topics like manifold.JS)