Native app with phonegap


Hi, I have just installed (upgraded) the latest version: on machine A
I now get the following error when trying to build phonegap app:
The phonegap server responded in an invalid manner: No JSON object could be decoded.

I copied the project to a different machine B still with version
Build went through fine.

Must I change anything in the new version?


That error message usually means there is a problem in your config.xml file. You can try posting its contents into a JSON checker, such as


Hi, good day!,
My apologies for not responding sooner.
Before we continue, as I stated above, the same project with the same config.xml works perfectly in a previous version

OK, I pasted my config file into jsonlint as you suggested.

First few lines of my xml is:

< ? xml version = "1.0"
encoding = "UTF-8" ? >
xmlns = ""
xmlns: gap = ""
id = "com.nsbasic.{id}"
versionCode = "1"
version = "{version}" >

jsonlint finds error:

Error: Parse error on line 1: < ? xml version = "1 ^ Expecting ‘STRING’, ‘NUMBER’, ‘NULL’, ‘TRUE’, ‘FALSE’, ‘{’, ‘[’, got ‘undefined’

which makes no sense to me


I would expect the first few lines to look like this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
xmlns = ""
xmlns:gap = ""
id = "com.nsbasic.{id}"
versionCode = "1"
version = "{version}">

Yours seems to have some odd spaces and returns in it.


No, sorry George.




Seeing that the first part of your XML file was corrupted, there could be problems elsewhere.

Did you try your corrected json in the jsonlint?


Hi George,

Jsonlint give exactly the same error with the corrected code.

There must be some other problem.




Seeing that the first part of your XML file was corrupted, there could be problems elsewhere.


Hi George,

I have now established that the problem is elsewhere and not related to the new Appstudio version. It still does however still build clean on a different machine.

Step I have taken to establish this:

  1. I downgraded to previous version – same problem

  2. Used the Geolocation sample – same problem

  3. Tested both my app and the Geolocation sample’s config file in jsonlint – they both give the same error, on different machines

Any idea what else can cause such behavior?




Yes. I’m pretty sure it is your configxml. While you may have corrected the first few lines, I bet the rest of it has problems too.

Why not post your complete configxml?


Hi George,

Here it is;

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>


xmlns = ""

xmlns:gap = ""

id = "com.nsbasic.{id}"

versionCode = "1"

version = "{version}">



<preference name="phonegap-version" value="{phoneGapVersion}" />

<!-- Icons -->

<icon src='{icon}' />

<platform name = 'android'>

<icon src='icons/android/ldpi.png' platform='android' qualifier='ldpi' />

<icon src='icons/android/mdpi.png' platform='android' qualifier='mdpi' />

<icon src='icons/android/hdpi.png' platform='android' qualifier='hdpi' />

<icon src='icons/android/xhdpi.png' platform='android' qualifier='xhdpi' />

<icon src='icons/android/xxhdpi.png' platform='android' qualifier='xxhdpi' />

<preference name="android-targetSdkVersion" value="28" />


<platform name = 'ios'>

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-40.png' platform='ios' width='40' height='40' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-40@2x.png' platform='ios' width='80' height='80' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-50.png' platform='ios' width='50' height='50' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-50@2x.png' platform='ios' width='100' height='100' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-60.png' platform='ios' width='60' height='60' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-60@2x.png' platform='ios' width='120' height='120' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-60@3x.png' platform='ios' width='180' height='180' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-72@.png' platform='ios' width='72' height='72' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-72@2x.png' platform='ios' width='144' height='144' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-72@3x.png' platform='ios' width='216' height='216' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-76.png' platform='ios' width='76' height='76' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-76@2x.png' platform='ios' width='152' height='152' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-small.png' platform='ios' width='29' height='29' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon-small@2x.png' platform='ios' width='58' height='58' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon.png' platform='ios' width='57' height='57' />

<icon src='icons/ios/icon@2x.png' platform='ios' width='114' height='114' />


<!-- Splash Screens -->

<preference name='SplashScreenDelay' value='2000' />

<preference name='AutoHideSplashScreen' value='true' />

<gap:splash src='{splashscreen}'/>

<gap:plugin name='cordova-plugin-splashscreen' source='npm' />

<platform name='android'>

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-land-hdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-land-hdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-land-ldpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-land-ldpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-land-mdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-land-mdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-land-xhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-land-xhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-land-xxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-land-xxhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-land-xxxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-land-xxxhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-port-hdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-port-hdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-port-ldpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-port-ldpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-port-mdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-port-mdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-port-xhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-port-xhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-port-xxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-port-xxhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-long-port-xxxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='long-port-xxxhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-land-hdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-land-hdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-land-ldpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-land-ldpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-land-mdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-land-mdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-land-xhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-land-xhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-land-xxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-land-xxhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-land-xxxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-land-xxxhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-port-hdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-port-hdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-port-ldpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-port-ldpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-port-mdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-port-mdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-port-xhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-port-xhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-port-xxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-port-xxhdpi' />

<splash src='splash/android/res-notlong-port-xxxhdpi/splash.png' qualifier='notlong-port-xxxhdpi' />


<platform name = 'ios'>

<splash src='splash/ios/Default.png' width='320' height='480' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default@2x.png' width='640' height='960' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-568h@2x.png' width='640' height='1136' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-667h@2x.png' width='750' height='1334' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-Portrait.png' width='768' height='1024' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-Landscape.png' width='1024' height='768' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-Portrait@2x.png' width='1536' height='2048' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-Landscape@2x.png' width='2048' height='1536' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-Portrait-736h@3x.png' width='1242' height='2208' />

<splash src='splash/ios/Default-Landscape-736h@3x.png' width='2208' height='1242' />


<preference name="permissions" value="none"/>

<!-- sample preference specifications -->

<!-- <preference name="autorotate" value="false" readonly="true"/> -->

<!-- <preference name="orientation" value="default" /> -->

<!-- <preference name="fullscreen" value="true" /> -->

<!-- Platforms: Customize as needed. -->


<gap:platform name="android" />

<gap:platform name="ios" />

<gap:platform name="winphone" />


<platform name="android">

<preference name="android-targetSdkVersion" value="28" />


<plugin name="cordova-plugin-camera" source="npm" spec="2.4.1" />

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-device" source="npm" />

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-contacts" source="npm" />

<plugin name="phonegap-plugin-barcodescanner" source="npm" spec="6.0.8"/>

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-inappbrowser" />

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-geolocation" spec="~2.4.1" />

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-statusbar" source="npm" />

<preference name="StatusBarOverlaysWebView" value="{phoneGapStatusBarOverlay}" />

<preference name="StatusBarBackgroundColor" value="{phoneGapStatusBarColor}" />

<preference name="StatusBarStyle" value="{phoneGapStatusBarStyle}" />

<plugin name="cordova-plugin-whitelist" source="npm" />

<allow-navigation href="*" />

<access origin="*" />





It looks like you have a character encoding problem - utf8 vs utf16.


Hi George,

Forgive my ignorance;

What should I do and/or change?

And remember, once again, everything is working petfectly on a different machine.




There are various encoding schemes for text. Your config.xml text has ended up in a coding scheme which uses 2 bytes per character instead of the expected 1 character. This can happen by saving it on an editor with different settings.

Try moving the file from your good machine to the one with problems.



Here’s a minimal config.xml that builds through the CLI and through Phonegap Build (it’s one I use for prototypes and to experiment with new functionality).

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?>
<widget xmlns="" 
        version="0.0.1" id="">
  <author href="" email="ppetree@localhost"></author>
  <content src="index.html"></content>
  <preference name="android-build-tool" value="gradle" />
  <preference name="phonegap-version" value="cli-8.0.0" />
  <preference name="pgb-builder-version" value="2" />
  <preference name="xwalkMultipleApk" value="false" />
  <preference name="DisallowOverscroll" value="true" />
  <preference name="WebviewBounce" value="false" />
  <preference name="EnableViewPortScale" value="true" />
  <!-- below requires the splash screen plugin -->
  <!-- docs: -->
  <preference name="SplashMaintainAspectRatio" value="false" />
  <preference name="AutoHideSplashScreen" value="true" />
  <preference name="FadeSplashScreen" value="false" />
  <preference name="FadeSplashScreenDuration" value="2" />
  <preference name="ShowSplashScreenSpinner" value="false" />
  <platform name="ios">
    <!-- below requires the status bar plugin -->
    <!-- docs: -->
    <!-- see -->
    <preference name="StatusBarOverlaysWebView" value="false" />
    <preference name="StatusBarBackgroundColor" value="#000000" />
    <preference name="StatusBarStyle" value="lightcontent" />
    <preference name="exit-on-suspend" value="false" />
    <preference name="deployment-target" value="9.0" />
    <preference name="ios-configuration" value="adhoc" />
    <preference name="Fullscreen" value="false" />
    <preference name="Orientation" value="all" />
    <allow-intent href="http://*/*" />
    <allow-intent href="https://*/*" />
    <allow-intent href="tel:*" />
    <allow-intent href="sms:*" />
    <allow-intent href="mailto:*" />
    <allow-intent href="geo:*" />
    <allow-intent href="itms:*" />
    <allow-intent href="itms-apps:*" />
    <access origin="*" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-29x29@1x.png" width="29" height="29" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-29x29@2x.png" width="58" height="58" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-29x29@3x.png" width="87" height="87" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-60x60@1x.png" width="60" height="60" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-60x60@2x.png" width="120" height="120" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-60x60@3x.png" width="180" height="180" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-76x76@1x.png" width="76" height="76" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-76x76@2x.png" width="152" height="152" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-40x40@1x.png" width="40" height="40" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-40x40@2x.png" width="80" height="80" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-57x57@1x.png" width="57" height="57" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-57x57@2x.png" width="114" height="114" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-72x72@1x.png" width="72" height="72" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-72x72@2x.png" width="144" height="144" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-Small-50x50@1x.png" width="50" height="50" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-Small-50x50@2x.png" width="100" height="100" />
    <icon platform="ios" src="package-assets/Icon-App-83.5x83.5@2x.png" width="167" height="167" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_320x480.png" width="320" height="480" orientation="portrait" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_640x960.png" width="640" height="960" orientation="portrait" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_640x1136.png" orientation="portrait" height="1136" width="640" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_768x1024.png" orientation="portrait" height="1024" width="768" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_1536x2048.png" orientation="portrait" height="2048" width="1536" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_2048x2732.png" orientation="portrait" height="2732" width="2048" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_1242x2208.png" orientation="portrait" height="2208" width="1242" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_750x1334.png" orientation="portrait" height="1334" width="750" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_1024x768.png" orientation="landscape" height="768" width="1024" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_2048x1536.png" orientation="landscape" height="1536" width="2048" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_2208x1242.png" orientation="landscape" height="1242" width="2208" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_1334x750.png" orientation="landscape" height="750" width="1334" />
    <splash platform="ios" src="package-assets/splash_2732x2048.png" orientation="landscape" height="2048" width="2732" />
  <platform name="android">
    <preference name="android-minSdkVersion" value="19" />
    <preference name="android-targetSdkVersion" value="23" />
    <preference name="android-installLocation" value="auto" />
    <preference name="android-multiDexEnabled" value="true" />
    <preference name="Fullscreen" value="false" />
    <preference name="Orientation" value="portrait" />
    <preference name="android-signed" value="true" />
    <preference name="AndroidLaunchMode" value="singleTop" />
    <allow-intent href="http://*/*" />
    <allow-intent href="https://*/*" />
    <allow-intent href="tel:*" />
    <allow-intent href="sms:*" />
    <allow-intent href="mailto:*" />
    <allow-intent href="geo:*" />
    <allow-intent href="market:*" />
    <access origin="*" />
    <icon platform="android" src="package-assets/ic_ldpi.png" density="ldpi" width="36" height="36" />
    <icon platform="android" src="package-assets/ic_mdpi.png" density="mdpi" width="48" height="48" />
    <icon platform="android" src="package-assets/ic_hdpi.png" density="hdpi" width="72" height="72" />
    <icon platform="android" src="package-assets/ic_xhdpi.png" density="xhdpi" width="96" height="96" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_320x426.png" density="ldpi" width="320" height="426" orientation="portrait" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_320x470.png" density="mdpi" width="320" height="470" orientation="portrait" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_480x640.png" density="hdpi" width="480" height="640" orientation="portrait" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_720x960.png" density="xhdpi" width="720" height="960" orientation="portrait" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_426x320.png" orientation="landscape" height="320" width="426" density="ldpi" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_470x320.png" orientation="landscape" height="320" width="470" density="mdpi" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_640x480.png" orientation="landscape" height="480" width="640" density="hdpi" />
    <splash platform="android" src="package-assets/splash_960x720.png" orientation="landscape" height="720" width="960" density="xhdpi" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-splashscreen" spec="^5.0.2" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-statusbar" spec="2.4.2" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-whitelist" spec="1.3.3" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-device" spec="2.0.2" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-compat" spec="1.2.0" />
  <plugin name="cordova.plugins.diagnostic" spec="4.0.10" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-network-information" spec="^2.0.1" />
  <plugin name="cordova-open-native-settings" spec="~1.5" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-vibration" spec="3.1.0" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-email-composer" source="npm" spec="~0.8.15" />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-contacts" spec="^3.0.1">
    <variable name="CONTACTS_USAGE_DESCRIPTION" value="We do not collect or store information on any of your contacts." />
  <plugin name="cordova-plugin-x-socialsharing" spec="^5.4.0" />
  <plugin name="es6-promise-plugin" spec="^4.2.0" />


BTW, I don’t know why the emails put all the line breaks in the code section but blank lines are NOT allowed in config.xml files and will produce a “malformed xml” error.


Thank you very much for everyone’s assistance and help.
Nothing makes a difference.
I am now convinced that something in my development environment(machine) must have changed that is causing the problem.
As a test, I copied the entire project onto a memory stick.
I then first ran AppStudio directly from the memory stick on the working machine and the build to phonegap works perfectly.
I then ran the project on the problem machine also directly from the memory stick and the same JSON error occurs.
I have then also loaded the sample geolocation program and even this gives the same error.
This then obviously means in my mind that the problem is within the environment and I have no idea where to start.

  1. Virus Scan

  2. Uninstall & reinstall app studio

FWIW, I once installed VS (to replace the now defunct XDK) and, when I imported the project, it corrupted my image files and everything in my tool chain barfed. Took a week to figure out the problem.

closed #19

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