PhoneGap – Allowing Web Developers to Build Mobile Applications

Michael OssouI have been playing with PhoneGap recently and I have to say I’m really impressed. For those of you who may not know, PhoneGap allows you to make Smart Phone Applications using just HTML, CSS, & JavaScript.

As if that wasn’t awesome enough, it’s works on multiple mobile platforms. Meaning you can build your Application using the Web Technologies you already know, and run them on Android, IOS,¬†Windows, and several other mobile platforms.

PhoneGap
PhoneGap

So whats involved exactly? PhoneGap is based on the Apache Cordova Project. It’s essentially a build system. You put your Web Application in one side and mobile application for each platform pops out the other side.

No weirdo Dev environment to use or any other funny business. You can use whatever tools you want to author your HTML, CSS, & JavaScript. You also get access to the device(s) hardware via the PhoneGap API by way of a JavaScript library.

What’s the downside? It’s not as fast as writing a native application. I wan’t to be clear here however, It’s fantastic for the types of applications Web Developers would build. The performance concerns are really related to game development. Even then, there are many examples of games built using PhoneGap.

To sweeten things even more, Adobe is involved in the way of offering PhoneGap Build as a service. Rather than downloading the bits yourself and running PhoneGap locally, you can use the Adobe PhoneGap Build Service. In this scenario, you build your app, upload it in ZIP format or point to a GitHub repository and they take care of the rest.

The Adobe service is just awesome and executed very well. There is even a debug feature that allows you to get debug information from an application running on your phone in real time. It’s pretty amazing. The service cost ranges from free to cheap and is well worth it.

I will be talking a lot more about working with PhoneGap in the weeks to come. If you can’t wait, hit the links above.

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