PhoneGap cross platform development using HTML5 + cloud

PhoneGap is a standards-based, open-source development framework for building cross-platform mobile apps with HTML, CSS and JavaScript for iPhone/iPad, Google Android, Windows Phone 7, Palm, Symbian, BlackBerry and more.

Write a PhoneGap app once with HTML and Javascript and deploy it to any mobile device without losing features of a native app.”

With PhoneGap you write your app using HTML, CSS or JavaScript, upload it to the PhoneGap Build service where it’s compiled in the “cloud”. The process produces app-store ready apps for Apple iOS, Google Android, Windows Phone 7, Palm, Symbian, BlackBerry and other OSs. This handy chart lists the supports operating systems and features.

The PhoneGap plug-in Release 1.9.0works with Eclipse to produce your app code. “Simply upload your web assets – a ZIP file of HTML, CSS and JavaScript, or a single index.html file – to PhoneGap Build, point us to your Git or SVN repository, or let us set up a git remote endpoint that you can push to. Then we’ll undertake the compilation and packaging for you. In minutes, you’ll receive the download URLs for all mobile platforms.”

There are a number of helpful “getting started” guides showing the development software configuration you’ll need based upon your target OS.

According to their FAQ page, “PhoneGap Build is currently in beta, so it’s free, and the service will remain free for open source projects.”

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  1. From a hardware point of view this is of course not terribly useful. Even if there is hardware access making it cross platform means the lowest common API denominator (iOS) for access to things like Bluetooth…

    Further superficially it sounds like whatever the “app” is it could just as easily be inside a browser. Not that standalone access is a bad thing, simply the fact that you can use web pages in a cross platform way is not amazing.

    1. Okay there is some hardware access which might be harder to embed in a pure site but nevertheless the portability and lowest common hardware access remain. There is merit to unification for sure to reduce overhead where it can be used, but it is also worthy of note this type of project can reduce competitiveness of devices that offer new features as no applications will make use of them until they are across the board which they aren’t likely to be because there would be no application pressure. In short less differentiation stagnates innovation. Excessive fragmentation burdens costs.

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