Building Hybrid Apps with PhoneGap

Everyone’s moving to the mobile. If you’ve got a website, great. But if you’ve got a mobile app for it, even better. Mobile apps are trending due to their on-the-go usability and single tap access to any and every part of the Internet!

As a web developer, you’re probably already familiar with building apps and if my guess is right, you might have built native apps with Java scripts. Allow me to introduce to you PhoneGap – a revolutionary mobile application development framework to build hybrid apps at the click of a button by accessing your device features.

PhoneGap (aka Cordova) is an open source cross-platform framework by Adobe which allows developers like you to build using CSS, HTML and JavaScript.

What Platforms does it Support?

One of the advantages of PhoneGap is that it supports several mobile platforms to enable developers to write their code using HTML /JavaScripts and deploy on various platforms:

  • iOS (iPhone/iPad)
  • Android
  • Symbian
  • BlackBerry
  • WebOS
  • WP7
  • Samsung Bada

Device Features Accessed with PhoneGap

PhoneGap is designed to access every feature of your device, which native application development frameworks do not allow. PhoneGap accesses these device features:

  • Camera
  • Geolocation
  • Compass
  • Contacts
  • Media
  • Accelerometer
  • Network
  • Notification
  • Storage
  • Filesystem

How to Develop on PhoneGap?

In 4 simple steps, you can develop a mobile app with PhoneGap:

Step 1: Download the PhoneGap app on your device

Step 2: Open the app and click on the ‘+’ sign to create a new project

step 2

Step 3: Enter your project information & locate it on your device

step 3

Step 4: Hit ‘Create Project’ and you’re done!

You can preview your app and make edits to suit your requirements.

What are the Limitations?

While PhoneGap has changed the way apps are developed, there are limitations to the product:

  • PhoneGap uses WebView which is essentially a striped down version of a browser without the Chrome UI. In the iOS, the Java Script code on WebView cannot take advantage of the superior browser than the iPhone actually has since it is not JIT enabled
  • In the Android, the CSS rendering in WebView is not nearly as good as on the iOS
  • PhoneGap works well on the latest iOS due to the advanced capabilities of the operating system however, Android isn’t yet equipped with such features like WebSocket which may cause trobule if you’re developing across multiple platforms
  • Since WebView has memory limitations, it could prove to be difficult if your JavaScript is not optimised
  • Security can be a concern since the app runs inside WebView, allowing untrusted third-party codes to execute in the page which means the JavaScript downloader could have access to several devices and user privacy

PhoneGap is great to reuse your web development skills to build hybrid apps for multiple platforms. For a greater understanding on how to develop on PhoneGap, view the Get Started page.

What are some brands using PhoneGap / Cordova?

To give you a few examples, brands that use PhoneGap or Cordova include Facebook, Wikipedia, IBM, PayPal, Microsoft and more. If you’re probably already familiar with at least one of these applications, it could help you understand the capabilities of PhoneGap and what you can create.

Think PhoneGap could help your business? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below!

*The above images are for illustration purposes only. ResellerClub has not claimed any copyright or IPR. Images are from PhoneGap.
*ResellerClub has no affiliation with PhoneGap in any way. The article is purely a suggestion of a useful tool.

About Amrita

AmritaAmrita is a marketing specialist by profession who loves writing, music and animals.



Amrita is a marketing specialist by profession who loves writing, music and animals.