Understanding the PhoneGap mobile development framework, its uses and pros

Aug 15 10:15 2017 Ritesh Mehta Print This Article

PhoneGap is a mobile development framework, which is built on top of the Apache Cordova platform. It allows developers without experience in Objective-C or Java to create applications on the most popular platforms, including Android, iOS and Windows Phone through CSS, HTML5 and JavaScript.

As mobile trends are taking over the tech scene,Guest Posting an overwhelming amount of mobile application development programs are available. Android and iOS are two of the most popular platforms in the mobile environment and developers are taking interest in targeting them and actually has forced them to build separate apps for various mobile choices. A great application framework that is widely used at present is PhoneGap. It is a mobile development framework that’s built on top of the Apache Cordova platform, enabling developers without Java or Objective-C experience to build apps on the most popular platforms, such as iOS, Android and Windows Phone via JavaScript, CSS and HTML5. PhoneGap Build provides cloud-bases service that’s created on top of the framework.

The framework was first developed at an iPhoneDevCamp event in San Francisco, CA. In 2009 Web 2.0 Conference, it went on to win the People’s Choice Award and has since been used to develop a lot of applications. Apple has confirmed that it has its approval, even with the new changes in the 4.0 developer license agreement. The framework is used by various mobile app platforms as the backbone of the mobile client development engine. The early versions of the framework required an Apple computer to build iOS applications and a Windows computer for creating Windows mobile applications. After September 2012, the PhoneGap Build services of Adobe allows programmers to upload HTML, CSS and JavaScript source code into a ‘cloud compiler’, which generates apps for each supported platform. PhoneGap is an amazing cross platform mobile application development framework that lets developers develop applications that smoothly run on numerous platforms. Some of the delightful features of the framework include the following:

1. Robust and strong backend. It has strong and robust backend system. It tremendously hastens the process of development and lessens the efforts of developers. Also, the beginner’s guide helps in further speeding up the process.

2. Flexibility. It provides great flexibility to developers since they could develop any kind of mobile application without serious efforts. Developers who are familiar with basic CSS3, HTML5 and JavaScript knowledge could get started with PhoneGap. There is no need for developers to learn more languages.

3. Open Source. With PhoneGap, one gets the best for free. The community compiles new modules and codes that are available for free since it has an open source license.

PhoneGap has emerged as a great mobile application development framework for mobile development. The following are some if its pros.

1. Compatible on all platforms. A high uniformity level could be maintained when the applications are developed for various platforms. The platform abolishes the differences in the look and feel of the application when viewed on various platforms.

2. Development ease. The framework works on JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS3. The most common browser-based skills that do not need additional inputs. Therefore, business owners could use their own technical team and get it smartly developed.

3. Tapping into the hardware of the device. One of the great things about PhoneGap is that it taps into the hardware of the device, like the geo location, camera, accelerometer and others. With this, the applications developed in the framework could make use of the properties of the native resources of the device easily, without compromising the user experience.

4. Two-fold benefits. It is a win-win for all stakeholders. The developers gain as they spend less effort in developing an app that works across all mobile platforms. The business gains as the application is prepared and ready to hit the market in less time.

5. Extensive architecture. The extensive architecture allows enterprises to use the full potential of the mobile device. Also, it is supported by a great community and continues pushing the technology with different tutorials, enhancements and examples.

6. Balances cross platform reach. Different companies that appreciate the standard based approach to multi-platform development and HTML5 is the preferred choice since it balances cross platform reach with a user experience that is engaging.

The UI Layer or User Interface of any PhoneGap application is a web browser view, which takes up 100 percent of the device’s height. It could be best stated as a chrome-less web browser since it renders HTML content less the window decoration of a regular web browser. An application could be built while taking advantage of using the space and also build navigational, interactive content element and app chrome into HTML and CSS based user interface. The web view used by PhoneGap is the same as the native operating system. When weighing the potential solutions for building a mobile application, developers always prefer PhoneGap because of its pros an advanced features. The framework serves as a wrapper around the web view of the device and thus it makes it easy to build a single base code for all four platforms. In fact, this provides the benefit of leveraging existing skill of developers and designers as well as the others in the development team.

The framework provides two approaches in developing mobile applications. These two are cross-platform workflow and platform-centered workflow. The cross-platform workflow is recommended if one intends to develop a mobile app under a few platforms and there are no differences in the programs for different platforms. With the approach, the Cordova Command-Line-Interface or CLI are used primarily. The Cordova CLI enables compiling apps for various platforms, manage plugins and more. The platform-centered workflow is recommended if one plans to focus on the development of apps for one platform and plan on deeply integrate with native components. The approach implies a certain development for a particular platform. Like say for instance iOS native development, one would use the Objective-C language and for Android development, the Java language is used. The framework makes it possible to move from a cross-platform workflow to a platform-centered workflow but could not be done in a reverse order. The structure of the folder is different and includes different shell tools set.

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About Article Author

Ritesh Mehta
Ritesh Mehta

Ritesh Mehta works as a senior Technical Account Manager in a software development company named TatvaSoft Australia based in Melbourne. He specializes in Agile Scrum methodology, Mobile application development, SAAS & SOA application development, Offshore & Vendor team management. Also, he is knowledgeable and well-experienced in conducting business analysis, product development, team management and client relationship management.

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