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What are PhoneGap Apps

Updated on February 12, 2015

PhoneGap: A Cross Platform Mobile App Development Tool

PhoneGap is currently the first choice of developers for developing cross platform compatible applications. There are 7 major mobile operating systems in the market, but no mobile platform has a common native development tool. Cross platform mobile framework was the necessity of the mobile industry. PhoneGap has solved that problem for the mobile industry, it has integrated web technologies & native development with cross platform approach and the only part that is portable here is the web. With the help of PhoneGap it is possible to provide different architecture for different platform and to let the apps use the features according to the current framework in use.

What Is PhoneGap?

It is an open source mobile platform which is used to build cross platform mobile applications using the existing web technology like HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. This was originally developed by "Nitobi" later on companies like RIM, IBM, & Microsoft contributed in this platform. In October, 11 Adobe took control of Nitobi and donated it to Apache Software Foundation (ASF) under the name of "Apache Cordova". Now it is an open source and available free under Apache License 2.0.

Advantages of PhoneGap

· * PhoneGap apps use web technology, which enables the developers to create mobile apps using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. And this allows to developers to create cross platform compatible applications.

· * Hybrid apps can be created using native functions and rich user interface using web technology.

· * Best thing about the PhoneGap is that it supports cross platform application development.

· * Camera, Accelerometer, Compass, Files, Contacts, Geo location, Network, Media, and storage functionalities are supported.

· * It has very active and supportive community and its growing rapidly.

· * Deployment framework for multiple platforms.

· * PhoneGap Apps uses JavaScript APIs which is consistent across the multiple device platforms and it is built on web standards. Due to this Phonegap apps can be used on multiple platforms with minimal or no change. Currently these apps are compatible for these mobile platforms: Android, iOS, Blackberry, Palm WebOS, Windows Phone, Symbian, Apple, and Bada.

What Device Can You Use It On?

For long time we faced the problem of choosing an application for a specific mobile operating system. Compatibility was the major issue for every application. PhoneGap has made it possible to use a single app on all platforms. A single PhoneGap application can be deployed across various devices such as Blackberry, iOS, Apple, Android, Windows Phone, Bada, WebOS, and Symbian. Of course there is a cost to PhoneGap’s ease & cross platform compatibility. It creates web applications that seems native but do not really qualify.

As an example: if you build an Android application, PhoneGap wraps your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in the web view container, and for execution it relies on the underlying Webkit rendering engine so it inherits the browser’s processing limitation for execution. So for a processor or graphic intensive application PhoneGap will not be the best choice.

But if you are looking for extending a data driven application to various mobile devices PhoneGap would be very effective. It strikes an excellent balance between app functionality and developers effort.

Get started with PhoneGap

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    • Nadine May profile image

      Nadine May 

      2 years ago from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

      Well I learned something new. I'm very weary about all the app's that are marketed for us to download, so the more I learn the better. Love your cell phone covers.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish MS 

      5 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      Interesting! Never heard of PhoneGap until I saw your Hub!

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