PhoneGap – Cross-Platform Mobile App Development


Introduction- A technology used for cross-platform mobile app development is referred to as PhoneGap. PhoneGap is an open-source mobile application framework. It allows developers to develop applications using standard web APIs. PhoneGap was developed by Nitobe Software, which is known as Adobe.

For developing cross-platform applications, the developer should have knowledge of web development using HTML CSS, and JavaScript. The rest of the work, like the feel of the app, portability, and look, is maintained by PhoneGap.

Why PhoneGap? These are the following reasons which make PhoneGap important to build cross-platform applications:
1.We don’t need additional training for development: To develop applications using PhoneGap, there is no need to learn any new programming language. The standard languages and technologies, i.e., HTML CSS, and JavaScript, are used by PhoneGap.

2.Allows development for multiple devices By using standard technology, PhoneGap can work with several devices. The JavaScript APIs are consistent on different platforms.

3.Allows us to focus on functionality- By using PhoneGap, we can work with the latest version of the native SDK. There is no need to keep up the SDK individually with each platform.

4.Improves collaboration For achieving the end result, the team members use their strengths in a collaborative manner.

5. Easy and Fast deployment- We can quickly deploy our app to the user because more time is saved in developing using PhoneGap.

6. Easy sharing of apps- By using the PhoneGap Build, we can share the application as soon as it is developed. We share the app by sending a link to our family, friends, and colleagues.

PhoneGap Installation:
The developers like those desktop applications and frameworks which provide a drag and drop interface for creating applications. The developer finds it easy to work with drag and drop interface.
PhoneGap Desktop application is such a type of application. PhoneGap Desktop application is an alternative approach to the PhoneGap CLI. It is designed for those users who like a visual interface in comparison to the command-line interface. For installing the Desktop application of PhoneGap, we first have to choose the operating system, i.e., Mac OS X and Windows.

These are the following steps used to install the PhoneGap application on Windows:
1) Download Setup –
In the first step, we will download the PhoneGap setup by clicking on the Windows Installer.

2) Run setup – We will double click on the downloaded executable file to run the setup of PhoneGap. This double click will prompt us with the PhoneGap Desktop Setup Wizard and ask us to accept the license agreement. After accepting the license agreement, we will click on the Next button at the bottom-right corner of the pop-up box.

3) Select location – After clicking on the Next, a new pop up box will be open to select the destination location. We will browse the file directory to select the desired destination for the application. After that, we will click on the Next.

4) Select location for the start menu – This click will open a new-pop-up to choose a location for the shortcut. We will browse the file directory to choose the desired location. After that, we will click on the Next to proceed further.

5) Install application – After clicking on the Next, a pop-up box will open for performing the installing of the application. We will click on the Install button at the bottom-right corner of the pop-up. This click will start installing our PhoneGap desktop application.

6) Open application – Next, we will open the application and install the mobile app. Here, we will install the PhoneGap Developer App to our mobile device for viewing the apps we build.

PhoneGap CLI
A command-line interface to create PhoneGap applications is referred to as PhoneGap CLI. It is an alternative to the PhoneGap Desktop Application. It is designed for those users who like to do work on the command line interface. For packaging, running, and building our PhoneGap application on multiple platforms, the PhoneGap CLI provides some of the additional features as compared to PhoneGap Desktop Application. We can use the PhoneGap CLI if we are comfortable working with the command-line interface.

These are some of the requirements to install PhoneGap CLI, which are as follows:
1. We have to install node.js to build our JavaScript code. It will provide us a JavaScript runtime.
2. We have to install git to download assets. It is used by the CLI in the background.

After installing both node.js and git, follow the following steps to install PhoneGap CLI:
1. We will run the $npm install -g phonegap@latest command in the Terminal app (Mac) or Command Prompt (Win). We will install the PhoneGap CLI by using the npm package.
2. We will execute the phonegap command on the command line to ensure that the PhoneGap CLI is properly installed or not.
3. We will install the PhoneGap Developer App to our mobile device for viewing the apps we build.

Mr. Arshad Hussain, Assistant Professor, School of Computer Applications, Career Point University, Kota

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