How to Develop Cross-Platform Mobile Apps Using PhoneGap

Hemendra Singh
Hemendra Singh, Managing Director at The NineHertz
Published on Jun 19, 2018 in Cross Platform Developers Resources
How to Develop Cross-Platform Mobile Apps Using PhoneGap

In today's time, developing an application that can run smoothly on multiple platforms is the prime concern of mobile app developers. Porting a mobile application from one platform to another has an extensive cost and requires many changes in the coding in order to run the application with the original features.

Hybrid mobile app development has made it easier for developers to code once and develop apps that can run on main platforms like Android and iOS with no extra efforts. There are various hybrid app frameworks present in the market like Xamarin, PhoneGap, Intel XDK, Framework7, Ionic Framework, and many more.

In this article, we will go over the following points:

- Features of PhoneGap

- The advantages of using PhoneGap framework.

- How to develop a simple application using PhoneGap APIs

Features of PhoneGap:

  • Open Source Framework: It is an open source license framework which offers new codes and modules for free.
  • Robust and Scalable Backend: PhoneGap provides a robust backend system and reduces the developer's efforts. It also enhances the development process of applications.
  • Flexible and easy to code: Developers with knowledge of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3 can start working on PhoneGap. PhoneGap is a flexible platform as it offers developers the chance to create various types of mobile apps effortlessly and efficiently.

The advantages of using PhoneGap framework.

PhoneGap is a prominent technology that provides cross-platform app development. Using PhoneGap as Hybrid App Framework comes with a number of advantages like cost-effective development, seamless performance on multiple platforms, usage of simple programming language, etc.

  1. High Compatibility with Multiple Platforms:

Apps that are developed using PhoneGap can work on multiple platforms (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Mobile Web). One single code can be used to create apps for any platform. It offers the same look and feels when running on different platforms.

The app can be distributed on the App Store and Google Play store.

  1. Less Development Time:

    Cross-platform apps require less time and effort to develop, as they are based on basic languages like HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript.
  1. Easy to Develop and Deploy:

    Cross-platform app developers only need to work with the most common browser-based skills, like HTML5, and do not require any additional inputs.
    The cross-platform framework requires less time to develop. Thus, apps takes less time to launch into the market.
  1. Easy tapping into Hardware Devices: It is possible to tap into hardware, such as the camera, accelerometer, geo-location, etc. Thus, the apps can efficiently use the features of the native resources of the devices while simultaneously providing the user experience.

How to develop a simple application using PhoneGap?

Developing a cross-platform mobile app with PhoneGap and a mobile web development framework makes development process simple and fast. In this, section, we will give you a brief of how you can develop an application using PhoneGap.

Before you create your own application, you need to download the PhoneGap desktop application for your operating system: Mac OS X or Windows. After you have installed the PhoneGap on your desktop, install Mobile App. This will allow you to test and preview the apps that you will build on different platforms without any additional platform setup (like SDK).

Let's create a 'Dog Years Calculator' app on PhoneGap with this step by step simple guide:

Step 1: To create your new project, click on the plus sign (+) on the PhoneGap desktop.

Step 2: Choose a template from the list. For example, we have chosen the “Blank” project. And then click “Next”.

Step 3:  Now select a local path for your project. Name your project. For example, we will name the project “Dog Years Calculator”. The next field is optional: ID. This is a unique identifier that is valid across various app stores. Finally, click on the “Create Project”

Step 4: You will get a notification telling that “the server is running on” (random numbers). This will show you where the server is, where you can access your application. You can open in the browser your PhoneGap developer’s app which will allow you to test your app as you develop it in the real-time.

Step 5: Enter the server address into the screen and click “Connect”. After connecting you will see a blank page.

Step 6: Open the template that was created in the PhoneGap folder (i.e. Dog Years Calculator). Open the “www” folder and there you will find the index.html page.

Step 7: Open the page with Text Editor. Don't makes changes in the default code. Replace the title from “Blank App” to “Dog Years Calculator”. Now under the body, add the headline 'h1' i.e. Dog Years Calculator. The next line will convert the dog's age to the equivalent human years. These changes will be displayed on the phone screen. Now, we need to add the inputs:

  1. <input id=”dogAge” type=”number”/>
  2. <button id=”btnCalc”>Calculate</button>

Step 8: We need a place to put the result generated from the calculator: <div id=”result”></div>

Step 9: To make a function that performs the calculation and convert the age of the dog into human age, you need a code.

The steps above will help you create a simple app that can calculate the age of the dog. It is very easy to develop an application with PhoneGap. Although the app demonstrated above is not worthy in reallife, it is an easy way to understand how PhoneGap works for as a beginner.

Find the right development company for your Cross-Platform App Development

A responsible company understands the value of time and money their clients put into their ideas and work diligently to achieve the perfection expected. The NineHertz team of cross-platform app developers is full of experts in developing high-end apps with the help of PhoneGap, Xamarin, Intel XDK and more.

The NineHertz are among top  app development companies that provide best cross-platform app development solutions by following a customer-centric approach.

Find more top mobile app development companies worldwide on AppFutura.

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About the author
Hemendra SinghManaging Director at The NineHertz

Hemendra Singh is Managing Director and co-founder of The NineHertz, a Mobile App Development Company. Hemendra has a keen interest in the latest trends and technologies that are emerging in different domains. Being an entrepreneur in the field of IT...

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