Role of PhoneGap in Mobile App Development

Amit Agrawal
Published on Mar 04, 2019 in Cross Platform Developers Resources
Role of PhoneGap in Mobile App Development

An entrepreneur might be hard-pressed to implement a mobile development strategy. But it might get worse if the entrepreneur does not have the time and resources to build native apps across multiple platforms in order to increase the likelihood of success.

This is where PhoneGap steps into the rescue. PhoneGap allows you to build applications just once and port it to numerous platforms, eliminating the need to launch your mobile app on a limited number of platforms.

What’s more, an excellent PhoneGap developer does not need to possess mobile development skills, as the developer only needs basic web developer skills and be acquainted with standard Web APIs to execute a PhoneGap Android app development.

An Overview of PhoneGap

After acquiring Nitobi, the original creators of PhoneGap, in 2011, Adobe Systems took over the development framework and made it an open source framework by donating it to the Apache Software and renaming the codebase Apache Cordova. Together with other companies and developers Adobe Systems have continued building and extending the Apache Cordova engine, distributing the dividends through PhoneGap.

With this free and open source framework, you can create mobile apps using web codes such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. That means that when you hire PhoneGap programmer for your development, you can expect the developer to go through a smoother learning curve in the development, handling any complexities in the specifications with greater ease, and delivering your app in good time. The cross-platform code can be further streamlined for a particular platform such as Android, iOS, Windows, Symbian, WP7, etc., through the use of standardized web APIs. This can be done without the need for extensive coding skills for the separate platforms.

However, a PhoneGap app development is broken up into multiple sub-projects, each representing a particular platform. For example, to develop an iOS version of your PhoneGap app development, you need to deploy XCode, and for Android, you need to deploy Google Android SDK, Eclipse ADT, and Eclipse IDE.

Not only is a PhoneGap app development cross-platform compatible, but it also looks, feels and performs like a native app across multiple platforms. However, a PhoneGap app development is usually more apt to provide utility than the exciting UX, as it usually does not support complex animations and heavily built graphics in the UI.

Nonetheless, when you hire a PhoneGap programmer, you can harness the hardware features of devices into your app development, including the camera, Media, contacts, notifications, network, storage, etc. To make this possible PhoneGap provides developers with abstraction layers, which are usually not available in regular webpages. In essence, PhoneGap offers a “WebView” framework with additional capabilities.

The Difference Between the Role of PhoneGap and Those of Other Platforms in Mobile Development

PhoneGap is a web-based mobile development framework that embeds native codes in a web view, while most other development frameworks are hinged solely on native codes. When you hire a PhoneGap programmer for your mobile development, the developer integrates the native web view of any particular platform to create a version of the hybrid app for the particular platform.

The framework facilitates the development of apps that process queries reliably via the web. However, since PhoneGap mobile developments are more given to providing utility, they may not offer user experiences that are as rich as those offered by applications built with other mobile development frameworks.

An Overview of How PhoneGap Works

To build a PhoneGap app, a PhoneGap developer needs to first choose a web IDE to write the front-end HTML pages in. These pages are to be managed either via plain hyperlinks or via swapping div elements. When you hire a PhoneGap programmer for a PhoneGap app that integrates the hardware features of devices, the programmer only needs to deploy one JavaScript API in that respect across all the mobile platforms. The PhoneGap developer obtains the JavaScript API through a .js file available in the PhoneGap download and makes reference to it on the HTML pages.

After completing the creation of the web application, the PhoneGap developer then converts it into applications for the various mobile platforms by creating native projects for each particular platform. This might call for a fair knowledge of the intricacies of building native apps for a particular platform.

The PhoneGap developer then starts working with IDEs for particular platforms, such as XCode for iOS; IntelliJ IDEA, Android Studio, Eclipse, etc, for Android; etc. With these distinct IDEs, the PhoneGap developer then proceeds to roll out well-defined activity classes and manipulates APIs in the native projects.

How PhoneGap Helps Save Time and Shorten Time-to-Market in App Developments

It goes without saying that building different native apps for various platforms requires a great deal of time, energy and resources. The requirements for testing and debugging the different native apps multiple times takes another huge chunk of the time and resources of a brand. However, mobile app development eliminates the need for building and testing different native apps.

With a quicker time-to-market, you can test the feasibility of your app across several platforms in a timely fashion. Through the PhoneGap Design Service, you can quickly create a handy minimum viable product (MVP) to test your business idea across multiple mobile platforms with minimal time and resources.

In addition, PhoneGap is better suited for agile software development than the development of multiple native apps. This is because you’ll need to complete the development of one native app for a particular platform before taking on the development of another native app, and this falls out of line with agile development principles.

Conclusion

The PhoneGap hybrid technology is the best bet for creating mobile apps that are cross-platform compatible in a timely fashion and that are cost-effective because the framework uses a single code base to build apps for a variety of mobile devices. When it comes to building multiple native apps that do not incorporate heavily-built graphics and animations and that do not use the native features of an operating system too heavily, PhoneGap is a perfect choice.

Our company boasts an experienced development team that can help you turn your business idea into a handy, modular app that’ll be introduced into the market in good time, to test its feasibility.

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About the author
Amit AgrawalFounder & COO at Cyber Infrastructure Inc.

As the Founder and COO at Cyber Infrastructure (P) Limited, it is Amit's aspiration to drive global clients ahead in the competitive technology world by enabling them to receive huge financial and operational benefits in software development through ...

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