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Nitobi’s PhoneGap is an Open Source Solution, but how does it work?

05 April 2013

According to their website, PhoneGap enables users to ‘easily create apps using the web technologies you know and love: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.’ As open source technology, it allows users to contribute to the overall experience of the software and is also free. But today we are asking, how does it do what it does?

The significance of being able to develop mobile apps with HTML, CSS and Javascript is that it means you don’t have to worry about using different code for each of the different mobile operating systems. You can develop the same app for iPhone, Blackberry and Android phones using the three standard codes that many of us are used to.

What’s more, PhoneGap enables the user to develop apps that can access several of the mobile phone’s hardware features. The software’s capabilities differ between devices and operating systems, but generally PhoneGap can access features such as the camera, geolocation and notification alerts. Normally when developing an app using HTML code, these device features would not be able to be accessed. However PhoneGap embeds the HTML code into a WebView on the device and uses what is known as a ‘Foreign Function Interface’ to access the native resources and capabilities of the device.

There have been reservations over the speed and general look of apps developed with this tool and owner Adobe have warned that Apple can and do reject some apps for these reasons. However, as open source technology, PhoneGap is constantly improving and is probably the most important mobile development tool out there today.

So basically PhoneGap works by making it possible for developers to use code that they are familiar with to develop apps that work on (and make the most of) mobile phone operating systems.

Find out more about PhoneGap technology with our Building Mobile Apps with PhoneGap course. If you’re looking to train in more general mobile development, take a look at our mobile training courses. Call TTS today on 0800 612 1299 or contact us via the website.

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