Last week I gave a presentation to a local DC Meetup group on “Rapid Prototyping with PhoneGap“. The main takeaways are:
- PhoneGap is great for rapid prototyping.
- Don’t limit yourself to a prototype! PhoneGap is awesome for building real-world production applications targeting multiple platforms!
Some reasons why you might want to use PhoneGap for rapid prototyping:
- It’s easy
- More people know HTML & JS, over native development
- Lower barrier of entry in mobile development
- Integrate seamlessly with HTTP services
- It can cost less & can get done faster
- Reduced developer hours + web designers can build the prototypes
- Less development effort = faster turnaround
Here are the real-world PhoneGap apps that I demonstrated:
Wikipedia Mobile - The official mobile application for wikipedia.
- iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wikipedia-mobile/id324715238?mt=8
- Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=org.wikipedia&hl=en
- BlackBerry Playbook: http://appworld.blackberry.com/webstore/content/105171
Halo Waypoint – Companion application to the Halo game for Xbox & Xbox Live.
- iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/halo-waypoint/id468457600?mt=8
- Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.halo.companion&hl=en
Untappd – Social networking with beer.
- iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/untappd/id449141888?ls=1&mt=8
- Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.untappdllc.app
US Census Browser – Visualizing data from the 2010 US Census
- iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/census-browser/id483201717
- Android: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.tricedesigns.CensusBrowser
I covered techniques for making your apps feel like “apps”, not “web pages”. You can read more about these techniques and useful libraries in my recent post on Multi-Device Best Practices. Note: That post contains references to both Flex and HTML/JS/CSS tools. In this presentation I focused only on the HTML/JS/CSS tools.
I also covered techniques for data visualization. You can read about techniques for visualizing data using web standards technologies, and see serveral HTML/JS data visualization libraries from my recent post on “Data Visualization with Web Standards“.
In this presentation, I covered PhoneGap Build, a cloud-based compilation tool for PhoneGap apps, and debug.phonegap.com for remote application debugging. I also covered iWebinspector for debugging PhoneGap experiences inside of the iOS Simulator.
Let’s also not forget the real-world companies that have invested in PhoneGap/Apache Cordova, including Wikipedia, Facebook, Salesforce, IBM, and others. You can read more about these companies from my recent post “Who Uses PhoneGap“.