Also it should be made clear that PhoneGap is an SDK for building native app packages, not a web framework that you use to build your app. So web frameworks like jQuery or Sencha Touch can be used when building your app (and are even encouraged), and they will work perfectly fine within the app package that is deployed.
PhoneGap allows deployment to the major platforms including iOS, Android, BlackBerry as well as others like Symbian, WebOS and Bada.
Once your web app is ready, there are 2 ways to build your native app package for deployment:
- Download the PhoneGap SDK and use it with your dev environment of choice, which depends on what platform(s) you’re building for. There are instructions for doing this for iOS, Android, BlackBerry, WebOS and Symbian on the PhoneGap website.
- If you don’t want to deal with manually setting up the SDK, you can use PhoneGap Build, which is an interesting option because it allows you to upload your web app to the cloud, and it automagically converts it to native apps for all of the supported platforms.
Since apps are essentially web apps, you can do anything you could with a web app. At the same time, it also means that you don’t have the advantages of a native app in terms of performance, so don’t expect to see 3D games or 2D games using physics engines.
Native UI Controls:
PhoneGap doesn’t support native UI controls, however, frameworks like Sencha Touch have already created styles around their UI controls that match the various device platforms.
Also, there is a third party plugin called NativeControls that adds the ability to include some native controls in your app (see more on plugins below).
The following device features are accessible through the PhoneGap SDK:
- Contacts List
- Image Gallery
- Local Storage
- Multitouch / Gestures
- Barcode Scanner
- File Uploader
- Power Management
- Speech Recognizer
The cost for development depends on the tools/frameworks you want to use to do the HTML development. Cost for PhoneGap Build is free for open source projects, or can cost between $12/mo to $90/mo depending on the number of commercial projects you need to build.
Still, it’s worth checking out if you’re looking for something you can quickly move into if you have an existing web dev skillset.
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