Turning the Big 1.0 - webOS App Development with PhoneGap 12
Ken Schreihofer is a Systems Developer from New Jersey, he writes about techniques for webOS and PhoneGap development at webOScapades. You can find him kicking around on Twitter at @digitalelph. We've asked Ken to come and share his experiences with webOS and PhoneGap here, so welcome him to PreCentral as he shares his expertise on the topic.
Last November, I happened to find myself sitting in Brian LeRoux's workshop at the HP Developer Day in NYC. His presentation on a platform called PhoneGap seemed to have quite a few people excited. I didn't have the slightest clue what that was, but I was fairly curious about the hubbub. Well, Brian's excellent presentation sated that curiosity, and gave me a hunger for more. That was my first introduction to the power and potential of the PhoneGap framework.
There's been a good amount of discussion in the webOS developer community on the merits of various development paths. On one hand, you have the tried and true Mojo, which is currently deployed on all webOS phones. However, support for Mojo is diminishing and discouraged by HP. Enyo is the new hotness, but is currently limited to the TouchPad with an unclear rollout to current generation devices. There's a third option, and it's a strong contender: PhoneGap. The framework generally provides access to the full capabilities of webOS devices. Current APIs include the accelerometer, camera, gestures, geolocation, network, notifications, orientation and more. The main areas that fall short typically relate to Synergy, such as calendar and contacts integration.
This post is being written in celebration of PhoneGap turning the big 1.0. While that version number typically describes unpolished software, it isn't the case here. PhoneGap is a mature and ever improving platform. You know, the allure of PhoneGap for a webOS developer is simple. It delivers on the promise made by Palm so long ago: you can write apps for webOS using only web techniques. There's no need to learn about scenes, assistants, kinds, or anything new at all. Just pure web methods. That lowers the barrier of entry for web developers, and that's just about what we need right now. So, a happy 1.0 to PhoneGap, and a hearty congratulations to the developers at Nitobi. Here's to a bright year of mobile apps!
Find out more at PhoneGap.com