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Title: PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development Hotshot

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Title

PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development Hotshot

Category

Books about development tools

Author

Kerri Shotts

Publisher

Packt

Release date

June 5, 2014

ISBN

1783287926

Sales ranking

Week: Not ranked All time: 391

Reviews

May 19, 2015
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Manuel Lemos
manuellemos.net
Before commenting about this book let me tell you first about the Apache Cordova project and PhoneGap for those that are not yet familiar with these projects.

The Apache Cordova project provides a set of API that allows developers to create mobile applications using common Web technologies such as HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

PhoneGap is an extension of the Apache Cordova project provided by Adobe. It is slightly different from Apache Cordova, but you can use one project or the other as if it is the same thing. So from here on, I will refer to PhoneGap, regardless if you choose to use one project or the other.

You can develop native mobile applications using PhoneGap, but since these are based on the implementation of Web technologies provided by each mobile device, applications developed with PhoneGap are considered to be hybrid.

This book tells you about PhoneGap and how you can develop your mobile applications using the knowledge that you already have about HTML, JavaScript and CSS.

This means that if you already know how to develop Web applications, it will be very easy for you to develop mobile applications using PhoneGap.

The book could tell you about each of the Web APIs that PhoneGap supports. However its approach is somewhat different.

The book is divided into several chapters on which it is presented an application that uses certain APIs for the typical problems that your mobile application will need to solve.

So you will find chapters that teach you:

- How to create your first example and see it running in a mobile device emulator

- Adapting your application to different idioms and user locations in the world

- Implementing your applications with data models and views

- Storing and retrieving information in the device

- Working with audio, still images and video

- Sharing content via email and social networks

- Adapting your applications to different device sizes

- Implementing geo-location based applications using the GPS and maps

- Implementing games on graphical canvas

- Using backends to store and retrieve information

- Accessing the device native controls


Additionally there are a couple of interesting appendices that I found very useful, especially after you already earned reasonable experience to develop real world applications with PhoneGap.

The first appendix talks about important user interface aspects that you should pay attention to make sure your applications will comply with underlying platforms, so you provide good user experience and reduce the chance to have your application turned down by the app stores.

The other appendix tells you about user tips and tricks to solve problems that you will probably encounter, as well known quirks of each platform and how to deal with them.

While PhoneGap can be used to develop applications for many platforms, this book focused only on Android and iOS. That may be probably 99% of the market you want your application to reach. Still adapting to remaining platforms is not so much different. So that is not a big limitation of this book.

While at the time of this review, the latest versions of PhoneGap are already on 4.x, the fact that the title of the book still mentions PhoneGap 3.x does not make it less useful, although a more updated version of the book is desired and expected to happen some time in the future.

This book is available in printed format or e-book. I prefer the e-book format because it is much faster to access and read, but since you may have a different opinion, the printed version will work as well for you.


If you are getting started with developing native mobile applications, PhoneGap (or Apache Cordova) is probably one of the most viable solutions to move on as quick as possible and release your application without great efforts to adapt it to each kind of device.

You will reuse your current knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and the available frameworks that you already use for regular Web development.

So, unless you need very deep integration with the underlying mobile device platform, PhoneGap is one way to go.

The greatest thing about this book is that it teaches you how to solve each of the main types of mobile application problems that you will face in easy to understand manner.

Instead of teaching you about PhoneGap APIs directly, it shows how to solve common problems using real applications that you can try immediately and see it in action.

This is a very fortunate approach because most of us tend to learn better using real world examples that we can try in practice and tweak to see how you can adapt it to your needs.

Therefore this book is well recommended to all those that to not want to invest too much time and money learning how to develop native applications for Android or iOS using Java or Objective-C, when using the common Web technologies that you already know will do for your application needs.
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