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PhoneGap Essentials: Building Cross-Platform Mobile Apps

PhoneGap is Adobe’s distribution of the free and open source framework (originally developed by Nitobi) that is now also available from the Apache Foundation as Apache Cordova™. Using PhoneGap, developers can build native mobile apps using standard HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS, and then deploy those apps to every leading mobile platform with little or no recoding. Up to now, though, PhoneGap was lacking complete, practical documentation. PhoneGap Essentials fills that void: It’s the first concise, yet complete, tutorial for succeeding with PhoneGap in real-world development.   Experienced mobile developer John M. Wargo thoroughly introduces the PhoneGap platform, explaining what it is, what it does, and how it works. He then guides you through configuring PhoneGap environments—creating complete mobile apps—and building them for the Google Android™, Samsung bada, BlackBerry® devices, Apple® iOS, Symbian™ OS, and Windows® Phone. Through realistic examples, you’ll master key PhoneGap APIs for everything from GPS to the file system, contacts to camera, device to events, and more. Wargo also demonstrates how to take full advantage of PhoneGap Build, PhoneGap’s cloud-based packaging utility.   Coverage includes The anatomy of a PhoneGap application (what makes an application a PhoneGap application) Understanding the impact of cross-platform development issues Exploring the entire PhoneGap development process, including testing and debugging Expanding PhoneGap’s capabilities with third-party development tools and plug-ins Building cross-platform apps that use the device camera, compass, accelerometer, and other hardware Reading from and writing to the contacts database and the device file system Installing tools needed to develop PhoneGap apps for Android, bada, BlackBerry, iOS, Symbian, and Windows Phone Reacting to events and notifying users Using the Media API to record and play media files Building for multiple platforms simultaneously using PhoneGap Build  About the Website Downloadable code projects, additional information, and errata are available at

File Size: 58082 KB

Print Length: 384 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional; 1 edition (June 21, 2012)

Publication Date: June 21, 2012

Sold by:  Digital Services LLC

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0132928345

ISBN-13: 978-0132928342


Text-to-Speech: Enabled

X-Ray: Not Enabled

Word Wise: Not Enabled

Lending: Not Enabled

Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

Best Sellers Rank: #744,214 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store) #25 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Cross-platform Development #119 in Books > Computers & Technology > Networking & Cloud Computing > Wireless Networks #248 in Books > Computers & Technology > Programming > Apple Programming

This book can either be exactly what you need or a waste of your time, depending on what you're looking for. While the book summary is fairly accurate as to what the book covers, I just wanted to expand on that so that readers know what they're getting into.The first part of the book is a general overview of PhoneGap - its history, high-level architecture, limitations, how it compares to other approaches, etc. For some people, this section may be exactly what they need and the most useful part of the book since it solves one of the essential problems of software development. namely, whenever you jump into a new area of technology, there will be some things you know, some things you know that you don't know, but mostly, a whole lot of things that you don't even know that you don't know. Its this last point which the first part of the book addresses well. It raises many issues and poses many questions so that by the time you finish reading, you will at least know everything that you don't know. Unfortunately, it doesn't go into very much detail on specific issues, so you must follow up elsewhere for answers, but at least you'll know the questions to ask and often that's the most difficult part.The second part of the book are detailed tutorials on setting up various development environments. While the tutorials are thorough and fairly well-written, they don't really contain any information that couldn't be obtained easily by searching on the internet.The third part is a series of recipes and examples on how to make use of various PhoneGap API's. While this information can also be found on the internet, the commentary and analysis does prove helpful. I found myself wishing the recipes were more detailed, but this is still a useful section.

I really wanted to like this book better, however as a more advanced Javascript, HTML, CSS developer I found the book tedious. The level of detail (click here, type this, right-click there) makes finding the hidden gems (what does/doesn't work on certain devices, oddities and pitfalls of doing certain things) a real pain. Mostly I would have prefered to see a high level summary at the start of the more detail sections. For example, a statement such as: "In the next 20 pages we are going to download and install Eclipse, build the following directory structure, and create files that can be found on pages...". Instead one must read through the entire section, which I notice today when I picked up the book again to write this review, is very difficult to re-read (i.e. skim for information you remember reading near another subject, but don't remember all the details).The third section discusses all the basic functionality that PhoneGap offers and in places offers some sage advice. But, it's again hard to find and would have benefited from a lot of "Warning!" and "Note" type call outs making the re-finding of them much easier. Instead it's organized exactly like the PhoneGap API website and with things changing a much as they are it's hard to say which is the better resource.The only great part of the book is the first section where a high level overview of the history, development, building, testing, and general knowledge you can't find easily on the web are presented. I found this section well organized and it helped me to understand better how PhoneGap is setup to run on all devices it runs on.Overall, it's a fine book for the beginner.

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