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  • #1118728
    Zava Design
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    IncredibleCo, post: 133461 wrote:
    Just thought this was interesting…

    http://news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57519141-93/groovesharks-html5-app-goes-international/
    Yep, another option when you’re talking “app”, and may even be more suitable than a cross platform app for many purposes. The latest web technologies (html5/jquery …etc) can deliver a pretty good “app like” experience, and it’s certainly not hard to style a web page like an app. With always on web connectivity like most smartphone users have, and with that getting faster and faster all the time, for many purposes a mobile site may be more suitable than an app when balancing up functionality v budget.

    Plus, benefit of mobile site is that when you update it, it’s updated for everyone immediately, they don’t have to update manually.

    #1118729
    Jason@Plumsale
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    I just want to clarify peoples understanding on how PhoneGap works.

    PhoneGap allows you to create an app using html/css/js as a development language. This can be done with no server side at all. The html/css/js is packaged and deployed to each app store separately, it is not provided by your server. Your app is not a thin web browser sitting on top of your mobile website. If you want to change a html file you have to release a new version of the application.

    The Facebook app was a thin web browser sitting on top of m.facebook.com (go to this url in your browser to see the old facebook app) This is a bad way to build a mobile app, it is a slow experience for the user because there is much more data transferred, plus you have limited access to native code in the phone. Plus you can’t work offline.

    #1118730
    Zava Design
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    Jason@Plumsale, post: 133504 wrote:
    This is a bad way to build a mobile app, it is a slow experience for the user because there is much more data transferred, plus you have limited access to native code in the phone. Plus you can’t work offline.
    That really depends on the app and its functionality. Plus you can have it caching data so it does work offline too.

    Besides, the best apps as far as I’m concerned – native or otherwise – are using live, real time data, so whether native or cloud based they will have limited functionality when no internet connection is active.

    #1118731
    Uncomplicating
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    Divert To Mobile, post: 133458 wrote:
    @ uncomplicating

    Do you think it would be worth while for a play around and make a basic app or 2 just for the experience ?

    Steve

    Not for me personally, but if one has the time to devote to these things I imagine there could be some value in it.

    That said, getting anything meaningful i.e. beyond the typical “hello world” experience, invariably requires a lots of effort.

    #1118732
    Zava Design
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    Uncomplicating, post: 133512 wrote:
    That said, getting anything meaningful i.e. beyond the typical “hello world” experience, invariably requires a lots of effort.
    I actually had a look at the other one mentioned before, Titanium, and watched a couple of tutorials on Youtube. Actually seems pleasingly easy to get some real functionality to occur, and especially to load remote web pages, which does interest me for some potential projects.
    #1118733
    Uncomplicating
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    Zava Design, post: 133482 wrote:
    Plus, benefit of mobile site is that when you update it, it’s updated for everyone immediately, they don’t have to update manually.

    A most desirable outcome on the surface, and perfect for service based applications e.g. Shazam etc. but ultimately not always quite what one wants.

    Again, this depends on the nature of the application and the nature of the users. A broad brush approach to upgrade puts enormous pressure on developers and testers to get the right answer before release. Any mistake is seen by everyone,
    and that’s not always desirable.

    For data centric applications built for internal use, a staged release is often very desirable. Data integrity is paramount and simply dumping the latest and greatest on everyone’s phone, or PC for that matter, can be rather disastrous.

    #1118734
    Uncomplicating
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    Jason@Plumsale, post: 133504 wrote:
    I just want to clarify peoples understanding on how PhoneGap works.

    PhoneGap allows you to create an app using html/css/js as a development language. This can be done with no server side at all. The html/css/js is packaged and deployed to each app store separately, it is not provided by your server. Your app is not a thin web browser sitting on top of your mobile website. If you want to change a html file you have to release a new version of the application.

    The Facebook app was a thin web browser sitting on top of m.facebook.com (go to this url in your browser to see the old facebook app) This is a bad way to build a mobile app, it is a slow experience for the user because there is much more data transferred, plus you have limited access to native code in the phone. Plus you can’t work offline.

    Sending HTML etc. prepackaged in an app or downloading on demand and caching are really much the same in the long term. The volume of data transferred is really not that different given modern standards. Not quite like the 90s when we fretted about extra carriage returns begin sent over a 33Kb dialup.

    When I referred to server side processing, I was talking specifically about the need for data centric applications to perform calculations and provide other services on the server. This is consistent (OR SHOULD BE!!!) regardless of the delivery methodology used for the result.

    More importantly, when writing data centric commercial applications, the coding behind such functionality represents a significant portion of the coding effort and is often lost as a concept when people look at the pretty pictures of mocked up screens.

    PhoneGap may well simplify the process of building mobile UI, but it is still dependent on someone somewhere doing lots of ugly but very functional server side coding to produce a functional application.

    #1118735
    wordit
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    Uncomplicating, post: 133562 wrote:
    PhoneGap may well simplify the process of building mobile UI, but it is still dependent on someone somewhere doing lots of ugly but very functional server side coding to produce a functional application.

    I have built an app using PhoneGap for Android. Over the past year PG has made huge progress in giving access to native device functionality. I tried accessing the microphone and it was a breeze, media playback works well too. And this was all still on Android 2.2.

    You can largely avoid the server-side stuff for data-driven apps by using CouchDB where the html/css/js lives in the database, which is itself a web server.

    My goal is to only use server-side functions for general stuff like sending email and backups, or payment processing. I think that is doable.
    I’m building for the web first since my service is for writers, and mobile is not strong on keyboard use ;-)

    #1118736
    Uncomplicating
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    wordit, post: 133567 wrote:
    I have built an app using PhoneGap for Android. Over the past year PG has made huge progress in giving access to native device functionality. I tried accessing the microphone and it was a breeze, media playback works well too. And this was all still on Android 2.2.

    You can largely avoid the server-side stuff for data-driven apps by using CouchDB where the html/css/js lives in the database, which is itself a web server.

    My goal is to only use server-side functions for general stuff like sending email and backups, or payment processing. I think that is doable.
    I’m building for the web first since my service is for writers, and mobile is not strong on keyboard use ;-)

    PG is a commercially available product with quite a few users. I’m sure it basically works. And where you get your HTML et al from is really neither here nor there.

    But the moment an app needs to start processing data, programmers are required to start reading and manipulating lots of database records; something that requires server side code.

    PG and the other products are great if you’re using web services that others have provided. But what do you do when you’re making an app for a client who for example, has a small ERP system running on their server and wants their sales guys to be able to access data remotely via an app? Sales summaries, outstanding debts and all the other information that might be wanted nearly always require programming.

    It’s this bit of the development cycle I’m referring to.

    #1118737
    wordit
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    Uncomplicating, post: 133586 wrote:
    PG and the other products are great if you’re using web services that others have provided. But what do you do when you’re making an app for a client who for example, has a small ERP system running on their server and wants their sales guys to be able to access data remotely via an app? Sales summaries, outstanding debts and all the other information that might be wanted nearly always require programming.

    Aren’t you making Ajax requests either way? I don’t see a difference. PG or a native XHR component both would talk to a server-side middle layer.

    Sure, you can’t get around writing that server-side middle layer to expose the data in such a case. That has nothing to do with the mobile client, be it PhoneGap or a native application. Same difference isn’t it? Only that Ajax handling with jQuery in PG will be much faster to develop. Or is there something I’m missing about the particular problem?

    #1118738
    Uncomplicating
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    wordit, post: 133596 wrote:
    Aren’t you making Ajax requests either way? I don’t see a difference. PG or a native XHR component both would talk to a server-side middle layer.

    Sure, you can’t get around writing that server-side middle layer to expose the data in such a case. That has nothing to do with the mobile client, be it PhoneGap or a native application. Same difference isn’t it? Only that Ajax handling with jQuery in PG will be much faster to develop. Or is there something I’m missing about the particular problem?

    No, I don’t think you’re missing anything. But then, I assume you understand the concepts and practicalities of software development as well as I do.

    The point I’m try to make is that there are some reading this thread who are thinking about having an app made for their business, or perhaps making it themselves. Developers tend to make offhand comments about how relatively simple these things are and the fact of the matter is that one skill or product almost never solves anything other than the most simple of problems. Combine that with a need for good design practices such as a “middle layer to expose the data”, and we’re in to a job for a professional and not an amateur.

    The original question posed was “Has anyone used PhoneGap yet? Adobe recently acquired it. If you’ve got mad skills in HTML, CSS and JavaScript you can use PhoneGap to build Apple and Android apps. (Supposedly) Anyone had tried it yet?”

    I’m just trying to ensure expectation levels are set appropriately.

    #1118739
    Geronimo
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    As someone who has done both phonegap and native development, I’ll throw my two cents in as there’s been plenty of guesswork and miss information in this thread.

    Let’s start with some simple groundwork.
    Every mobile platform has it’s own native language, namely…
    iOS – XCode
    Android – Java
    WP – C#

    PhoneGap is simply an abstraction which allows you to use JS/HTML/CSS to do your development (it’s simplified but close enough).

    There is no distinction between data driven apps or connected/disconnected environments. It’s just a different language and framework with which to develop apps. Any type of app is just as suitable to any app type.

    If you have skills in HTML5 tech, or need multiple platform support but don’t have $$, use PG. If you only want to support one OS, and don’t already have skills in anything, there is little difference. If you belong to the cult of Jobs/Droid/Gates, then you’ll probably want to go native from a personal/peer conviction standpoint.

    If you need to do some heavy lifting, that isn’t supported in PG, there are plenty of plugins, or you can simply write your own native plugin. It’s like the best of both worlds.

    It is not a cheaper alternative to native though, on a single platform. Logic/design/implementation etc are constant. It’s app development, so don’t let the HTML5 technologies fool you into thinking that if you can build web pages, it’s simple to build mobile applications. It’s a totally different paradigm.

    Anyway, my personal and professional view, is that I now need to be convinced not to use PG. It’s very robust, more flexible, and cross platform.

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