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Phonegap framework v1.3 brings full support to Windows Phone

PhoneGap

Developing cross platform apps just got that bit easier with the announcement that the PhoneGap community have released v1.3 of their open source framework for Windows Phone, bringing with it all features of the API.

For those wondering what PhoneGap is all about, the simplest explanation is that it's a development framework based around HTML5, CSS and javascript. This means that if you feel comfortable creating web pages in HTML5 you can now try your hand at Windows Phone Development (or if you wanted an alternative to C# and XAML coding). Of course as the framework is available across several smartphone operating systems you can then port your application to the majority of the smartphone-weilding public.

Going one step further, there is some plugin support for searching with Bing maps as well as live tile implementations, allowing PhoneGap developers to take advantage of some of Windows Phone's unique features should they so desire. Finally, as Jesse MacFadyen details in his blog, existing Silverlight controls (such as advertising banners etc) can be integrated with PhoneGap apps.

features

What does this mean for consumers? With the Smartphone market expanding whilst still supporting so many ecosystems, developers are increasingly keen to keep things cross platform, rather than write an app for each OS. With frameworks such as PhoneGap now supporting Windows Phone fully, we will start to see these apps finding their way to our devices of choice.

Are you keen to try developing a Windows Phone app using web tools, or do you have an oppinion on cross platform apps versus bespoke developed apps? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: MSDN, via WMPowerUser

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Comments

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Dormage says:

Finaly! I've been waiting for this to happen for months. This may gratly increese the number of apps on the marketplace. It allows developers of other platforms to target WP7 and vice versa. It removes the risk of developing for a platform that may not succeed.
I think that is the main reason why WP7 dosen't have as much developers as we would like.
 

Jay Bennett says:

Completely agree with you and I like your point about risks of developing for a platform that may not succeed, with that perceived risk removed I can only hope developers who've been holding out on us will jump in now! 

RogueCode says:

I think myself and most other dev's hate stuff like this.
Have you noticed that the Lumia 800 comes with a Travel app that is just a website? Freaking ridiculous. You cannot replace a native app with this crap - sorry.

Jay Bennett says:

Interesting perspective. Arguably Silverlight apps as we develop them now aren't technically native, but putting that aside I agree with you to an extent, as a developer I'd rather have access to C# libraries and the resources offered by the XAML layer, however the mobile space is more an more likely to move into HTML5/CSS3 webapps which work on any platform.

It's sad but the time of the app will be short lived

hexagram87 says:

The problem I have with this is your app is inside an IE9 frame. So your app feels like a website when using it.

Dormage says:

Dosen't it remove the GUI of the browser by only calling the browser engine to execute the code?

You have to admint it's a pritty nice trick. All platforms have a web browser that can run javascript. I don't know how powerfull javascript is when it comes to games and complex algorithms but if made the right way the end user woulden't even know it's a browser page they are viewing ?

Jay Bennett says:

I believe so but I haven't personally had time to try out the API, I'd be very keen to hear from anyone who has though, then I'll update the article :)

Dormage says:

Videos and examples for Iphone and Android show that it looks like a native app.
There seems to be no clue of the browser GUI and youtube has some examples of games running on phonegap. I guess I'll try it in a few days :)

blnwp says:

I'm pretty sure Metro design for app is out of the window with this framework. It basically allows you to access phone APIs directly in Javascript instead of C#. So you can develop it like a web app and the framework will take care of routing the requests which needs native access.
 
 
To quote wikipedia,
"The resulting applications are hybrid, meaning that they are neither truly native (all layout rendering is done via the webview instead of Objective-C or Corona apps) nor purely web based (much of the functions would be supported by HTML5)."
 
 
But it's quite a nice thing to have for Windows Phone considering that it's popular among developers who want to experiment with phone apps. The 99$ developer account to publish apps to marketplace will hinder people who want to publish crappy apps unlike Android.

nacho10f says:

I dont understand...if PhoneGap is just html, javascript why would a developer need to "port" it from iOS to WP??.. shouldnt the app already work?....Im definitely missing the point I must say.