Book Review: PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development

PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development
Kerri Shotts
“Create useful and exciting real-world apps for iOS and Android devices with 12 fantastic projects”
Packt Publishers

Book Cover: PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development

Book Cover: PhoneGap 3.x Mobile Application Development

Disclaimer: I was one of the reviewers for the book before publication. This review is based on the finished version of the book.

Kerri’s book helps us to incorporate several different features into our iOS and Android apps with PhoneGap and HTML/CSS/JS. The book begins by introducing us to PhoneGap and gives us careful steps on how to set it up for development, for Windows and Mac, for iOS and Android. We install node.js, set up the PATH statements and platform SDKs (XCode for iOS development, and Android SDK), install PhoneGap, and download plugins. With the setup out of the way, and the HelloWorld project under our belts, we’re ready to build our projects.

Kerri shows us how to include many of the basic add-ons for a mobile app, including localization (translating text), globalization (determine a users’ location), local storage, File API, audio, video, Camera API, Google Maps API, and more.

Along the way to building a basic note-taking app and integrating all these features, Kerry familiarizes us with require.js, Promises, yasmf, Hammer.js, and gives us all the code needed to build apps with this added functionality.

What good is a note-taking app if you can’t share it with the world? Kerri shows us exactly how to do that, along with incorporating maps and GPS.

If that weren’t enough, we do an about-face and create a game to learn about the Canvas API, both touch-based and acceleration-based. Then we use Parse to hook it up to a back end.

Kerri is a careful teacher, going over the code to help us understand its place in the app. Her workflow experience shines here as she first diagrams her data model, giving us a guide to where she’s going. Drawings, some of which were in color in the PDF ebook I viewed, helped us stay on track. Complete code is available to download from the Github site.

If you don’t know HTML, CSS, or JavaScript, then you’ll need to learn these aspects of web design before you can use this book. If you know HTML and CSS reasonably well, but have little familiarity with JavaScript (like me), you’ll find the JavaScript concepts difficult to follow. However, I also got a better appreciation for what JavaScript can do, and the code helped me to research and learn more about how to use it. If you want a crash course on what PhoneGap Cordova can provide, this is a great book to learn from.

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