PhoneGap Developer App

At the end of last week a really interesting new PhoneGap tool was launched – the PhoneGap Developer App. The PG Developer App is a “shell” application that you can install on a real device (both Android and iOS with Windows Phone coming soon) and test with a local copy of your code. You can skip the SDK. You can test iOS on Windows. All you need is the core PhoneGap CLI and you are good to go. Let’s take a quick look.

First – ensure you have installed the phonegap CLI via npm. Ensure you have the latest version (see my guide if you are new to npm) and then create a new project.

At this point you do not have to add a platform. Next – fire up the server:

Make note of the IP address. It should be obvious, but this tool requires that your mobile device be able to “see” your development machine. If you aren’t on the same network (or on one of those cluttered free WiFi networks) you may have an issue. Ok, now, run the PhoneGap you downloaded to your device. Here’s mine running on my iPhone.

Simply enter your IP address and hit connect. What you’re seeing now in the app is the code from your project. If you switch back to your command prompt, you can see a butt load of messages – essentially an access log of requests. Fire up your favorite editor, make a change, and just click save.

It should update automatically, but if it doesn’t, try a four finger tap. But to be clear, you do not have to go to the command line and run anything. It just – plain – happens.

Another interesting feature of the Dev App is that will automatically load all the core plugins. So if you want to test the Camera API, you just do it. No need to install the plugin manually. This is cool… but I kinda worry it may trip people up when they stop using the Dev App. I tend to be a worry wart though.

Another issue is that you cannot use remote debugging with it. By that I mean Safari Remote Debugging or Chrome Remote Debugging. Weinre works fine with it though.

So – thoughts? I’ve said before that I tend to focus on the Cordova CLI, especially when I teach, but I definitely see me demonstrating this next time I present on PhoneGap/Cordova.

  • Charles Blais

    Hi, I’m trying to run a basic project on an android device, but it is stock at “connecting to device”

    When I lunch “phonegap serve”, I have a message “deviceready has not fired after 5 seconds” ??

    But if I install the application with the .apk on my android device, it’s working…

    Any ideas ?

    I’m using phonegap 3.6.3-0.22.4



    • http://www.raymondcamdencom/ Raymond Camden

      Are both devices on the same network? Run a web server on your machine – and make note of your IP address (not Then on your Android device, open Chrome and try to hit that IP. If you can’t, it means your device and desktop can’t see each other.

      • Charles Blais

        They see each other, that’s not the problem.

        The problem is when I run my hello-world application on the android device by the PG-developer app, there’s a problem and device ready is not fired.

        The message “connecting to device” is in the app on the android device. Have a look at the attached pic.

        The message “deviceready has not fired after 5 seconds” is on desktop.

        If I install the app with the apk on the device, I have the message “device ready”.



  • Gaurang

    Have you tried this app with MobileFirst environment? can i use this with Mobilefirst and AngularJS environment.

  • http://www.raymondcamdencom/ Raymond Camden

    Not yet. To the second question, AngularJS wouldn’t be an issue for sure. To your MF specific issue, I *think* it would work ok – but again – I haven’t tested it yet.