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.
Thank you to everyone who attended (not sure how many - 20+ I think?) my Google Hangout presentation today. I think I'm getting used to the platform but as always, if anyone has any tips for how I could do these better, I'll gladly listen to your advice. You can watch the recording below. I'm not attaching the slide deck as there aren't any 'real' demo files for you to play with, but if anyone really wants it, I will.
I've blogged before about some excellent newsletters to sign up in regards to web dev. A new one has just launched - Mobile Web Weekly. This newsletter is curated by two friends of mine - Brian Rinaldi and Holly Schinsky. Check it out. To get an idea of what they are covering, here is the latest issue, with a story by yours truly.
It has been a while, but next week (Wednesday, April 23rd) at 12PM CST, Holly Schinsky and I will be hosting an open Q and A session for PhoneGap and Cordova. We've run these before and they are pretty successful. There will not be any presentation, but we will take your questions and answer them to the best of our ability. These sessions tend to bring up great discussions and are a good chance to see what other people are struggling with as well. We won't make a recording, but we will share the text of the questions and answers after the session is complete.
We will use Connect for this and the URL will be: https://my.adobeconnect.com/r5ld5x2k7na/.
This Friday at 1PM CST, I'll be hosting an online Google Hangout about debugging mobile web/Cordova applications. This is a repeat of what I did at this years FluentConf, so if you couldn't make it, this is your chance. Note that I've set the meeting length to 1.5 hours. It will be much shorter than that. The original presentation was 30 minutes and I anticipate it taking about the same. I'm not sure what Google Hangouts will do if I go past the end of a meeting so I wanted to ensure we didn't get cut off. For folks who can't make it, it will be posted to YouTube about an hour later.
Debugging Mobile Web/Cordova Apps - A Quick Review
Thank you to everyone (all 229 of you) who responded to my PhoneGap/Cordova survey. The survey asked what version of PhoneGap or Cordova you used, how quickly you upgrade, and asked what problems you had (in general) with PhoneGap and Cordova. I've included an Excel sheet of all the results below. Let's look at the numerical results first.
Got a minute? If so, please fill out this quick survey on PhoneGap/Cordova versions. This was spurred by a question from a reader asking about different versions of PhoneGap and how much each one is used. I wasn't aware of any firm numbers regarding this so I thought a simple survey may help.
PhoneGap/Cordova Version Survey
This is just a quick FYI type post, but today Adobe announced "PhoneGap for the Enterprise". You can read more about it at the PhoneGap Blog: Introducing PhoneGap for the Enterprise.
A few days ago I returned from a week of Objective-C and iOS training. I wanted to build an app on my own just to see what I could do and how comfortable I felt with the technology away from the Nerd Ranch. While it isn't pretty and the code is probably wrong in multiple ways, I've been able to create a native version of the Death Clock.
It's Saturday morning and I'm slowly decompressing from spending the last seven days in what is easily the most intense training I've experienced in my life. I've just returned from Big Nerd Ranch's "Beginning iOS" class and I'd like to share my thoughts on it. This post is separated into two sections. I'll begin by talking about the class itself and then share my thoughts on Objective-C and iOS in general.