How To Build A Mobile App Using Phonegap?
All the program developers who want to access their website online as well as offline can go through this useful guide. It provides you a simple process of app building with the help of PhoneGap. So if you are looking to develop a new user-friendly mobile application then read on.
What are the things required?
In order to develop an app using Phonegap, the first and foremost requirement is knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JScript. This will help in designing a website where you can install the Application. Other than that, no programming is needed to make use of PhoneGap.
With a boom in the software engineering industry, the programmers are looking to design effective apps which can run efficiently with the help of advance program languages. These mobile apps are convenient and user-friendly as well. They can be used anywhere and anytime. It is important to remember at this juncture that the architectural application of both mobile phones and personal computers are almost identical. Both have customized hardware, firmware and run with the help of an Operating System.
Starting with the procedure
With the help of PhoneGap, you can develop mobile apps for all the major Operating system whether it is for Android, Apple iOS, Windows or Blackberry. You do not need to be an expert or have a sound knowledge of all these OS. Nor you have to know anything about programming for coding the app from the beginning. In fact, the task becomes much easier over here. You just need to upload data information on the website which automatically gets converted into different App files.
Building App for Android Operating System
If you want to build an app for the Android Operating System, it has to be made sure that the device will support the applications which are installed outside the Google Play Store. Just follow the following procedure
- Go to the Settings.
- Open the phonegap security page and then allow the applications from Unknown Sources.
In case you want to sell your created mobile application on the Google Play store, you will have to sign a certificate which will be submitted to the Android Market. However, the testing process is not that easy.
If you are trying to develop an app using PhoneGap for Apple iOS mobile, then the first requirement is a developer account. You will have to buy it and this will cost you around $99 per year. However, you need to wait for a day or couple because the account will first be reviewed before being approved by the Apple. But if you don’t have an account, it will delay the testing process. Once you get the account you need to create a profile on a provisional basis and then sign the certificate. This is quite simple. You just need to follow the instructions.
PhoneGap For Windows
If you are trying to develop an app for a Windows Operating System the process is quite complex in comparison to Android and Apple iOS. Here you have to make use of the latest Windows Installer. Then come across PhoneGap Desktop Setup Wizard. Complete the process and proceed to the installation of PhoneGap Developer App.
The next step after having a provisional profile and the certificate, your job is to upload them to PhoneGap Build. This needs to be done after clicking on your profile. You can find it towards the upper side on the right hand. Now navigate on the Edit account and choose the ‘Signing Keys’. While uploading the profile you have to provide a password. According to the new set of rules you have to enter the password each time you want to unlock the key.
It needs to be kept in mind that any mobile app should have the following features which include-
- Configuration files
- Icons for App and
The web-based app needs only a single configuration file which is precise enough for configuring the settings. It contains all the required information required to assemble the app. It can be illustrated through the given widgets.
All configuration contents are enfolded in <widget> tag. Let us discuss it briefly
< widget id =”app_id”>
The id is retained on different app stores.
<widget version = “x.y.z”>
This is known as the version number of the app. Here x.y.z is the format and also positive integers such as 1.0.0. It indicates major-minor-patch version system.
<name> App Name</name>
This indicates the name of the developing app which is found below the app icon on your mobile screen. Anybody using mobile can find the app by typing this name.
<description> My First Web App </description>
It provides the description of the app and informs what the app is all about.
<author> Author_Name </author>
As it is evident, it tells about the creator or developer of the app. In most occasions the user would usually find the name of the company or organization that has launched this app.
<preferences name = “permissions” value = “none”>
The preference tag is useful in a number of ways. It is used in setting features including full screen, background color as well as orientation for the app. You find these choices in name and value pair. Here you also do not need any advance settings as such.
The addition of the icons to the apps is very important. You can code it in a number of ways. The .src path is informing about icon image. On the other hand gap: platform indicates the platform of the Operating System. The gap: qualifier determines the density of the android operated mobile phones whereas the iOS make use of width and height.
You already are familiar that the sizes of various mobile phones vary from one another even if they are using the same Operating System. Different mobile phone consumers have different choices regarding the selection of the apps and so you have to offer all icons of various mobile phones. Another vital factor is to create the shape and size of the icons in accordance with the Operating System. To explain the point better let us illustrate an example-
If you want to increase your speed of your task then better develop a logo sized 1024×1024 and then visit on to the site makeappicon.com. Through this particular website you can design logos both for the iOS and Android Operating Systems. It has already been mentioned earlier that most of the mobile application software build are developed both by flagship organization and individual developers.
As is evident the most popular and widely used mobile operating systems include-
Also apart from these there are many other operating systems at present available. All these operating systems are readily available in the market. However, their usage in the mobile application can be explained through a graphical representation.
Each operating system offers its own set of tools and software with which a programmer can build an app and run it successfully. However, there are some mobile applications which are specifically created for a particular operating system and it is not possible to run them on other platforms. For instance, you must have seen many android apps do not run on Windows phone.
Developing an app which can successfully run all types of operating systems can often be a tough and hectic task. Another challenging task is to provide a sophisticated look and feel to the app. You will always be in an advantageous position if you have adequate knowledge of all types of operating systems and their particular tools.
Out of all the operating systems, the Android is the most popular. One of the benefits is that you can email all the logos in zipping format.
You can actually copy an offline website to a local hard drive and access it later. No internet connection is required. This offline phonegap app helps in developing an application which can also be accessed on the mobile phones. It includes an app with a different collection of stories, short tutorials or any other offline content. The user can read it all offline.
Offline application consists of phoengap folder structure. It has only two files at the root directory.
The config.xml comprises of app configuration settings and the index.html consists of a homepage of the web contents. However, it is vital here to remember that all links associated with HTML files should have a relative path. There is no such absolute path or base tag.
In the case of Online App, the data folder is not present. The main reason is all files are present on the actual server and you can access it through the internet. You already know that index.html consists of actual links containing the web server. Once the mode of the app is decided and its files are organized, the files have to be zipped using standard zip tool and then save it.
Signing your App
It is mandatory for the web developers or the concerned organization to sign an app and maintain the order as well. This is why you have to sign the app. The important requirement here is the key tool, a part of java distribution.
The following command will help in the generation of the my_keystore-phonegap keystore file:
keytool-genkey-v-keystore my_keystore.keystore-alias TutorialsPoint -keyalg RSA -keysize 2048 -validity 10000
Next it is time to assemble the first web API-based quick mode app. You should also know the process of converting web contents to app formats. You can upload it from online app stores. It is vital to note here that PhoneGap only accepts login developed on Github or AdobeID. Github is defined as a storehouse wherein the user uploads the contents to use them with URL references.
How to Make Adobe ID?
In order to create an ID you just have to follow the easy steps-
- Log on to build.phonegap.com and click register which takes you to a new window.
- Provide all your details and click on sign up. With same user id you can also use PhoneGap.
- Now click Upload a .zip file’ and upload the .zip file which contains web content and configurations.
- All operating systems excluding the one for which you are developing the app will fail to process further as you haven’t given signed key.
- Click on the icon of the operating system and then add a key to it.
However, before uploading the app it needs to be thoroughly tested on virtual or real devices.
This has been a guide to How To Build A Mobile App Using Phonegap?. Here we have discussed the basic concept, offline and online app, how to make adobe ID respectively. You may look at the following articles to learn more –