PhoneGap/Cordova

By | 20th May 2014

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I know I’m a bit late to the party, but as I spend most of time of my working with C/C++ in Windows and PHP/HTML/Javascript  for traditional  desktop websites I haven’t really had much time to work directly in the mobile arena.

Sure I’ve tweaked the CSS on various projects to make them look nicer on a tablet, but thats about as far as it went.

Knowing a far bit of Java I’ve dabbled with Android apps, plus I’ve had access to the source of an iOS app, but for any serious work I would need to learn two new environments which of course needs time.

What would be handy would be some way of using my existing skills to reduce the learning curve – step forward PhoneGap/Cordova. These are basically the same thing and allow you to take a HTML5/CSS mobile website and wrap it in a native app for whatever platform you want. However the beauty of this is that there are plug-ins available to give your app access to native functions on the device so it works and behaves more like a native app than a wrapped website.

Anyway, that’s my reasoning, now on to the installation – these instructions are taken from various sources on the web and are mainly to remind me what to do, but hopefully there’ll be useful to someone else.

Looking at the PhoneGap website I could see I needed Node.js installed in order to download and install PhoneGap. Node.js for the Mac is either available as a package direct from the Node website or by using something called Homebrew, which seems similar to the package managers you find on Linux.

To avoid writing a huge page of instructions I’ve split the installation into a few stages –

1. Installing Homebrew and Node.js

2. Installing PhoneGap/Cordova

3. Installing and Using Ripple 

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