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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Book Review: Beginning PhoneGap by Thomas Myer (John Wiley & Sons, Inc)

There are two times PhoneGap made big waves in the mobile developer community. The first time was when the first PhoneGap code was authored at the San Francisco iPhoneDevCamp in August 2008. The second time was at the Adobe MAX in October 2011 when Adobe announced that it had bought Nitobi, the maker of PhoneGap. PhoneGap is an amazing technology that lets you unleash mobile applications to 7 platforms using the same code base. It makes the "write once, deploy anywhere" aspiration come true. Beginning PhoneGap by Thomas Myer is an excellent book to get started with PhoneGap.

This book is targetted for anyone with an intermediate knowledge of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that is looking to develop mobile applications quickly using PhoneGap. Step-by-Step the author explain using PhoneGap to develop applications for the 3 major platforms - iOS, Android, and Blackberry, with an honorable mention of the other platforms like Symbian and WebOS. The first three chapters are devoted to learning the basics of setting up PhoneGap on your machine. From chapter 4 through chapter 14, the author dives straight into the PhoneGap API with Events, Network and Notifications, Accelerometer, Compass, Geolocation, Media, Camera, Storage, Files, Contacts, and Capture. Each chapter introduces the topic, provides sample codes to try out, then explains clearly what the code does. The last chapter contains information on how to design and build an app from scratch using the Capture, Geolocation, Storage, and Files API.

There is very little fluff and lots of useful and to-the-point stuff. I finished reading the first five chapters in less than an hour. I was able to finish the rest of the book over the weekend. The author has provided lots of screenshots and sample code to make it easy to learn. Buy this book and make your PhoneGap foundation strong. I strongly believe PhoneGap has a promising future and this book is the first step to lead you there.

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