Sunday, July 14, 2013

Mobile App Journey - Part VI

To recap:

  • I assume you are able to code some rudimentary HTML, CSS, and javascript (which was my skill level when I started; and to make matters worse, I dislike javascript very much).
  • And that you can figure out how to make some jQuery AJAX calls.  I never used jQuery before this and had to spend a number of hours searching posts and experimenting.
The PhoneGap Build dashboard will let you set some basic parameters, but you really should become comfortable with the config.xml file and use that.  Once you do, the dashboard (for the most part) becomes read-only for that data.  There ARE a lot of settings available to you -- but you do not need to use them all (at least to get started).

Put the config.xml in your root directory, zip your application, and upload it into PGB.  You will get various output files compiled for you in a minute or so.

My config.xml is pretty simple (some would say incomplete).  If/when I ready my app for the iPhone I'll have more details I'm sure:

I installed QR Droid on my Android phone and so I use that to download the APK file directly to my phone from the PG dashboard.  Or you can just download to your PC and transfer to your phone.

Again, I recommend you study the PhoneGap classes on PluralSight, particularly if you plan on putting your app on the Android or Apple stores.

The conclusion is that in a couple of months, working perhaps 10-12 hours per week, I was able to:
  1. code a mobile app with 3 screens, (learning and) using jQuery and Twitter Bootstrap
  2. incorporate PhoneGap Build, calling the native API when possible
  3. write a .NET Web API service (my first) for my app to call and perform calcs
  4. figure out how to make AJAX calls, and pass JSON packets around
  5. navigate through the morass of details getting the app on Google Play; I'm pondering the $99 cost to become an Apple Dev so that I can run that gauntlet...
  6. successfully launch my app (what a way to impress friends and family!)
  7. I figure the same app would take me about 3 days now...
 Hopefully this brief series, if nothing else, will encourage some to write an app!

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