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PhoneGap FAQ – Hybrid mobile app development

PhoneGap FAQ

I’ve be a follower and supporter of PhoneGap as a cross platform mobile app development tool since it’s very first days, back in 2010 (my first feature on Gizmodo). Over the years, I had the luck of witnessing its vast adoption and growing pains. I’m friends with most of the team and it’s always good fun meeting to chat. Like most “old-schoolers” I’ve been asked over and over the same few questions so figured I’d put a few of the ones with short answers in one post to provide some quick help to everyone.

Can PhoneGap use PHP?

Yes and no. 🙂

PhoneGap is only able to interpret front-end web technologies, meaning HTML, CSS and Javascript. However, using Javascript, you are still able to leverage server-side (aka backend) resources. In fact, I believe 99% of mobile apps on the AppStore have some kind of backend linked to them. In order to accomplish this, AJAX or WebSockets are used to establish a remote connection and transfer data (usually in JSON format due to it’s simplicity, flexibility and lightweight).

Can PhoneGap do push notifications?

Yes and no. 🙂

PhoneGap strives to be fully cross platform. Since push notifications are handled and implemented differently on different platforms, this is not supported out of the box. Also, push notifications require some sort of server support which PhoneGap, being open source doesn’t provide. However, like with most things, you can easily add push notifications to your PhoneGap app by using a plugin and leveraging a third party service (like Parse) or build your own.

Can PhoneGap apps run in the background?

Yes and no. 🙂

Just as with push notifications, specifications of apps running in the background are different on different platforms. However, you can implement platform-specific plugins which will enable you to do what is allowed by platform manufacturers.

Can PhoneGap run on Windows?

Absolutely! PhoneGap strives to be fully cross platform and is currently supporting Amazon Fire OS, Android, BlackBerry 10, Firefox OS, Apple iOS, Ubuntu, Windows Phone, Windows 8 and Tizen.

Can I sell PhoneGap apps?

Absolutely! A hybrid app made with PhoneGap can be distributed on AppStores just like any other native app. Transferring app ownership is completely up to you. Additionally, Apple recently enabled this directly through their iTunes Connect portal (read more here).

Most successful PhoneGap apps

MyBookList 

MyLyrics 

FindTower 

CoinToss Extreme 

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