Archive for the ‘mobile’ Category

* PhoneGap iPhone Approval

Posted on June 13th, 2009 by Dave Johnson. Filed under mobile, phonegap.

The guys over at Rhomobile posted about IPhone App Store rejection issues the other day - I can only assume due to the recent problems that some users of PhoneGap have been having. Rhomobile and PhoneGap are similar in that they are frameworks that enable developers to build native mobile apps in a language they are familiar with, Ruby and JavaScript respectively.

I think that they are pretty much spot on in terms of their interpretation of the App Store rule 3.2.2 that states:

An Application may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means, including without limitation through the use of a plug-in architecture, calling other frameworks, other APIs or otherwise. No interpreted code may be downloaded and used in an Application except for code that is interpreted and run by Appleā€™s Published APIs and built-in interpreter(s).

The two key points in this App Store rule are where it says an app “may not itself install or launch other executable code by any means” and this is exactly what users of PhoneGap are doing if their apps are downloading JavaScript over the network rather than including it in the application www folder. By downloading JavaScript over the network at runtime the application is downloading and running interpreted code that Apple has not control over during their app approval process.

So if any of you PhoneGap developers are worried about Apple rejecting your app just make sure that you don’t download any JavaScript at runtime and instead include it in the application. Having said that, also make sure that you apps don’t look like you just took a shit and emailed it to Apple :)

That is just my thoughts on the issue, whether or not that is the *real* reason that Apple is rejecting PhoneGap apps we may never know but that is certainly one reason that they would do it I think. It could just be because they feel like it…

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* Where 2.0 Slides

Posted on June 7th, 2009 by Dave Johnson. Filed under Conference, mobile.

Here are my slides from my workshop at the recent O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference down in San Jose.

Where 2.0
View more PDF documents from davejohnson.

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* Where 2.0 Workshop

Posted on May 17th, 2009 by Dave Johnson. Filed under Conference, mobile.

I am going to be running a workshop down at the O’Reilly Where 2.0 conference on Tuesday called Giving Your Mobile Apps a Sense of Place.

I am going to cover Geo related features and issues of IPhone 2.2.1, Android 1.5 (aka Cupcake), RIM OS 4.7, and, most importantly, PhoneGap. I will be sure to post the slides once I am done them as well as put all the sample projects up on my GitHub.

If you are in San Jose Monday night then you will probably find me in the bar, whether I am done my slides or not!

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* BlackBerry PhoneGap RIP

Posted on January 25th, 2009 by Dave Johnson. Filed under mobile, phonegap.

I was probably the only one working on PhoneGap for BlackBerry and now there might not be anyone. I have officially given up my BlackBerry programming endeavours for the time being in favour of greener pastures in the form of a Google Android G1. The final straw was when I found that the BrowserContentManager, which is the class one can use in their own BlackBerry application to render HTML content, does not support the same APIs as the actual web browser on the phone! In version 4.6 of the BlackBerry OS they introduced a proper, and fairly decent, web browser (that is definitely *not* WebKit as so many people like to say) and yet the BrowserContentManager is stuck back in the OS 4.2 days. Not sure if the Storm (OS 4.7) has changed that or not, although the API of the normal browser in 4.7 is identical to 4.6 so I assume not and somone on the BlackBerry support forums corroborates my findings.

I am working on my first Android application today and will hopefully get some PhoneGap work in there too.

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* Blackberry Storm Simulator/API Available

Posted on November 13th, 2008 by Dave Johnson. Filed under mobile, phonegap.

For those interested in Blackberry development the simulator is now Available from RIM.

In the summary of changes to the API there were a few things of note including new classes for the touch screen, virtual keyboard, orientation and rotation, and accelerometer. Oh and how could I forget that Storm owners will also have the ability to set the theme wallpaper!

The JavaDocs for the 4.7 API (the OS version of the Storm) can be found here for reference.

The one good thing is that it should not mean I will need to make any changes to the Blackberry version of PhoneGap! However, unluckily it means that Storm is still using the same shitty old browser and not WebKit.

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* PhoneGap: It’s Like AIR for the IPhone

Posted on September 18th, 2008 by Dave Johnson. Filed under Web, Web2.0, adobeair, mobile.

A few weeks back Brock and Rob from here at Nitobi built an amazing IPhone framework down at IPhoneDevCamp that we have named PhoneGap. While I have attributed the injustice of us not winning any of the competition categories of IPhoneDevCamp to the completely jaw dropping achievement of our team, in just two days of development (with most of the competition winners having developed their apps weeks or months before IPhoneDevCamp) it does not take away from the excitement I have for our PhoneGap framework. And there is lots of excitement around PhoneGap with some blogs about it, lots of activity over at GitHub, and 60 people signed up to the PhoneGap Google Group in just a few short weeks!

While some may not have realized the impact of PhoneGap (including the judges at IPhoneDevCamp), we here at Nitobi think that PhoneGap is the Adobe AIR of the IPhone (not to mention Blackberry, Android, Symbian and Windows Mobile). Just like Adobe AIR enables web developers to build Windows and OS X applications using the HTML and CSS skills that they know and love, PhoneGap allows web developers to build applications for the IPhone with web technologies while taking advantage of the native IPhone APIs like GPS, the camera, SQLite, contacts and more!

Using PhoneGap, a developer need not write any Objective-C code and yet they can still have a proper app installed on an IPhone that is essentially a slightly customized PhoneGap application that sports a custom icon and a certain URL where application lives online (very much like AIR). When a user starts PhoneGap it essentially creates a headless (ie no address bar) browser on the IPhone and navigates to the specified URL where the author of the web page can access IPhone APIs through JavaScript like this:


//GAP will invoke this function once it has the location
function gotLocation(lat,lon){
    $('lat').innerHTML = "latitude: " + lat;
    $('lon').innerHTML = "longitude: " + lon;

Or access the accelerometer data like this:

function updateAccel(){
    $('accel').innerHTML = "accel:"+accelX + " "+accelY+" "+accelZ;

Someone has even tried to get a PhoneGap on the App Store - however, has had little success so far.

The aim of PhoneGap is to bring mobile phone development to web developers just as AIR has brought desktop application development to the web community. One of the next steps will be packaging _all_ the HTML, JavaScript and CSS into the application that goes on the IPhone so that the application can even run offline much like AIR does.

There is still lots to be done!

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