Beginning Phonegap by Thomas Myer; O’Reilly Media

TL;DR

Highly recommended. Thomas Myer’s Beginning Phonegap provides a useful balance between a traditional cookbook and a reference work.

Review

Myers covers the basics: an introduction, (very) brief showcase, installation and basic walkthrough of using PhoneGap win your chosen environment. While this information is helpful, I’d researched those steps before choosing to learn more about PhoneGap and was most interested in the heart of the book, the API components.

Myers writes:

“If you’re good with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, you’ll experience few problems while working with PhoneGap – all you need is a good introduction to the specifics of the API components, which this book will give you.”

And the book delivers. Using an efficient but accessible tone, Myer introduces PhoneGap API components in separate chapters, putting all (or most) of the pieces together in basic application near the end of the book.

API Components (and chapter topics)

  • Accelerometer
  • Camera
  • Capture
  • Compass
  • Connection
  • Contacts
  • Device
  • Events
  • File
  • GeoLocation
  • Media
  • Network
  • Notification
  • Storage

Like a cookbook, each section helpfully highlights differences you might encounter between platforms. For example, Android and Blackberry devices can capture multiple audio clips while iOS devices can record once per invocation. Understanding these differences is particularly helpful during application planning stages. You can adjust your app knowing that one feature will work on the iPhone but not on an Android. Myer does an excellent job of reminding you that you’re working in a cross-platform environment. (Or at least will be if you publish an app to more than one mobile OS.)

The end of each chapter also provides a section of text-book like questions for review. (Answers appear in Appendix A.) I did not use these review questions, but an instructor might find them useful.

I found the book exceptionally useful and enjoyed the author’s no-nonsense style. The book works as either (or both) a cookbook or a reference. Having previously researched and used PhoneGap, I now feel very well prepared to use it to create a production app.

Note

I review for the O'Reilly Blogger Review Program

I read an ePub version of the book on an iPad and am reviewing this book as part of O’Reilly’s Blogger Review Program.

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