Adobe Systems Incorporated

Packaged Web Apps with PhoneGap

Adobe acquired PhoneGap a little over a year ago because it was and continues to be the leading solution for Mobile Application developers who want to use their HTML5 skills to create native applications.

Essentially, PhoneGap lets a developer write HTML, JavaScript and CSS content, use mobile APIs providing much needed functionality (such as device orientation, access to the address book or location) which is not always yet available in browsers and package these applications as native ones so they can be distributed in application stores such as Google Play or the Apple AppStore.

PhoneGap is the solution that is based on the open source Apache Cordova project, similar to the way the Chrome browser, for example, is based on the WebKit open source project.

Since PhoneGap is using an open source platform targeted at developers and created by a community, the following gives recent updates about the different aspects.

Platforms

Despite the holidays, there was a flurry of activity in the mobile web world. The Cordova team released 2.3 with full support for Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 (Window 8 support was added in 2.2). The popular iOS and Android projects saw more performance and bug fixes. Long anticipated BlackBerry 10 is shipping this month with complete support. Working closely with Mozilla, the team also has Firefox OS on the horizon early this year. 

Tools

New common Command Line Interface (CLI) tooling is progressing to beta quality for building projects. The plugin tooling is now quite mature for iOS and Android. Work is now starting to migrate the core API to plugins, and add support for BlackBerry and Windows Phone. The Ripple emulator received much love in December bringing in beta quality support for remote device proxy and the ability to host Ripple. Also good news, the long awaited PhoneGap/Build CLI is ready for beta, integration to the PhoneGap release can be expected in the coming releases.

Community

An open source community health is directly proportional to the activity on the code. Operationally speaking, Cordova offers monthly stable source-only releases and a bleeding edge development channel. However, things are progressing and we will likely see stable, beta, and dev channels available in Cordova 2.4. The project has matured in adoption enough to justify this third release channel for developers that want to be on the bleeding edge. The team will continue to ship PhoneGap on the same cadence. 

We added one committer from IBM in December, and have seen two new contributors become active in the project from the Google Chrome team.

9:42 AM Permalink

Adobe & The Web

Today, we’re unveiling a new addition to the Digital Media blog, focused on the Web platform. The new blog, called Adobe & The Web, will touch on thought leadership, industry trends and product related announcements from Adobe and partners in the standards and open source Web space. We’ll also touch on commercial tools and service offerings. See our inaugural post below and look for much more to come.

Today in San Francisco, we kicked off Create the Web, a worldwide tour for interactive web designers and developers and partners that will provide us with the opportunity to share our vision for the web. We are delivering a live streamed keynote that lays out our vision for the web and the role that Adobe will play.

Our mission is to make the web better and to build the best tools in the world for web designers and developers.

We contribute to web standards and to open source projects, like WebKit and Cordova, to move the web forward. We get involved in the community, through hackatons and meet-ups. For example, we have worked with the community to organize a series of events called Test The Web Forward. These are a kind of hackatons where we focus on identifying and fixing interoperability problems in the various browsers. We welcome and encourage the participation of anyone interested in joining us.

We are contributing improvements in a few areas where we have some expertise, including magazine-quality layout (CSS Regions & CSS Exclusions), graphical foundation (blend modes, compositing and transforms), better device APIs and cinematic visual effects (CSS custom filters). We are also making available today CSS FilterLab, a fun experiment to play with custom filters, which even allows you to write and debug custom shaders right from your browser.

We also build the tools and services that web designers and developers need. This includes tools like Dreamweaver, our all-in one web production tool. We are releasing today an update to Dreamweaver with support for new HTML5 elements, faster FTP, a streamlined insert panel, support for Edge Animate and more. This update is available for free to Creative Cloud members.

We also introduced today the Edge Tools & Services, which are available with a free membership of Creative Cloud. They include Edge Animate, a powerful tool to create interactive and motion content; Edge Inspect, an indispensable tool to preview, inspect and debug your web content on mobile devices; Edge Code, a code editor for HTML/CSS/JavaScript, available now as a preview and PhoneGap Build, a hosted service to easily build web apps for mobile devices using the PhoneGap framework.

We’ve also introduced Edge Web Fonts, a new service built on the Typekit engine to deliver free and open source fonts.

We’ve given a sneak preview of a new tool we’re working on called Edge Reflow which makes it  easy to create responsive web content visually, but using standard CSS and media-queries.

Following San Francisco the tour continues on to London, Tokyo and Sydney in early October followed by a 30-city international tour of “HTML Meetups” in destinations throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia, and more. These “HTML Meetups” are centered on JavaScript, CSS, HTML, designing and developing web content and mobile apps and include a one-hour overview of content from Create the Web and deep dives with demos on our products related to design and development. To request a Meetup in your city, visit http://html.adobe.com/events.

We had a lot of exciting news to tell you about today. To find out more about what we’re doing to make the web better, visit html.adobe.com.

10:26 AM Permalink

New PhoneGap Build Service Available Today

I am excited to announce the general availability of Adobe PhoneGap Build, a new service that allows developers and designers to build apps for mobile devices using standard Web technologies and package them in the cloud. PhoneGap Build is built on top of the PhoneGap framework, which is a distribution of the Apache Cordova open source project, offering new features that allow developers to compile apps faster than with any native Software Development Kit (SDK) and target all major platforms with a single codebase. Following an extensive beta testing phase, PhoneGap Build is now publicly available via Creative Cloud.

In addition to the new service, Adobe also announced that PhoneGap has become the most popular mobile app development framework with over one million downloads and 400,000 PhoneGap developers to date. The platform has emerged as a top-level open source project with major companies contributing to Apache Cordova including Google, Microsoft, HP, IBM, Intel, RIM, Nokia and others. For a PhoneGap overview, check out our new video at http://youtu.be/wOH4aGows40. More than 90,000 developers and designers have used the PhoneGap Build Beta service to compile 200,000 apps to date. Prominent apps built with PhoneGap include Wikipedia, the BBC London Olympics app, Microsoft Halo Waypoint, Zynga’s Mafia Wars Shakedown, Salesforce Hybrid Mobile SDK and Amanita Designs’ new Kooky game app. For more examples please visit http://phonegap.com/app.

PhoneGap Build removes the challenges developers face during the deployment cycle by automatically compiling apps for each major app store without having to maintain native SDKs. With the new PhoneGap Build Hydration feature, developers can take advantage of faster debug and build cycles and instantly notify testers of new versions.The “Share” function allows users to review app prototypes with colleagues and clients through a QR code that automatically installs the app. For more details visit the Phonegap Blog.

PhoneGap Build supports all major mobile platforms including iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone, Bada, webOS and Symbian. The new service is available through Adobe Creative Cloud starting today. Available to customers in 36 countries and in multiple languages, pricing for Creative Cloud membership for individuals is US$49.99 per month based on an annual membership and US$74.00 per month for month-to-month memberships. An introductory offer of US$29.99 per month is available to qualified customers for a limited time. A standalone subscription to the PhoneGap Build service is also available for $9.99 per month.

For the those of you not familiar with Creative Cloud yet: Creative Cloud is a radical rethinking of the entire creative process and an industry-defining shift in creative expression and inspiration, where members can explore, create, publish, and share their work across devices, the desktop, and the Web. Once you are a member you can download and install all of Adobe’s creative desktop applications and get access to different online services. Check out www.adobe.com/go/creativecloud for all the details.

10:22 AM Permalink