Review: PhoneGap Beginner's Guide (Packt Publishing) by Andrew Lunny

Written by Zac Vineyard

phonegap_beginner_guide.jpgLanguage: English
Paperback: 328 pages [ 235mm x 191mm ]
Release Date: September 2011
ISBN: 1849515360
ISBN 13: 978-1-84951-536-8
Author: Andrew Lunny

I often find myself buying a book about a programming when I need to learn something substantial to conquer a problem. Because I am a web developer, when it came to building native mobile apps (Andorid and iOS), I looked for the path of least resistance and started learning, as an alternative to learning Java and/or Objective C, about PhoneGap. My story in learning how to use PhoneGap was troublesome. It was a tangled mess of trial-and-error methodology and questions like "Why isn't this working?" spoken aloud to my computer at night. Having a book like PhoneGap Beginner's Guide from Packt Publishing would have been a big help in learning PhoneGap for the following reasons:

1. Life is short, man

PhoneGap Beginner's Guide gets to the heart of mobile development by showing you how to install the Android, iOS, and Blackberry SDKs. This gets you on the road to building an app quickly. I spent a lot of time just getting Eclipse up and running to build an Android project. One of the great benefits of PhoneGap is that it integrates seamlessly with the iOS, and other, SDKs. Because of this, this guide gets you building a project in no time.

2. Andrew writes to make friends

Andrew Lunny's light tone throughout the book keeps you interested. Take this for example: "A confession—you don't want to set the width and height of your only top-level element, as
we have done." Not only is this fun and quirky, but it helps you learn the nuances of PhoneGap. And, if you have any geek-to-geek sensibility, you'd probably laugh out loud at that phrase.

3. Yay, WebKit!

Initially building and debugging a PhoneGap project in a WebKit browser is recommended in this book. This is a good advantage for all you Google Chrome users out there.

4. HTML5 for Native Phone Apps

Andrew is very good at leading users into the new frontier of developing native phone apps using HTML5. At some point, app developers will need a database, making the HTML5 LocalStorage API a natural fit. Andrew thoroughly explains how you tap into many of the new features in HTML5, like LocalStorage, for your app.

5. All the details are here

PhoneGap Beginner's Guide is the most informative source of information I've seen/read about PhoneGap. It is a great resource for learning all the nuances that go into making native PhoneGap applications on mobile devices. If you are looking to use PhoneGap, it would be a good idea to start with this book. It really is a comprehensive yet easy-to-read book on using PhoneGap.