bookreview - Beginning PhoneGap

Beginning PhoneGap by Thomas Myer

Beginning PhoneGap aims to give the reader a push in the right direction when using PhoneGap. PhoneGap is a platform for writing mobile applications that can run on iPhones, Blackberry’s, Androids and more. By using HTML5 and JavaScript inside a native app users get the benefits of native apps, while developers get the benefits of code sharing and reusing. Of course by abstracting away the native platform you also loose something.

The author starts by giving a very practical tutorial explaning how to start with PhoneGap. Screenshots and hyperlinks explain every step from downloading to installing. After that the key API’s are explained: media, camera, storage and more. The author goes into great dept to show all details. Every chapter describes the key elements for iPhone, Android and BlackBerry development. The other platforms are also mentioned, but in less detail.

The book itself was good to read, and it showed that the author did everything he could to be as precise as possible. However, I am not sure if the content justifies a book. Some chapters (like chapter 7 “Compass”) feel more like a large blog post. The web is stuffed with blog posts about these techniques. Although it is nice to have everything combined, a book suffers from the speed of development. During writing PhoneGap released a new version, the author updated everything. But what if PhoneGap releases a new version next week? Or maybe tomorrow? To justify a book, I would expect eloboration about the technique and platform, not screenshots of applications using a compass. But that would also need another title, not Beginning PhoneGap.

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Disclaimer: I have joined the O’Reilly Blogger Review Program ( It means that I receive free books that I review. I am not forced to write nice things, so this review is an honest one.