Building Native Apps

The enhancements in NS Basic/App Studio 1.3.1 make building native apps much easier. First, a bit of background: NS Basic/App Studio is designed to make Web Apps. These apps take advantage of the power of current browsers and HTML5 to make native appearing apps. With the speed improvements of JavaScript in recent years, they have excellent performance. Web Apps can also be compiled into Native Apps, which have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Under the Run menu, there is an option called “Build Native App”. Once you have tested your project, use this option to submit your app to the PhoneGap Build server. The compilers and SDKs to build native apps are large and complex: using a server to perform these operations saves you a lot of grief installing and maintaing them.

Once submitted, you can check the status of the build using “Get Native Build Status” under the Run menu.

Completed builds have their download links listed.

Some useful notes:

  • Each user of PhoneGap Build should have their own account. For demo purposes, NS Basic has a default account, but your files will not be secure there. It’s easy to sign up for your own. Once you have it, enter the information into “Deploy Options” under the Tools menu.
  • The program name and your icon will be taken from your project properties. Other PhoneGap options are set up in the configxml property in your project’s properties. Read more about using config.xml here.
  • iOS will not build until Apple’s signing information has been entered.
  • PhoneGap Build is in beta right now. PhoneGap may start charging for this service at a some point.