Use Dropbox to quickly install .apk files

Want a quick way to get an App Studio app compiled with PhoneGap onto your Android device? Use Dropbox!

  1. Build your app using PhoneGap as always.
  2. Put the resulting .apk file into your DropBox. (Get an account if you don’t already have one – it’s free!)
  3. Install the Dropbox app on your Android device if you have not done so already.
  4. Open Dropbox on the device and click on your .apk file. It will install!

(If you have not used Dropbox yet, it’s a great tool. It puts what looks like an ordinary folder on your PC or Mac desktop. You can share it with other users and computers: add a file to your Dropbox and your other computers can use it right away. There’s lots more, but this already is the simplest network share you have ever experienced. Installation is also very simple.)

A change to PhoneGap Splash Screens

PhoneGap have just made a breaking change to their Build process. The result is that splash screens no longer appear on Android devices. Luckily, the fix is easy.

In your Project Properties, open the configxml property. You’ll need to change this line:

<gap:splash src="{splashscreen}" gap:role="default" width="320" height="460"/>

to this

<gap:splash src="{splashscreen}"/>

The next build will make this the default for all new projects. However, you will need to modify on existing projects.

More info here:

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.

PhoneGap 1.0 released!

PhoneGap has announced that Version 1.0 is now available. The release puts the focus on accessing native device APIs, which is new ground for the web. Other improvements include:
* Overall API stability and “pluggable” architecture
* W3C DAP API compatibility
* Contacts API
* Remote debugging tools
Today’s release also includes a new unifying bridge interface that makes adding platforms and platform extensions easy. Plus, developers will be pleased to see that the plugin development process has been simplified.

PhoneGap lets NS Basic/App Studio users package their apps for iOS, Android and other app stores. It also gives them additional API functions.

The easiest way to make use of PhoneGap is with PhoneGap Build. There is also a tutorial on using PhoneGap Build.

Here are some other NS Basic + PhoneGap resources:

NS Basic/App Studio 1.1.1 Released!

NS Basic/App Studio 1.1.1 is ready to download. You can download it from the same URL as before.

Some of the most important changes are:
– Improved support for international languages: check the Arabic sample.
– New sample showing how to use PhoneGap to access contacts and camera.
– Ability to get the row and column when grid clicked.


  1. Controls: Add image map tag to Image control.
  2. Controls: Grid now returns row, col on click.
  3. Deploy: <Doctype> changed to be HTML5 standard.
  4. Deploy: Blank lines in manifest no longer needed.
  5. Deploy: Make <body> min-height device aware.
  6. Docs: Technote 09 Using PhoneGap API added.
  7. Docs: Handbook and Language Reference updated.
  8. IDE: Fixed unicode in property values.
  9. IDE: Save always saves, regardless of dirty status.
  10. IDE: Added prompt for form deletion.
  11. IDE: Fixed selection problem in Form Editor.
  12. Language: New function GetLocale() added.
  13. Language: New function Log10() added.
  14. Language: VBNullString constant added.
  15. Samples: ComboBox shows how to get name of selected item
  16. Samples: PhoneGapAPI added.
  17. Samples: Tutorial2 and SQLSample2 fixed.
  18. Samples: New HelloWorldArabic
  19. Translator: /*….*/ treated as block comment.
  20. Translator: a.value=”” Or b.value=”” Or c.value=”” fixed.
  21. Translator: DateAdd past end of year fixed.
  22. Translator: Msgbox DatePart(“d”,Now) fixed.
  23. Translator: nStr(2,”12345″,”23″) fixed.
  24. Translator: REM (all by itself) fixed.
  25. Translator: Round(CDbl(“10”),2) fixed.
  26. Translator: x=5: Dim a(x) fixed.

NS Basic/App Studio and PhoneGap

The most important feature of NS Basic/App Studio 1.1 is support for PhoneGap.

PhoneGap is an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores. It takes your NS Basic/App Studio app and packages it so that it is acceptable for Apple’s App Store, Google’s Marketplace and other platforms.
It also provides additional API functions not found in NS Basic/App Studio.

Depending on platform, these can include:

  • Compass
  • Camera
  • Contacts
  • Files
  • System Information

PhoneGap is free.

Here are a couple of tutorials to help you get started.

Distributing apps using PhoneGap is much more complex than webapps. Android/PhoneGap has a complex installation procedure. While iOS is easier to get going, the 4+ gigabyte download and the complications of the App Store make it at least as complex an undertaking.

NS Basic/App Studio 1.1.0 Released!

NS Basic/App Studio 1.10.0 is ready to download. You can download it from the same URL as before.

The major new thing in this release is support for PhoneGap. There is a new setting in Project Properties, as well as 2 new Tech Notes. Have fun!


  1. Support for PhoneGap added.
  2. PhoneGap API is now supported.
  3. IDE: New project property: phonegap
  4. Tutorials: New Tutorial 11: Using PhoneGap to create an iOS App
  5. Tutorials: New Tutorial 12: Using PhoneGap to create an Android App
  6. Code Window: case normalizes control names
  7. Controls: improvements to iMenu
  8. IDE: Now checks for duplicate control names
  9. IDE: Project explorer icons tweaked.
  10. Samples: Improvements to Geolocation, iMenu, getDate
  11. Translator: MsgBox 1 / (1 + 2011 mod 4) fixed.

Read the full release notes here:

Create iOS App Store apps using PhoneGap

From Lennie De Villiers:

This requires a Mac OX running 10.6.0 Snow Leopard or greater.

  1. Download and install XCode with iPhone SDK.
  2. Note: You will need an Apple Developer license (USD $99.00 per year) to deploy to your device or the App Store.
  3. Get the latest PhoneGap for iPhone from GIT. See setup instructions at
  4. Create a new PhoneGap project using the XCode template.
  5. Delete index.html file under the www folder
  6. Download the NSBasic App Studio project to the www folder
  7. Rename “index.htm” to “index.html”
  8. You might need to change the “index.html” file to use the PhoneGap API if you want to use features like camera etc.
  9. Remove the off line file
  10. Reload the XCode project to pickup your files
  11. Build + Run
  12. You will see an PhoneGap splash screen first before it shows your application.

Once this is done, you can start the process for submitting to the App Store. Be prepared – it’s a lot of work.

Create Android .apk files using PhoneGap

From Lennie De Villiers:

Instructions to compile an NSBasic app to PhoneGap on Android on MS (Windows only)

  1. Download Java JDK 1.6
  2. Set the Java class path and add the Java bin folder to the PATH variable so that you can run Java (“javac”) from the command line
  3. Download latest Apache Ant
  4. Download Apache Ant to a folder and set the PATH variable to the bin folder so that you can run ant from the command line
  5. set the ANT_HOME variable to the Ant home folder
  6. Download the latest version of Ruby
  7. Set the PATH variable to the bin folder of Ruby so that you can run it from the command line
  8. Get the latest source code of Phone Gap for Android from the GIT repo:
  9. Set the PATH variable to the bin folder so that you can run droidgap.bat from the command line (droidgap.bat is just a wrapper that calls the Ruby script)
  10. Open an command prompt and CD to a folder that contains your NSBasic script files (Index.htm etc)
  11. Rename “index.htm” to “index.html”
  12. Run “droidgap create”. This will create an Android solution using your NSBasic script files.
  13. Compile the application using Ant and deploy to device for testing.