Adobe-owned open source mobile development platform PhoneGap has released version 2.0 and the system could be a good fit for those who need to produce native and Web based apps all in one place.

PhoneGap can help companies meet cross platform app needs using Web tools that are more widely disseminated.

PhoneGap 2.0 Features

Cross platform apps are very appealing from a distribution standpoint. Who doesn't want to expose their products and services to the widest possible audience? With PhoneGap 2.0, apps can be built for iOS, Android, BlackBerry and other systems using tools like HTML5, CSS and JavaScript.

Anyone who's tried to build apps knows the Apple iOS system in particular has more stringent rules on what apps make it into the app store. Because of this, iOS app development can take longer and be more of a resource drain. PhoneGap 2.0 implements a new command line interface for building iOS apps, and this gets rid of some of the problems associated with using Apple's Xcode app building tools.


PhoneGap 2.0 is an app building template for all types of needs, including the enterprise.

Command line tooling is a way of making common tasks like debugging more simple by using the same language across the different operating systems. Additionally, version 2.0 adds support for Windows Phone 7, although this is a mixed bag considering Microsoft is only a few months out from the the Windows 8 launch. There's also added documentation on getting started and the PhoneGap Plugin API. 

The Competition

PhoneGap takes the more familiar Web tools and uses them to build apps for multiple native environments, but other platforms take a similar approach. OpenPlug is a free cross platform development kit also, but it does require a bit more knowledge of programming. At the other end of the spectrum there is AppBuilder that can build apps right from an iOS or Android powered smartphone.

This system makes the most use of HTML5, one of the most widely known markup languages. Kendo UI also uses HTML 5, but is limited to building apps for Android, iOS and BlackBerry. PhoneGap can build native apps for other systems like Nokia's Symbian and even the nearly defunct webOS system from HP. Let us know in the comments if you think it's better to build apps for just one system or go cross platform.