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3.1 What Is PhoneGap Build?

In this lesson you'll learn what PhoneGap Build is and how it can make your life easier. I'll show you how to configure a project to use PhoneGap Build.

3.1 What Is PhoneGap Build?

Hello everyone. This is Reggie Dawson. Welcome to the Publish an App with Cordova course with Tuts plus. As we have discussed, the main drawback to building your app locally is that you're locked into building the app for only the SDKs you have installed on your system. Not to mention the hassle of managing multiple development environments is a pain. That's where PhoneGap Build comes in. Now, I know you may be thinking that this is supposed to be a course on packaging an app with Cordova, but PhoneGap is one and the same. The difference is that Cordova has been donated to the Apache Foundation as open source, while PhoneGap remains a separate distribution. The technology is the same. The project structure is the same, etc. What PhoneGap has that Cordova doesn't is the PhoneGap Build service. PhoneGap Build gets around the limitation on the SDK you need installed by allowing you to compile your app for any platform it supports. All you need to do will supply the project, and PhoneGap Build will handle the rest. As opposed to a local build, PhoneGap Build only supports iOS, Android, and Windows phone builds. Also, in addition to Cordova and PhoneGap, Ionic projects can also be compiled on PhoneGap Build as Ionic piggybacks off Cordova. The PhoneGap Build free plan offers one private app and unlimited public apps. A private app on PhoneGap is an app loaded from your local machine or a private GitHub or Bitbucket account. You can have unlimited apps as long as they come from a publicly accessible GitHub repo. To prepare our app for PhoneGap Build requires only your www folder containing your project. Beyond that all we need to do is copy our config.xml file to the root of our project. Both the index.html file and the config.xml file have to exist at the top level of our app. Beyond that, we can configure our project how we want it. What this really means is that we can develop Cordova apps on our system without installing the SDK. By taking an approach of building a web project, we can add the config.xml file manually. The only limitation of building our project this way is testing, especially when using Cordova plugins. Either way lets take a look at the project I have prepared for PhoneGap Build. This is the same project from the local build but I got rid of everything except for the www folder. Inside of this folder, we will see our css, js, and img folders. Also we have our index.html and config.xml. Then we have icon png and splash png. Instead of us using the splash screen plugin, I have configured a default splash screen and icon for all platforms. Now, compared to a local build, PhoneGap Build is going to be easy to work with. The biggest difference in using PhoneGap Build will be our config.xml file. We are going to have to change this file to work with the PhoneGap Build service. That's everything you need to know to get started with PhoneGap Build. In the next video, we will configure our config.xml file.

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