I’ve been working hard on preparing a mobile app prototype for a demonstration/proposal next week. The goal is to create a native app using HTML5 and PhoneGap. I’ve been building the app using Backbone primarily, and using Adobe’s PhoneGap Build. PhoneGap Build is a cloud based compilation tool that makes things VERY easy to get your app up and running natively. The build tool supports iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry, HP, and a few others.
The goal is to take last year’s app we purchased from QuickMobile and recreate it in-house. The prototype is to prove that we have the capabilities and confidence that we can pull it off. The app we develop will need to launch by October of this year, to be used by 5000+ attendees of our annual event in November.
So far I’m quite pleased with where the prototype is currently. To rapidly prototype, I started using jQueryMobile. I almost immediately realized that it just wasn’t how I wanted to proceed. So I stripped that out and just went with custom page transitions, used a few external plugins like iScroll4 (for touch scrolling of lists, etc) and TouchSwipe (for swipe detection, tap, long tap, etc).
Once the app is fully approved for development, I will work towards using more vanilla js for the transitions, trying to optimize the app as much as possible to make it as smooth as possible.
I will blog about the experience during development as much as possible 😉