Playing with Phonegap and Phonegap Build

I have been pushing our game written in Processing.js onto devices via Phonegap and so far, I’m pretty impressed by what I see.  The performance on the ipods and ipads are now at least playable and we have not yet really done any performance tuning (other than removing the use of tint() every frame).  It is signifantly faster on the ipad but that is likely due to hardware.

Yesterday, I decided to try pushing our game onto android devices just to see if it would work. I’m not going to spend too much time on this as it is not a specified deliverable but it would be good to see if it was possible.  I had never done anything with android devices nor did I have an environment set up.  Phonegap currently has a cloud base build system where you can send it a repo or zip file and it creates the the app for you.  I decided to try that out since it was free for beta testing atm.   For actual device testing we have an HTC desire Z and a motorola Xoom tablet.  We also have a motorola atrix that i have not yet tested on.  The results were mixed.  Here are some things to note

1) the build system makes it really easy to deploy your code on multiple platforms.  After waiting for it to finish compiling my code, I only needed to navigate to it via the browser on the android devices, download it, and install it.  Make sure you have your application settings changed to allow for non-marketplace sources… I think they called it something scary like allow unknown sources under application management settings.  It was painless and simple.

2) I was unable to get it working on the HTC desire at all.  After searching the forums/web for why, it seems like it is likely that it is simply taking too long for it to load (there is a 20s time out). I know that on the ipod, it takes a while for us to load our stuff in.  I’m thinking that this is something we will probably have to look at in the future.
3) I was able to get it put on the xoom tablet but only as a phone size app.   It was running blazingly fast but it is uncertain if this is at least partly size related.  Currently there does not appear to be a way to change the size of the app based on the resolution size or target a specific device but it is something they are working on for future versions of phonegap build.

In any case, so far I’m pretty happy with what I’m seeing.  It certainly makes building one application for multiple platforms a lot easier.

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One response to “Playing with Phonegap and Phonegap Build

  1. I’ll most likely be doing something similar for my final year project. Good to see that its somewhat possible to get the processing.js working cross platform.

    I imagine with a bit of tweaking, we could have a real powerful combo.

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