Adobe ships PhoneGap Build to simplify cross-platform development

PhoneGap Build takes some of the pain out of cross-platform development by allowing apps to be compiled in the cloud

Adobe Systems has launched PhoneGap Build, a service that aims to make it easier to develop cross-platform mobile applications by allowing them to be compiled in the cloud, the company said on Monday.

The PhoneGap platform, which Adobe acquired last October, allows developers to create applications using Web standards such as HTML5, CSS and JavaScript that can run natively on most mobile operating systems including Android, iOS and Windows Phone.

"PhoneGap is great in that you can write your code once and then run the application on all the devices," said Ben Forta, director of developer relations at Adobe.

However, the configuration and management process needed for that to work makes the development process painful, according to Forta.

But PhoneGap Build aims to change that by moving the whole process of compiling an application to the cloud. Instead of having to configure separate developing environments, and keep them up to date, developers can now upload their code to PhoneGap Build, which returns ready to run applications for the targeted operating systems

"We have dramatically simplified the development process," said Forta.

PhoneGap Build has been beta tested for about a year and a half, during which work has been done to make it more developer friendly, including simplifying the debug process, according to Forta.

It is available through Adobe's Creative Cloud starting today. The Creative Cloud went online earlier this year, and also includes applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver.

The package costs US$49.99 per month when signing a year-long subscription and US$74 per month without a contract, according to Adobe.

There is also an introductory offer of $29.99 per month available to PhoneGap beta testers for a limited time. PhoneGap Build is also available separately for $9.99 per month, and in a free version for one private app and an unlimited number of open-source applications.

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