Mobile Web App to Native App
- Get grounded in HTML5, CSS3, JS, and JQM. Take the class and/or buy the books*. Find tutorials and forums on the web.
- Build your mobile app using HTML5, CSS3, JS, JQM, etc... Build a "mini-web site" that does the job you want. You should have your app working and looking like it would on a small device, but at this stage it is executed by a browser. You could download free development environments, but I find it's just as easy to use a plain text editor than to set up the environments and learn to use them.
- Use the PhoneGap Build service to convert web apps to native. You will need to gather your assets into a zip file to upload. Assets include:
- All files: HTML, CSS, JS, images, icons, etc...
- A config.xml file [Example] that describes the assets. Position this file at the same level as the main index.
- A folder of icons [Generator Tool] of specific size and resolution. Have a 512x512 graphic ready to upload to the generator and you MUST USE A WEBKIT BROWSWER such as Google Chrome.
- You will also need [not in the zip] a "private signed and passworded key" - which is a file you create with "keytool", a program located in the JAVA jdk. You will need to drop down to the command line to execute this program and generate the key. [How-to Details] Google Play offers a secure "App Signing" process which is described in the developers console docs. BE CAREFUL - once this option is chosen you cannot reverse it. You must decline before an apk is uploaded.
- Upload zipped assets and signed key to PhoneGap Build. Instructions, FAQ, Forum are provided to help you.
- PhoneGap Build will create an apk release package for you to download and submit to the Google Play Store.
- Test the apk file to verify that it works as intended. Download the apk file to your mobile device or use an apk emulator such as "A Better Emulator".
You are half-way. Now on to the android market.
* Recommended texts:
- Webkit for Dummies, Chris Minnick
- HTML5, Bruce Lawson, Remy Sharp
- The Book of CSS3, Peter Gasston