PhoneGap vs Titanium Mobile, et al
April 5, 2010
Greg Bulmash of Lynnwood, WA posted a thoughtful review of my iPhone book on Amazon. In it, he raises a point that I hear often:
Thing is the multi-platform framework space is exploding. Besides Phonegap, you've got Appcelerator Titanium, Rhomobile (with Ruby), the Flash CS5 iPhone packager that Adobe has in private beta, and more. The folks at FlyCast are about to open a service that converts, packages, and submits your apps.
In other words, with PhoneGap, you write a normal web app and then drop it into native app wrappers for the various platforms. With all of the other cross-platform mobile options, you write code based on a proprietary framework that will only run as a native app.
For example, you can write a Titanium Mobile app using Appcelerator's proprietary framework to create native apps. But Titanium Mobile won't output your app in a way that will also run in a mobile browser.
Call me crazy, but I see the standards-based mobile web as the future of mobile computing. I don't advocate cross-platform development approaches that conflict with this view.
Another thing to consider is the number of supported platforms. Titanium Mobile, for example, only supports iPhone and Android. As I write this, PhoneGap supports iPhone, Android, Palm, Symbian, Maemo, Windows Mobile, and Blackberry. And iPad and Windows Phone 7 are coming to PhoneGap soon.