I am a beginner programmer. I've gotten an AS degree in CS which exposed me to the basics of c++, data structures, and algorithms and have light experience with html/css/javascript from just messing around building my own basic websites. I am no where near a proficient professional programmer as of yet.

My question is, would using PhoneGap to attempt to develop my first "app" for android/ios/whatever be a good idea or should I start out making native apps first?

With all the hype over html5/javascript at the moment, PhoneGap seems too good to be true for a beginner like me.

Thoughts? pros/cons?

3 Answers 3


The team I am currently working with is building a PhoneGap solution using jQuery and targeting Windows Phone, Android and - as an afterthought - iOS.

We've found that while it abstracts away a lot of tedious stuff and makes UI creation much easier, it still has its issues when it comes to cross-device compatibility and its integration with other frameworks.

My recommendation would be to try PhoneGap and see what you think, but focus strongly on understanding the HTML and JavaScript that is being abstracted away by PhoneGap so that working through behavioural inconsistencies becomes a little easier.


I think it depends on where your interests lie. If your interests are games and other local applications, you might consider going native.

If, on the other hand, your interests are more in the vein of business applications, HTML5 is probably your future, since you have to write the app only once, and communication with a remote database is relatively straightforward.


It really depends on what you want to achieve. If it's just a hobby-project, you can choose what you like the most. If you want to build an app for a wide audience, Google on terms like 'mobile web vs. native'!

If you want to learn, you have the following options:

  • If you want to learn HTML5, Javascript and CSS, you can consider PhoneGap, but also develop a mobile website using Sencha Touch (more focus on Javascript), JqueryMobile (more focus on HTML combined with Javascript) or other frameworks. You can also look into Titanium, which builds real native apps, from one codebase (which is in HTML, Javascript and CSS).

  • If you are not interested in web development, you can choose to build a native app in one of the available platforms.

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