I was talking with a friend about developing a mobile app (android/iphone) but I've never messed around with mobile app development code before.

My friend flippantly told me that I don't "need to know mobile app code..." because "there are converters out there that convert your code to mobile app code."

My question is two-fold:

  1. Is this true? Where can I find these fabled converters and are they any good?

  2. I'm pretty handy with PHP/Javascript/Java (in order of skill level). Which mobile application language would be a good starting place? Or... which of my following code languages "convert the best" to mobile app language?

4 Answers 4


I haven't actually tested them, but have made some research and I found that there are some more like Phonegap, you should look at Titanium from Appcelerator or if you have a game oriented idea you should look into Corona from AnscaMobile.

I've found at least one success history of a boy who used Corona for a mobile app. If you want to get some nice comparisons between all of them, you should check out this question at SO.

If you have a background on Java, you should start better off with Android, it should be easier for you to get a grip, because the dev language is Java, besides it seems that is growing stronger by the second, and the market experiences I've read are not so bad.

EDIT I forgot placing a reference to Phonegap, which is another way to accomplish the same results, but uses HTML, Javascript and CSS, so if you have done any sort of web development, it should be quite easy to learn. The question I referenced above considered Phonegap in the comparison as well, I think that this is the best answer (funny enough isn't the chosen one... :))

Hope I can help!

  • 1
    I'd add PhoneGap to the list.
    – back2dos
    Commented May 8, 2011 at 11:08
  • 1
    +1 for Corona SDK. It uses Lua as scripting language, and should be 100% portable between iPhone and Android.
    – Machado
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 19:26

There are tools, app wrappers and libraries that will take an HTML/Javascript web page and turn it into a web app that is usable, offline, on both iPhone and Android (plus some other platforms). PhoneGap is one, but there are others.

There are a lot of limitations to this approach, so the majority of the top popularity apps are not created using this method, but written using the native SDK's instead.

Java and PHP are just not used to create iPhone apps (AFAIK), unless you want to construct your own compiler or embedded interpreter and runtime.

  • Thanks. Appreciate the feedback... Any specific tools in mind? Commented May 3, 2011 at 2:30

Is this true? Where can I find these fabled converters and are they any good?

Yes it is true, converters had lot of success stories, Titanium Mobile has quite a few success stories, so does PhoneGap.

Following question in StackOverflow impressed me a lot

If you want more insight, look at this comparison between [appcelerator and phonegap] (http://savagelook.com/blog/portfolio/appcelerator-vs-phonegap-vs-adobe-air) as a table .

I'm pretty handy with PHP/Javascript/Java (in order of skill level).

When you host plenty of experience in JavaScript, why not Jquery Mobile Apps ? Interesting article on Jquery Tools

You have lot of tools:


DHTMLx( You need to purchase the product for Commercial use.)

Sencha Touch


I suggest Titanium by Appcelerator or CoronaSDK. They are somewhat basic, but they will provide you with what you need.

Since you say you are PHP ninja, can you design a webpage? Then just learn minimal Obj-C for iOS and minimal Java and you can get a decent app up in a few hours.

  • Not a PHP Ninja... more like an Assassin! :) Commented May 9, 2011 at 13:06

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