Developing the Android app for Datasafe

Due to the relatively short timescales assigned to the development of the Android app to provide an interactive version of the Decision Tree element of this project, I’ve been assessing PhoneGap which “is an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores. PhoneGap leverages web technologies developers already know best… HTML and JavaScript.” PhoneGap has previously been used on several R&D/ILRT projects (Nature Locator: Leaf Watch – a successful JISC-funded project – being one).

PhoneGap is OpenSource, and free, and manages much of the complicated aspects of mobile development, meaning that we can concentrate on building the app in technologies already familiar to us without having to spend time learning the underlying deployment technologies. Early tests in developing a simple relational database-driven app have been promising, and as the Decision Tree elements of the project are more closely defined in the coming weeks, I will be starting to implement these within the app.

A further benefit of PhoneGap is that it supports deployment to multiple platforms (iOS, Blackberry, etc) so although this project is only tasked with delivering an Android application, should time allow and the Android tests be successful, we may consider deploying to other platforms.

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