Real Talk and the PhoneGap Movement

PhoneGap: Building a Mobile Movement
Nitobi’s PhoneGap framework makes a giant leap forward in mobile application development. When a developer builds an app for the iPhone, it won’t automatically work on an Android phone or a Blackberry. Each platform has a unique programming language and apps must be built in those languages to work on corresponding devices.

This is limiting for developers who want their apps to work on various mobile devices but only have expertise in one or two niche programming languages. Enter PhoneGap, Nitobi’s open source development framework. Based on standard web technologies, developers can now build a mobile app using ubiquitous HTML/CSS/JavaScript languages and quickly deploy it to multiple mobile devices using PhoneGap.

When Phonegap launched in 2009, Capulet focused on finding ways for Nitobi to connect directly with app developers who would use the framework.

To get PhoneGap on developers’ radar at launch, we entered the tool in the popular LaunchPad Startup competition at Web 2.0 Expo where it won the ‘People’s Choice Award’. LaunchPad is a high-profile forum for unveiling distinctive new products. Voting was conducted via SMS where the developer audience was asked to select their favourite product in the competition.

Nitobi’s win at the Web 2.0 Expo snowballed with attention on ReadWriteWeb and Techcrunch.

Phonegap has also been covered in the A-list online tech magazines Eweek and Infoworld and on popular blogs Gigaom, Mashable and Ajaxian.

Getting app developers interested in PhoneGap via the LaunchPad win was just the first step. Growing a dedicated movement of PhoneGap developers who actively use and contribute back to the open source framework is key for its success and growth. To that end we connect regularly with the PhoneGap community via newsletters, an active Google group, Twitter and the PhoneGap blog. Capulet organizes online and in-person training sessions around the world, and makes sure that Nitobi is speaking at key conferences like OSCON, JSConf and AnDevCon.

“Capulet plays an important role in building visibility for Nitobi and PhoneGap through PR, conferences and regular dialogue with our community. Julie and Darren are really helping us grow PhoneGap from a tool into a movement.” Andre Charland, Nitobi CEO

PhoneGap has been downloaded more than 600,000 times. There are thousands of PhoneGap apps available in app stores and directories, and that number is growing.

Update: We’re delighted to report that Nitobi has been purchased! After working with them closely for more than five years we’ll miss these smart and passionate developers. Adobe made a very smart move in scooping them up. We wish Nitobi all the best! Read about Adobe’s aquisition of Nitobi on TechCrunch.

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