I love PhoneGap Build. I love not having to have anywhere from 3 to 7 different IDE/SDK rigs to get apps that run on multiple platforms. That being said, IDEs do give something that PhoneGap Build (henceforth referred to as PGB) lacks – workflow.
My current workflow with PGB goes something like this:
- Push changes to PGB
- Leave PGB open in browser tab
- Get bored
- Wander away to other browser tabs
- Remember that I am working on a mobile app
- Go back and check PGB
- See that it has updated
- Pick up device
- Click download link
It’s not the best workflow. Yeah, I could fix it by being more disciplined. But evidence suggests that’s not going to happen. I could solve my problem with technology. PGB has an API for answering questions like “Is the Android version of my app currently built?” So I put together a little mobile app to take advantage of that API. I call it PhoneGap Build Watcher. It does what you would expect:
- You enter your PGB credentials
- You get a list of all of your projects
- You choose one
- Any time that project gets updated you get sound, vibration and notification alerts.
- From that alert you can click on the download link and install the new version of your application.
This has really helped my workflow with PGB, and I hope some of you out there can use it to do the same.
See it in action:
It’s of course Open Source and hosted on GitHub.
I’ve put it up on Google Play, but was unable to get it into the App Store. I should have realized it before trying but Apple doesn’t like applications that prompt you to download applications. No worries. Great thing about PhoneGap apps, they’re just web apps, so I have a web app version running at http://pgbwatcher.com if any iOS users want to give it a try.
Let me know what you think.