PhoneGap Build Watcher

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
  • Reinstall

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 if any iOS users want to give it a try.

Let me know what you think.

Getting Started with PlayBook Development Links

As collected by my colleague Renaun Erickson, here’s a whole bunch of links to get you started with BlackBerry development.

Main Landing Page for all BlackBerry Tablet OS SDKs

BlackBerry Tablet OS SDK for Adobe AIR

BlackBerry Developer Forums

BlackBerry Issue Tracker (jira based)

On the Adobe side the go url is:

Some hot topics:
Uploading Your Playbook App to Blackberry App World
Using ImageCache

Debugging Error with PlayBook Emulator

I ran into an issues while trying to launch a PlayBook app from Flash Builder Burrito in Debugging Mode.

I launched and the “Launching [Application name]” indicator in the bottom right corner just slowly inched up to 100%, but nothing happened. Eventually I got error messages.

From Flash Builder:

The Flash Builder debugger failed to connect to the running application.

Ensure that:

1. For in-browser applications, you are running the debugger version of Flash Player.

2. For debugging on a mobile device, you have a reliable WiFi connection to the device, and port 7935 is open on your machine’s firewall.

On the emulator:

Unable to connect to the debugger at address x.x.x.x, enter the correct host name or IP address or select cancel to continue without debugging.

The cause of this error is that your Default Debug Host IP is wrong. To get to this setting:

Go to Flash Builder Preferences
FlashBuilder ->
Target Platforms ->
BlackBerry Table OS

In my case the reason the error happened was a bit confusing. But it came down to this. That IP address got set to my public IP address in my hotel. When I went to present I didn’t have a network connection, and so that address was no longer present. The easiest fix for this when using the emulator is to set that Default Debug Host IP to the gateway of your VMWare’s NAT setup.

I don’t have an easy was of getting that, but the way I did it was:
Determine IP address for Playbook emulator
BlackBerry Settings
About ->

For me

Determine all of my system’s IP addresses
OSX ifconfig
Windows ipconfig

When I did that, I found one address ( that was a reasonable bet for the gateway of the NAT network.