PhoneGap Wins Approval of Packed Ideas on Tap

ideas on tapLast night’s Ideas On Tap event had a huge turnout, packing the Yaletown Brew Pub under ambience of the Canucks vs Red Wings (4-3 Canucks in overtime). The lively crowd only had to pay attention for ten minutes as five presenters gave 60 second pitches. By vote of applause and cheering, the winning pitch was PhoneGap, presented by Andre Charland of Nitobi.

For those looking to write an iPhone app but don’t have the time or resources to climb the learning curve of Objective-C and the iPhone API, PhoneGap offers a capable compromise. While created by Nitobi employees, it’s a free, open source project under an MIT License (meaning free for commercial or non-commercial use). PhoneGap acts as a wrapper of sorts, allowing one to write a web app that packages as a native iPhone app. PhoneGap provides JavaScript access to phone functions like GPS, camera, accelerometer, local data storage, background processing, and push notification, all features that aren’t accessible by a web app running in Safari. While still in early development, there is at least one PhoneGap app in the App Store (Inside Trader). There are future plans to extend it’s functionality to Blackberry and Android. Write once, run on any smartphone? Ambitious, but naturally appealing.

The other four pitches were:

For more coverage, check the liveblog transcript, or browse photos. The next Ideas on Tap is tentatively scheduled for January. Watch their blog or join the Facebook page to keep in the loop.