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To get an idea how terrible PhoneGap can work in practice, check out the O'Reilly iPad app. The performance just isn't there for some applications.

Not just the performance. A lot of the UI behavior was just wrong. Scrolling in particular was a disaster. Maybe they were using PhoneGap badly, but still--in a native iOS app it's quite easy to get scrolling to work right, and apparently in PhoneGap it's not.

no idea why you would get downvoted for this, it is clearly just a well stated opinion without flame etc.

However, PhoneGap shouldn't be completely to blame for any one applications performance. If many PhoneGap applications performed poorly, then you could make the case. PhoneGap apps should perform as well as any web-based app on the same device. It is up to the developer to make efficient use of javascript animations, etc. in order to provide the best user experience.

Remember that PhoneGap really isn't anything more than a thin wrapper around a web app. Performance/usability is going to be heavily influenced by how you write that web app.

I'd be more interested to know what web framework O'Reilly used that was slow, rather than it being PhoneGap per se.

They used PhoneGap, in fact it was Nitobi that created the app.


Have you personally used PhoneGap? It sounds like you don't quite understand how it works.

For an iOS PhoneGap project, inside the Xcode project there is a 'www' directory into which you stuff your HTML, JavaScript, and CSS files from your mobile web app. PhoneGap then creates a webview and loads your index.html in it.

PhoneGap by itself cannot be used to make any kind of an application. You also need a web app that works outside of PhoneGap (barring some PhoneGap-specific JavaScript APIs which you can optionally include to get access to device-specific information and features), and that web app presumably would either use one of the common frameworks or be written from scratch.

Hence my point that what's more interesting to know is what web app framework they used, since that'll have a bigger impact on performance and especially usability than just "it's PhoneGap".

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