PhoneGap Build News: Google, Icons and Splashscreens

Breaking news – PhoneGap has just announced that PhoneGap 6.0.0 is now being used by PhoneGap Build. Here’s the announcement:

http://phonegap.com/blog/2016/02/09/phonegap_6_now_on_build/

it’s still too new for us to say what difference it will make.

Today, a roundup of news having to do with PhoneGap Build and AppStudio. As usual, let us know if you figure out solutions (or find more problems).

Google Play Store

Users with apps compiled with PhoneGap Build are getting this message from Google:
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Making Apps which Scroll

Recently, there has been discussion on the web board about the proper way to make an app which can scroll. You might need to have more input fields than can fit on the screen at once: rather than going to a new form, why not have the user scroll the form down to get to the rest of the fields?

Web pages scroll easily. Native apps look different: they don’t scroll like web pages. To make AppStudio apps look more like native apps, that type of scrolling is turned off by default. But what if your app needs that functionality?

In the past, the only way to do this was to turn on ‘scrolling’ in Form Properties, which activates the iScroll library on the form. It works, but isn’t perfect, since it does not use the native scrolling of the device.

In AppStudio 5.2, we added ‘enableAppScrolling’ in Project Properties. It turns on native scrolling for your app. Let’s look at a couple of examples how to use this.
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CSS Styling: The importance of !important

(This post is contributed by Frank K├Ânigl – Vielen Dank, Frank!)

I recently ran into an interesting problem. I wanted to change the color of a jQuery Mobile button when I hovered over it. The normal way to do this is to add this to styleHeaders in Project Properties:

  button:hover {background-color:yellow;}

This technique worked fine for other controls (like Container), but not jQuery Mobile Button.

I analyzed the source code using the Chrome Developer Tools and found something.
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AppStudio 5.2.1 released!

We’re pleased to announce AppStudio 5.2.1 is ready. New and improved stuff includes:

  1. All: Copyright date is now 2016.
  2. Chrome Icon: Home Screen icon updated for Chrome 47.
  3. Chrome SplashScreen: Add Description property.
  4. Chrome SplashScreen: If orientation is “natural”, set value to default (blank).
  5. Chrome SplashScreen: Use splashscreenTitle if set up.
  6. Controls: Twitter Follow now follows ‘user’.
  7. Installer: Fix version number
  8. Libraries: jQuery updated to 2.2.0
  9. Localization: Language files updated. Thanks, translators!
  10. PhoneGap: Sound files get deployed with project.
  11. Preferences: Fix item graying out.
  12. Project Properties: Fix StopOnError so it can be turned off.
  13. Runtime: Fix errors in older devices without Audio support.
  14. Runtime: Fix problem with PlaySound filenames.
  15. Runtime: PlaySound refactored for consistency with PlayTone.
  16. Samples: New PhoneGapMedia sample.
  17. Samples: PhoneGap samples now have icons.
  18. Toolbox files: new !i conversion.
  19. ToolBox: Add new files to jqxColorPicker

Download the latest version from ‘Check for Updates’ under then AppStudio Help menu. It is a free upgrade for AppStudio 5 users.

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New PlayTone() function

AppStudio has had a PlaySound() function for some time which lets you play mp3 and other sound files. In AppStudio 5.2, we added a PlayTone() function, which lets you play sounds with a specific frequency, duration and optional volume.

Tones can provide useful feedback to users. They can also be used to for games, melodies and even to create musical instruments.

Here is how it looks:

PlayTone(440, 1000)

This plays a middle A for 1 second.
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PhoneGap: Getting rid of the Content-Security-Policy warning

I was messing around with a PhoneGap app using the Chrome Debugger’s Inspect feature, which lets me examine a running PhoneGap app for error messages, source code, elements, etc. I noticed an error message in the console I hadn’t seen before:

No Content-Security-Policy meta tag found. Please add one 
when using the cordova-plugin-whitelist plugin.

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AppStudio 5.2 released!

We’re pleased to announce AppStudio 5.2 is ready. Some of the major new features are:

There are too many minor improvements and fixes to list here. You can see the entire list in the Wiki.

Download the latest version from ‘Check for Updates’ under then AppStudio Help menu. It is a free upgrade for AppStudio 5 users.

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Chrome shortcut to inspect devices

The latest build of Chrome on the desktop makes it easier than ever to open the Chrome Debugger to look at an app running on a device. This works on apps running in the browser, apps running from the Home Screen and PhoneGap apps. Here’s how:

1. Connect your device to your desktop (PC or Mac) via USB cable.

2. Open the Chrome Developer tools.

3. Click on the icon circled in red. Select “More tools”, then “Inspect devices…”:

capture2

4. The Dev Tools Devices window will pop up. Choose the running web app you want to debug and click on “inspect”.

5. A fresh Chrome Developer Tools window will pop up, connected to the app running on your device.

capture3

Here’s a YouTube video showing the same process:

https://youtu.be/Rp4HO7G0xJI

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OpenWeatherMap’s new API Key

A number of our tutorials use weather data from OpenWeatherMap’s website. It provides information about current conditions for anywhere in the world, with an easy to use API. Best of all, it’s free, so long as you do not make more than 60 calls a minute or 50,000 per day.

Recently, they added a requirement for an API Key to access their service. An API Key is a string you supply with your request containing your unique identifier. They’re free: you can get them at http://openweathermap.org/appid.
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AppStudio 5.1.3 Released!

We’re pleased to announce AppStudio 5.1.3 is ready. New and improved stuff includes:

  1. Code Windows: “new Object” no longer flagged as syntax error.
  2. Controls: Label align can be set in styleheaders
  3. Controls: HeaderBar is now responsive.
  4. Controls: HeaderBar can handle both ChangeForm properties and onclick code. (Thanks, Buck!)
  5. Controls: Panel improvements. (Thanks, Buck!)
  6. Controls: Google Maps modified to handle being offline gracefully.
  7. IDE: No longer crashes when styleheaders window is open. (Mac OS)
  8. Project Properties: New “enableBrowserArrows” property.
  9. Runtime: Browser back (and forward) buttons work with ChangeForm.
  10. Runtime: Form.onshow() runs without delay if no visual effect.
  11. Runtime: Page is sized properly if jQuery Mobile not used.
  12. Samples: New ReadAsText sample shows FileReader object.

Download the latest version from ‘Check for Updates’ under then AppStudio Help menu. It is a free upgrade for AppStudio 5 users.

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