Mobile Development in MyEclipse FAQ
Note: Mobile development was removed in MyEclipse 2016. This information only applies to MyEclipse 2015.
- Can I build for iOS on my Windows System?
- What is the difference between local building versus remote building?
- What is the difference between PhoneGap and Cordova?
- Can I use any PhoneGap plugin I want to?
- How can I add a PhoneGap plugin to my project?
- How do I set up the Android SDK?
- Will I need to use Phonegap Command Line tools?
Yes, if you utilize the PhoneGap Build service you can build for iOS, Android and Windows Phone on any platform. If you plan to build locally, you need a platform that supports your desired OS. On Windows you can build for Android, and on Mac you can build for both iOS and Android. MyEclipse does not handle the build process for Windows Phone, so you will have to use the PhoneGap Build service if you plan to build for that platform.
MyEclipse offers two building options – remote and local.
Remote: Remote building uses the online service from PhoneGap Build. One advantage to using this service is that you can build Android, iOS, and Windows Phone from either a Windows system or a Mac system. Of course, you will still need to have a signing certificates for each platform. A disadvantage to using the remote service is that you can only have one private app on the free subscription. You can have up to 25 private apps in the paid subscription, which runs about $10 per month.
The size of the apps also plays a big role for remote builds. The free service is limited to 50MB, and the paid one is limited to 100MB. For anything larger than that you will need to do local builds or look into downloading resources into your app after installation.
Local: Local builds have a couple advantages. The first is you keep all your source code on your machine, not having to upload it to the service. It also builds faster, especially on large projects as there is no uploading and downloading of files. Next, there is no limit on the size of apps that can be built with a local build. If you app is over 100MB, this may be the best solution. A downside to using local builds is you need the appropriate SDKs installed. This means you need a Mac to build for iOS. Android apps can be built on both Windows and Mac as long as the SDK is installed.
To put it as simple as possible, at the core they are the same thing. Cordova is the open-source, community powered version of PhoneGap, which is owned by Adobe and expands into the Adobe ecosystem, such as the PhoneGap Build service. Cordova will always remain an open source community project. PhoneGap, however, is subject to change depending on Adobe.
If you are using the PhoneGap Build remote service, not all PhoneGap plugins will work. They have a specific list of ones that work with their build system. Find the list at https://build.phonegap.com/plugins. It is best to check there and make sure they support it before beginning development with the plugin.
When doing local builds you have a lot more options for plugins available, but as they can be private plugins you could run into more issues when trying to use them. We suggest researching the plugin you want to use to make sure that there is some measure of support or help in case you run into issues.
In MyEclipse, right-click your project, and select PhoneGap>Add Plugin. This opens the Plugin Install wizard. From here you have three choices on installing plugins.
- Install the plugin from the Cordova.io repository
- Install a plugin using the Git URL
- Install from a local directory
Remember, if you are using the PhoneGap Build service the plugins listed could be from third party developers and might not be compatible with their service. It is best to check online in their repository for compatible plugins.
The Android developer website has detailed instructions on setting up for Android development for the studio and stand alone tools. http://developer.android.com/sdk/installing/index.html?pkg=adt
There are two options when setting up the Android SDK:
- Android Studio
- Stand-alone SDK Tools
Android Studio is the full install for the SDK, the stand-alone tools comes as zip file for Mac. In both cases you will want to remember where you installed them. We suggest an easy-to-remember location such as a Development folder on the desktop or somewhere easy to find. You will need the path location in MyEclipse to preform local builds.
So, why would you need to use command line tools? Most tools are build on top of these command line tools, so if something goes wrong or isn’t working correctly it’s nice to have a fall back for testing purposes. For example, you can do test builds, run on emulators and even run on the device (as long as its plugged in to your computer).
So, to get started using the CLI (command line interface) the first thing you want to do is install NodeJS. This is very easy to install, just head to nodejs.org, and click the Install button. This downloads the setup file that you can run and just follow the directions. You can leave everything at the default settings; it usually makes tutorials and support easier if needed down the road.
Once Nodejs is installed you need the PhoneGap CLI. To get this, you need to open the terminal window.
Windows 7: Click the Start button, and the type cmd in the search box. You will see it come up in the results; press Enter to open it.
Windows 8: Click the Windows button on your keyboard, and type cmd.
OS X: You can use the spotlight feature, or the search icon, and type terminal.
Once at a command line, you can type the following to double check that Node JS has been correctly installed:
It should respond with the version of node installed. As long as it does so, you are ready to install PhoneGap CLI by using the following command:
npm install -g phonegap
If you are on a Mac and get a permission error, you need to use the sudo command before it, which will ask you for your system password:
sudo npm install -g phonegap
It may take a few minutes to fully install the PhoneGap CLI tools. Just like with Node JS, you can check the version of PhoneGap using:
That should return the version of PhoneGap you have installed. You can find out more details on the PhoneGap CLI at http://docs.phonegap.com/en/edge/guide_cli_index.md.html#The%20Command-Line%20Interface