PhoneGap officially permitted on the App Store

Its been a while since I’ve made an update to my blog, and I figured it’s far overdue for a new post. My life over the past little while has been divided up into 4 chunks: my family, my work, my weekend consulting, and my own personal application development. Somewhere around the second half of that list is sprinkled a bit of PhoneGap development.

PhoneGap vs Apple, resolved

First, I’d like to announce that I’ve made headway with my interactions with Apple. They were convinced by my argument that PhoneGap-based apps, just like any other apps developed by users who have access to a rich API, should be judged by their own merits and not prejudged based on what tools were used to built them. This is fantastic news, and means that apps submitted to the App Store will not be rejected solely because they’re built on PhoneGap. Now, if the application is buggy or if a developer tries to do something underhanded with it (for instance, changing the behavior of the app after Apple approves it) that is still cause for a rejection or worse consequences, but the same goes for any application released to the App Store.

Apple did have some requests though. To ensure that apps are released with a “Known Good” version of PhoneGap that they can trust as not having a fundamentally bad design, they wanted to have a version number that would be considered stable and acceptable. Additionally, they would like to have some way of easily identifying the version of PhoneGap used, so they can easily check that little box that says “Don’t reject it just because of its framework.”

I had a meeting with the good folks at Nitobi over a few beer, and ended up updating the version number to 0.8.0, and added a version tag that is added at build-time to the compiled iPhone application bundle. This will make it quicker for Apple to approve your apps, as well as remove any guesswork on their end about whether or not to trust your application.

The catch…

As with all good things in life, there is a catch. Since Apple doesn’t have any idea what version of PhoneGap any apps already submitted to the App Store for approval may be running on – and as a result has no idea whether it’s a safe version of PhoneGap or not – they’ll have to reject all the PhoneGap applications in their queue, and kindly request that you resubmit your apps once you’ve updated to the newer version of PhoneGap.

I want to stress that they’re rejecting these apps only to ensure they’re running the first Apple-approved PhoneGap version, and not for any other reason. Once you update and re-submit your apps, they’ll reenter the queue and will be reviewed just like any other iPhone application. This doesn’t mean they won’t reject your app for some other reason, but at least PhoneGap won’t be a blocker anymore.

I have some additional announcements and general thoughts on PhoneGap and my use of it to post, but since this news is so big, and since I’ve been too busy lately to update my blog in a while, I thought I’d open with this post first.  I’ll hopefully resume my regular blog posting soon, so please check back later.

Update: For more information about the origins of my conversations with Apple, see my posts titled Updates on Apple / PhoneGap and Open letter to Apple iPhone Developer Support.

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About Michael Nachbaur

iOS app developer, livin' the dream. Working from wherever I find myself; Hawaii, Santa Monica, Vancouver, and elsewhere.

23 Responses to “PhoneGap officially permitted on the App Store”

  1. Deanna October 7, 2009 8:26 am
    #

    Congrats!
    That is wonderful news.
    :-)

  2. Jens October 7, 2009 8:31 am
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    This is great news indeed! Thanks for all your efforts! Glad to hear that the Apple-PhoneGap story ended well.

  3. Wolfram Kriesing October 7, 2009 10:52 am
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    Yeah, awesome. Thanks for all the work to make this happen!!! This will just push PhoneGap another step forward … rock on

  4. Josh S October 7, 2009 11:51 am
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    Very good news! Thanks for your hard work on this, it helps phonegap developers everywhere!

  5. Bart October 7, 2009 12:51 pm
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    Thanks for your time, this is nice news

  6. Sebastian Werner October 7, 2009 1:42 pm
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    Wow. Thanks. Great news. Can’t wait to see our first iPhone application built on PhoneGap in the AppStore.

  7. Andre Charland October 8, 2009 9:29 am
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    Thanks Mike! Really appreciate your hard work on this front:)

  8. David October 8, 2009 3:52 pm
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    This is good news for any web developer who doesn’t have time to learn another language for building iPhone Apps. This is better news than the Flash/iPhone news.

  9. Michael Nachbaur October 11, 2009 11:54 am
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    Thanks for all your comments, everyone. It is indeed good news, so please feel free to use and extend PhoneGap for developing your own apps. Since it is an Open Source project, it only exists because of the efforts of people willing to devote their time and skills to the endeavor. So please visit http://phonegap.com/ and join the mailing lists. If you have something you’d like to contribute, or if you’d like to help out beginners just getting started, please do so.

    Every little bit helps.

  10. prabhas October 22, 2009 11:51 am
    #

    Yo Mike, would be nice if you put a link on the bottom of your june 22, 2009 article detailing your conversation with Steve that this article exists :)
    (this one: http://nachbaur.com/blog/updates-on-apple-phonegap)

    • Michael Nachbaur October 23, 2009 2:04 pm
      #

      Good idea. I’ve added links to both relevant posts.

  11. BreakingArt February 14, 2010 10:46 pm
    #

    My app built with PhoneGap went from In Review to published in just 24 hours 41 minutes. There’s definitely no problem with PhoneGap apps in AppStore now!

    Full story here:
    http://breakingart.com/blog/2010/02/15/does-apple-approve-phonegap-apps/

  12. Tom May 29, 2010 12:55 pm
    #

    Would be nice if the video on phonegap.com worked on iPhone, considering the image link is a video playing on an iPhone.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

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