I realized this past week, that I'm spoiled in terms of GUIs. As a designer, I, in the past, haven't often had to leave the Adobe environments that are so well-designed. Eclipse? The opposite.
If using Adobe programs is like driving a new Prius, Eclipse is the manually-shifted pickup truck that your grandfather bought in 1982.
Maybe that's not fair. Anyhow, I ran into a lot of problems treading out on my own [i.e., away from the comfort of the class tutorials] in the Eclipse environment and, since I've nearly decided to build my thesis in PhoneGap anyhow, I decided to abandon ship and pick up PhoneGap for the first time. Though I chose to start in iOS, my code will transfer to Android if I decide to go that way in the future.
I started with a series of Lynda tutorials, 'Up and Running with Phone Gap', which are mostly helpful in building in iOS, but include setup instructions for Android as well. The 'course' does a good job of setting you up with an understanding not only of PhoneGap, but mobile applications in general. It was good for me to understand what it is that PhoneGap does, and how I can make it useful for me.
So, I'll get down to it. The tutorial leads you through building an application that has a lot of elements to it: UI features with JQuery Mobile and Mustache.js, accessing the phone's Connectivity API to see if wifi/internet is available (need this for other APIs), tracking your location with the Geolocation API, using the Camera API, and the phone's native Storage API.
Here's a quick video of the little app in action:
This is all very exciting, as I will need to use all of those APIs, with the exception of the Camera, for the app I'm building for thesis. So, as an exercise in both learning a lot about PhoneGap and setting a framework for my Thesis, I think it was pretty successful.