PhoneGap Build lets developers create Windows Phone apps in the cloud

Developers can upload their code and get apps for Windows Phone, iOS and Android back

Windows Phone can now be targeted by PhoneGap Build, a cloud-based service for creating cross-platform mobile phone apps, according to a Tuesday blog post from Nitobi, the service's creators.

Developers first write their applications using HTML, CSS or JavaScript then upload the code to the Build service, which sends back apps for Apple's iOS, Google's Android, Research In Motion's BlackBerry OS -- and now Windows Phone too.

Instead of configuring environments and installing platform-specific tools, developers can focus on writing apps, according to the blog post. Build is still under development, but developers that want to try it out can sign up to test the public beta version, it said.

Once the product has been launched, the main priority is providing PhoneGap Build as a web service that can seamlessly integrate with existing technology infrastructure and tools, according to an FAQ.

The service will remain free for open source projects, and pricing details for commercial applications will be announced closer to the public launch.

Also, earlier this week, PhoneGap's owner, Adobe Systems, introduced Creative Suite 6, which has better integration with Build. The integration allows developers who use Dreamweaver, an HTML editor, to target more platforms.

Adobe acquired PhoneGap's creator Nitobi in October last year, and about a month later Adobe announced plans to ditch Flash for mobile app development and instead focus on HTML5.

Gaining the support of cross-platform tool vendors such as Adobe is important for Microsoft as it wants to increase the number of applications available for its mobile OS.

Soon two-thirds of the top 100 applications for competing operating systems will be available on the Windows Phone Marketplace, and that number continues to grow, Nokia CEO Stephen Elop said last week.

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Mikael Ricknäs

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