Drupal App - How to Make a Native Android App Using DrupalGap

| Drupal Development | 10 seen

It has been a while since I decided to build my first Android app powered by Drupal.

Actually, I haven't built any other kind of app yet. But I have investigated a few options though.

My findings to the day are DrupalGap.org

I'm still investigating this tool, so for reference, I will list information from drupalgap.org. In the coming days/weeks and months, I will do my best to complete my first App built on the surface of Drupal. I'm planning to make a simple travel app, with geolocations and other useful tools, that a travel app could use.

I'm not sure where my path will lead me - but I'm confident I to make this journey using drupalgap.org

What is DrupalGap?

An Open Source Mobile Application Development Kit for Drupal websites.

DrupalGap has two parts...

  1. Drupal Module
  2. Mobile Application Development Kit

The Drupal Module opens up communication possibilities between a mobile app and the website. The Mobile Application Development Kit is used by developers to create custom mobile applications.

How does the module work?

The DrupalGap module uses the Services and Views Datasource modules to help mobile apps communicate with a Drupal website using JSON.

How does the mobile app dev kit work?

The DrupalGap mobile application development kit uses jQueryMobile to build the user interface and PhoneGap to compile the App for installation on mobile devices.

How does PhoneGap work?

PhoneGap takes HTMLCSS, and JavaScript and compiles it into a mobile application for iOS and Android mobile devices (and many others).

PhoneGap provides access, via JavaScript, to mobile device features such as the Camera, GPS, File System, Contacts, Compass, Accelerometer, etc.

This means, if we know the basics of web development (html, css, javascript), then we can build mobile applications. This also means, our single set of code (HTML+CSS+JavaScript) can be used across multiple mobile platforms.

1. Set up a Drupal 7 Website

To build a mobile application, we first need a Drupal 7 website. For starters, we'll want our Drupal 7 website to be available online. This means, we should be able to visit the website online by using our mobile device's web browser.

Chances are if you are reading this, you already have a Drupal website online (or several). If that is the case, go ahead and jump to step #2. If you are new to Drupal, don't worry, there are plenty of great resources on getting a Drupal 7 website up and running.

2. Enable the DrupalGap Module

For our mobile application to be able to communicate with our Drupal website, the DrupalGap module needs to be enabled. Please refer to the DrupalGap Module Documentation for more information.

3. Set up a Mobile Application Development Environment

Since DrupalGap utilizes the power of PhoneGap, we need to set up a PhoneGap mobile application development environment for DrupalGap, before building and testing our mobile application.

4. Done!

We're now ready to run our mobile application!

If you haven't already, we'd recommend completing the "Hello World" for DrupalGap next. Otherwise, feel free to head back to the Getting Started Guide for various topics on developing mobile applications with DrupalGap.

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