The cross-platform battle shifts to mobile and PhoneGap is arming up with Andre Charland and Fil Maj of Nitobi

When I was a partner at a web development company in the late ’90’s we were in the middle of a browser war between a standards-compliant Netscape Navigator and the free-wheeling Microsoft Internet Explorer. We were also at a crossroads as the average computer resolution was bouncing between 640X480 and 800X600. As a result of these, and a few other issues at the time, we spent about a third of our time tweaking so our designs looked good across all platforms and browsers.

Flash forward to today’s mobile world and the issue is compounded by multiple OS platforms (iPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, Android and WebOS), multiple screen resolutions, multiple input mechanisms (touch screen, on screen keyboard, physical keypad) and a mix of configurations based on the hardware profiles of these devices (GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth).

As you can see, building a simple mobile application is no longer “simple”

That’s where initiatives like PhoneGap come in to play. PhoneGap is an open source development framework for building cross-platform mobile apps using familiar languages like HTML and JavaScript.

Talking to Nitobi (purveyors of PhoneGap) CEO Andre Charland and “Master Exploder” Fil Maj, you get the sense their mission is to democratize mobile application development by harnessing the power of the millions of developers who have mastered the cross-browser issue and are in need of a new challenge.


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About Andre Charland
Andre Charland Fil Maj
Andre Charland is the co-founder and CEO at Nitobi Inc. He’s been at the forefront of Web 2.0 software development for almost a decade and is an expert on the next generation web. Andre is an advocate for usability and user experience and speaks regularly about how to keep users engaged and active on websites or web-based application. Most recently Andre presented on the Adobe AIR Tour throughout Europe. He’s also been a speaker at the Voices That Matter web design conference, Adobe MAX, JavaOne and AjaxWorld. Andre is the co-author of “Enterprise Ajax”, published by Prentice Hall last summer and is the lead blogger for O’Reilly’s

About Fil Maj

Fil works on .NET-based and PhoneGap-based projects at Nitobi, and wrote the original PhoneGap BlackBerry implementation. Fil is a fan of the Android platform and likes to hack on Android PhoneGap projects for fun. He has a B.Sc. in Computing Science, with a strong interest in artificial intelligence, neural networks and human cognition. In his spare time Fil enjoys being outdoors, playing sports and games, playing his drums, watching hockey and eating food.

About the author

Rob Woodbridge

I'm Rob, the founder of and I've spent 14 years immersed in the mobile and pervasive computing world. During this great time I've helped some of the most innovative companies grow their business through mobile. If you are in need of a mobile business advisor or coach, connect with me here to get things rolling.

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