In 2011, the PhoneGap codebase moved to an open source Apache Software Foundation project under the name Cordova. Adobe still distributes the library under the PhoneGap name. Although both of the project names are referenced in this publication, it is by design and not meant to cause confusion. Essentially, both the PhoneGap and Cordova projects are the same, and refer to the same free, open source library.
The PhoneGap application acts as a client for the user to interact with. The PhoneGap client communicates with an application server to receive data. The application server handles business logic and communicates with a back-end data repository. The client to application server communication can be based upon standard HTTP requests for HTML content, REST-ful XML services, JSON services, or SOAP (or websockets if your OS supports it). These are the exact same techniques that you would use in a desktop-browser based AJAX) application. In detail, for each PhoneGap platform:
- You can develop Android and HP webOS apps on any of the major desktop operating systems like Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux
- You can develop Symbian Web Runtime apps on any OS, but you can only run the simulator from Windows
- Developing for BlackBerry is similar, the SDK can be installed on Windows or Mac OS X, but, at the time of writing, the simulator only runs on Windows
- The iOS SDK requires the latest version, 10.6, of Mac OS X