HTML5AppTester – The iOS App to test PhoneGap Apps

Hello again!

As many of you know, I am close to finishing my Master degree the UNED (National University of Distance Education). This obviously meant going through a Master Thesis, and this where things get really interesting. At UNED, the IT department is really focused on building online laboratories that students can access and use at any given time, they call this RELATED (REmoted Laboratory ExtendeD). The laboratories are essentially small apps that the students can interact with. As part of a previous Master Thesis, a module called App Builder was implemented, this allowed students to transform, the laboratories into Apps they could install on their mobile devices. This worked thanks to the PhoneGap Build API.

The Apps were essentially HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript, so they could be transformed into an App that could access the device’s hardware by creating a PhoneGap config.xml and making some minor adjustments. The first version was pretty straightforward, but lacked personalization options and iOS support. And this is where I came in ;).

My first task was to to allow further personalization, allowing users to upload their own icon and splashscreen and provide a much more robust experience. The system was overhauled by redoing the frontend structure and the server that managed all the tasks. This was hard work, but a problem remained unsolved, what should we do with iOS?

AppIcon76x76@2xThe problem with iOS is that for PhoneGap to build an App, it requires the developer certificates. That means that you need an iOS Developer license and a Mac computer. This is one hell of an investment for someone who just wants to tinker with a PhoneGap App on iOS. That made me think, what if we could make something simpler? Something that allowed a web developer to upload their PhoneGAp App to any FTP server and test it on their iOS device. Well, the answer to this question is my new App HTML5AppTester. This is a system that will allow RELATED students to test their laboratory Apps on any platform, but will also allow any web developer to test their PhoneGap iOS on a physical iOS device easily. You don’t even have to type in the server address and can directly scan a QR code. You can check out a demo below:

You can also take a look at the screenshots below.


The App is free on the App Store. Hope you enjoy it and I can’t wait to see what it helps you build!