App of the week: PhoneGap


PhoneGap represents a tremendous opportunity for web designers and developers. With it, you can apply your existing skill set for creating web pages and applications with HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript to create mobile apps that can be sold in the popular app marketplaces. PhoneGap makes app development for mobile devices more accessible to a broader pool of developers — including web designers who don’t handle all that much code.

Before I go any further, let me briefly explain how PhoneGap works. PhoneGap wraps your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript code so that it can be installed as an app across a wide variety of supported platforms. It also provides a means (via an API) of accessing device features such as the camera, accelerometer, and more. In this way, PhoneGap gives developers the ability to create a full-featured mobile app using web technologies.

Even with PhoneGap, it can still be a big leap to go from building web pages to building apps, so it is a good idea to plan ahead for this transition. Some of the questions a designer or developer should ask when moving from browser to mobile app development are:

  • Can I reuse my existing web site code? If so, how?
  • How do I design for multiple form factors and operating systems while maintaining a common code base?
  • How do I handle the range of display destinations, including standard, high-density, and others?
  • What is the process for generating and deploying apps on multiple platforms?

Fortunately, PhoneGap is widely used and there are many examples of successful apps developed by designers and developers who have already successfully tackled these issues.

This article looks at one such example, an app for OfferzNow created by Enlighten (see Video 1), and describes their process for building a PhoneGap app for both iOS and Android using Adobe Illustrator CC, Adobe Photoshop CC, and Adobe Dreamweaver CC.


App of the week: PicLab HD


PicLab HD makes image editing an absolute doddle – enabling you to either snap a photo or grab one from your photo library, then go to town on it. As well as adding typography – lots of fonts and full control over size, positioning, opacity, rotation, and colour – you can layer illustrations, ornamentation and other design elements.

App for the week: ColorSchemer Touch


Put over a million palettes in your pocket with ColorSchemer Touch. Turn your iPhone/iPod Touch into an endless source of ideas and inspiration from the 450,000-member COLOURlovers creative design community. ColorSchemer Touch makes it fun and easy to explore, create, interact, and share your color ideas – whenever inspiration strikes.

App of the week: Snapseed


Memories. Experiences. Images. Snap them and they’re yours. But now, with Snapseed, the fun really begins. Get a little gritty with your images. Add some drama. Go vintage. Or selectively adjust with a tap and a swipe. We’ve made sophisticated photo editing effects – high-powered techniques the pros use – really simple, intuitive, and just a little addictive. If you’re just getting started, head over to learn or take a scroll here through what’s possible. Right now. With just a couple of taps, swipes, and clicks.

App of the week: myPANTONE


For over 50 years, PANTONE has been the international language of color. Why struggle with color communication when you can simply reference a PANTONE Color and designers and manufacturers all over the world will know your exact hue. With the myPANTONE™ app you have access to over 13,000 PANTONE® Colors, including the PANTONE PLUS SERIES and Fashion + Home colors. Easily create color palettes for inspiration and share them with friends, clients and vendors. myPANTONE offers designers and color conscious consumers a way to take PANTONE Colors with them wherever they go. Can’t remember what a color looks like? Now you can have Portable Color Memory™.

App of the week: What the font


Ever seen a great font in a magazine ad, poster, or on the web and wondered what font it is? Whip out your phone and snap a photo, and WhatTheFont Mobile will identify that font in seconds!

WhatTheFont Mobile connects directly to MyFonts’ acclaimed font identification service, which has been helping customers pinpoint mystery fonts for 10 years. It works via Wi-Fi or the mobile phone network, so you can get your font fix right there on the spot.