George McKinney Adventures in Software Development

December 27, 2013

Widgets, Config.xml and Cross-Platform Mobile Development

Filed under: Cordova,PhoneGap,PhoneGap Build,Samsung TV,Tizen — georgemck @ 10:35 pm

Mobile Applications aka Apps that run installed on mobile devices are of two types: native and hybrid apps.

Many of these hybrid apps use a config.xml file which follows the W3C widget specification ( in order to instruct the native compiler to load required elements that a physical device (phone, tablet, television, car, you name it!) needs that a web browser does not. These elements pertain to security, loading times, splash screens, permissions, license, icons, author, content type and more.

Because many web apps are packaged in this way. It’s a good idea to be familiar with them as you will see them again and again and understanding the similarities will help you to more quickly port your existing apps to other platforms.

The following platforms use config.xml for packaged apps:

Apache Cordova

Adobe PhoneGap

BlackBerry WebWorks

Tizen Web

Samsung Smart TV

These will be helpful resources for you.

October 26, 2013

Augmented Reality Mobile Apps in JavaScript

Filed under: Android,Augmented Reality,BB10,BlackBerry,Chrome Browser,Mobile,PhoneGap — georgemck @ 1:03 am


On Oct. 22nd, 2013, I gave a presentation at the HTML5 Developers Conference in San Francisco,

This is about JavaScript, Augmented Reality, mobile apps, PhoneGap, BlackBerry WebWorks and touched on Google Nexus devices and the Tizen OS.
There are many hyperlinks to click on to go to source code, demos and resources inside.

My presentation is viewable at the link below.

To navigate it, use the Arrow keys to go up, down, right, left.

AR Mobile Apps

To navigate it, use the Arrow keys to go up, down, right, left.

Thank you,

May 17, 2013

Mobile Augmented Reality with HTML5 on BlackBerry 10

My friend @Yosun on Twitter of AReality3D asked me to create a mobile AR app using Adobe PhoneGap,, and the JS Aruco library, JS Aruco utilizes a port of OpenCV,, for JavaScript, It takes advantage of HTML5 browser capabilities getUserMedia ( and WebGL (checkout Three.js, to enable desktop browsers to create augmented reality using JavaScript.

I used Google’s Chrome Browser to verify the web application worked on the desktop. This got me thinking about the recently released BlackBerry 10 phones and their heavily touted “better than desktop Chrome” mobile browser, and I thought I would give it a try. Heading over to one of the JS Aruco demos,, in the Z10’s mobile browser, it worked. I decided to take things a bit further and actually build a mobile app rather than use the website application. I used WebWorks which is the BlackBerry-engineered Cordova PhoneGap distribution with deeper integration with device capabilities than Cordova on BlackBerry mobiles. The result of the test was this video, Performance is a little slow and the video a bit hazy but I know it will perform better with some code optimization…

A little background about augmented reality. I started experimenting with augmented reality back in 2009 using using the FLAR Toolkit,, with Papervision3D,, for demoing virtual fashion shows in LA. FLAR Toolkit enabled Flash developers to create browser-based experiences using 3D and the video stream from a computer’s web camera. This technology uses black-and-white markers for tracking. A pretty-cool way for developers playing around with computer vision.

Total Immersion,, took this experience to a higher level when the company released its first Flash-based AR SDK for their industry-leading D’Fusion studio. This brought their hallmark markerless tracking ability using live video streams with excellent performance to corporate brands. Take a look at this project I worked on for Kraft using it, Unfortunately, the licensing cost of their solution kept it out of reach for most developers.

Fast-forward a couple years and now Flash is a less emphasized technology and being rapidly displaced by HTML5 on destkop and by native coding in mobile devices. Qualcomm released its augmented reality SDK for Android and iOS devices, Vuforia, for free which brings native and Unity 3D mobile developers the ability to create AR. Many brands have adopted this solution including American Apparel,, for use with smartphone apps.

Mobile Augmented Reality with JavaScript can be considered another piece of the puzzle being filled in to replace Flash. With this success, I see many more applications that are leveraging the dynamic nature of JavaScript and the ease of use and device capabilities a modern phone provides. Congratulations to all the projects and teams involved here in breaking new ground.

August 25, 2012

Create a Mobile App in 30 Minutes!

Getting Started with PhoneGap and PhoneGap Build

This is a brief overview of how to build mobile applications using the PhoneGap framework.

Using a text editor and a web browser and a few images, a Hello LA PhoneGap application will be built

You can download the project at

June 18, 2012

Rapid App Development for PhoneGap using OrionHub

Filed under: Eclipse,OrionHub,PhoneGap,PhoneGap Build — Tags: , , , — georgemck @ 4:17 pm

I later discovered that OrionHub has an installable version you can run from the desktop. This would have helped me presentation go more smoothly.

Windows Phone 7 Apps with Metro UI

Filed under: PhoneGap,PhoneGap Build,Windows Phone 7 — Tags: , , , , , — georgemck @ 3:54 pm

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