One of the downsides of using PhoneGap Build over a local PhoneGap installation is that you lose a little bit of control. This is most noticeable when it comes to plugins, as you will only be able to be install plugins that have been submitted to and approved by the PhoneGap Build team.
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Fortunately, there’s no lack of plugins available on PhoneGap Build and they are constantly growing. I like to have a browse through the 3rd party plugins list from time to time to see what’s new and there has been a staggering amount added recently. Here’s a few interesting new ones that caught my eye.
The PushWoosh plugin has been around for a while but it has just recently been updated to the latest version. PushWoosh allows you to easily send and receive push notifications in your app. Push notifications can be broadcasted from their online interface or through interacting programatically with their API.
If you’ve downloaded more than a few apps you would have likely come across a ”Rate this app” dialog at some point. AppRate allows you to include this functionality in your app built with PhoneGap Build. This plugin currently supports iOS and Android and has experimental support for Blackberry and Windows.
Nothing overly excited or crazy going on here, but this plugin will allow you to use the pin dialog popup to more easily enter in numeric values.
In iOS8 Apple introduced Touch ID which allows users to use their fingerprint for authentication instead of a password. The Touch ID plugin allows you to make use of this functionality with PhoneGap.
A simple plugin that allows you to continue playing music even when the application is not open.
Screenshot allows you to take a screenshot of what is currently on the users screen and save it.
The WifiWizard plugin allows you to manage WiFi connections from within an application. It is currently only being developed for Android but there is plans to develop it for iOS in the future.
A lot of these plugins have very obvious names. This one allows you to open up a different native application from your application. Currently only for Android.
This one seems a bit random but I would have found this super useful when I was converting an Android application into Sencha Touch. Since it was a running application, naturally the user would be shaking the device a lot. This caused an unexpected problem with the input fields where they would occasionally get messages asking them if they want to undo what they just wrote! If I revisit it in the future I’ll be sure to include this.
The list of PhoneGap Build plugins is a lot larger than it used to be and you can find all sorts of cool and obscure functionality that is now available. Leave a comment with your favourite PhoneGap Build plugins!