PhoneGap is great but setting up a cross-platform environment for every project might be a waste of time especially for fast prototyping an App. Then Adobe recently opened its Edge Suite which include a cloud based service for smartphone App. The tool we would like to underline is Adobe PhoneGap Build and its ready to compile cross-platform target. They are iOS, Android, WindowPhone, Blackberry, webOS (HP) and symbian. Using a single repository, all target are compiled at once. Well, nothing really new but quite usefull as all is packed & built with the push of one button.
Of course target-dependent packaging assets are still necessary but this is a design workflow: Each target has its own default packaging which let an app been build smoothly event without anything uploaded. Why would I use the cloud instead of the PhoneGap plugin? Well, setting up PhoneGap required 10 different environment variation and still growing with updated version of the SDKs. The cloud just do this for us.
This packaging service sounds great but still need to be tested for larger scale project. For now, it really get the testing phase smoother for compatibility debugging. PG Build is still under its beta version and is developed along side the other Edge tools. A bet would be to see a fusion of those tool into an online cloud based IDE Suite. Maybe, for now, the Adobe move on the open source and free community is quite, well, on the edge.