Genuitec Launches Debugger for PhoneGap, Apache Cordova

Genuitec ships GapDebug, a new debugger for developers building PhoneGap and Apache Cordova apps.

Mobile app dev

Development tool maker Genuitec has launched a private beta of its GapDebug tool for debugging PhoneGap and Apache Cordova apps.

The free tool enables app testers and developers to debug any PhoneGap application without the need to set up builds. Mobile developers are no longer restricted to a Mac for iOS app testing, or weighed down by the tedious set-up process associated with Android debugging. Developers need only connect an iOS or Android device to a computer to start debugging right away.

GapDebug goes beyond popular tools, like Weinre, allowing for live, on-device inspection of failures, Genuitec said.

"No instrumentation, no rebuilds, no vendor lock-in," Wayne Parrott, vice president of product development at Genuitec, said in a statement. "For on-device debugging of modern mobile applications, GapDebug is the only solution that will always be free to mobile developers. We look forward to seeing how the PhoneGap community shares in our excitement with GapDebug."

GapDebug is built on top of the Eclipse RCP plug-in platform and uses Genuitec's Secure Delivery Center technology for quick, easy installation and evergreen updates. Being built on Java enables the tool to run on Windows and Mac hardware, Parrott said.

Using GapDebug, a developer can simultaneously debug multiple iOS and Android applications from either Windows or Mac hardware with equal capability, Parrott said. "Prior to GapDebug, iOS developers were locked into Apple's Mac-only platform tools or had to resort to [less effective] ad hoc methods when debugging Cordova apps," he said. "This capability is important to users that use cloud-based mobile app build services such as PhoneGap Build or Genuitec's MyEclipse App Center Builder as an alternative to expensive Apple hardware when building apps for the iOS platform."

GapDebug enables mobile developers using the open-source Cordova and PhoneGap SDKs to debug their cross-platform mobile apps from a single convenient environment. Genuitec refers to this as "plug and debug."

"Because of the advanced debugging capabilities I expect GapDebug will become the primary cross-platform debugging tool of the Cordova and PhoneGap developer communities in a very short time," Parrott told eWEEK. "My favorite features include the DOM inspector with live editing and testing of changes, JavaScript conditional breakpoints and profiling of network interactions such as use of cloud services and local JavaScript execution on the device."

GapDebug enables developers to expose information with ease using JavaScript breakpoints to inspect applications for failure points and to explore device storage to confirm how an application works with the collected data. It also enables users to detect failings in UI design with exposure of errors and messages in an application from the console.

Genuitec is committed to the success of the Cordova developer community, particularly at the enterprise level—thus the free tool.

To register for the private beta, click here.