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PhoneGap Build Beginner : Tutorial 5 – Phonegap CLI Vs Phonegap Build

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In this post I will discuss the difference between PhoneGap build service PhoneGapegap CLI. I outline the scenarios which might help clear the use cases for PhoneGap CLI and PhoneGap Build.

PhoneGap CLI

  • PhoneGap CLI is a local development tool that you have to set up on your computer.
  • PhoneGap CLI is free to install and use.
  • There is a significant amount of setting up that is required as you will not only set up the PhoneGap CLI but the development environment and SDKs for each platform (Android, iOS and Windows) that you wish to build for.
  • You will have to set up SDKs and development environments for each platform that you wish to build apps for.
  • As you are developing locally the development cycle is much faster.

PhoneGap Build

  • PhoneGap build is a cloud-hosted service that you can use to build your apps.
  • The build service has both free and paid plans.
  • No setup is required on your part to use the build service to build you apps. You just have to code the app and upload it to the PhoneGap Build Service and it will take care of the build process.
  • You can build for all platforms (Android, iOS and Windows) at once.
  • As you will be uploading your code and downloading the built app, the development cycle is long and tedious.



Both PhoneGap Build and PhoneGap CLI have their uses. It just depends on one’s preference. Personally, I use the PhoneGap CLI to develop apps locally and once my app is ready, I upload the code and build for different platforms using the PhoneGap Build Service.



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Prantik Vaghela (pointdeveloper)

Hi my name is Prantik Vaghela. I have done my Bachelors and Masters in Computer Science and am a web developer and now a Tutor through my blog. :-)

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  • oktavina amba

    Thank you for sharing. If i want to build my phonegap project locally to apk, is there a limit how much file can build? As i see in phonegap build, it just can build a project 50MB max for free, How about build locally, is there a limit? thank you

    • No. The local Phonegap/Cordova CLI does not have any such limit. But keep in mind that data might be expensive to the user or they may have a slow connection which may lead to fewer downloads.

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