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Grunt workflow for building AngularJS applications on PhoneGap.

Project README

Angular PhoneGap

An opinionated workflow for building kick-ass mobile apps using Cordova and AngularJS. This README is biased toward iOS apps on Cordova, but it will aim to be platform-agnostic in the future.

Getting Started


To use this tool, you'll need the following installed: npm, grunt, cordova (3.5.0 at this time of this writing). Follow the instructions below. You'll also need either ios-deploy or XCode, depending on whether you want to build, test and debug your app with XCode or not.

Install the Grunt CLI

Install the grunt command line interface:

npm install -g grunt-cli

Install Bower

Bower is a package manager like NPM, mostly used for front-end components (like jQuery).

npm install -g bower

Install ios-sim

If you don't want to use XCode, you can use ios-sim to install and debug iPhone apps without using XCode.

npm install -g ios-sim

Install the Cordova CLI

npm install -g cordova

Then, navigate to this repo's root directory, and generate a new cordova project in your app/ folder:

cordova create app <bundle_id> <app_name>

For example:

cordova create app com.example.hello HelloWorld

This will add relevant files into your app/ directory:


Next, navigate to your app directory and run the following command:

cd app/

cordova platform add <platform_name>

In our case, we want to build an iOS app, so run:

cordova platform add ios

This will add iOS-specific files into your app/platforms directory so you can start building your app and running it in simulator.

Next, run:

cordova prepare

Cordova will build and compile your application.

To make sure things are working, fire off the following command:

cordova emulate ios

This will fire up your iOS Simulator and display a Cordova logo.

Installing Dev Dependencies

After you've created your Cordova project, navigate back to the root directory and run the following commands:

npm install
bower install

Get Started

Start the main grunt task:

grunt dev

This will build the initial development files, start up a web server, and run watch on our files so they can can be compiled on the fly as they are changed. Browser opens automatically and navigates to http://localhost:9001/

Developing in a Webkit-based browser is best. When you're ready to test your app in the simulator or on a device, either fire off:

cordova run ios

Or open up XCode and build the project from there.

You should see "It's working!". You can now start developing your app!

Start Building

As mentioned above, use the following command to start the dev process:

grunt dev

This is essentially like running the following commands consecutively:

grunt build:development // builds initial files
grunt connect           // starts up a local server
grunt watch             // watches your src files for changes

When you change any file in the src/ directory, grunt will notice and recompile the proper files and place them into the www/ directory. The www directory is then later used by cordova to prepare the application to be copied over to the device (or simulator).

grunt watch will only watch for files you change and only build out related files. For example, if you change a .less file, grunt will only rebuild all LESS files and copy them over to www/. If you want to rebuild the entire project, use the following commands:

grunt build:development


grunt build:production

The latter will use UglifyJS to minify your files, setting them up for production. It will also use the the file in src/js/config/environments/production.js. This is useful for setting up things like API routes and/or public keys that differ per-environment.

Running unit- and e2e tests

First, you'll need to install the karma CLI if you haven't already:

npm install -g karma-cli

If you wish to a browser other than Firefox to run your tests, just replace karma-chrome-launcher in package.json with your preferred launcher. You need to change the settings in /test/karma-*.conf.js files accordingly.

Unit Tests

The following command will run all tests found in the /test/unit folder:

test\test.bat // for Windows
test/  // for Linux/Mac OS

End-to-end (e2e) Tests

To run all end to end tests in the /test/e2e folder, run:

grunt dev         // if not already started
test\e2e-test.bat // for Windows
test/  // for Linux/Mac OS

Directory Structure

The src/ directory is your main AngularJS project folder. It consists of several directories and initial files of interest:

  |- css/                   <-- For all LESS files.
  | |- common/              <-- Project-wide CSS rules.
  | | |- base.less          <-- Main css file.
  | |- config/              <-- LESS config files, e.g. vars, mixins.
  | | |- colors.less        <-- Example config file with color vars.
  |- html/
  | |- layouts/
  | | |- application.tmpl   <-- Main application layout.
  | |- partials/            <-- All view files loaded
  | | |- home/
  | | | |- index.html       <-- Example view file.
  |- img/                   <-- Images go here.
  |- js/
  | |- config/              <-- Config root. Run methods, route, sanitization, etc.
  | | |- environments/
  | | | |- development.js   <-- Development environment global vars.
  | | | |- production.js    <-- Production environment global vars.
  | | |- router.js          <-- Router.
  | | |- sanitizer.js       <-- $compileProvider for link sanitation.
  | |- controllers/         <-- All Angular controllers
  | | |- home_controller.js <-- Example controller
  | |- directives/          <-- All directives
  | |- filters/             <-- All filters
  | |- modules              <-- All modules
  | |- services/            <-- All services
  | |- app.js               <-- Main Angular initialization file.
  | |- pg.js                <-- PhoneGap initialization class.


The bower.json contains all the components that your app requires. You can add more components by installing via Bower.

bower search <packagename>

Will run a search for packages. Use bower install --save

bower install <packagename> --save

The --save option adds the components into your bower.json file. This will also install the package into the vendor/ directory as specified in .bowerrc. You can change that directory, but you'll also need to change it in Gruntfile.js, specified below, and add the directory to .gitignore.

Keeping a bower.json is useful so you can keep package source files out of version control, and have developers install them via Bower after downloading your repository.


Gruntfile.js is where the magic happens. You will need to add any Bower components you want into the assets.css and assets.js properties. Angular, Bootstrap 3, and Font-Awesome are already added for you.

Some Conventions to Keep in Mind

There are certain conventions to keep in mind. When creating a controller, use the following syntax:

angular.module(_CONTROLLERS_).controller('HomeController', function($scope) {


The _CONTROLLERS_ variable is defined in src/js/app.js, where it takes the base application name and concatenates it with controllers. This way you won't need to keep adding module names into your initial top-level app module (in src/js/app.js).

Do the same for _DIRECTIVES_, _SERVICES_, and so on.

Other Notes


Due to AngularJS's dependency injection (DI), minifying files for production messes things up since Angular uses argument names to look up module/service/etc names. To solve this we can pass an array to our angular modules with the string names of the dependencies. This is annoying to continually do, so we use grunt-ngmin automatically generate this, so you can use normal arguments in your modules.

Vim Notes

If you're using Vim with ctrlp, you can add the following line to your ~/.vimrc file to exclude the build/, tmp/, and release/ folders from the search directories.

set wildignore+=/path/to/repo/tmp/*,/path/to/repo/build/*,/path/to/repo/release/*

Version History

Version Date Description
1.2.0 06-04-14 Working unit and e2e tests. Thanks mikkoviitala. Update Angular to 1.2.16, karma, grunt, bower, Fontawesome.
1.1.1 01-14-14 Update angular to 1.2.8, readme changes.
1.1.0 12-22-13 Use Cordova instead of PG CLI, upgrade to 3.3.0, update documentation, and manage some breaking changes to directory structure.
1.0.2 08-30-13 Hotfixes.
1.0.1 08-30-13 Re-release as a simple workflow instead of npm module.
1.0.0 07-30-13 Initial version.
Open Source Agenda is not affiliated with "Ng Phonegap" Project. README Source: calvinl/ng-phonegap
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