The non-profit Symbian Foundation has joined with Nitobi, creators of PhoneGap, in an open-source collaboration for cross-platform mobile application development.

Announced this week, Symbian’s tools are now integrated with Nitobi’s “write once, run anywhere” mobile application development framework. This will enable developers to build mobile applications with CSS, HTML and JavaScript for major mobile platforms such as Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Palm and Symbian. Symbian’s Web development tools became available in April.

“The sweet spot for this combination is for those who have done a lot of Web development, and are probably not comfortable with C++ and writing native applications, but want to do a little more than write a Web page,” said Paul Beusterien, head of Symbian’s Development Tools group.   

Developers “are now able to access phone contacts and other device capabilities in addition to the Web programming knowledge they already have,” he added.  

Symbian capabilities include mobile application previewing, debugging, project creation and mobile API support, while “PhoneGap brings the ability to get a set of APIs for device capabilities that [developers] can write to in a standard way for multiple mobile platforms,” Beusterien said.

Native device capabilities include accelerometers, cameras, GPS and more. In addition, Nitobi contributed PhoneGap to Symbian, which is now included in the Symbian 3 platform Web extensions package.