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Why Appcelerator Titanium is the best cross platform mobile framework?

Posted by Qamer Farooq on March 21, 2011

Choosing the best cross platform mobile framework is the first task before any one starts developing cross platform mobile applications. More or less it all depends on your target platforms, the type of application and your trade off capacity, so we could say that the selection of some cross platform framework is a game of best match to your requirements, though each of the available frameworks provide some unique features as well.

I have looked at Titanuim, Rhodes , PhoneGap & MoSync, and opted to use “Appcelerator Titanium” as my cross platform mobile development framework, and listed the reasons below why I have done so.

Reasons:

  1. It supports my planned target platforms (iPhone & Android). Though Titanium will be releasing Black Berry support soon.
  2. It maps the Javascript to native code, which means your application has the real native UI instead of a web page which is presented in a native makeup (as in PhoneGap or Rhodes). This ensures much better user experience.
  3. No added effort is required to make your application more native looking (which is required in case of PhoneGap & Rhodes some how).
  4. It invokes the actual native code, so its faster than other web page based UIs.
  5. As the native APIs have WebView component available, so we can still code some application parts in html if needed.
  6. It can be extended to add any native feature, as it allows custom plug-ins using native code per platform (Java/Android, Objective C/iPhone).
  7. It has very large library of APIs for all kinds of activities and data access, and it supports Ruby, Python, and PHP scripts for broad developer coverage.
  8. Good example documentation and video tutorials for quick start development.
  9. It has an IDE which allows you to create and run projects (you don’t need to open a terminal).
  10. Bigger community is a big plus.

References:

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Why or Why not “HTML5” for Cross Platform Mobile Development ?

Posted by Qamer Farooq on March 7, 2011

Pros :

  1. Likely standard for cross-platform mobile development.
  2. It has open standards, open source, easy to dive in, tools & libraries support and diverse community.
  3. Its combination with JavaScript & CSS3 make it more special to do great things.
  4. All modern mobile operating systems include native WebView control (Webkit) which can run this rocking combination of HTML5+JavaScript+CSS3.
  5. Same old web development skills are required, which could make it an ideal option for the web development community.
  6. Same code base could be used for other non-mobile environments with a little work.
  7. Dream of supporting all major platforms with a single-shot becomes reality.
  8. Many of the modern cross platform mobile development frameworks are based on HTML5.
  9. Lot of companies (including Facebook) are looking at HTML5 as the future platform for their apps that target next generation devices.
  10. An easy way out to cut your time and cost.
  11. Packaged in a native distribution with an embedded WebView.
  12. Device capabilities (Camera, contact, sms & file storage etc) can be utilized unlike conventional web applications.
  13. You can stay away from learning Java, Objective-C, C++ and other SDK specific languages.
  14. HTML5s offline application cache can store your HTML, CSS, and JavaScript on the device. After the first load (effectively an install), it’ll launch without an Internet connection, just like a native app.
  15. If local storage isn’t enough, there’s a full-fledged SQLite database built into WebKit.
  16. All WebViews provide hooks from Javascript to Java and vice a versa.
  17. Rapidly prototype an app. targeting multiple devices including: iPhone, iPad, Android Devices, Chrome OS Devices, Mobile WebKit Browsers & Desktop Browsers.
  18. Any native app can contain a WebView. If you need native for only part of a cross-platform app, there’s no reason you can’t code other parts of it in HTML
  19. If you’re targeting multiple platforms, or your expertise is largely Web-centric — and if you’re willing to spend some time optimizing — then it would a certain option.

Cons :

  1. Be ready to make trade offs.
  2. Native apps perform better than HTML-based ones, More accurately, it takes more work and expertise to achieve decent performance in a Web app than great performance in a native one.
  3. Its not suitable for extremely complex and highly interactive applications (3D game , multimedia or animated app).
  4. At the end its a web-app which is presented in the native wrapper, an intelligent user can distinguish the difference.
  5. Available support is inconsistent across platforms and browsers.

References :

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Cross Platform Mobile Development Frameworks

Posted by Qamer Farooq on March 7, 2011

As the mobile application development is continue to expand, its becoming a challenging job to publish your apps. for all major mobile platforms. At this point you have to choose some mobile platforms and to leave some of them from your plans. In this situation cross platform mobile apps. development frameworks could help you, the idea is to write once and run anywhere without learning five or six major SDKs. Though they are not the perfect answer to all of your needs, but still they are pretty good to manage a big share of your requirements.

Here are four mostly used cross-platform development frameworks which are used to deliver “write once and run anywhere” experience to the developers.

PhoneGap
PhoneGap is an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores.

Language : HTML, Javascript
Platforms : iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm WebOS, Symbian, Windows Mobile support
Device capability support :  Geo Location , Vibration, Accelerometer, Sound (play & record), Camera, File system IO, and Gesture / Multitouch. more detail.
Open Source License : MIT
Free : YES
Community size todate : Messages= 18361, Users= 4696
IDE : Eclipse-based environment
Distribution format : Native distribution format of each platform

Rhodes
Rhomobile’s free and open source mobile application framework Rhodes lets you quickly build native mobile applications for all major smartphones. These are true native device applications (not mobile web apps)

Language : HTML, Javascript, Ruby
Platforms : iPhone, Windows Mobile, Blackberry, Symbian and Android
Device capability support : Geo Location, PIM contacts and calendar, camera, native mapping, push, barcode, signature capture, and Bluetooth. more detail.
Open Source License : MIT,  but commercial license is also available for enterprise grade support.
Free : YES
Community size todate : Messages= 11547, Users = 972
IDE : Any IDE that supports Ruby. Eclipse can also be used with Ruby plugin.
Distribution format : Ruby with HTML interface features compiled through an interpreter into native applications.

Appcelerator Titanium
A free and open source application development platform, Titanium lets you create native mobile, tablet and desktop  application experiences using existing web skills like Javascript, HTML, CSS, Python, Ruby, and PHP.

Language : HTML, Javascript
Platforms : iPhone, Android
Device capability support : Geo Location, Vibration support, Accelerometer support, Sound (play/record) support, Camera support,File system IO support, Gesture / Multitouch support and Contacts.
Open Source License : Apache Public License v2, Proprietary
Free : YES
Community size todate : Messages: 11917, Users = 1.5 Million
IDE : Titanium Developer
Distribution format : Native distribution format of each platform

MoSync
MoSync is a Software Development Kit which allows you to develop applications for all the major mobile platforms using a single environment and C/C++ code base on Windows or OS X.

Language : C/C++
Platforms : iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile, Symbian, JavaME and Moblin platforms. (Blackberry and Windows Phone 7 support is coming shortly).
Device capability support : Geo Location, PIM, Camera access(comming soon), Basic audio,Stylus/touch input,Vibration and Bluetooth (except iPhone). more detail.
License : GPL v2 (plus commercial edition)
Free : NO (if you don’t publish your source code), YES (If you publish your source code)
Community size todate : Messages: 2908, Users: 12706
IDE : Eclipse-based environment
Distribution format : SIS, CAB, JAD, JAR, APK, OTA deployment

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