HTML5 Cross Platform Tools Overview
If you’ve been interested in creating mobile apps you may have recently come across a number of articles that talked about “HTML5 Cross Platform” solutions. These cross platform solutions may fit your needs if you are looking for the following:
- Use HTML to create a mobile app
- Need to create an app for multiple platforms
- Need to create an app involving notification, security and multiple platforms
There a are a number of solutions within this space and if you were at our AT&T Mobile App Hackathon, you would have had the chance to chat with them. If you would like the opportunity to speak with the founders of these various platforms, your next opportunity is at our Mobile App Hackathon in San Diego on June 4th.
Please note that what follows is a brief overview of the various HTML5 cross platform solutions. Odds are that your specific needs will vary and you will need to dig deeper into each platform. Should you have questions and would like to talk to any of the founders, please post back to this forum and I will take it upon myself to help connect you to the right people. I can also be found on Twitter.
Here is the list in no specific order:
PhoneGap – http://www.phonegap.com
AppMobi – http://www.appmobi.com/
AppMobi offers a cloud-based development system that includes a the XDK development tool (includes debugging on PC and device, emulation, and final binary builds for Android and Apple platforms). AppMobi is partnered with Amazon AWS and offesr a number of extra services such as remote updates of apps (without resubmitting through the Apple App Store), analytics, push notifications, an ad system, and in-app payments, all of which are “pay as you go”.
RhoMobile – http://rhomobile.com
Rhodes is Ruby-based framework that enables the creation of native apps for major smartphone operating systems (iPhone, Windows Mobile, RIM, Symbian and Android). These are true native device applications that can leverage device capabilities such as GPS, PIM contacts and calendar, camera, native mapping, push, barcode, signature capture, and Bluetooth.
Within the RhoMobile product line, there are four distinct products:
- Rhodes – develop a mobile app for major smartphone operating systems (iPhone, Windows Mobile, RIM, Symbian and Android).
- RhoSync – An online data store to keep your enterprise application data current and available.
- RhoHub – A website that provides hosted builds of Rhodes-based apps, version control, collaboration and a hosted runtime RhoSync server.
- RhoGallery – Is a mobile app and data management solution.
Appcelerator – http://www.appcelerator.com
There are two primary tools:
- Titanium Mobile – Titanium Mobile enables the creation of native iPhone, iPad and Android applications. The software eases app creation by giving the developer access to over 300 APIs that help build full-featured applications which run just like they were written in Objective-C (iPhone and iPad) or Java (Android).
- Titanium Desktop – Titanium Desktop enables the creation of apps for Linux, Windows and OSX platforms. Desktop applications can have customized OS-specific UI, database access, offline functionality, receive notifications, and play multimedia.
Red Foundry – http://redfoundry.com
Red Foundry is a hosted solution that simplifies the app creation process by providing push notification, social network integration and analytics at the click of a button. Custom layouts and functionality can be added to applications using Red Foundry’s own mark-up language, which is similar to HTML.
Ansca – http://www.anscamobile.com
Ansca’s mobile development framework is known as Corona SDK and is used primarily for creating native, graphically rich and connected applications for the iPhone, iPad, and Android. Developers use the easy-to-learn Lua language and take advantage of Corona SDK’s APIs to quickly build applications and add advanced functionality, like physics, in just a few lines of code. Corona SDK’s architecture – Lua on top of OpenGL – is very similar to platforms used to develop games from companies like ngmoco and Rovio and delivers very high-performance.
Corona SDK is available on both Mac and Windows and can build applications for iOS and Android. It also includes easy integration with 3rd party services like Openfeint, Facebook Connect, Flurry and several monetization services.
Developers can download Corona SDK for free and develop applications for their own devices under an unlimited trial. A Corona SDK subscription is necessary once you are ready to publish apps to the Apple App Store and/or Android Market.