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Utilizing Web Development Skills to Build Native Smartphone Apps

No - it’s NOT a mobile web app. It’s a true native app

Yesterday RIM announced their Widget SDK.  We’re excited about about this at Rhomobile because it is further validation of the strategy to utilize developer’s web skills to build great native apps.  We often find ourselves having to explain “yes - it does let you write your interface in HTML, CSS and JavaScript. No - it’s NOT a mobile web app. It’s a true native app”.  It’s great to have RIM out there helping to explain the power of using familiar, productive declarative web-based programming skills to build apps that run local on the device and fully leverage the full power of the smartphone.

The good news for us is that RIM’s announcement is just part of a much larger trend. Nokia also does this with their Web Runtime toolkit. iPhone developers have many options to use  web skills for rich native apps: either our Rhodes framework or frameworks such as PhoneGap, Corona, Titanium or Nimblekit.   Android developers can write native apps with HTML using Rhodes, PhoneGap, Corona or Titanium.  With third party JavaScript libraries such as JQTouch for iPhone and Android (which we highly recommend and use often in combination with Rhodes apps) such apps can have all the animated pop and dazzle of something you might write in Objective C. Without the pain of throwing away 25 years of progress in more advanced programming languages.

To take a closer look at what RIM has delivered it does appear that it’s still a subset of what we offer with no camera support and no native mapping.  The big difference however is that we’re the only framework available for all smartphones and the only framework that provides synchronization (an easy way to enable current information to be available locally on user’s devices even when they are offline).  I’m excited about seeing BlackBerry developers use the Widget SDK to learn “web-based for native” and then be that much more ready to use our framework on other devices and to upgrade what they’ve done for BlackBerries  to be true enterprise apps, complete with synchronized data.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Adam Blum

Adam Blum is CEO of Rhomobile. He came from Good Technology and while spending millions on enterprise mobile application development he realized there was a need for a framework for enterprises to build mobile applications easily and cost-effectively empower their workforce without training their programmers to learn different programming languages and building apps from scratch. He has spoken at Interop in Las Vegas and at Ruby events all over the world.

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