Feeds

Web-happy iPhone dev kit gets Jobsian silent treatment

Like Unity. Like Titanium

Remote control for virtualized desktops

Much like the San Francisco-based startup Unity, Appcelerator has asked Apple if iPhone applications coded with its dev kit violate the new Jobsian rule against the use of languages other than Objective C, C, or C++. And like Unity, Appcelerator hasn't received an answer.

"We've talked to them. They are aware of what we're doing," Appcelerator marketing head Scott Schwarzhoff tells The Reg. "But there's been no clarification."

Again like Unity, Appcelerator hasn't seen Apple reject even a single application coded with its platform since the rule went into effect this June. But it too remains in limbo. Clearly, the new rule was put in place to stop the development of iPhone applications in Adobe Flash. But Jobs has said he doesn't want any third party dev kit sitting between him and "his" developers, and he won't say whether this applies to anything other than Flash.

Titanium is an open source platform that lets you build native iPhone and iPad runtimes using traditional web development tools, including Javascript, html, and css. The idea is that longtime web devss can build for the iPhone without learning Objective C – and that they can easily use the same code on other devices. The kit provides additional APIs for building native runtimes for Windows, Linux, and Mac desktops and notebooks as well as Google Android phones.

When Apple unveiled new iOS SDK terms of service insisting that "applications must be originally written in Objective-C, C, C++, or JavaScript as executed by the iPhone OS WebKit engine" and that "applications that link to Documented APIs through an intermediary translation or compatibility layer or tool are prohibited," many assumed that Titanium would be outlawed. But Appcelerator always argued that its kit was above censure because it invokes Apple's XCode IDE and converts all code to Objective C before compilation.

"Effectively, what we're doing is machine-generating Objective C and then compiling just as the developer would do if they had originally written in the language," Appcelerator CEO Jeff Haynie has told us. "We're not trying to bypass everything that Apple has set up to ensure quality and performance and things like that."

As it stands, the platform is still alive and well on the iPhone. But if Apple suddenly changes its mind, the company can fall back on a growing community of Android developers.

Despite the threat of a Jobsian ban, Appcelerator has seen the number of Titanium tools built for the iPhone, iPad, and Android rise from about 500 in March to over 4,000. In March, the split was 80/20 in favor of the iPhone. But it's now 70/30, and the company believes that by the end of the year, the number of apps will reach 10,000 and the split will sift out to 60/40.

The company also boasts that several "top brands" are using the platform including eBay, NBC, MTV, Jaguar, and Budweiser. Other users include SugarCRM and Personify.

Unity's game development kit – based on the open source incarnation of Microsoft's .NET platform – works a bit differently from Titanium. It doesn't convert code to Objective C before compilation. But like Titanium, it plugs into Apple XCode, and you have the option of adding Objective C code around the Unity assembly code.

But like Appcelerator, Unity offers a version of its kit for Android. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft to bake Skype into IE, without plugins
Redmond thinks the Object Real-Time Communications API for WebRTC is ready to roll
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
Mozilla: Spidermonkey ATE Apple's JavaScriptCore, THRASHED Google V8
Moz man claims the win on rivals' own benchmarks
FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on
Next driver to battle fake chips with 'non-invasive' methods
PEAK APPLE: iOS 8 is least popular Cupertino mobile OS in all of HUMAN HISTORY
'Nerd release' finally staggers past 50 per cent adoption
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Ubuntu 14.10 tries pulling a Steve Ballmer on cloudy offerings
Oi, Windows, centOS and openSUSE – behave, we're all friends here
Was ist das? Eine neue Suse Linux Enterprise? Ausgezeichnet!
Version 12 first major-number Suse release since 2009
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.