Rhomobile unveiled this week an upgrade to Rhodes, its open source framework for building native applications for multiple smartphone platforms.
Rhodes can be used to build applications for Apple iPhone, Research in Motion BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, and Google's Android. With version 1.4 of the Ruby-based Rhodes framework, Rhomobile adds such capabilities as database-based logging and test-driven development support, Rhomobile said. The platform also supports the BlackBerry Java Development Environment v5.0, native mapping for BlackBerry, and an API for returning screen size. The API enables developers to conditionally handle screen sizes smoothly, important when dealing with platform environments like BlackBerry and Apple iPad, according to Rhomobile.
[ InfoWorld's Paul Krill explains how developing smartphone apps can seem like a Tower of Babel for developers. ]
"Developers are waking up to the need of cross-platform diversity when building mobile apps," said Adam Blum, CEO of Rhomobile, in a statement released by the company. "Our latest version of Rhodes makes it even easier to build quality native smartphone apps for all devices. No other smartphone app framework will allow you to do test-driven development on your smartphone and debug in realtime."
Developers code smartphone applications in Ruby and HTML instead of Objective-C or another complex native device operating system language, Rhodes said.
Other new features in version 1.4 include a Mac OS X debugger for debugging in real-time and an extension framework for adding third-party extensions, or gems.