iPhone development tools that work the way you do

You don't need to master Cocoa and Objective C to create killer iPhone apps. Rhomobile, PhoneGap, Appcelerator, and Ansca tools leverage standard Web technologies and still tap native features

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It's probably not worth arguing whether a byte code interpreter is truly a native application; that debate is best left to computer science theoreticians. They're certainly more native than Web applications running on the local browser. They usually behave with as much snap as a truly native package, so practical people don't need to worry much about this argument.

iPhone app dev tools compared

LicensingMobile platforms supportedNative iPhone features supported Pros and cons
Ansca Corona 0.3Free Early Adopter version available; pricing TBDiPhoneFiles only; camera and accelerometer are forthcoming. +Uses Lua, a well-known language for building Flash animation and Flash games. +Adds some extra features to Flash to simplify some animations. -Some glitches common to beta implementation. -No support for 3-D yet.
Appcelerator Titanium Mobile 0.5Free Early Access beta programiPhone, Android Geolocation, accelerometer, local files including contacts and photos+A nice collection of libraries makes it simple to whip up a stack of menus for browsing data. +Deep integration with the underlying Apple libraries produces more standards-compliant results. -Sometimes it's not clear what you do in HTML and what you do with Titanium's framework.
Nitobi PhoneGap 0.7.2Free under the MIT licenseiPhone, Android, BlackBerryGeolocation, accelerometer, contacts +Just JavaScript and HTML; nothing could be more universal. +Porting your iPhone app to the Web couldn’t be simpler. -Some developers think that Apple hates PhoneGap. -Imitating server-side action requires recoding in JavaScript or Objective C.
Rhomobile Rhodes 1.1.1Free under GPLv3; commercial licenses, $500 per appiPhone, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian, AndroidGeolocation, camera, contacts; accelerometer, SMS, push, audio capture, and video capture on the road map +Ruby on Rails on your phone. +Deep cross-platform support. -Client library is missing some fat mechanisms like XML that developers often rely upon. -It isn't always a no-brainer to port things to the iPhone.
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