Appcelerator releases Titanium cross-platform app dev technology

Titanium lets developers build native apps for both desktop and mobile devices using Web techniques

Appcelerator will release on Monday version 1.0 of Titanium, its cross-platform system for building native mobile and desktop applications.

Titanium leverages Web development technologies such as JavaScript, PHP, and Ruby. For mobile application builders, this means they do not need to learn the Objective-C language for iPhone or Google's Java language for Android systems. A translator enables applications to run natively on different platforms.

[ See InfoWorld's 2009 report on how smartphone apps development can present developers with a Tower of Babel-like situation. ]

"Our value proposition is that we allow Web developers to build native mobile and desktop applications using the skills and technologies that they have today," said Scott Schwarzhoff, vice president of marketing for Appcelerator.

On the desktop, development is supported for PCs, Macintosh, and Linux. Mobile platforms backed include Apple iPhone and Google Android, with Research in Motion Blackberry support planned for later this year. Developers can build applications that access native device capabilities, such as database and camera functions.

Titanium differs from other cross-platform development frameworks such as Rhomobile Rhodes because it offers native performance as well as native UI and access to device capabilities, Schwarzhoff said. (A Rhomobile representative Monday said Rhodes offers native performance, native UI, and access to device capabilities.) Titanium provides a common code base but different experiences based on the device, such as offering a Windows UI for a Windows application or an iPhone UI for an iPhone program. Translators are used to enable native experiences.

The 1.0 version of Titanium features improved performance. Release of the 1.0 version signifies the end of the beta period for Titanium.

Applications can be built such as social networking and business and productivity systems. 

A Titanium user cited the benefit of not having to learn Objec tive-C.

"A company like us that focuses primarily on Web development, we can start developing applications right away," said Brendan Lim, director of mobile solutions for Intridea.  "Objective-C for iPhone, that's a huge barrier for a lot o people."

Intridea used Titanium to develop an iPhone application,, which posts restaurant reviews and finds eateries. Plans call for enabling it to work on Android as well.

Appcelerator plans to offer a version of Titanum for Apple's upcoming iPad device.

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