What’s new in NativeScript 5.0

The framework that turns JavaScript, TypeScript, and Angular into native mobile apps adds starter templates, has direct Vue.js support

What’s new in NativeScript

NativeScript, a framework for native mobile application development leveraging JavaScript technologies, now has Version 5.0 available. 

Featuring a set of cross-platform abstractions and runtimes, the open source NativeScript lets you  develop native mobile apps with JavaScript, TypeScript, or Angular. A NativeScript runtime translates between JavaScript, TypeScript, and Angular and the native APIs in Apple iOS and Google Android, letting developers write an application just once to support both platforms. 

Where to download NativeScript

You can download NativeScript CLI through NPM, after installing Node.js: npm install -g nativescript.

Current version: What’s new in NativeScript 5.0

In NativeScript Version 5.0, Progress is adding a schematic for building web and mobile apps from one project. Developed with the builders of the popular Angular framework, NativeScript-Schematics integrates with the Angular CLI, in an effort to provide a unified experience for building multiplatform apps in a single project. Code can be kept in one place and shared among the web, iOS ,and Android.

Other new features in NativeScript 5.0 include:

  • A hot-module replacement capability, providing instantaneous, stateful application updates and avoiding full page reloads.
  • Vector type support for iOS, to enable a broader set of augmented reality scenarios.
  • Provision of a core Vue.js developer experience via a single component in the NativeScript Playground.
  • Increased animation scenarios for Android, including more Material Design capabilities. The Android support library has been updated to the latest version, enabling implementation of some Material Design components.
  • The Instant Start CLI workflow, which lets developers begin work on native apps quickly, with no upfront requirements to install the iOS and Android SDKs.
  • The streamlined Getting Started experience, offering easier development with playground-compatible code samples in the NativeScript Marketplace.

Previous version: What’s new in NativeScript 4.1

NativeScript 4.1 became available in late May 2018, providing tighter integration with the Angular JavaScript framework as well as improved performance on Android devices.

Version 4.1 adds these features:

  • Enables app creation and debugging directly from the Angular CLI.
  • Better performance for applications running on Android devices, done through improvements to memory usage and an upgrade of the Google V8 JavaScript engine used by the framework.
  • Supports multiple iOS simulators simultaneously when used with Apple’s Xcode IDE.
  • Adds the samples section to the NativeScript Marketplace, featuring code snippets to help build apps.

Previous version: What’s new in NativeScript 4.0

Version 4.0 of NativeScript became available in April 2018, providing the Webpack module bundler with NativeScript’s LiveSync capability, to instantly see changes in apps and let developers identify issues earlier in the development cycle.

Version 4.0 lets developers use any View as the root of applications, enabling native mobile workflows. Developers gain the ability to put a TabView or a RadSideDrawer component as the root of an app. Previously, an app root was a Frame that could be navigated using pages.

Other new features in NativeScript 4.0 include:

  • To save time in image editing, icons and splash screens can be generated based on a single high-resolution image.
  • As part of integration with the Progress Kinvey back-end-as-a-service platform, NativeScript provides a template to make authentication easier with various single-sign-on providers. Progress recommends using this capability through the NativeScript SideKick tool, which can take care of Kinvey configuration.
  • For Android development, NativeScript users can open an application in the Android Studio IDE and debug it as a native project. Developers thus can use tools such as Android Studio’s Profiler.
  • Code-sharing is avaiable for developers using the js framework with NativeScript.
  • The NativeScript UI plugin has been broken into multiple independent components. Developers can use the components without having to install the entire package, thus minimizing app size and required references.

The features in NativeScript-Vue

NativeScript has the NativeScript-Vue Version 1.0 plugin that lets developers use the Vue.js JavaScript framework and the NativeScript mobile development framework together. Vue.js is a JavaScript model-view framework for building UIs.

Still in development for NativeScript-Vue is webpack-based template to enable code-sharing between web and mobile applications. Also planned is a new CLI tool for Vue.js, vue-cli 3, for rapid development.

You can download the source code for NativeScript-Vue from GitHub.

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