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Archive for category Alternatives to the Official SDK


If you’re a budding web developer itching to write native iPhone apps but don’t have the motivation to learn Objective C, check out Rhodes by Rhomobile.  The Ruby on Rails-like framework allows true native device applications to be written in HTML.  The open-source tool also ports apps to Windows Mobile, RIM, Symbian and Android.  Applications developed with Rhodes work with synchronized local data and take advantage of device capabilities such as GPS, PIM contacts and camera.

Commercial licenses of Rhodes cost $500 per app.

Alternatives:  PhoneGap, Titanium Mobile


Titanium Mobile

Titanium Mobile, by Appcelerator, is another mobile development platform targeted at web developers who want to circumvent Objective C and write native mobile applications in CSS, HTML, and Javascript.  The tool deploys the same program to both iPhone and Android OSs and it gives access to important functions like native UI elements, geolocation, accelerometer, maps, sound, database, etc.

Titanium Mobile is currently in private beta.  Web developers can submit requests to join the beta.  Appcelerator’s desktop publishing platform, Titanium Desktop, is currently available for download which should be similar in function to the mobile platform.

Appcelerator is currently venture funded and have not announced any types fees for the platform.

Alternatives:  PhoneGap, Rhodes

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The former Adobe mobile software veterans at Ansca teamed up to bring you Corona, an alternative to the official iPhone SDK.  Corona is built from the ground up to enable designers, web developers and engineers to quickly develop and distribute highly optimized native iPhone Applications.

Corona is as simple as it is powerful: easy enough for designers and web developers; powerful enough for engineers. You’ll effortlessly access the full power of the iPhone’s capabilities such as accelerometer, touch, photos, and more writing applications in Corona’s intuitive and powerful scripting language, Lua.

From basic apps to complex ones, Corona provides the tools you need to create fully engaging and captivating iPhone experiences.

Whether you are a seasoned mobile software engineer or a non-traditional mobile developer, Corona makes it possible for you to build and distribute highly optimized native iPhone apps.

Alternatives:  PhoneGap

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PhoneGap is an open source development tool for building fast, easy mobile apps with JavaScript.  Not only does it allow developers to write iPhone apps without learning Objective C, but it also offers easy integration into the Blackberry and Android platforms.

If you’re a web developer who wants to build mobile applications in HTML and JavaScript while still taking advantage of the core features in the iPhone, Android and Blackberry SDKs, PhoneGap is for you.  Includes access to GeoLocation, Vibration, Accelerometer, Sound, and Contact Support.

To see some apps developed using PhoneGap check out Word-Buster by iPhone Classics and Inside Trader (also available in a Lite version) by Jeff McFadden.

Alternatives:  Titanium Mobile, Rhodes

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