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Using Appcelerator For Your iPhone 4 Application Development

05.02.2010
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With Apple's latest terms of service for the iPhone 4 OS, a lot of uncertainty has arisen around supporting development tools for app development such as Appcelerator. As a user of Appcelerators Titanium Developer tool, I was concerned about the future of the application. I spoke with Scott Schwarzhoff about the questions that were on my mind.

DZone: Could you explain the new Apple Terms of Service  to people who haven't heard about it?

Scott: The Terms of Service in question relate to Apple's accepting applications written in its preferred languages, Objective-C and iPhone OS webkit Javascript.  Our technology uses webkit Javascript and produces native applications, so we feel that we not only comply under the letter of the terms, but the spirit as well.

DZone: And were you shocked when you heard about Apple's new TOS?

Scott: It was certainly concerning for many of our users.  We have since had all of our applications accepted, so we're feeling quite confident that Appcelerator Titanium users will be ok.

DZone: It's comforting, as an Appcelerator user, that you reached out to your community straight away. Was the feedback from users very supportive?

Scott: We received literally hundreds of emails expressing support.  You can see our latest blog post and a sample of the support we have received here: http://developer.appcelerator.com/blog/2010/04/update-on-apple-sdk-4-0-and-tos.html

DZone: So, are you able to let us know if the Appcelerator platform can be used with Apple's iPhone OS4?

Scott: It’s our belief that we are fully in compliance with iPhone OS 4.0 ToS as we interpret them. Moreover, applications are being accepted every day under the new terms.

DZone: What makes your approach different to allow this?

Scott: Applications are written in webkit Javascript, compile to native Objective-C, and we only work with publicly available APIs from Apple.  We also compile into native Xcode projects and all of our applications make use of native iPhone/iPad user experience and API functionality.

DZone: Can you give us some background into how Appcelerator works?

Scott: Web developers (with Javascript skills) can build native applications using the skills they have today.  Our technology provides a 1:1 native mapping of Javascript APIs to the underlying Objective-C (Apple) or Java (Android) codebase.

DZone: You've started providing iPad support, and can already do Android. Are there any other platforms in your plans?

Scott: Yes, we will be announcing support for Blackberry shortly. (Editors note: shortly after the interview the announcement of the BlackBerry beta program was made. Check here for further details.)

DZone: Can you give us some examples of interesting Titanium based apps, on Android or iPhone?

Scott: Most recently, Grub.it and Scoutmob are two great examples of native applications released to the App Store.

DZone: Have you any tips for people wishing to get started with Appcelerator?

Scott: Sure, signup for access via www.appcelerator.com.  The welcome mail contains 3 videos that step you through the install process and on to your first project.

DZone: Are there any books on using the Titanium APIs on the way?

Scott: We will be adding quite a bit of documentation and training resources over the next few weeks.

 

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Comments

Shane Dickson replied on Mon, 2010/05/03 - 3:20pm

I would go back and read Steve Jobs' open letter and then decide if using Appcelerator would be a good idea. The fact that they use a 1:1 mapping to Apple's api's is exactly what Apple does NOT want. When new Apple api's are released, it's up to Appcelerator to decide if and when to include those new api's in their product.

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