Sencha Inc has released Sencha Touch 2.0, a major update to its "high-performance HTML5 mobile application framework". The company claims that its product is the "only framework that enables developers to build fast and visually impressive applications that rival native applications". The update significantly improves performance, along with providing single-command packaging for app store distribution.
We spoke to Aditya Bansod (AB), senior director of product management at Sencha, about the new release and what it means for developers.
.net: What was the aim behind this new release of Sencha Touch?
AB: We had three main priorities: make apps faster; make developing easier; and make apps easier to distribute. We'd heard from developers and customers that the rise of Android phones changed the way they look at performance and made their needs to be on multiple device platforms even more relevant. So in Sencha Touch 2, we spent time focussing on making apps run faster. This included analysing HTML5, the browsers that run apps created with Sencha Touch 2, working with hardware makers, and other aspects.
Our goal was to maximise the execution and response of applications built with Sencha Touch 2 on Android, including the Kindle Fire and Chrome for Android. Android developers will notice a dramatic improvement in scrolling frame rates, layout speed, load time, and responsiveness to touch gestures. Touch 2 delivers a faster, smoother and more interactive experience that rivals native for many apps.
.net: What are your main highlights of this new release, and how will said highlights benefit developers?
AB: In addition to the performance enhancements, we focused on improving the overall developer experience, ensuring developers have easy access to app stores. For the dev experience, we made our APIs simpler, added a cleaner MVC, and made a huge investment in our learning resources, including new docs, new screencasts and more fully-baked tutorials.
For developers who want to take web apps and distribute them in app stores, we now include a native packager that lets developers package apps for Android Marketplace/Google Play and the iTunes App Store on both Mac and Windows. This means getting access to the App Store no longer requires you to have a Mac.
.net: What are your hopes for the future regarding mobile app development and advances in HTML5?
AB: We want to see HTML5 grow in two specific areas. First, device access: developers need to get access to APIs such as camera, file system and more. These have been slow coming to HTML5. Secondly, we want to see graphics APIs, such as WebGL, show up in all mobile browsers. One of the last frontiers for HTML5 is high-end games, and WebGL enables that.
For more on Sencha Touch 2, visit the Sencha blog.