Appcelerator releases Titanium 2.0 with suite of mobile cloud services.
On April 17th, 2012, Appcelerator took the wraps off of the latest release of their flagship product Titanium 2.0. This major point release of the seminal cross-platform mobile development environment brings with it a new suite of ready-to-use 'Instant Mobile Cloud Capabilities' via an available SDK.
Titanium, already a robust and capable iOS/Android development platform based on the versatile Eclipse IDE, delivers a one-two punch in the 2.0 release with the addition of following new features:
- Hybrid and HTML5 Mobile Web deployment support
- Appcelerator Cloud Services (ACS) API integration
However, Appcelerator didn't stop there. As mentioned, they have pushed out a completely new cloud service called Appcelerator Cloud Services. 'The Cloud' is obviously the big rage currently, with Amazon, Apple, Google, and numerous others brawling it out for marketplace dominance. How does ACS fit in to this already insanely competitive market, and why would it be valuable to developers? Well, it distinguishes itself from the rest in the 'Services' part. ACS provides a suite of high relevant & useful ready-to-use tools that are hosted and available 24/7 via their own SDK. These tools include scaled network features and data objects especially practical for mobile app development - user logins, photo uploads, check-ins, status updates, and push notifications, to name a few. ACS is fully integrated into Titanium 2.0, of course, but the real surprise is it's also available to other mobile platforms with SDK support for Objective-C, Java, PhoneGap, Sencha and HTML5 directly. Whether using Titanium or not, this represents a huge boon to mobile app developers, especially smaller companies or independent consultants working with limited resources. Being able to mitigate much of the server-side complexity of mobile development is decidedly non-trivial in terms of time and cost, and this appears to be exactly the aim of ACS. It doesn't simply provide the tools, but an entire solution in the form of a versatile and convenient SDK. To better appreciate the scope of what ACS offers, here are the services it offers:
Tier 1 APIs:
- Custom Objects
- Push Notifications
- Email Templates
- Key Values
Tier 2 APIs:
- Social Integration
- Photo Collections
- Ratings, Reviews, & Likes
The bottom line - if you are new to mobile app development, but not to web development, Titanium is well worth taking for a spin. It puts the most relevant mobile technologies and marketplaces within reach in one shot. If you are a native mobile developer for iOS or Android, this may have limited value since the native languages are not used directly in Titanium, and you already have access to the full native SDK APIs. If you are an independent consultant or a company, and have clients that request deployment of a mobile app to multiple platforms, this may very well be the cost effective solution you are looking for. Whatever the case may be, ACS should be useful to anyone requiring server-side data object management, but may lack the resources to effectively support them. In addition, Appcelerator provides a variety of resources on their site, including tutorials, a blog, community forum and documentation to get you up to speed. They offer a range of development packages, starting at no cost and scaling up to enterprise or custom packages. ACS is also available separately, of course, in tiered options. The Titanium 2.0 suite looks like a promising solution for mobile developers, old and new alike.