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More on mobile version of Titanium SDK and the development Environment

By Anand Kumar Subscribe to RSS | May 7th 2012 | Views:

The Titanium Mobile SDK comprises of a set of Java Script API; collectively Java Script engine which in-turn invokes native APIs of respective mobile platform application such as iPhone, Android, or Blackberry. Titanium is the most preferred platform for mobile application owing to the cross platform compatibility that is a critical requirement of the mobile operating systems. The Titanium mobile SDK works in collaboration with the native SDK tool chains to combine the JavaScript source code with a JavaScript interpreter and the static assets into an application binary that will be installed to an emulator or a mobile device.

The developer as in usual case can continue to use HTML and CSS to developing application User Interface (UI). But in order to create a native look and feel the developer should use native UI components provided by Titanium JavaScript API. For mobile application development process, user is required to download and install the native development SDKs for the devices, which they are targeting to build their application. The mobile application development however, is possible for Android on the three major Operating Systems namely the Apple Mac OSX, Windows and on Ubuntu. As for the Apple’s iOS goes Mac Apple OSX is the only option but not the Android and Windows. The reason being that Apple’s license agreement, iOS apps must only be developed on Apple hardware.

Titanium Development Environment:

Titanium Studio is an IDE (Integrated Development Environment) used for developing on the Titanium Platform. Titanium Studio helps developer from initiation to the end of the development cycle which includes creating project, running, debugging, and packaging of Titanium Mobile application projects. The development environment has all the capabilities to automatically update to the latest Mobile and Desktop SDKs. Also IDE can extend its abilities by installing the plug-ins developed for Titanium framework. Titanium provides features like syntax highlighting, content assist, code validation etc. Scripts used in Titanium Studio provide tight integration of development task which is useful in overall development effort.

There was a major change in Appcelerator Titanium 1.0, from the architectural standpoint. In this new version they have provided large set of Titanium APIs for most of the UI function which are supported by iPhone and Android platform. Because of this developer doesn’t need to use UIWebView control. Instead, user can call Titanium APIs for any UI functions. Following are the major changes in this new release:

1. Native look and feel can be given to any application, since the native Titanium APIs take control of all the UI needs.

2. User can’t use web view control (Note: Web view can be created in Titanium. But there are only a few Titanium features that can be leveraged in the web view.

3. JS Libraries which requires support of DOM object can’t be used any more.

Layout of a typical Titanium project structure is as:

• Build directory- this folder contains the assets necessary for actually running application code on a target platform.

• Resources directory- this folder contains application source code and any assets like images, files, etc.

• tiapp.xml file- this folder contains static configuration of an application. When user opens the tiapp.xml file, the Titanium IDE provides an editor to edit the fields of this file.

As per the design aspect of iPhone and Android, both platforms have significant differences on 2 aspects

1. UI elements

2. Screen Sizes

To overcome this, the Titanium SDK has provided different set of API, which are specific to individual platforms that use the capabilities of iPhone, or Android to access the features as well as the application resources on the device.

Anand Kumar - About Author:
Since 2002, Endeavour - The Mobility Company, has remained focused on strategic mobile consulting & Mobile application development, Endeavour's strategic consulting practice brings best mobility practices and has helped large organizations and fortune 500 companies with articulating their enterprise mobility strategies and implementation roadmaps. Endeavour's expertise spans across all mobile operating platforms including the big 4 – Android application development, iPhone Application development, BlackBerry application development, and Windows Phone development.

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