Sencha Touch 1.1 Release with BlackBerry Support
Today we’re excited to announce the release of Sencha Touch 1.1, which includes BlackBerry 6 support, new list features, new demos, and other enhancements.
BlackBerry 6+ Support
With Sencha Touch 1.1, you can now develop apps for Blackberry 6, the OS of the Blackberry Torch, as well as the new Blackberry TabletOS on the upcoming Playbook tablet. We’ve also made special enhancements to improve animation performance for Blackberry devices that do not have a Graphics Processing Units (GPUs), e.g. BlackBerry Torch. In addition, we’ve included a theme tailored specifically to BlackBerry which uses a “flat” style to minimize CSS3 overhead and again improve performance.
Reseach In Motion (RIM), the makers of BlackBerry devices, was so thrilled by our efforts to help developers create web apps on Blackberry devices, that they are offering a free BlackBerry Torch to the first ten developers to submit an application to BlackBerry App World using our framework!Read more about the promotion
New features: Pull to Refresh and Pagination
We are also excited to introduce our first official plugins for the framework, which also serve as great examples for when you start to create your own class additions. The first feature is a popular user experience paradigm from many iOS apps (including Twitter and Facebook), called “pull to refresh.” By enabling this in your List component, you can now offer users an easy, natural feeling way to refresh list contents by pulling the top of the list down to a predefined point. Data is automatically fetched from your pre-defined data store, so setting up this new enhancement is just a few lines of code.
Additionally, we have introduced pagination, to help improve the data use of List components. You can now simply add in the listpaging plugin, and Sencha Touch will automatically add a link to the bottom of your list which, when tapped, loads the next set of records. You can also set the optional ‘autoPaging’ plugin attribute, so the next set of records is loaded automatically as the user hits the bottom of the list.
New Demo: O’Reilly Conferences
We are also including a brand new demo app in this release: A conference app we made in coordination with O’Reilly Conferences. The app features the conference schedule (which automatically defaults to the current day during the conference), speaker information, tweets related to the conference, a map for the venue, a list of YouTube videos relating to the conference, and several plain pages for things like credits and overview — all in under 800 lines of code. One of the most note-worthy pieces of the demo is its use of relationships, which allow us to easily show a list of speaker’s sessions when viewing their bio, and likewise a list of speaker bios when viewing a session.
The custom theme created for the app which provides a unique look and feel and is accomplished with under 90 lines of custom SASS. Great care was taken in optimizing the theme as well, so the entire CSS output (including embedded icons) comes in under 60kb. Lastly, we made the entire app configureable from a single file, so it can be easily modified to accommodate future events.
Performance tweaks and style updates
In addition to the improvements we have made for BlackBerry, we have also made several optimizations specific to Android and are offer almost 3x better scrolling performance. Likewise, we have made several tweaks to resolve minor flickering situations on iOS.
We’ve also included prominent links to some of our most helpful examples, like building apps that take advantage of HTML5 localStorage or wrapping your web app in a native wrapper by using PhoneGap. Lastly, we’ve also included a variety of style updates to Sencha Touch 1.1, including refined toolbar form fields, added an magnifying glass icon to search fields, better list styling, improved selects in overlays, and size optimizations.
We hope you’ll enjoy the many enhancements and fixes in the new release and use them to develop some awesome cross-platform mobile apps.