Previewing Sencha Touch 2: Native Packaging and Performance
Today, we’d like to give you a glimpse into some of the new features in Sencha Touch 2.0. We’re incredibly excited about this upcoming release and we hope that you’ll share in our excitement by developing some amazing mobile apps.
Let’s start with a quick recap. Since the initial release of Sencha Touch last year, HTML5 and the mobile web has grown by leaps and bounds. Many developers made the decision to create their apps using the mobile web as a platform, and frameworks like Sencha Touch played a major role in accelerating the adoption of HTML5 and browser-based apps. We couldn’t be happier, and to our community of web developers, we thank you.
Our vision for the future of mobile web app development has been shaped by our outstanding core community of over 250,000 developers. Your feedback and input into our products has led us to today’s blog on what you can expect in Sencha Touch 2.0.
First, like you, we’re very aware of the growing complexity of devices. With the rise of Android and with the future of Windows Phone as a player, developers want consistent and predictable performance for their applications on every device type. Second, developers are deploying their apps to the web in record numbers, but they still want to be in front of their customers wherever they are. To get on to the native stores, devs have been cobbling together solutions or writing their own shells to distribute their apps to native app stores.
So, in Sencha Touch 2, we’re focusing on how to knock performance out of the park and how to help developers with native app packaging. We’re excited to share with you today some of the things we’re doing to make Sencha Touch 2 the best mobile framework in the market.
Sencha Touch 2: Native packaging, device APIs, and major performance improvements
- Native packaging is now a feature in Sencha Touch 2. With just one command, you can package your application for iOS and for Android. You’ll no longer need to write your own wrappers or wrangle with other solutions, it’s all built in to Sencha Touch. Best of all, you’ll be able to package for both iOS and Android from both Mac and Windows.
- HTML5 Device APIs aren’t fully available on mobile browsers yet, so we’re adding many of the native device APIs into the packager API surface, letting you take advantage of what future web browsers will enable today.
- Layouts are getting much faster. We’re replumbed the internals of the layout system so component layouts are radically faster. You’ll notice right away on a Touch 2 app when you start your app how much faster it starts up and renders to screen. Orientation changes wlll also be noticeably superior.
- Event Handling is getting reworked to better respond to touch events on Android. Various mobile platforms handle and dispatch touch events at different rates, so we’ve been working on normalizing this across browsers so apps have smooth and predictable touch behaviors. The list scrolling on Android will blow you away.
- Image based themes are being added to the framework for browsers where CSS is slow. Using SASS, Touch 2 will generate CSS based themes as you do in 1.x, but now you’ll also be able to generate image based themes for devices where CSS3 features slow the browser down. This also opens the way to making Touch 2.x apps eventually work on Windows Phone.
- A rationalized config system make it easier and more predictable to set up your Touch app. Instead of having to learn every different way in which to configure a component, the new config system streamlines setting up your components. And of course, it’s backwards compatible with the old way.
On top of all these performance features, Sencha Touch 2 will be built on the same architecture as Ext JS 4, so the class system, custom framework builds, and all the robust enterprise features from Ext JS will be available in Touch 2.
These are just a few of the incredible new set of capabilities we’re bringing to Touch 2. We’ve been busy at work building it and we look forward to sharing the first betas as soon as possible. And a quick plug for SenchaCon in October — we’ll be doing a deep dive in practically every part of the framework so don’t miss it! We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at just how wicked fast building and deploying Touch 2 apps will be.