Sencha Touch 2 Beta 3: Kindle Fire and Chrome Support

Sencha Touch 2 Beta 3: Kindle Fire and Chrome Support Today we’re releasing Sencha Touch 2 Beta 3 with expanded device and browser support. Beta 3 is expected to be the final beta release and a drop-in replacement for Beta 2. While everything is detailed in the release notes, the most notable changes in b3 are improvements in application dependency management and a host of performance improvements.

Download Sencha Touch 2 Beta   View Release Notes

*UPDATE*: Sencha Touch 2 RC is now available. Go download that instead!

h3. Android Chrome and Kindle Fire Support

We’re thrilled to be able to add support for 2 new platforms today. The first is Android Chrome, which Google released in beta last week for Android 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich) devices. While there are still relatively few ICS devices out there (only around 1% of all Android devices carry that version currently), Chrome for Android is already providing a much improved experience compared to the stock browser (see our Chrome HTML5 scorecard).

The second is the Kindle Fire, which we think is one of the best Android tablets out there. While earlier versions of the Fire’s browser had some performance and rendering issues, the recent 6.2.2 update brings much more speed and rendering correctness to the device, which allows us to officially support it. The browser improvements, in addition to some tweaks of our own, have combined to provide a great Kindle Fire experience with Sencha Touch 2.

We were so happy with the performance of both platforms that we recorded a short video on real hardware to show you what you can do with the new support. The first device is an Asus Transformer Prime, running smoothly at a whopping 1280 x 800 resolution, and the second is a Kindle Fire, which displays impressive performance for a device costing under $200:

Sencha Touch 2 Support Android Chrome and Kindle Fire. View video on Vimeo

Amazon hasn’t officially released the sales numbers for the Kindle Fire but they are estimated to have shipped several million in Q4 alone, which means your Sencha Touch 2 applications can now be deployed to millions more devices, most of which will receive the 6.2.2 update automatically.

On the Android side of things, we’ve recently been asking for your help in escalating crippling problems with ICS’s default browser. We’ll continue seeking improvement there but Chrome for Android is providing a great alternative for ICS device owners in the meantime.

h3. Performance Improvements

As well as adding support for more devices, we’ve also spent time further refining the experience on all supported platforms. This release contains several performance tweaks, mostly centered around optimizing CSS selectors and styles.

Some of the more apparent improvements include faster button tap feedback and smoother card transitions, especially to and from forms. Previously these actions might have felt a little slow but as of B3 it feels much snappier. When we investigated why these things were feeling sluggish we found it was caused by certain innocuous-looking CSS rules and were able to improve performance dramatically by using alternative styling to achieve the same look and feel.

Finally, we’ve polished other parts of the framework to give better perceived performance. For example, carousel indicators now update immediately when you swipe instead of after the animation has finished. It still takes as much time as before, but makes your app feel faster to the user. Performance has been a major objective of Sencha Touch 2 and we’re very pleased with the improvements so far.

h3. The Path to GA

This beta is the seventh public release of Sencha Touch 2. We’re very happy with the performance and stability of beta 3, we think we’re in the home stretch toward GA.

Beta 3 is expected to be the final beta version before we ship a Release Candidate. With its API frozen we have no hesitation in recommending that you start building your apps using B3 if you’re keen to get a head start on your app.

As always, we’d like to thank you for all of your support in getting to this stage, and hope you’ll share your thoughts with us in the comments.

Comments

  1. John says

    You guys continue to set the bar high, good work!
    I will say one thing though… Kindle Fire, the best Android tablet out there? That’s a bold statement!

  2. Ed Spencer says

    @John I said “one of the best Android tablets” :)

    Its price/performance ratio is extremely good given its $200 price tag, and the 6.2.2 update really speeds things up too – especially when using the less complex themes we supply (try it on the kitchen sink)

  3. Joe says

    I’ve been trying this out for a few days with sencha designer 2 and it has been great, but I have yet to find tutorials on how to properly setup stores and models through designer. I can setup all the views and they look great, but if I can’t get any data into them it isn’t very useful.

  4. Arjen says

    Good job and nice to see how browser issues are being resolved in corporation with external developers.

    I still have one more wish: an updated O’Reilly example using the MVC pattern, This will make Sencha Touch 2 more than complete!

  5. says

    Hey, I have a question!

    The Sencha Touch folder comes with a ton of stuff, examples, docs, a .jsb3 file, etc. What do I need to keep and what can I get rid of?

    The getting started guide says to include builds/sencha-touch-all-debug.js (for development), can I trash everything else?

    Thanks!

  6. Ed Spencer says

    @David thanks – an experimental doc app update slipped in by mistake, we’ll get that corrected asap

    @Tato can you be more specific? Steps to reproduce?

  7. says

    @Ed, Hi! Thanks for the quick response and sorry for my late reply, I was having lunch. Steps:

    Server: XAMPP – 1.1.2.2 (Windows 7 32-Bits Professional Edition)

    1. I unpacked SenchaTouch 2 Beta 3 which I just downloaded from this page on my WebApp’s directory inside XAMPP’s “htdocs” directory.
    2. I followed the tutorial on this URL “http://docs.sencha.com/touch/2-0/#!/guide/getting_started”. Both the “index.html” and the “app.js” files are “UTF-8 without BOM” (according to NotePad++).
    3. Accessed the site from my iPhone 4 (Model MC318LL) iOS 5.0.1 (9A405).
    4. Issue: Safari won’t hide the top and bottom browser bars in spite of the “fullscreen: true” property.

    That would be it. The code on my “app.js” file is:

    Ext.application({
    name: ‘Sencha’,

    launch: function() {
    Ext.create(‘Ext.Panel’, {
    fullscreen: true,
    html: ‘Hello World’
    });
    }
    });

    (Sorry, I could not find any “code style” tags to put the code in. Sorry for my English as well.)

    Thanks!
    Tato Barilatti

  8. says

    @Ed, I’ve written down a more detailed explanation but the systems displays this error when I try to post it.
    “Computer says your input might be spam, so it will be moderated first.”

    Any alternatives?

  9. Ed Spencer says

    @David The docs links are fixed now, thanks :)

    @Bassajen we’ll have an update on charts soon

    @Tato ok, no problem ;)

  10. Ed Spencer says

    @Arjen we have more MVC examples than ever before, more coming (including o’reilly)

    @Andrew if you’re trying to cut down, just keep sencha-touch-debug.js plus the builds, resources and src folders

  11. Juho says

    Thank you for the Beta 3 release, great to hear 2.0 is finally coming!

    As a side note I found an issue with Sencha Touch 2.0 and hasOne and belongsTo associations when loading inline association data. I have a test case and a suggested fix, but the forum doesn’t seem to be sending out any emails. Since I can’t get my registration confirmation I also can’t send my bug report, can anyone help out here?

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