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Mobile device devel­op­ment frameworks.

20 Feb 2010

Tagged with Dashcode, iPhone, Mobile

With the increase in the use of more ver­sa­tile mobile plat­forms espe­cially the iPhone (plus the hype) there are as one would expect a num­ber of devel­op­ers cre­at­ing “Frame­works” to speed up the devel­op­ment of appli­ca­tions for such devices.
Webkit. One thing to remem­ber is that the iXxx devices and Android and Palm Pre all use webkit and or vari­ant. So often and iXxx devel­op­ment will work across all mobile devises because of this.
As my main inter­est is in the iphone I am going to do a quick roundup here of some of the frame­works I have come across and or used.
php/aps/python/ruby — some of the frame­works that are html/css/javascript based can of course have the html sub­sti­tuted for any of the web script­ing languages.
One of the nice things about devel­op­ing on this plat­form is that as you are guar­an­teed to get Webkit based browsers then an increas­ing num­ber of css3  tags become avail­able and well as PHP5 elements.
First I have writ­ten a quick overview of each  of the frame­works, then there is a list with the frame­works own blurb and var­i­ous links. I plan to revisit var­i­ous pack­ages as i use them and get more information.
Quick­Con­nect — All singing all danc­ing. Will cre­ate for a range of mobile devices but because of that is more com­plex, i.e. more mov­ing parts, than a more sim­ple html/css/javascript aimed frame­work tar­get­ing the iPhone. How­ever well doc­u­mented and has an Addi­son Wes­ley book cov­er­ing major parts of it and if your brief is to dela with mul­ti­ple devices you will need to look at this.
iWe­bKit — Aimed at iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and is in the html/css/javascript mould. Looks very pow­er­ful and well maintained.
WebApp​.Net — Aimed at iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and is in the html/css/javascript mould.
iUi — Prob­a­bly one of if not the first frame­work to emerge. Aimed at iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and is in the html/css/javascript mould.  Code is good and easy to use. I have built one project deliv­ered to a pay­ing cus­tomer in this frame­work.  cur­rency convertor
jQtouch — is a sub­set of the jQuery JavaScript library and from that point of view has a lot going for it. Aimed at iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and is in the html/css/javascript mould. Looks very pow­er­ful and well main­tained. Also is fea­tured in an O’Reilly book.
Phone­Gap — cover iPhone, Android, Palm, Sym­bian and Black­berry  - looks like a mix of dif­fer­ent tech­nolo­gies, i will need to dig into it a bit more.
Mono­Touch C# and .NET based appli­ca­tions and libraries that run on Apple’s iPhone and Apple’s iPod Touch devices, while tak­ing advan­tage of the iPhone APIs.
jQuery iPhone UI — Uses jQuery to build html/css/javascript based web sites.
Dash­code — A toolkit from Apple for build­ing html/css/javascript based wid­get and other mac tools. Will now also build web sites for Safari and iXxx.
Xcode — Apple grand daddy of devel­op­ment uses objective-c and builds appli­ca­tions as opposed to web sites so really don’t belong here but of course allow the build­ing of all thing iXxx.
Pas­trykit — An inter­nal toolkit used by Apple to make iPxxx based web sites. Not released to the pub­lic but obvi­ously an Ele­phant in the room as it were.

Quick­Con­nect

Quick­Con­nect is a pow­er­ful, mod­u­lar, sim­ple to use, appli­ca­tion devel­op­ment library avail­able for many lan­guages and plat­forms. Quick­Con­nect is cur­rently avail­able for: iPhone, Android & Mac JavaScript apps, Erlang/Yaws, and PHP.

Quick­Con­nec­ti­Phone is LGPL so you can use it the way you want. It has a cus­tom Dash­code project that includes the needed files. It is highly mod­u­lar. It will even let you com­pile your JavaScript, HTML, and CSS into an instal­lable appli­ca­tion if you want.

It is also documaneyted in an Adi­son Wes­ley Book

http://​source​forge​.net/​p​r​o​j​e​c​t​s​/​q​u​i​c​k​c​o​n​n​e​ct/

For more infor­ma­tion you could look at

iWe­bKit

iWe­bKit is a file pack­age designed to help you cre­ate your own iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad com­pat­i­ble web­site or webapp. The kit is acces­si­ble to any­one even peo­ple with­out any html knowl­edge and is sim­ple to under­stand thanks to the included tuto­ri­als. In a cou­ple of min­utes you will have cre­ated a full and pro­fe­sional look­ing web­site. iWe­bKit is a great tool because it is very easy to use, extremely fast, com­pat­i­ble & extend­able. It is sim­ple html that any­one can edit con­trary to some other very com­pli­cated solu­tions based on ajax. Sim­plic­ity is the key!

http://​iwe​bkit​.net

Here is a demo:

WebApp​.Net

WebApp​.Net is a light weight, pow­er­ful javascript frame­work tak­ing advan­tage of AJAX tech­nol­ogy. It pro­vides a full set of ready to use com­po­nents to help you develop, quickly and eas­ily, advanced mobile web applications.

It has the fol­low­ing advantages:

http://​webapp​-net​.com/

iUi

iUI is a frame­work con­sist­ing of a JavaScript library, CSS, and images for devel­op­ing iPhone webapps.

Ini­tialy writ­ten by Joe Hewitt but now main­tained in google code.

Here is Joes intro

First and fore­most, iUI is not meant as a “JavaScript library”. Its goal is sim­ply to turn ordi­nary standards-based HTML into a pol­ished, usable inter­face that meets the high stan­dards set by Apple’s own native iPhone apps. As much as pos­si­ble, iUI maps com­mon HTML idioms to iPhone inter­face con­ven­tions. For exam­ple, the

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