NativeScript 2.0 - the best way to build cross-platform native mobile apps

By
Valio Stoychev

Almost 2 years ago it was my privilege to announce the first public release of NativeScript. Back then my team and I promised a lot of things for the future. Well, the future is now, and when I look back I’m extremely happy to see that we delivered on all of the things we promised in that very beginning, plus we added some more.

There are a lot of things in our roadmap like desktop support for Microsoft Windows Universal and Apple OS X just to name a few, but we’ve added tons of essential improvements in the last year and we believe that we have a very well architectured framework which allows us to scale and expand the product in the coming years.

Here is a list of the notable features we added during the last year:

All the things above brought a better developer experience, a better user experience, better skill reuse, and better code reuse. With the addition of Angular 2 you now have an unprecedented code reuse story between your web and native mobile app (curious to learn more?).

We believe that there is no other framework today that delivers all these with the level of quality and maturity that NativeScript brings. All these features are already battle tested by many developers and big software companies with which we work on daily basis.

Experience NativeScript 2.0 on your mobile device

The best way to experience a mobile framework and evaluate it is to install a real app on your device and experience it first hand. Last week we released a kitchen sink app that will help you do exactly this. You will find a lot of samples and animations inside the app.

This is the first official release of the app and we will be adding a ton of more samples there. Right now you can see a lot of demos for the listview, the layouts and the data visualization components. As with everything we create, the source code is available on github.

Please install the app on your phone and rate it!

See NativeScript in Action on iOS       

NativeScript 2.0 Launch Webinar

Join John Papa and Telerik NativeScript experts Burke Holland and TJ VanToll, as they discuss how the newly available techniques in NativeScript 2.0 empower developers and organizations to deliver maximally performant and elegant applications with a minimal amount of effort. 

Register Now!

Performance

60 fps, fast loading time, virtualized scrolling, caching - all these things are not only available in  ObjectiveC/Java apps, but in cross-platform JavaScript apps via NativeScript too!

In the last year we invested a lot into making sure that applications are fast by default. With this 2.0 release we are releasing an experimental feature which will make your Android applications load much faster. For applications in release mode you will be able to pack the entire code into a single package and load it into the virtual machine memory. Read more about this here.

The next major feature in terms of performance will be to allow background execution for tasks that do not belong on the main UI thread. This will help in certain scenarios like image decoding or doing complex calculations using JavaScript only. While this is currently available by using native code, we want to make it a breeze to use by allowing you to use JavaScript only. The team already started a research on this so updates are coming shortly.

AngularJS and NativeScript - better together

Today I’m pleased to announce that after nearly 1 year of working together with the Google Angular team, we are delivering a public BETA of the Angular 2 integration with NativeScript.

Now you can have a shared code base between your native iOS/Android app and your web app. This was impossible just a year ago, but now with NativeScript and Angular 2.0 this is a reality. There are companies that are already a jumping in with this solution and are extremely happy with the fact that they can achieve this amount of skill and code reuse without sacrificing even a slice of the desired user experience on both mobile and web. (Desktop support is coming soon as I mentioned earlier!). I encourage you to read more about this on the official AngularJS blog where Nathan Walker (@wwwalkerrun), who is part of the community, discusses this in detail. To get started please follow the getting started article.

What is next for NativeScript?

As I mentioned in the beginning there are several big rocks ahead of us and we are very excited to expand the product to support them.

The first big thing we will focus on is to extend our story for Windows. Windows support is the most voted feature in our feature portal and it is time for us to start investing more resources there. A lot of customers we are talking with are seeing a big potential in the new vision set by Microsoft and are asking for support. By supporting Windows, we will deliver NativeScript to a plethora of new devices - Lumia phones, tablets, Windows desktop, Xbox and even on IoT devices. We are really excited to be working on this. To help us deliver faster on the Windows front we will count a lot on you to share your scenarios you have when targeting the Windows platform.

I mentioned multi-threading before, but it is an important topic, so I want to make sure that you know that we are working on this too. Our architecture is built to accommodate this, so if you have a need to do work on a different thread you will be able to do so very soon.

Apart from these big features, we are exploring ideas for making you more productive. We believe with 2.0 we now have a very good base framework on which to put the final touches. We are planning to provide beautiful themes, templates and a lot of helpers for working with data entry.

In the next several months you should also expect a lot of improvements in the overall developer experience story. We will be introducing significant improvements in the performance of our hot reload functionality, allowing you to preview the changes in code in less than a second on the device.

Last but not least, our Angular integration will keep up with all the improvements that come to Angular 2.0.

In closing, I hope you really enjoy being a part of the NativeScript journey. We’ve made a lot of promises in this blog post and I am confident that when I look back in a year or two to see all of them delivered. Most importantly, I hope to see all of you happy from what you achieved by using NativeScript.

Share the news!

Please share your experience with your friends and let everyone know how good NativeScript really is. We need this kind of support from our community in order to grow. As a first step please share this blog post on twitter :).


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