{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Developers have flocked to Apple's iPhone SDK, but there is a significant barrier to entry: knowledge of Objective-C, the programming language that is used to build native iPhone apps.

Fortunately, cooking up a hot iPhone app doesn't require you to get too geeky. Developers who don't know Objective-C, or who don't want to learn yet another programming language, can build native iPhone apps using these five tools.

Titanium Mobile

If you know HTML/CSS and JavaScript, you can build native iPhone apps (and Android apps) using Appcelerator's Titanium Mobile development platform. The Titanium Mobile APIs provide developers with access to iPhone features such as the accelerometer and filesystem, as well as third-party services like Facebook.

Price: Free

Corona

Corona enables developers to build native iPhone apps using a proprietary language that Ansca Mobile, the company behind Corona, bills as being "easier than writing Javascript or ActionScript". Like Titanium Mobile, the Corona SDK gives developers access to iPhone functionality such as GPS and the camera.

Price: $99 ("special introductory price")

PhoneGap

PhoneGap is another development platform worth looking at if you're familiar with HTML/CSS and JavaScript. In the past, there were some issues with PhoneGap apps being rejected by Apple, but that has since been resolved and apps built with PhoneGap are apparently officially welcomed for consideration.

Price: Free

Rhodes

If your programming language of choice is Ruby, Rhodes may be just what you're looking for. It's an open source framework for building native mobile applications, including native iPhone apps, that relies on HTML and Ruby.

Price: free for open sourced apps, $500 per commercial app

Flash

The iPhone may not support Flash, but that doesn't mean that you won't soon be able to build native iPhone apps using it. Adobe Flash CS5, which is currently in private beta, will include a new feature called Packager for iPhone. As the name implies, the Packager will let Flash developers package their Flash projects for the iPhone.

Price: To Be Announced

Patricio Robles

Published 15 February, 2010 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

2381 more posts from this author

Comments (10)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Eric Herrmann

... "Corona enables developers to build native iPhone apps using a proprietary language"

Please note that the language used for developing apps with Corona is not proprietary. It is Lua, a "powerful, fast, lightweight, embeddable scripting language". See www.lua.org for more details on the language. Also, unlike the other tools mentioned, Corona makes full utilization of graphics processing hardware under the hood to enable high performance multimedia apps.

--Eric

www.anscamobile.com

over 6 years ago

Ed Stivala

Ed Stivala, Managing Director at n3w media

Has anyone looked at the quality and maintainability of the code produced by these applications? 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Marc

What about web apps optimized for the IPhone? We've just released our on www.mobipolls.com, where users can get free ITunes codes by answering on-line surveys

over 6 years ago

Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles, Tech Reporter at Econsultancy

Eric,

Thanks for the clarification.

Ed,

I've played around with Titanium Mobile and PhoneGap. Since you're working in HTML/CSS and JavaScript, the maintainability is pretty darn good in my opinion. And since Apple takes the time to approve apps, I'd assume that any tool that is producing apps that get approved must be okay. PhoneGap had some issues early on that were resolved.

over 6 years ago

Ed Stivala

Ed Stivala, Managing Director at n3w media

Hi Patricio

Well I guess that is one perspective on maintainability and quality. 

We develop native apps, so if we were woking on iPhone we would absolutely only use Objective-C. 

Using these high level code generators, is it possible to make use of the hardware specific features of the iPhone? That would be problematic with a 'web app', but as these apps are generating native code, then theoretically it should be possible I guess. I assume that they also provide a set of interface controls to enable the developer to to create a user experience that is consistent with the core apps on the platform (rather than some web style experience).

I am sure these code generators have their place, and thanks for publishing a useful precise of them.

All the best.

Ed 

over 6 years ago

Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles, Tech Reporter at Econsultancy

Ed,

I think a lot depends on your needs and goals. One of the biggest advantages offered by the tools mentioned here is that most let developers write code once and deploy their applications on multiple platforms (i.e. iPhone, Android, etc.).

Most of the tools here do provide access to hardware-specific features, such as the accelerometer and camera, but I'm sure there are instances in which building an application in Objective-C is necessary or desirable.

over 6 years ago

Ed Stivala

Ed Stivala, Managing Director at n3w media

Patricio, 

Totally agree with you that a lot depends on your needs and goals. The write once deploy cross platform argument is a harder one to agree with when one considers the significant hardware and UI differences between different platforms.

But a good article and interesting discussion. 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Eileen

For those app developers that don't know Objective-C and Cocoa Touch and don't want to outsource development, check out localbeacon (an iphone app builder) at www.bigforge.com. Great for those who want to build just one app or developers interested in white label. Full integration of Twitter and Facebook.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Eric

For Java developers there is iSpectrum

This solution allows you to develop native iPhone apps for iPhone, and debug them from Eclipse. Plus, it is free for open source projects.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Build Day Spa Mobile App

Thanks for sharing this new, advance information.. It's really amazing and give me a lot of information .. Please share me more. .. Thanks..!!!!!

almost 4 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.