AppGyver Claims Native Performance with Drag-and-Drop Mobile App Tool
AppGyver Inc.'s new mobile development tool offers cross-platform capabilities while claiming native performance and the ability to quickly build fully functional apps without writing code.
Recently put into beta, the company's Composer tool features a drag-and-drop programming model that seeks to put mobile app building in the hands of more people wanting to build iOS and Android apps. The visual app builder "allows those with limited technical knowledge to build high-quality working applications without coding," the company said. This is a growing trend, as developers are in great demand, new computer science classes are springing up in schools of all sizes and numerous efforts are underway to get kids coding at a young age.
Composer is a "freemium" Software as a Service (SaaS) tool integrated with Adobe PhoneGap cross-platform technology. The complete product is available for free use during the beta, expected to last until the third or fourth quarter of this year. After that, the company said, a free tier will remain available, with add-ons available for purchase to provide functionality such as a data proxy or integrations with cloud services.
For more advanced programming with more complicated business logic, AppGyver offers a Steroids command-line interface (CLI) hybrid UI that it said matches native performance.
Hybrid apps are seen as a compromise between building native apps multiple times for each targeted platform to get the best performance and using strict Web technology to build an app once that runs on any device, without native functionality. Hybrid apps use Web technology but allow access to native functions through wrappers and WebiVews. These apps are usually described as incurring a slight performance hit over truly native apps, but more vendors are claiming their technology allows fully native app performance -- or quite nearly so.
CEO Marko Lehtimäki provided more details in a blog post last November, in which he discussed the future of PhoneGap and if it would ever achieve native app quality with its "thin-wrapper" approach. Because the Apache Cordova code is completely open source, vendors such as AppGyver are able to improve upon it, he said.
"Our team at AppGyver is betting on the 'fatter wrapper' horse. We believe that native apps will be far superior to Web apps for the foreseeable future. As Web developers who are not satisfied with anything but fully native-quality apps, we decided to extend Cordova, instead of waiting to see what happens. Our new rapid development platform, AppGyver Steroids, comprehensively bridges the gap between HTML5 hybrid apps and native apps."
Although AppGyver claims Composer can create complex app logic with the visual drag-and-drop process, it notes that mobile apps can be quickly "bootstrapped" with the tool and Composer projects can be exported as AppGyver Steroids HTML5 projects for further, more complicated development.
David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.