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NativeScript Launch Highlights Telerik Mobile Upgrades

Telerik upgraded its mobile development portfolio this week, highlighted by the official launch of the open source NativeScript project designed to create native cross-platform apps via JavaScript.

Announced during the company's TelerikNEXT conference in Boston, NativeScript 1.0 was unveiled along with a bevy of other new and upgraded products.

NativeScript is a new approach to attain the elusive goal of writing native apps for the major mobile platforms with one code base. While numerous such approaches to reach that goal exist, each has its drawbacks and trade-offs, and none have proven 100 percent capable of providing truly native apps with the same look, feel and functionality of native-coded apps.

As NativeScript has been in beta, without all the bits in place, Telerik hasn't proven this, either, though it has high hopes.

"NativeScript framework enables developers to use pure JavaScript language to build native mobile applications running on all major mobile platforms -- Apple iOS, Google Android and Windows Universal," said exec Valentin Stoychev in announcing the project last June. "The application's UI stack is built on the native platform rendering and layout engine, using native UI components and because of that no compromises with the UX of the applications are done. It is also worth mentioning that a full native API access is provided by using JavaScript."

The NativeScript project is another example of how new-age mobile developers are putting JavaScript to new uses, capitalizing on its ease of use and ubquity in the development world. For example, Facebook is using JavaScript as the basis of its React Native project, wherein coders learn one language to quickly develop separate native apps with one technology and workflow.

Aiming for 100 Percent Code Reusability
[Click on image for larger view.] Aiming for 100 Percent Code Reusability (source: Telerik)

Telerik, originally a Bulgarian company specializing in Microsoft-centric UI components, is now a unit of Progress Software Corp. and has branched out to target the iOS and Android camps and expand its open source involvement.

For example, along with NativeScript, the company announced it will open source its JustDecompile engine, described as a Microsoft .NET Framework assembly browsing and decompiling tool.

The company also said it's working with Google to integrate NativeScript with the search giant's AngularJS open source Web application framework.

"The goal of the AngularJS team has always been to simplify developers' lives," Google exec Brad Green said in a statement. "Telerik shares our philosophy and is known for its UI/UX capabilities. When we learned about NativeScript, it only made sense for us to work together to deliver even more value to our community, at large."

In a bunch of other announcements, Telerik said it was releasing its "low-code" Screen Builder, a simplified coding tool targeted at non-developers.

It also announced several Microsoft-centric initiatives, such as a new Office 365 theme for its Telerik Kendo UI HTML/JavaScript platform and a new .NET report server for creating reports for Web, mobile and desktop applications.

"With latest product releases, Telerik is again rounding out its mobile offering to better enable anyone interested in building mobile apps—from low code-to-no-code through the most technical deployments," the company said in a statement.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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