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New Tools Released for Built-in Mobile App Security, Rapid Visual Development

New mobile app development products were released this week to bake in security at the code level for native apps and to rapidly build projects visually, with the help of a new free design/prototyping tool.

Appmobi, which describes itself as a Mobile Security-as-a-Service (MSaaS) company, yesterday released Appmobi Native Support, designed to help programmers add enterprise-grade security features early on in the development process of native iOS, Android and Windows Phone apps.

The company said the new solution works with strictly native apps or HTML5-based apps built with cross-platform Cordova technology.

Its Secure Mobile Platform works with existing development tools to provide services such as secure push messaging, analytics and data storage and a security kit that helps developers configure security settings, quickly integrate apps with authentication gateways and more.

Developers can use the service to host resulting apps in one package on Appmobi's Secure Cloud service, an existing enterprise private cloud, or strictly on-premises.

"Feature pressure and a need to develop and deploy apps quickly are some of the key reasons that the necessary security considerations are often overlooked in mobile app development," said CEO Marcel E. Smit. "As a result, many mobile apps -- including native apps -- are being released into the enterprise in an insecure state. Appmobi addresses this challenge head on and makes it easy to integrate security into mobile apps at the code level in a matter of minutes."

Pricing options are available here.

Also this week, Kony Inc. updated its Visualizer product for rapid app development, adding new features and announcing a free tool for designing mobile app prototypes.

As with Appmobi, security is also a focus of the new updates to Kony Visualizer 7.0.

"We added application hardening mechanisms to protect our applications from static and dynamic threats, including protection from: reverse engineering, tampering, malware, code injection, rooted Android and jailbroken iOS devices, and more," Kony says on its Web site. "In addition, we protect the source code with White box cryptography and advanced obfuscation techniques. We have also introduced the support for Mutual Authentication to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks on your mobile apps and APIs."

Among the many other updates are improved wearable and Internet of Things (IoT) functionality. "The new release, which enables cross-platform mobile app development, also supports voice input for Apple Watch apps or intelligent control of smart homes using new IoT capabilities," the company said in a statement Wednesday.

Kony also announced a new free Visualizer Starter Edition for visually designing native app prototypes.

"Perhaps the most exciting update is the democratization of app development; in other words, we're now offering Kony Visualizer Starter Edition for free," said Kony in a blog post. "Line-of-Business developers and designers will now have access to our intuitive visual environment for mobile app design and prototyping -- at any time."

The free tool doesn't hook up to Kony's back-end services. Once a prototype app is designed, developers can move it to production -- with back-end and API services support -- with the company's Enterprise addition, which adds the services via Kony MobileFabric middleware. Kony didn't provide pricing details for its Enterprise edition, which is available in a 30-day free trial.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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