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Open Source NativeScript 4.0 for Mobile Apps Released

The release of NativeScript 4.0 was yesterday announced by Progress, the primary backer of the open source framework for building cross-platform, native mobile apps with JavaScript-based tools.

Besides plain JavaScript, those tools include TypeScript, Angular and Vue.js, and Progress touted day-one support for the latter two, specifically Angular 6 and Vue.js, an open source JavaScript framework for building UIs.

Among the new capabilities in NativeScript 4.0 are Vue.js code sharing and leveraging the Angular CLI (command-line interface). Speaking of the latter, Progress said "This enables developers to add native mobile projects to existing Angular and Web projects by reusing an existing code base. This also includes support for Angular Schematics, the workflow tool focused on ease of use and development, extensibility and reusability, atomicity and asynchronicity."

Progress positions its NativeScript offering as one of the many growing ways for developers to use their JavaScript-based tools more commonly associated with traditional Web development for creating native iOS and Android mobile apps. With the demand for enterprise and other mobile apps skyrocketing, Progress and other toolmakers see the widely known JavaScript ecosystem as a quick way for Web developers to get in on the mobile action without having to use Web Views.

To that end, NativeScript provides a runtime that lets developers access native device functionality via APIs, with JavaScript commands executed in JavaScript virtual machines: V8 on Android and JavaScriptCore on iOS.

Progress said the NativeScript community now has more than 6,400 Slack users and more than 2,000 registered users of its forum.

Some new features of NativeScript 4.0 include:

  • The ability to use any View as the root of an application, which was previously limited to a Frame. For example, developers can now use a TabView or RadSideDrawer as the application root.
  • More Frame flexibility, with the capability to use more than one frame in an app.
  • Modal view changes that let developers show almost anything as a modal dialog.
  • Updated templates, along with the ability to select different template flavors for each Angular, TypeScript or JavaScript template.
  • An Enterprise Auth template to ease authentication with different single sign-on providers.
  • The ability for NativeScript developers to now enable LiveSync with Webpack simultaneously.
  • Asset generation improvements that provide the ability to generate icons and splash screens based on a single high-resolution image.

These features and more are detailed further in this blog post.

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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