Appcelerator release Titanium 2.0 today, a major milestone for their mobile application developer framework. The big news for this release is the addition of Appcelerator Cloud Services. We all know writing apps is made easier in Titanium, and now, connecting to cloud services has become a whole lot simpler.
One the key things about Appcelerator Titanium, is that you could put together an app as a weekend project. Sure, it might have some issues to be tidied up, but you get from zero to app in a few days. Cloud services has become a topic of great importance for mobile apps, and now Appcelerator aim to make integrating those services possible with minimal configuration. More importantly, if you're not using Titanium, you can still take advantage of these services - so Objective-C, Java, PhoneGap, Sencha or HTML5 developers can share in the simplicity.
The cloud services being offered look really impressive.
The services include
- User management: provide access, authentication and cross-platform controls
- Photos: store, share, and publish photos from within your app.
- Photo collections: store, share, and publish photo albums from within your apps.
- Places (rich location storage): harness location to provide better search results and pointed ads, for example, without setting up GIS or a latitude/longitude server.
- Social integration: enable customer login and authentication using Facebook and Twitter.
- Custom data objects: create and analyze data derived from searchable fields, such as location or interactions with other users to optimize app features and offers.
- Push notifications: push messages to customers and employees regardless of device and whether or not the application is running
- Check-ins: enable check-ins from within any app.
- Status updates: make apps more social by enabling users to post status updates from wherever they are.
- Chat: embed IM within apps to allow multiple user and user group threads.
- Ratings and reviews: add ratings, reviews and “likes” to apps without having to build an entire rating machine and server-side infrastructure.
- Discussion forums: provide users the ability to post updates, reviews or other content and allow others to respond to their posts.
- Messaging and email templates: plug-in pre-built messaging and email templates.
- Client identification: cloud-connected apps help developers identify the classes of devices people are using to access apps, providing insight into how to better optimize content.
- Key values: simple, unstructured storage for any kind of content.
“Our goal is to help every enterprise and developer quickly and easily create rich, cloud-connected mobile apps for any device and any platform,” said Jeff Haynie, CEO of Appcelerator. “Appcelerator’s Cloud Services enables developers to do three things really well: build, launch and scale full-featured mobile apps without the headache of building the backend infrastructure and services that are typically required. By opening the playing field for developers, we anticipate a broad rollout of mobile cloud services beginning this year.”
The pricing of the services is to follow a freemium pricing model. The App Explore plan allows you to run an app with a certain quota per month (5GB storage, 1,250,000 Push and Email, 250,000 API calls). It's certainly enough to get a feel for what is possible.
The other major part of todays announcement is the mobile web SDK release candidate, meaning that the Titanium platform can now provide both native, hybrid and HTML 5 solutions.
With over 40,000 Titanium native apps in the wild today, Appcelerator is running a competition to encourage developers to build for the mobile web. The top 5 apps deployed by June 1st will each win $1,000.