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Titanium – a better way to develop multi-platform mobile applications

I remembered Minjun Wang once posted an article introducing the Rho mobile, which is an HTML5 application development platform built to meet the needs of the next generation of business mobility using Ruby and Rails. Well, today I’m going to introduce another tool to develop multi-platform mobile applications – Titanium, based on Javascript.

Unlike Phone Gap and Rho mobile which both rely heavily on HTML to render the visual display across different platforms, Titanium uses a unified Javascript interface to build up the UI (in fact, the UI framework of Titanium itself is also written in Javascript). Under the hook, the Javascript source code will get deployed to the simulator/mobile device where it is interpreted.


This indicates that when you run an application developed by Titanium, you are not running the one which are comprised of HTML pages and rendered by the web browser control with not-so-good performance; it is a real native application which fits well in every native ecosystem it supports. And I think this is the biggest advantage of Titanium over other multi-platform solutions.

Just as a coin has two sides, below comes the downsides of Titanium from my own perspective and experience: Being a mobile multi-platform solution, it can hardly support any other platform except Android, iOS and limited BlackBerry. However, this might not be a big issue since now most of the mobile application are just targeted towards iOS and Android. The second is, it is not so easy to debug the Titanium applications. Well, the reason for this seems obvious: Javascript is a dynamic language, and debugging is a pain for every dynamic language. The third is it seems the tool has some problems supporting the Android platform: sometimes, an application which runs well under iOS crashes under Android.

To sum up, if you are to build up a multi-platform mobile application with a single code base but still requires native application’s performance, I would strongly recommend you take a look at Titanium.


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Whitman Yang

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