August 29, 2013

AppGyver’s ‘Steroids’ Offers HTML5 Code Portability with the Speed of Native Apps

Choosing between HTML5 and native platforms for development has often been an ‘either-or’ proposition with trade-offs. If you choose to go the native platform route, you get faster apps, but will have to support multiple code bases if you want the app to run on different operating systems. HTML5 is platform-agnostic, meaning only one code base is necessary. The catch: slower apps.

Hybrid apps have been developed that allow developers to support multiple platforms and have better performance than pure HTML5 apps, but they still do not perform as well as fully native apps.

AppGyver claims to have developed a solution it calls Steroids, which gives code portability while at the same time delivering native app performance. This is done by wrapping HTML5 code in native code when the app is built. There is only one code base needed, however, because Steroids adds an application layer that is platform independent from a source code perspective, but compiles into platform-specific binaries for better performance.

A video by AppGyver demonstrates a recipe app that only takes four minutes to build using Steroids. It’s a little like enjoying a scenic drive at 100 MPH, but the essential point the demonstration makes is that it was relatively easy to tweak UI elements and even add recipes to the app.

Steroids supports the Adobe (NewsAlert) PhoneGap framework. Plugins and APIs from PhoneGap are supported.

The most obvious benefit from Steroids is that developers have the best aspects of HTML5 development without the lag in performance. Another huge benefit is that HTML5 apps can be monetized when wrapped in Steroids.

AppGyver features four apps on its website developed with Steroids that are available for sale in Apple’s App Store. Three of the same apps are also available on Google (News Alert) Play. A chat app, doctor locator, meeting app and sailing navigation aid are the apps on the site. Only the doctor locator is not available on Google Play.

AppGyver runs a crawl across the page showing numerous large corporations using steroids, including IBM (News Alert), Cisco and Intuit.

It remains to be seen what the market reaction will be, but AppGyver may have struck the software development equivalent of oil with the Steroids framework. To be able to use HTML5 portability, have native code speed, a rapid development framework and endorsements in the form of several big companies using the product is about as good as it gets for a product.

Edited by Alisen Downey


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