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Jolt Awards: Mobile Development Tools

, March 04, 2014 The best tools for the nuts-and-bolts of building mobile apps.
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Finalist: Sencha Touch 2.3.1

Sencha Touch provides a mobile application framework that allows you to work with HTML5 and CSS3 to develop mobile applications for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, Windows 8.x, Windows Phone, and Tizen. Sencha Touch does its best to take advantage of hardware acceleration in most of these devices, as well as exploit features of the latest OS versions. Thus, Sencha Touch-generated apps usually have good performance and are very responsive. This is how the framework adds value compared with the simple use of HTML5 and CSS3 to develop apps that can run in the different mobile Web browsers.

The framework includes a many useful UI controls, built-in icons, and themes. The combination of these visual resources with MVC support and the data package make it easy to move from a prototype to a live app. The framework comes with some well-organized examples that allow you to discover each different component and its features within your favorite Web browser. However, the number of complete sample apps isn't nearly enough for the most-demanding developers and doesn't do justice to the large number of controls.

Sencha Touch succeeds in making HTML5 apps look like native apps on mobile devices — a significant achievement. Version 2.3 added full support for Apache Cordova and the Adobe PhoneGap Build; while this version, Sencha Touch 2.3.1, added Tizen as a new target mobile platform.






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