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Sencha Touch: A Revolution In Data Interaction?

HTML5 specialist Sencha has beta released its Touch Charts tool to the mobile developer community in a bid to raise awareness and usage of gesture-based UI development.

Focusing on web apps that allow users to dive into complex data using gestures, the company states until now, this level of data interaction has only been possible with native technologies; delivering this functionality within a mobile browser via HTML5 is an industry first, says Sencha.

"Sencha Touch Charts renders charts at the same fidelity as native apps, which means developers can present complex data within their web apps without having to rely on native drawing packages," said Abe Elias, CTO of Sencha. "The result is a new set of user interactions with complex datasets. Animations are smooth and features such as pinch-zoom, drag and drop to merge a data series. and tap to view details are among the favorites."

Touch Charts uses HTML5 technologies to render charts, capture multi-touch inputs, and drive interactivity. This functionality, in theory, makes it ideal for web apps that present business, financial, and scientific data.

Simple gestures can be used to control data exploration. For example, a simple swipe will pan across a dataset, whereas a "reverse pinch" will zoom into detail. Richer interactions such as axis swaps, aggregation, filtering, and more are all enabled by similarly simple gestures.

Sencha Touch Charts uses HTML5 Canvas technology, which is fully supported by the latest WebKit browsers that ship with Android, Apple iOS, BlackBerry OS6, and HP WebOS. The product uses geolocation, localStorage. and CSS3.

"It has a flexible theming system that can change application appearance with just a few lines of code, and incorporates resolution-independence technology that ensures consistent display on devices with different pixel densities. In addition, Sencha Touch incorporates powerful data management classes and a comprehensive touch event system that allows developers to focus on their application, not on the eccentricities of mobile platforms," says the company.

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