Platform Comparison: appMobi vs. Titanium

|| Information Technology |

Appcelerator Titanium and appMobi are application development platforms that are both strongly based on web technologies. Titanium has a slightly longer track record, being introduced to the market in 2008 and used by prominent media companies such as NBC Universal and the Los Angeles Times to build their mobile applications. AppMobi, on the other hand, is a newer platform, with its parent company FlyCast introducing it just over a year ago in April 2010. appMobi strongly advocates HTML5 and has hinged its success roadmap on the view that this web technology will eventually address the current fragmentation in the mobile app development sector. appMobi’s core engine is also reportedly driven by the award-winning PhoneGap mobile development framework.

Both platforms allow web developers to use HTML, JavaScript and CSS to directly create mobile applications for Android and iOS devices (the two platforms have varying levels of support for other operating systems such as Blackberry and Windows Mobile 7).  This effectively reduces the need for learning native device languages such as Objective C for iPhone, and Java and C++ for Android to develop consumer-friendly mobile apps. However, Titanium takes the notch higher by allowing web developers—or their mobile developer colleagues—who know native device languages to use either Objective C or Java to further enhance mobile applications with custom features that are only possible to create in these languages. In addition, Titanium can reportedly access more native device API’s compared with appMobi.

In terms of hardware requirements, developers using Titanium need a Mac as well as the Apple XCode to create their iPhone apps. This is because Titanium compiles the original HTML and JavaScript codes into Objective C. Meanwhile, developers who intend to use appMobi do not have this restriction and they can create iPhone applications without using a Mac.

Both platforms have free developer accounts although support costs vary. In general, appMobi scores pretty well when the mobile app being created is largely browser based, and when the cost of maintaining or acquiring a pool of highly skilled native language developers becomes prohibitive. On the other hand, Appcelerator Titanium is the platform to go for when access to the whole range of native device API’s and features is critical.