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iOS or Android?
To cover their bases in the mobile app market, developers are increasingly targeting both platforms. While this strategy makes business sense, according to Doug Seven, executive vice president of development software provider Telerik, it typically means juggling software development kits (SDKs), cloud code repositories and an assortment of tools.
As the former director of product management for Visual Studio at Microsoft, Doug Seven is no stranger to the demands of software developers and their growing reliance on the cloud. So upon joining Telerik, he helped spearhead his company's goal to create "the very first integrated cloud environment," explains Seven, where "the cloud is an integral part of the workflow."
But deep cloud integration only goes so far in aiding mobile app developers. Seven also wanted to free developers from the constraints of relying on coding toolsets that target a single platform.
So today, Telerik is launching Icenium, a mobile app development platform that the company claims is the industry's first Integrated Cloud Environment for mobile, cross-platform app development.
Why web developers? Seven says that the swing in IT market momentum toward tablets and smartphones and the blistering pace of Web innovation suggest that they are likelier to push mobile app ecosystems further, faster.
"Web has been the primary development platform for the past 10 years," says Seven. While web developers may be drawn to the booming mobile app market, many are intimidated. "They think they have to learn Objective-C or Java," he adds.
With Icenium, coders, "particularly web developers, can build their apps without having to think about Objective-C, Java and those dependencies, states Seven. Additionally, Icenium's cloudy, platform-agnostic underpinnings help break down technological barriers. "I can build an app — on Windows, Mac, Linux... — it doesn't matter, and deploy it to a variety of devices," he states.
Icenium is comprised of Icenium Graphite, an installable cloud-connected version of the toolset for PCs, and Icenium Mist, a browser-based UI. Projects stay synced regardless of which version was last used, informs Seven. The code editor portion on both offers modern day staples like syntax coloring and formatting, real-time error detection and code navigation.
Icenium Device Simulator allows developers to preview changes across a variety of iOS and Android devices. Icenium LiveSynch pushes changes to multiple connected devices (via USB) without the need to recompile for each device.
Icenium Ion allows over-the-air deployment and testing of apps on iOS devices via QR codes. Finally, the service offers app publishing assistance -- streamlining the apps approval process and sending Icenium-developed apps on their way to the iTunes or Google Play marketplaces.
Icenium costs $20 per month per developer. As part of a launch promotion, Icenium is available for free through May 1, 2013.