Sencha Touch 2 Hits Beta
February 1, 2012 2 Comments
This is a really important release for us – Sencha Touch 2 is another huge leap forward for the mobile web and hitting beta is a massive milestone for everyone involved with the project. From a personal standpoint, working on this release with the amazing Touch team has been immensely gratifying and I hope the end result more than meets your expectations of what the mobile web can do.
While you should check out the official blog post and release notes to find out the large scale changes, there are a number of things I’d really like to highlight today.
A Note on Builds
Before we get into the meat of B1 itself, first a quick note that we’ve updated the set of builds that we generate with the release. Previously there had been some confusion around which build you should be using in which circumstances so we’ve tried to simplify that.
Most people, most of the time should be using the new sencha-touch-debug.js while developing their app as it is unminified code that contains all of the debug warnings and comments. If you’re migrating from 1.x, use the new builds/sencha-touch-all-compat.js build as it provides an easier migration path by logging additional warnings when you use 1.x-style class configurations.
Because we provide 5 builds in total we created a guide on the shipped builds and JSBuilder (the tool that creates a custom build specifically for your app). The guide contains a table showing all of the options enabled for each build – hopefully that makes it easy to choose which build is best for your needs.
In case you haven’t seen Sencha Touch 2 yet the first thing you need to know is that it’s fast. Crazy fast. Check out this side by side comparison between 1.x and 2.x:
Layout performance is enormously faster in 2.x due to a brand new layout engine that operates much closer to the browser’s optimized CSS layout engine. The difference is pretty startling, especially on Android devices, which had sometimes struggled with Sencha Touch 1. Performance remains a top priority for us and we’re really pleased with the improvements that we’ve secured with 2.0.
The new Navigation View is one of the slickest, sexiest things we’ve created for 2.0. I could play with this thing all day. If you’ve got a phone in your pocket or a tablet near by open up the Navigation View example and see it for yourself. If you’re not, check out this beautiful video of it in action:
Navigation Views are really easy to put together and make your application immediately come to life. Check out the Navigation View docs to see how easy it is to add this to your own applications.
Awesome new examples
As of beta 1 we have 24 examples shipped with the SDK, including no fewer than 6 MVC examples – Kitchen Sink, Jogs with Friends, Twitter, Kiva, Navigation View and GeoCongress.
The Kitchen Sink and Twitter examples also take advantage of Device Profiles, which are a powerful way to customize your app to render customized UI for tablets and phones. Take a look at the Kitchen Sink on your phone and on an iPad to see how it rearranges itself depending on the screen size.
Finally, if you’re seeing Sencha Touch 2 for the first time you may not have seen the new inline examples in the documentation center. This is a brand new thing for Sencha Touch and allows you to edit code live on the documentation page and immediately see the results – give it a go on the Carousel docs.
Ludicrous Amounts of Documentation
Speaking of docs, we have a stunning amount of learning material for Sencha Touch 2. We’ve been through all of the major classes, making sure that the functions are clearly documented and that each one has some great intro text that describes what the class does and how it fits in with the rest of the framework.
We’ve also created over 20 brand new guides for Sencha Touch 2, covering everything from getting started through to developing using MVC, using Components and creating custom builds for your applications. We’ve put a huge amount of effort into our docs for Sencha Touch 2 and I really hope it pays off for you guys and makes it easier than ever to create great mobile web apps.
Go Build Something
It’s only beta 1 but we’re very happy with the performance, stability, API and documentation of Sencha Touch 2. I think it’s the best thing we’ve ever created, and really highlights what the mobile web is capable of. 2012 looks set to be a very exciting year for Sencha Touch so I hope you’ll join us on the adventure and build something amazing with it.