Unlike other DIY toolkits that promise mobile apps without needing to know code, Titanium lets web developers leverage their existing skills to build native mobile applications that do anything any app built using that platform's specific technologies could, like access the phone's camera or stream video, for example.
Titanium's code base has been improved over the past few months resulting in a number of upgrades to performance. Notes the company, "load times are under 3 seconds, down from 10-20 seconds, transitions between pages are instantaneous and processing speed has improved five-fold." They've additionally added more features to offer over 100 native UI controls, native 2D/3D animation capabilities and data and media presentation capabilities. With these new improvements, developers can now build branded apps, casual games and augmented reality applications that run on any of the supported platforms.
When asked to explain what really made Titanium different than the other app-building services out there, the company's VP of Marketing, Scott Schwarzhoff explained that many of its competitors were simply offering web apps disguised as native apps as opposed to offering the real deal. Every other offering is not even close, he says. "Native user interface (over *100* native APIs)? We're the only provider. Push notifications? We're it. Native maps? Same thing. Facebook Connect? We're the only one. Application analytics? That's us. Augmented reality? Ditto. The list goes on and on."
Since June of last year, the Titanium platform has attracted over 27,000 developers thanks to what the company has dubbed their "native advantage." Described here on the company's website, this includes support for things like native controls, location-based services, social sharing, HTML5, online or on-device databases, integrated analytics, rich multimedia and more.
With the launch of the iPad only weeks away, Appcelerator is promising support for Apple's new slate device by the third week of March. Blackberry support will follow in May/June. Titanium's Community edition will be completely free while a pro version offers premium support, analytics and beta access to new versions.
Note: After this post was published, Appcelerator rival Rhomobile got in touch. They took issue with some of Appcelerator's statements. Specifically, they wanted it to be known that Rhomobile's Rhodes supports push as well as native mapping and Rhodes was the first native smartphone app development framework to do so. Also of note, they claim Rhomobile supports native UI in the only way that is portable. If you want to port to other platforms, Appcelerator's methods do not work they said.