I like to play with mobile stuff…
That said, I’m making my rounds with mobile development frameworks. I’ve published apps with both Rhomobile and Titanium. I was turned on to Corona SDK about 5 months ago by a friend that was building a game. I downloaded it and started a tutorial I found and since then, I can’t get enough. I think I’ve downloaded or looked at every tutorial I can find. There are so many resources available and a fantastic community. One of the resources I really enjoy is Corona Geek. This weekly video cast / google hangout is fantastic. They’ve recently released the audio portion of the weekly show on iTunes, Stitcher or if you use Chrome, you can install a Chrome Extension - I’m loving the audio podcast option now, because I can download it and listen in the car or if I’m splitting wood or something.
Why is it such a good show?
The guys. Charles McKeever - ok that link didn’t go to a page about Charles, just listed his uploads on CoronaGeek.com, which is pretty much everything on the site, this link does though :). Anyway, he’s great. He has great insight, seems quite connected and asks the questions I want to know about. His two co-hosts (sorry guys, I think that’s what you are) Brian Burton is the author of a few Corona books that come highly recommended. I’m hoping Santa [wife, cough, cough] brings me one for Christmas. The other co-host is Toff Ward all around developer, who really likes Corona and is pretty funny. These three guys know their stuff and really enjoy getting together to talk about mobile development. They’re not just there to read the release notes, and digest the news, its like hanging out in the break-room with some geek friends and talking about mobile development. So if you want to know what is going on with the latest version, hear reviews of resources and tools you can use to build apps, or just want to keep in touch with the community, this show is a must. I pretty much stalk them on Google+, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Recently (last couple months I think) they’ve started to have guests on the show, which makes it really interesting. Typically these guests are app developers of newly released Corona apps or service providers and they talk about how they built an app or how what they do supports the Corona community. More proof the overall world of Corona is amazing. I like how fast CoronaGeek.com has grown, and how connected they’ve become. You can’t argue they’ve had some great interviews and guests on the show. I only wish I lived closer so I could hang with these guys.
So what am I doing with Corona?
I’ve started working on an app for a friend using Corona SDK. Yea, I know, most of us fall prey to that Bad-Idea-By-Friend-Syndrome, but this time he actually had a good one, and I’m running with it. I thought I’d use it as an opportunity to learn Corona. I’m hardly fluent, and still have to look up too many things right now, but I’m learning the SDK, playing with sprites and physics, its pretty easy to understand, and I really like the Lua language.
Which one is best?
Even though Corona is coming out with widgets to build more mobile app-ish UI screens, people still think of Corona as a game development SDK. I think its strong point is indeed graphic apps, which sometimes equate in many people’s minds to game type apps. Corona handles animation, sprites, physics, scrolling and everything you would expect from a ‘game’ development environment. It can build ‘normal’ app UI screens but that isn’t really its strong point, or at least, its not marketed as such right now.
I’ve built and published 2 apps (2 different ones for both iOS and Android) using Titanium. These are functional ‘business’ apps and Titanium excels at these types of apps. Currently it is difficult to build a game with animation, sprites, etc with Titanium. They do have a partnership with Lanica who is developing a game engine, which should be interesting because I think the founder of Lanica started Corona (insert mystery-intrigue-music here).
So right now, my unofficial preferences are to develop in both. I’m not deep enough into Corona to make a clear decision yet. I imagine if I could build a business app in Corona, I may jump the fence for good, although its hard to turn my back on all the Titanium knowledge I have. I do know that the cheap-developer in me likes Titanium because its free (for now), and the $349 for Corona is a bit steep, especially when I’m releasing free apps. Maybe I’ll roll that price into the cost of development for my next client. Plus there’s the great Corona community…
Until then – keep coding with whatever is easiest for you.