What's new in NativeScript

The framework that turns JavaScript, TypeScript, and Angular into native mobile apps adds starter templates, closes in on Vue.js support

NativeScript, a framework for native mobile application development leveraging JavaScript technologies, is being outfitted with starter templates to streamline the development process. The templates are among a series of enhancements being made to the platform.

The templates are part of NativeScript Sidekick, a GUI client companion to the NativeScript command-line interface. Sidekick was introduced on Tuesday. Along with the templates, Sidekick contains plugins, cloud builds, and debugging support. Progress Software, the developer of NativeScript, offers Sidekick as a free download.

Featuring a set of cross-platform abstractions and runtimes, open source NativeScript allows you to develop native mobile apps with JavaScript, TypeScript, or Angular. A NativeScript runtime translates between JavaScript/TypeScript/Angular and the native APIs on Apple iOS and Google Android, allowing developers to write an application just once to support both platforms. 

Other new and forthcoming improvements for NativeScript:

  • Augmented reality (AR) is currently supported for Apple iOS 11 and under development for Android. The goal is to enable development of AR experiences to work on both iOS and Android.
  • Code-sharing between web and mobile apps is in development, to enable the reuse of source code from web apps in native mobile apps. The company estimates that about 80 percent of web code could be migrated.
  • Planned support for the Vue.js JavaScript framework, similar to how Angular is supported. Vue.js enablement is expected by the end of the year.
  • The new NativeScript Playground, a browser-based sandbox for experimenting with NativeScript and Angular, JavaScript, TypeScript, or Vue.js.
  • The new NativeScript Marketplace of plugins for NativeScript applications, which includes a new class of “verified” NativeScript plugins that meet certain standards for high quality.

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