Getting Started with Intel’s App Framework and XDK

Getting Started with Intel’s App Framework

First impression, “A Comprehensive Hybrid Mobile App development kit!“.

The guys at Intel have done an awesome job in packing everything we need to build a Hybrid Mobile app in most convenient workflow possible. In this post, we will take a look at the App framework, its components, theme’s and the invaluable XDK to build Hybrid mobile apps.

App Framework

App Framework is comprised of three parts

App Framework – a query selector library
UI – a UI/UX library for smartphone and tablets
Plugins – plugins built on top of App Framework

App Framework was built from the ground up to excel on mobile devices by being light and fast. It takes advantage of new browser features and supports valid W3C CSS selectors. User generated performance tests at have shown it to be faster than every other JavaScript* library available.

App Framework UI, also known as AFUI, is the only mobile framework that treats Android*, iOS*, Blackberry* and Win8* the same. In other words, AFUI does not degrade features or performance in order to resolve conflicts or bugs. For example, most frameworks consider Android* to be “broken” and ignore specific versions of that operating system or take shortcuts that perform poorly. App Framework solves these key issues to provide a clean and responsive HTML5 user interface.

Plugins are separate JavaScript libraries created to augment apps written using App Framework App Framework. Plugins provide useful features or functionality that may be outside the scope of basic applications. App Framework UI harnesses a few of the core plugins like af.scroller.js and af.css3animate.js.

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Journey of a FireFox OS App

FireFox OS App Development

In this post, we will see how to create a Firefox OS app using a Yeoman generator, build a simple app using Firefox OS’s native Building Blocks. Then we will publish the app to the Firefox Marketplace. To make the app a bit more interesting, we will use GeoNames Weather API and show the details to the user. The end product will look like

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 10.26.33 am

Screen Shot 2014-04-11 at 7.04.02 pm

Disclaimer: I was not able to get through the review process for publishing this App on the Firefox MarketPlace, as this app is working fine on the simulator and not on the actual device. And I do not have an actual device to test this. But this post can give you an idea as how to get started with Firefox OS apps development.


The code for this project can be found at GitHub & a Live demo here.
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