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RubyMotion 3 Release Supports Android and WatchKit

| by Mirko Stocker Follow 0 Followers on Dec 19, 2014. Estimated reading time: 2 minutes |

HipByte released version 3 of RubyMotion, the Ruby for iOS, OS X and Android app development. This is the first release that includes Android support, which was previously only available to beta testers:

As of RubyMotion 3, we support all versions of Android, up to the latest one (5.0 Lollipop). You can call into the entire set of Java APIs for these platforms, and you can also integrate 3rd-party Java libraries.

RubyMotion provides a complete toolchain to write applications in Ruby that are then compiler to native code with an LLVM based compiler. InfoQ covered the technical details on how they do this in a previous news report.

For Android developers with Ruby knowledge, the example applications immediately feel very familiar:

class MainActivity < Android::App::Activity
  def onCreate(savedInstanceState)
    super
    @contentLayout = Android::Widget::FrameLayout.new(self)
    # ...
  end
end

Note that require of Java packages is planned for a later release, at the moment the fully qualified name is needed.

Version 3 also enables you to write Apple Watch apps using Apple's WatchKit. Further improvements for iOS developers include support for iOS 8 extensions, for which they also have some templates, and iOS apps are now compiled for 64-bit by default.

HipByte also introduced new pricing plans. With different levels of support and response-times, they range from $149 Indie- to $999 Enterprise-plans per year and developer. All plans come with a free 30 days trial period.

For now, the RubyMotion toolchain can only be used on OS X, so we asked HipByte's founder Laurent Sansonetti if they have plans to support other platforms:

There has been demand for a Windows version. We will consider it. For the moment, we plan to stay Mac-only, given the cross platform nature of RubyMotion and the fact that iOS dev requires a Mac.

InfoQ: The examples all create their views programmatically, can they also be declared in Android's XML schema?

You can definitely use XML resources in a RubyMotion Android app, the same way you would be doing in Java. However, we recommend developers to write UI in code, as we do for iOS too. Our gems (like MotionKit [their cross-platform layout and styling library]) will support Android soon to make this easier.

For more information, visit www.rubymotion.com and get your evaluation license. We would love to hear about your experience with RubyMotion, so please let us know in the comments.

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