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InfoQ Homepage News Swift for Android Makes Major Step Forward with SCADE 2.0

Swift for Android Makes Major Step Forward with SCADE 2.0

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Now at 2.0, SCADE aims to enable native app development for iOS and Android using Swift. Besides many internal improvements, SCADE 2 also includes a new native IDE for macOS that replaces the previous Eclipse-based IDE.

SCADE includes four major components, all of them open source: a Swift compiler for Android supporting Swift 5.4; Crystal, a cross-platform, high-performance graphics engine to build native UIs; Nimble, a high-performance native IDE for macOS; and Fusion, a native cross-platform SDK to accelerate development.

The Nimble IDE aims to be responsive and provide a native user experience, including a simulator for both iOS and Android.

Crystal is a vector-graphics engine that leverages native OS controls, including text fields, keyboards, and the camera, as well as basic mechanisms such as drag&drop to ensure native user experience.

Fusion is by far the most interesting component in SCADE. Fusion is able to automatically generate Swift API to enable access to the Android Java APIs.

Fusion provides you with with Swift SPM libraries that mimic every Android Java API call.

On iOS, Fusion is just a wrapper around Apple iOS SDK to provide developers with abstractions common to both platforms.

Fusion appears to be very much a work-in-progress, with support for Audio, geolocation, and NFC, while Bluetooth is coming.

InfoQ has taken the chance to speak with SCADE creator Frank Langel to learn more.

InfoQ: What kinds of developers or organizations does SCADE target?

Frank Langel: Our marketing currently targets our primary focus group: iOS developers who want to develop for Android in order to increase their revenue stream, or because of the business requirement to offer the app for the Android market as well.

As we believe that SCADE offers a next generation platform that surpasses existing solutions in many areas, we also target any mobile developer who wants to build professional, native applications quickly. As Fusion allows any Android developer to use the Android SDK from Swift, the switch from Android development kit to SCADE is small and easy.

InfoQ: Are you satisfied with SCADE's adoption since 1.0?

Langel: We think that we are in the beginning of the growth curve. Swift had to mature, and our switch of our SCADE IDE from Eclipse to a powerful native IDE took time. We believe that we offer the most advanced technology, and with our focus on informing the community about it, see a bright future ahead.

InfoQ: What's on SCADE's roadmap?

Langel: Our activity is divided in maintenance and next step features. Maintenance includes bug fixes as well as providing a SCADE version that are compatible with the latest Swift version and Android SDK.

Our major challenge is not the lack of exciting features, our challenge is to ensure that the mobile developer community knows about all these features. Most of the developers we talk are like, "I cannot believe SCADE can do this".

Our vision targets the following areas, and that is where you will see the next big features:

  • DesDev - the fusion of app design and app development

  • iOS app migration. The ability to migrate parts of an iOS app to Android easily.

  • Developer productivity - components and IDE enhancements to build professional apps even more quickly.

SCADE 2.0 can be downloaded for free with a premium plan available for users requiring support.

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