Wunderlist for Android is going native, drops Appcelerator Titanium Mobile

Appcelerator’s approach to the Android platform has made another victim, a significant one: 6Wunderkinder’s popular Wunderlist ditched Titanium Mobile (TM) for Android, and is now a native app.

“(…) Wunderlist is now native – smaller, faster and more stable.”
Matthew Bostock, 6Wunderkinder’s blog

Translated, Wunderlist got rid of TM’s biggest problems:

  • Size: even the smallest “Hello World” app weights at least 1.5MB (this is still huge in the mobile world – do the same thing using native Java and the app will only weight a few KB);
  • Speed: TM for Android slow. This is mainly due to the fact that TM for Android is using Mozilla’s Rhino as its javascript interpreter, written in Java, running inside Dalvik’s VM, and not compiled to native ARM, as google’s V8SpiderMonkey or any JS engine written in C or C++ would;
  • Stability: this one is not really, in my opinion, TM’s fault. Due to the fact that Javascript is dynamic language, and Titanium does not compile or even do any proper syntax check, the quality of the code is probably to blame here.

Appcelerator reacted two days after 6Wunderkinder’s announcement, stating that Titanium Mobile for Android will use, somewhere in the future, google’s V8 engine. This comes, however, with a still significant drawback: only devices running Android 2.2 or newer support android’s NDK, and therefore the natively compiled V8 Engine. According to Appcelerator’s own benchmarks, this will at least double the performance. Remains to be seen if the “Size” problem will be solved: V8’s binaries will still be inside the app’s package…






4 responses to “Wunderlist for Android is going native, drops Appcelerator Titanium Mobile”

  1. Scott Schwarzhoff Avatar
    Scott Schwarzhoff

    Hello from Appcelerator:

    Thanks for your post.  There are 3 things to note here:
    – iPhone, iPad, PC, and Mac are all Titanium-based.
    – V8 will bring performance at least on par with iOS.  6Wunderkinder will relook at Titanium at that time.
    – We will continue to use Rhino for devices prior to Android 2.2, so backwards compatibility will remain.  And, as shown in Google’s statistics, we’re talking about < 10% of the market at the present time.

    Finally, the same week that this was announced, NBC iPad, also powered by Appcelerator, hit #1 in the app store.  We remain, with over 200,000 mobile developers, 25,000 apps, and a Gartner 'visionary' MCAP member, the #1 cross-platform mobile development solution in use today.

    Scott Schwarzhoff
    VP, Marketing & Developer Relations
    sschwarzhoff at appcelerator dot com

    1.  Avatar

      Scott, I know you post a lot on TM related blogs and it is always good to hear from the vendor however – please note it seems pointless always pointing out the success of enterprise apps like the NBC iPad app – no doubt that would hit #1 written natively too and they like most enterprises have millions to spend on their development and to get your professional services help. It doesn’t compare to those starting out (Indie developers) and for those who hope to be the next wunderlist.

      I see the pro. subscription is now gone – its either Indie or Enterprise, how my life shelf does Indie have? I think you guys can fix these issues, architecturally it will get there but at least don’t sugar coat what is there now …. I have a sub. and I deal with the issues daily.


  2. Uwe Avatar

    It took us seven months to reach a somewhat stable version of an iOS/Android app, until we eventually gave up and rewrote both Apps from scratch within three weeks in native Objective-C and Java, using a single developer on each platform.

    The Titanium App was developed by two very talented JS nerds and over time we added more and more custom modules just to work around basic issues (performance, threading). We also fixed quite a number of bugs in the Titanium Mobile SDK, but our pull requests were simply ignored. The main issue however is the architecture of the Titanium Android SDK which in some crucial parts just does not fit to the Android best practices.

    @b95ec2b1c5064387640d7cfdb9db0a9a:disqus a #1 app is no indication of a good framework. Titanium is great at first, but it is simply not working the way you advertise it. Eventually cross-platform will be HTML5, so you better speed up fixing Titanium before the 200k script kiddies hop on another train.

    1. Peter Willemsen Avatar

      I can totally find myself in here. Titanium used to look like a great solution. But the time I spend on fixing bugs, made me rewrite all of my larger apps in java and objc. It works for small apps, but bigger apps are almost impossible to make. We have different modules for a simple drop down menu, a galery refresh for Android and lots of runtime testing (if android then do this else do this..)

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