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…

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