Dev

DEVELOPER GIVEAWAY: Use this software and your HTML/JS/CSS skills to build native mobile apps

Icenium developer giveaway

Oh, developers, if you ever doubt that we love you, remember today, the day we gave you some free stuff.

Icenium is a nifty tool that lets you build native mobile applications for Android and iOS devices for distribution in those ecosystems’ app stores. All you have to know is JavaScript, HTML, and CSS.

Icenium manages all the platform dependencies, so there are no SDKs for you to futz with, and it’s cloud-based, so you can code from anywhere. Also, when you make changes in Icenium, they’ll appear on your devices in real time.

An Icenium rep sent the below pic as an example:

“Pictured are eight connected devices that update in real-time: three iOS and five Android (Gingerbread, Honeycomb & Ice Cream Sandwich variations),” the rep said.

“Changes appear in real time across different form factors and resolutions, including single density, double-density 4:3 displays (iPad 1 & iPad 3), 16:9 displays (Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9), multiple phone screen sizes, and non-standard sizes (e.g. Kindle Fire). Icenium uses responsive design and CSS, tailor-styling based on screen dimensions and pixel depth, ensuring apps look great.”

Basically, the company has acknowledged that the entire mobile universe is fragmented. Android takes a lot of heat for having a wider range of form factors in its hardware, but when you consider all mobile devices together, the fragmentation is even more obvious. So then, if Android is Marvel and iOS is DC, Icenium is the Twisted ToyFare Theatre that brings ‘em all together (and if that reference eludes you, you probably have lots of friends and are a great dancer).

“Recently, I was at a technology trade show where we were demoing Icenium non-stop for several days,” writes former Microsoftie and current Iceniumite Doug Seven on the company blog. “Every demo I did, I would ask the person I was speaking with about their interest in mobile app development and their background. My anecdotal findings are that the majority of the people I engaged with were coming from a web development background and either approaching mobile because of the opportunity it provides (reaching millions of people) or because they are being directed to by their boss (e.g. how can they mobilize their existing web assets).

“In either case, the person I was speaking with and the development team they were representing had existing skills in HTML and JavaScript and were somewhat intimidated by Objective-C and Java (or at least frustrated that they were going to have to learn anther set of skills to solve this problem).”

With the web tech, the cross-platform-ness, and the cloud-based tools, Icenium is offering y’all a perfect storm of mobile development trends, and we’re happy to say that you, yes, you, are among the elite smartiepantses being asked to take it for a test drive.

Today, Icenium is letting 1,500 VentureBeat readers sign up free for the closed beta.

Sign up while you can, and we hope you’re able to do great things with it. If not, we welcome a cranky guest post from you about how cross-platform mobile development is a pipe dream and will the damn kids please stay the heck off your lawn.

Icenium is a spin-off product from Microsoft-focused dev tools shop Telerik, which has offices in Bulgaria and Waltham, Mass.

Top image courtesy of olly, Shutterstock.