How to code native apps extremely fast

Timur Karimbaev
Chatium founder
Mon May 30 2022

I've always wondered how difficult it is to develop native mobile applications. And it's not about language. Mostly it's about the environment.

I've been developing web applications for about 20 years. It includes many stages: from VBScript (hello to Internet Explorer), through the Java-oriented world (do you remember applets?), PHP, to the total JavaScript takeover of all stack parts, including backend and database 

There has been great progress in the web development environment in past years. Today you don't need to install web-server and application server like fast-cgi and configure it separately. You just write a few commands in your terminal and voila - dev-server is working, auto-refreshing enabled, and you can write your business logic immediately. When it's ready you can deploy it with a few more commands to heroku or something similar. You can send it to friends or a to a customer immediately just after deploy

But when you try to make a native application the situation changes dramatically. Let's start with the fact that there are two different ecosystems in the world - Apple and Google. The developing process differs from the start and it depends on your working OS. If you are mac-user - you need to download XCode and gigs of tools linked to it. And it's not so easy to make an Android application on a Mac. But the really huge problem is to make an iOS app without Mac computer.

The last time I tried to install XCode finished with an installation error. It was fixed, but after reinstalling some libraries, it took a few hours to find a solution. 

How Chatium can help

Chatium is a cloud platform. You see all the files and can edit them into the browser. When you click the Save button - it just saves and immediately starts work. You can see a preview in the browser or scan the QR code with our development application and see the result.

You can just share it with your friends or customer by sending a link, and when it's ready - you can easily make a build to the App Store and Google Play. 

Don't need to download something - it's unnecessary. Just code your business logic from the first line. If you have a big project - you can open VSCode Extension, which can synchronize local files to the chatium cloud. 

About coding process

This way makes native application development as easy as any website development. Even more accessible because you don't need to install something. By the way - you can code the site in this codebase too.

In our IDE you can write typescript code, looking like simple HTML code

app.screen( '/', (ctx,req) => 
  <screen title="Screen title">
    <button onClick={showToast("Hello")}>
      Hello world
    </button>
  </screen>
)

After running this code you will get a screen with one button inside it. Click on this button shows message. But the main point is that this code is enough to build the application.