updated 10:00 am EDT, Fri July 9, 2010
Can function as native, web-based titles
Charles Jolley, the founder of the SproutCore standard, has left his recent position with Apple and is now using the technology at a new start-up to help other companies produce multi-touch apps. SproutCore is an open-source framework for rich Internet apps, notably employed in Apple's MobileMe web apps. Jolley's company, Strobe, is combining HTML5 and native formats to produce apps than can both be installed via the App Store and accessed via Safari.
A major focus of the new venture will be on publications, including newspapers. "Right now we have a lot of interest from publishers -- all household names. I will be sure to let you know as soon as I can announce something," says Jolley in an interview. SproutCore may be one means around the absence of Flash on devices like the iPad, which is quickly gaining favor with publishers because of its reading focus and a rapidly-expanding audience. It should in fact be possible to replicate many of the features of Flash and/or native apps on the web, thanks to the SproutCore Touch framework, visible in a demo NPR app for the iPad.
Jolley says that Strobe will have a new set of developer tools ready by early 2011, based on node.js. These will allegedly be "much faster" than current offerings, and include a new interface builder, called Greenhouse.