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[RETIRED] App Designer (UI layout tool)

IMPORTANT: the Intel XDK App Designer component (aka the UI layout tool) has been retired. It was retired with the 3972 release (May, 2017). Existing App Designer projects will continue to work, but you will not be able to create new App Designer projects.

No bug fixes will be implemented for App Designer nor for any of the UI frameworks that were supported by App Designer.

If you have designed your layout by hand or by using an external tool, there are no changes to your project. This change ONLY affects projects that have been created using the App Designer UI layout tool. If you are just starting with the Intel XDK do NOT use App Designer to create your layout, since the editor will not be maintained and may eventually be discontinued.

There are many UI frameworks and tools available for creating UI layouts; too many to enumerate here. The vast majority of layout tools that generate standard HTML5 code (HTML/CSS/JavaScript) should work with no issue. The Intel XDK creates standard Cordova CLI (aka PhoneGap) applications, so any UI frameworks and tools that work in the Cordova CLI environment will work with your Intel XDK applications.

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New Contributor III
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That's the final nail in the coffin of XDK for mobile development then. A sad day for mobile developers.

I think a lot of us would appreciate you enumerating some suggested free UI development tools please, because I can't find any that match XDK in their function and flexibility, that are free. Most are extremely expensive or very limited for single app development.

Well done Intel for screwing us Mobile Developers over.

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Valued Contributor I
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Agreed with Nick about some suggestions for alternatives to App Designer, I was looking for a long time, and not found nothing like XDK.

Ionic Creator is very limited on its free version.

App Gyver composer is very expensive.

I have a question, after the App Designer is deprecated, could I continue to use the latest version that have it avoiding the upgrades?

Regards,

Diego

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Beginner
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Yes, a list of alternatives from Intel or other developers would be very helpful.

Thank you!

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Beginner
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Unreal. They completely killed the entire XDK developement package for us. It's just a tad better than Notepad at that point.

Good grief, Thanks Intel.

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Beginner
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Sad to see how a corporate company solving problems.

Even Google when it retired App inventor, it was given to MIT for further development and maintenance.

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New Contributor III
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Although Intel have advertised the fact that IOT was merging with XDK, the roadmap was not clear. The removal of the UI interface is a killer for all mobile app development.

Intel should have made efforts to keep a well established user base functioning, but instead chose to pull the plug on a product that in my mind was unique in its field and an extremely useful functional tool.

Now as mobile developers we have nothing left. XDK or at least XDK in its current form (With the UI design element) should be kept as a downloadable tool on their Archives, at least it can be used to create the packages required for Cordova/XCODE/Android Studio, although I'm still struggling with the process at the moment. iOS Builds as continually failing, I'm having slightly more success with Android although these are Enterprise app, haven't tried sending to iTunes or Google Play yet.

I still believe that INTEL have failed to recognise their place in this market having had such a powerful and relatively simple tool to use in XDK. There is no competition where this product is concerned and I for one would have supported a subscription model to keep the product running as a mobile development tool. The alternatives are extremely expensive and the removal of the final bit of function we developers find useful leaves XDK useless to us and little in the way of comparable alternatives.



 

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Beginner
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"App Designer deprecated" means that I will stop immediately creating apps with Intel XDK. Existing apps built with XDK, using what I had done before with NSBasic AppStudio or Embarcadero RAD Studio/Delphi XE or Adobe Dreamweaver will be rebuilt with these other tools. Ex  XDK users who were happy with App Designer and do not want to buy rather expensive Embarcadero or Adobe should consider using NSBasic AppStudio: https://www.nsbasic.com/ . Owning the other tools I did not need XDK. Tried it just for fun and liked it so much that I "translated" a few apps to XDK. Without the App Designer I would not see why I should continue using XDK. 

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Beginner
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A list of alternatives and an explanation to the "deprecate everything" policy would be appreciated.

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Beginner
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It was the only thing that sets it apart from other platforms. XD

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Beginner
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Bernd S. wrote:

"App Designer deprecated" means that I will stop immediately creating apps with Intel XDK. Existing apps built with XDK, using what I had done before with NSBasic AppStudio or Embarcadero RAD Studio/Delphi XE or Adobe Dreamweaver will be rebuilt with these other tools. Ex  XDK users who were happy with App Designer and do not want to buy rather expensive Embarcadero or Adobe should consider using NSBasic AppStudio: https://www.nsbasic.com/ . Owning the other tools I did not need XDK. Tried it just for fun and liked it so much that I "translated" a few apps to XDK. Without the App Designer I would not see why I should continue using XDK. 

NSBasic AppStudio apps are simple web pages, not real stand-alone apps. It's basically no better than Dreamweaver. XDK allowed for building and compiling REAL apps, not websites. 

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Andre B. wrote:

A list of alternatives and an explanation to the "deprecate everything" policy would be appreciated.

Not clear by what you mean by the phrase '"deprecate everything" policy.' We have announced deprecation of the build system and App Designer. Admittedly, these are two significant features, but they do not represent "everything."

We do understand that retiring these two features will result in a significantly lesser value for those who are using the XDK purely for the development of mobile apps, but as stated earlier in another thread:

As has been noted in other posts, blogs and marketing materials, Intel delivers a wide range of development software, mostly free or at very low cost. Those free and low cost Intel software product offerings are designed to enable the use of Intel hardware and systems built around Intel hardware. Therefore, our software products must change to reflect the changing focus of Intel hardware and systems based on Intel hardware.

Ultimately, any free product needs to drive company revenue, directly or indirectly; I'm sure you would agree that even independent developers need a revenue stream. So like most developers, and virtually every company on the planet, a key focus of any product is to enhance revenue or profits or both; sometimes those products support and enable other products and sometimes they are direct revenue-producing products. Obviously, free products do not generate revenue directly, so they fit into the category of revenue enhancing products.

And:

Our focus on IoT started in September of 2014, with the release of the XDK IoT Edition. In August of 2016 we merged that product into the mainstream XDK Edition and announced our intention to focus on IoT app development, moving away from a focus on mobile app development. Please see the release notes for details.

It is understandable that those who are newly introduced to the XDK may feel like this is a sudden change. We have consciously made gradual changes to the product so that our mobile app developers can easily transition to this new focus on IoT. Unfortunately, it is impossible to capture every developer at every phase of their experience and use of the product.

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Valued Contributor I
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NSBasic AppStudio apps are simple web pages, not real stand-alone apps. It's basically no better than Dreamweaver. XDK allowed for building and compiling REAL apps, not websites.

John, I don't know when was the last time that you checked NSBasic AppStudio, but since the bad news about XDK I reviewed it again.

It has the tools to compile apps using phonegap or cordova-cli, the generated code is html5 and javascript, just like XDK, and it has a lot of configuration options for mobile (like status bar, splash, icons).

You can use cordova plugins.

Recently it added Bootstrap framework. Until now I tested the designer, is pretty good, more stable than XDK and with a lot of more properties available for controls. As a little example, for a the control you can set disabled o invisible. Is not so good as XDK to generate responsive forms, or I not found how to do it yet, until now seems more manually for each control.

I tested add a javascript library, bootbox.js, and worked perfectly.

My next tests will be to connect REST services using pouchdb and couchdb, and a plugin like camera to scan barcodes.

I'll review if you can use jquery to manipulate DOM.

Until now, is the most promising tool I found. USD 199 the permanent license, includes minor upgrades. Major upgrades at a small cost. There is also a subscription option, but I don't know yet what are the benefits.

Good luck for all ex XDK developers.

Diego

PS for Intel's staff: The XDK website is full of current lies and other information that will soon be. Pleaso don't disappoint people who can find XDK today as you did with those who have used it for a year or more. 

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Beginner
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For Cordova APP  MS Visual Studio Community Edition look very appreciate ...

with very good support

 

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Beginner
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I haven't done any .net in some time.. but the first thing I'll verify b4 checking out MS Visual Studio Community Edition is that it uses phonegap/cordova and not xamarind!

 

 

 

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Beginner
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Darn it.. I mispelled it Xamarin!

https://www.xamarin.com/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xamarin

This is a .net solution that works on non-microsoft OSes.

 

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Dwight B. wrote:

I haven't done any .net in some time.. but the first thing I'll verify b4 checking out MS Visual Studio Community Edition is that it uses phonegap/cordova and not xamarind!

Microsoft has been very active in the Cordova community and their Cordova support component for Visual Studio is well regarded. You write in JavaScript, just as you do in the XDK, and you build with standard Cordova CLI. Building for iOS does require access to a Mac, but they have come up with a solution that allows you to use a remote Mac (I think it needs to be on your local network) to get the iOS build done.

As stated many times before, the XDK creates standard Cordova apps, so any tool that also gives you full access to Cordova (such as Cordova CLI and PhoneGap Build and the Microsoft offering) will be compatible. You'll have to change some parts of your process to accommodate the specific tools, but the code you write for your app remains the same, regardless of the build system you use.

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Beginner
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Thanks!  I did not know they had been so active.

BTW, I presume PhoneGap Build can produce the executable for IOS, but just not submit it to the app strore, right?

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Dwight B. wrote:

BTW, I presume PhoneGap Build can produce the executable for IOS, but just not submit it to the app strore, right?

Yes, like us, Adobe does not submit a built IPA to the Apple store on your behalf (nor will Microsoft). For that you need an Apple Developers account and access to a Mac. You need the Apple Developers account to generate the credentials needed to build an IPA, but you can do that with a Windows or Linux machine, the final submission requires a Mac.

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Valued Contributor I
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Hi Paul,

Will it be possible to continue using the latest version that has App Designer for unlimited time?

Thanks, regards.
Diego

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