I build web, mobile and desktop apps, produce screencasts, write ebooks, and provide pairing and training

RubyMotion on OS X - the sky is the limit (especially for Rails developers!)

Mar 06, 2014 - Elliott Draper


I know things have been a little quiet around here for the last month or two - a combination of client work, writing the book, and most recently welcoming our third child into the world have kept me busy! Going to make an effort to return to more regular articles here on the blog again though now, and I have some great content lined up for the next few weeks. The book is also progressing nicely, although to make sure it’s as good as I want it to be, I’ve pushed back the pre-order and early access until April, and I’m aiming for June for the final version. I want to make sure that even with the early access, you’ll be getting something immediately polished, useful and valuable right away. One other announcement - if you’re local to Guildford, Surrey in the UK, and want to come along and see me talk about using RubyMotion to build Mac OS X apps, then I’ll be speaking at SRUG on April 8th - you can register for free here. Now on to todays post…

Future of building OS X apps with RubyMotion

I received a great question via email recently from Ryan Jafari, who asked me where the growing trend and popularity in OS X development with RubyMotion might lead, as well as whether OS X might catch up with iOS in terms of resources for RubyMotion development. In writing an email back, I thought it was an interesting topic in general and so thought I’d put my response up here on the blog.

I definitely think that over time there will be more resources for OS X development with RubyMotion, and less of it will be concentrated solely on iOS development. I think it’s mainly a case of RubyMotion having been around since mid 2012 for iOS, but only supporting OS X since the middle of last year. I think over time there may even be some cross-over with libraries that support both - Joybox for example already does this. Likewise there are others who are starting to shift to providing resources for OS X development with RubyMotion as well as iOS.

Of course perhaps the overall interest in developing apps for iOS is greater than for OS X right now - iPhones and iPads are more ubiquitous than Macs still - however with the Mac App Store now there is a better market for reaching that audience on the Mac desktop. While it perhaps still doesn’t have the appeal of the iOS App Store gold-rush of the last few years, it’s a good, interesting (and not exactly small!) niche to be in I think. In many respects it may even be a more easily surmountable task to stand out with a decent OS X app on the Mac App Store than it is on the iOS App Store, as things are much more densely populated on iOS.

Also, OS X desktop development with Objective-C is more entrenched and has been around for a lot longer than iOS development was by the time RubyMotion initially rolled around, and so perhaps iOS developers were more open to switching to RubyMotion than their desktop counterparts. However I think one of the biggest draws of RubyMotion is actually in bringing over Ruby developers who have mainly worked on the web (as I myself did) who want to start working on mobile apps, and now, desktop apps. I still work on the web a lot, but enjoy application development too - and the unique angle for Ruby web developers is that we can look to build client apps for web apps on desktop and mobile now in Ruby (Ruby on Rails on the web for example, RubyMotion for the clients). I think that’s quite an attractive proposition for a lot of Ruby developers! So if you’re a Rails developer, or have done a lot of Ruby previously with other frameworks, then there hasn’t been a better time to be able to look into building mobile and desktop apps using RubyMotion!

Available now in early access: Building Mac OS X apps with RubyMotion!

Unlock the power of Ruby in your Mac OS X apps to build everything from utility and productivity apps, to developer tools and helpers, to fully fledged desktop user interfaces. You'll integrate with web APIs, with core system functions, learn powerful ways to build user interfaces, and more. You'll learn how to best structure your apps and to take advantage of the Ruby syntax to make your development more efficient than building the app in Objective-C.

Learn more or purchase now.

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Building Mac OS X apps with RubyMotion

Learn how to build Mac apps with using Ruby with this ebook, currently in early access, and with the finished version coming soon.