Mobile App Tool with Brackets and TopCoat

I came across this new tool from Intel this morning: Intel XDK. I remember looking at this a while back in it’s previous incarnation but it wasn’t as appealing at the time. It didn’t offer much over other IDEs and the relience upon a login with Intel was off-putting.

Since that time… and after the pain involved in teaching a course on PhoneGap – I’ve been looking for a solid tool I can recommend to my students which integrates a lot of the steps and tooling involved in mobile app development using PhoneGap. I want something you can code in, design with, and emulate upon… Intel may have just delivered the goods along with help from Adobe, Apache, and others!

Intel XDK

So what makes it of interest today? A lot of things:

Brackets code editor (from Adobe)
Yep – it has Brackets built into the IDE as a “Code” view. If you open it up without any file selected you can even see the Brackets logo as the background. Cool.
Brackets

Apache Ripple emulation
I just learned about the major changed to the Ripple emulator yesterday from Ray Camden. I even posed the question to Ryan Stewart at Adobe: “Why not build Ripple into Edge Code or Brackets?” Looks like Intel has already done this. Super convenient!
Ripple

TopCoat skinning
This thing even includes Adobe TopCoat for UI components alongside Bootstrap 3, jQuery Mobile, and Intel’s library. Not only that, but it has a neat drag and drop design view similar to Flash Builder. Great for beginners – I can see using this tool when teaching PhoneGap for sure since it has so much of this stuff in one place.
TopCoat

Weinre debugging
Remote debugging with built-in Weirne too. This is the same underlying tech that Adobe Edge Inspect uses.

Samples
A boatload of neat sample apps to examine and re-purpose. Graet for learning how to go about X, Y, and Z.
Samples

Again – when I looked at this tool earlier in 2013 I wasn’t that impressed. With the “new” version, this has changed. I am impressed and to see a bunch of Apache and Adobe technologies integrated into this thing really does display the usefulness and flexibility of open source solutions. Would be great to have Apache Flex integrated for mobile dev as well ;)