Tumult Hype 2 is now available. The sad news is that the free updates for 1.x have ended. I happily paid $29.99 for version 2, as Hype has been such a boon for my work. But aside from supporting cool software, is the upgrade worth it? For the most part, Hype 2 is refinement of existing features. I felt that Hype 1.6 was a bigger update than 2.0. However, there is something remarkable about Hype 2.0. It creates a serious alternative to iTunes App development.
Without jailbreaking an iOS device, and before the launch of Hype 2, it was possible to bypass Apple’s extremely tedious review process. A Hype project could be embedded in an epub document and then that ebook could be copied onto an iOS device. Boom – no approval process necessary!
But with Hype 2, Tumult takes it to a whole new level. It frees web content creators from the burdens of Apple’s restrictions, security certificates, annual subscription fees and slow review process.
Instead of having to jump through hoops to get an app on the iTunes App Store, Hype uses HTML5 to create an offline cache of your project. With the “Add to Home Screen” button, a web page can be stored locally on an iPhone — even with a cute app icon. The result is very similar to an app.
This is accomplished with Hype document settings…
- Use Webkit graphics acceleration
- Create offline application cache
- Home screen web app
- Status bar (Default, Black, Black-translucent)
There are some serious caveats to this approach. Lots of iOS users might not even know about the “Add to home Screen” option. Additionally, Apple’s marketing muscle is lost. Having my apps featured by Apple was like printing money. Although, Apple does take a 30% commission. So if you have a project that won’t get approved by Apple, or you feel that Apple’s commission is higher than the services they provide, then Hype could be a serious alternative.
For those that want to stay the traditional route, I’m surprised that Hype doesn’t have an export to App option. Even from the early days of app publishing, I was wrapping my HTML projects with a Webview. I like that Hype creates an alternative. That’s because I’m not a fan of Apple’s App Store. As a consumer, it’s great. As a developer, it’s a lot of frustration. But for those developers that do like the iTunes App Store, Tumult Hype would be a lot stronger with an “Export to App Store” option.