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What are the downsides to using Corona for business apps?
Started by c.w.ramsey Oct 16 2014 03:37 AM

15 replies to this topic
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#1

c.w.ramsey

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c.w.ramsey
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Simple question: What are the downsides?

 

I can't find any real recent info online about this, but I've read articles from a few years ago that Corona has trouble with simple things like text fields.

 

It's old info though, so I feel like these issues would have been ironed out.

 

But, anyway, what kind of downsides would I be looking at when using Corona for a business app?



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#2

_memo

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From my point of view, a significant downside is that native text fields don't work in the (Windows) simulator, so you need to build and deploy to the device to do any debugging. If you have a starter (free) subscription, then this process involves sitting and staring at the screen for 20 seconds while the delayed build starts. Every. Single. Time.



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#3

elbowroomapps

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Actually, many of those text field problems still exist. Don't assume they have been fixed. A group of developers tried to come up with a better solution. Search for widgetstown to find out more about this.

 

I see business apps as a very broad category. For example, some business apps need to use maps,  but they all don't. It really depends on the specifics of  what you are trying to accomplish.



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#4

jyrki.hokkanen

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I tend to agree what comes to the text fields issues. We've been doing a branded app for business using Corona, and thought few times that it would have been easier to just stick with native. Text fields don't look as good as on iOS, and you need to do a lot of work if you want to occasionally disconnected client to sync with a REST service, or an actually working ORM with DB storage, for example. It's just a matter of fact that Corona community is focused on other things. Of course if you really need to support both android and iOS, using Corona makes sense.

 

If you're on consulting, another point is your responsibility as an ISV. How easy it is for your customer to find someone else to maintain the app in case you go out of business?



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#5

euphoriacorona

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Swift is very interesting. A team are also working on a cross-platform Swift compiler, which will allow you to develop using Swift for Android and Windows phone (iirc).

You could share your business logic code that way. Personally, i find developing biz apps with Corona takes more time than it saves, so many roadblocks and workarounds at every step of the way.

Corona is great for games, but for business apps, especially those that require native elements or high polish, there are better options imho

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#6

ksan

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Personally, i find developing biz apps with Corona takes more time than it saves, so many roadblocks and workarounds at every step of the way.

Corona is great for games, but for business apps, especially those that require native elements or high polish, there are better options imho

 

Fully agree. This is not because Corona SDK was never meant to be the SDK for business apps... IMHO this is simply because Corona Labs leadership has charted a strategy favoring game dev market and has not prioritized business dev market needs over time. So its due to choice and not for the lack of opportunities... 



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#7

RedBeach

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I am developing some business apps and indeed textFields are the biggest deal breaker for using Corona on that kind of job.

 

If you just need 1-2 textField for a login screen, you will be fine (you will need to do some tricks, but okay).

 

But as in my current case that I have a form with 20+ textFields inside a scrollView (for an iPad business app) it would be simply impossible. I simply went native on this one.



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#8

euphoriacorona

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Fully agree. This is not because Corona SDK was never meant to be the SDK for business apps... IMHO this is simply because Corona Labs leadership has charted a strategy favoring game dev market and has not prioritized business dev market needs over time. So its due to choice and not for the lack of opportunities...

Exactly, simply a case of a lost oppertunity (a big one imho). There would have been big business in an SDK that also made biz apps quick and easy to develop. Seems like it was a short sighted decision to pass up the opportunity, the same way that promising mac app support (and showing it off in a working state) then dropping it was.

Sadly it seems that html5 builds are going to suffer the same fate, and just be dropped one day. Progress on that front seems to have stalled. (imho)

Also, maybe in Q4 2015 when everyone and their dog is in the Windows store (and Corona devs miss the oppertunity) we might get the ability to build for it, long after the time frame for releasing it has come and gone, silently.

I also have found the iOS8 adoption the slowest Corona has ever been ready (properly ready) for a new version of iOS. It seems like they waited until it was out to start looking into bugs, and by that i mean looking into ones that we reported. There seems to be zero QA these days unless you do the work and find and report the bugs, pretty bad philosophy.

Tis a big shame, Corona has a leg up on quite a few platforms, but with all the new stuff coming out (new langs, sdks)... They could quite easily be knocked off their perch, if they don't stop telling us what we want and actually listen to what we want.

Frustrated customer, who sees so much potential squandered by poor choices (only got an account not so long ago on the forums but have been a long time user)

PS: i say all of this as opinions and constructive feedback, no one is perfect. For instance, i am shocked and appalled at how apple could allow the iphone 4s to be updated to iOS8, but have it run like crap on it. My phone is now almost unusable. Don't forget, it's easy to think of it as an old phone, but apple were selling them up to a year ago... So for some, thats a year old phone that is now a hunk of junk. Either optimize or don't let us update apple !

My .02$

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#9

ingemar

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I agree that business apps are (unfortunately) better off native.

 

Swift is very interesting. As a matter of fact I have 2 ongoing Swift projects and from what I've seen so far it's a pleasure to work with.

One thing though. The number of steps involved to get things done in Swift is the same as in Objective-C, however the amount of code to achieve those steps is less (and much cleaner). Also no real need to worry about pointers and memory allocation. It's definitely a step in the right direction for Apple.

 

PS.

@euphoriacorona

You do seem to be having a lot of device issues lately  ;). I use my wife's old iPhone 4S (she got a new 5S) and even though it's no speed daemon with iOS 8, it's not that bad. I'd say it's about as fast as it was running iOS 7.



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#10

ksan

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Tis a big shame, Corona has a leg up on quite a few platforms, but with all the new stuff coming out (new langs, sdks)... They could quite easily be knocked off their perch, if they don't stop telling us what we want and actually listen to what we want.

Frustrated customer, who sees so much potential squandered by poor choices (only got an account not so long ago on the forums but have been a long time user)

 

There is a lot to be learned by simply looking at the following : 

 

http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/13/corona-labs-raises-an-additional-2-million-to-grow-its-mobile-app-framework-corona-sdk/

 

According to public records this is the last time Corona Labs had a cash injection. Since then there has been some instances where we've heard that Corona Labs remains cash flow positive which is good news but my gut feel is that a lot of this capital is gone and that they are now running on fumes or just trying to keep breaking even... Pure speculation of course. I would be very happy to find out otherwise but lets look at the following quote from this article : 

 

Specifically, Corona hopes to use the funding to double its headcount from the 11 it has today to include more core, back-end and framework engineers.

 

Given how we always hear about Corona Labs not having enough resource to address all pending issues, given how it is taking longer and longer to address IOS updates and other open bug-fixes etc and finally, given the poor state of QA, I would venture to say that this promise (ie 11 headcount to grow to 22) probably has not been realized. I don't even know if they still have 11 onboard... 

 

My biggest fear is that they will simply run out of cash and close shop. To invest and bet the future of my small business on the viability of Corona Labs with no data to rely on is a very shaky proposition... Just for this reason alone I think it is worth investing in native skills for business apps.



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#11

MAS1

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A little off-topic here...

 

Given that many of us have failed to monetize on Android (not a Corona issue of course!) and Windows phone will be too late (http://coronalabs.com/blog/2013/10/29/windows-phone-8-and-windows-store-support-coming-to-corona-sdk-in-2014/) - the cross-platform element isn't a draw anymore. Not for me.

 

I'll be looking at Swift going forward - if I do go forward that is. The price of the pro subscription, the bug-infested SDK and the labored iOS8/WP8 support ...

 

Gremlin Interactive pulling out of the 3rd party plugin market indicates, to me at least, that the Corona eco-system is on the wane. 

 

Hope I am wrong!

 

Best,

 

Martin.



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#12

euphoriacorona

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I agree that business apps are (unfortunately) better off native.

PS.
@euphoriacorona
You do seem to be having a lot of device issues lately ;). I use my wife's old iPhone 4S (she got a new 5S) and even though it's no speed daemon with iOS 8, it's not that bad. I'd say it's about as fast as it was running iOS 7.


Indeed i do! Seems a common trend with the 4s. App opening times are increased, keyboard takes ages to appear and randomly doesn't produce any text.... Crashes... Poor me lol.

Will someone buy me a faster iPhone? Please? Haha

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#13

Rob Miracle

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Windows 8 Phone is getting much closer to being opened up for more people.  There are already Corona built apps up in the Windows store from the private beta users.  We've put a big part of our engineering into trying to get this product to you, which has taken away from our ability to focus elsewhere.  Building for a new platform is incredibly difficult.



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#14

euphoriacorona

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Windows 8 Phone is getting much closer to being opened up for more people. There are already Corona built apps up in the Windows store from the private beta users. We've put a big part of our engineering into trying to get this product to you, which has taken away from our ability to focus elsewhere. Building for a new platform is incredibly difficult.


No one is claiming that it is easy. A little more transparency when the deadline came and went would have been nice though :)

Glad to hear its making progress, will be a valuable asset to us all!

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#15

ksan

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Quite frankly, I couldn't care less about Win8 wrt to business apps on Corona SDK for the time being. The fundamental issues discussed above are causing us to move away from Corona SDK for business apps. When Win8 support is added, it will be yet another platform affected by the same fundamental issues so from a business apps standpoint we will be none the better.

 

I wish Corona Labs would first fix the foundation before adding more and more shaky layers. API consistency between IOS & Android is already an issue in some areas. Adding Win8 to the mix will only make it so much more challenging for us to keep track of what is supported and not in each platform.



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#16

elbowroomapps

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I make more money developing apps for other people, than what I make from my own apps. Every potential client I talk to understands the importance of being in both the Android and iOS app stores. Few of these people have a budget large enough to develop both a native Android and a native iOS app. So, the challenge for me is to identify which apps can be done with CoronaSDK and which ones can't.




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