Smartface App Studio vs. Appcelerator Titanium (JavaScript Based Cross-Platform Native Frameworks)

The objective of Smartface is to make native app development accessible to masses without sacrificing quality. At every opportunity, we emphasize the importance of “real native” quality and performance and that makes “real natives” win over “like-native” hybrid frameworks like Phonegap, Cordova, etc.

Unlike hybrid frameworks, most of which are just the fork of a single product, huge amount of effort is required to create cross-platform native frameworks. Therefore, there are only a handful of cross-platform frameworks that produce real native output.

While all cross-platform native products are praiseworthy, Smartface is here to make cross-platform native development even more appealing and in this article, we would like to explain you the main differences between Smartface and Appcelerator Titanium. You can also view our comparison with Xamarin.

Platform Based Native Appcelerator Titanium Smartface App Studio
Output Native Native Native
Development Environment Xcode, Eclipse Titanium Studio Smartface IDE
WYSIWYG Design Editor iOS: Yes,
Android: Partially
No Yes
Code Based Design Editor Yes Yes Yes
iOS Development on Windows No No Yes
Single Code Base No Yes (More platform-specific code required) Yes
Supported Platform iOS or Android Cross-platform: iOS, Android, Windows Phone Cross-platform: iOS, Android
Development Language Objective-C, Swift, Java JavaScript JavaScript
Adaptation Mobile know-how Web know-how Web know-how
Look and Feel, Sense, UX Native Native Native
UI Responsiveness Smooth Smooth Smooth
Performance Fastest Faster Faster
Extend with custom plug-ins Yes Yes on Roadmap
Community Largest Large Medium
Technical Support Community Community &Expensive enterprise package required for direct support [1] Community & Inexpensive license packages sufficient for direct support [2]
Stability Highest Medium Higher
Security Most secure Secure Most secure (also includes advanced features)
Risk Learning Cost, Operational Cost Dependency, Expensive licenses after free version [1] Dependency

[1] As indicated in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Mobile Application Development Platforms 2014

[2] Ticket support is included starting from medium-level Smartface Commercial license


In many ways, Smartface and Titanium are similar. They are both JavaScript based and they both produce native output for iOS and Android. Titanium can also produce Windows Phone 8 output, but it does not support Windows Phone 8.1 yet, making its scope rather limited.

One thing to note is that Smartface unifies platform-specific components as much as possible, but Titanium opts for some level of separation; therefore, there may be a bit more platform-specific coding in Titanium than Smartface.

Both platforms have their own IDEs. Titanium Studio is based on Eclipse and developers may be more familiar with it, however application design is difficult in Titanium.

Smartface is the only cross-platform native framework with a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) design editor. In Titanium, you are forced to code your user interface, if you’re not an enterprise customer, but in Smartface, you may choose to design your app either with drag and drop components, with code or with a combination of both. In Smartface, your design appears on any phone/tablet as exactly as you see it on the visual editor.

Moreover, Titanium does not support iOS development on Windows nor iOS emulator or debugger. If you want to develop cross-platform apps on Titanium, there is no other alternative than using a Mac. Again, Smartface is the only cross-platform native framework that supports whole iOS development cycle on Windows.

One advantage of Titanium is the support for plug-ins to extend you project with native code. This feature will be available in Smartface in late January 2015.

Even though the most notable advantage of Titanium over Smartface may seem to be the size of the community, the same thing cannot be said for user satisfaction. Community comments indicate that there are still stability issues with Titanium. [Sources: Stack Overflow and Appcelerator Community]

However, Smartface cross-platform native framework was developed in closed beta for a long time before making sure that it is almost as stable as the platform-based native frameworks themselves.

Of course, community satisfaction is not just about stability. Titanium does not provide any direct support unless you pay a huge amount for the enterprise license. In Titanium, you start with the free package, but if you want to do more, you hit a wall. You need to purchase an expensive “Appcelerator” product. [Source: Gartner]

Yet, in Smartface, you can start with the free package that have no limitations whatsoever and you can upgrade to inexpensive packages for direct support.

Therefore, while choosing a cross-platform native framework, we recommend you to consider not just the popularity of the framework, but the capabilities and support offerings as well. We suggest that, with the features that are not available in other frameworks, Smartface is the better choice.

You can check Smartface App Studio benefits and download it free.