Now for all of you that have read that last line and had a blank stare on your face, what is Corona SDK? I am surprised, I am sure that many of you have heard of Robert Nay, Bubble Ball, Angry Birds toppler (Now Tiny Wings has done that again but in the paid category). In very simple terms Corona SDK is a framework that allows a developer to use LUA (a computer language, simple and very easy to use, almost like english) It then compiles this into an application for the iOS (Apple iPod/iPad/iPhones) or for Android based mobile phones.
For those that already know what Corona SDK is, it's cool and it rocks.
I heard of Corona around 2009 when I joined up for the earlier release around November 2009, unfortunately there was not much that I could do with it. CoronaSDK allows everyone to be a developer, if you can logically think you can develop. The LUA scripting language is so easy to understand, there are no complications like C, C++ in lua and it reads almost like English. Proof of Corona SDK being easy to use has been seen with a 14 year old creating a game that has had over 7 million downloads and at one time toppled Angry Birds as the #1 game.
AnscaMobile was started by a dynamic team of professionals that worked with Adobe on Flash and other technologies. They are working at it to provide features for developers while making them easy to use as simple as with one line of code or so in contrast to a whole series of redundant blocks of code using Objective-C.
Other popular frameworks like OpenFeint, Box2D, are integrated into CoronaSDK and are available to use with a few lines of code, no more allocating memory, and releasing to avoid memory leaks, etc. Native Hardware functionality which is generally difficult to manage using objective-C is easily usable using CoronaSDK, so things like MapKit, Acceleration, Compass, PhotoDirectory, Camera are all easily accessible and manageable.
It offers some other iOS only features like In-App purchases, Universal Binaries. It reduces the learning curve and it is multi-platform. The apps are rendered using Open GL and hence one source can allow the app to be compiled for iOS or the Android without any code to be altered.
In terms of development future using CoronaSDK, a developer is safe at betting on Corona as it already has support for Android and iOS, the simulator runs on Windows and Mac OSX. Ansca are in touch with other manufacturers regarding other hardware platforms. So it is just a matter of time before a few more OS platforms are added.
The down side to the great things about COrona is that there is no IDE like xCode or Visual Studio, and there is an apparent lack of development tools like Editors, etc. This is good in a way as it has prompted a whole marketplace of tools to work with CoronaSDK. We have reviewed and given away a few of these tools.
In summary, if you are serious about developing for the Mobile platforms, then CoronaSDK is too good to be given a miss. If you feel that $199 for either the iOS or the Android License is expensive or the $399 Pro is expensive. AnscaMobile allow you to try out their SDK for an indeterminative length of time. It is FREE for you to use in Trial Mode (which includes clicking on Trial Mode, everytime you start the simulator) and you cannot build the app.
There is a very active forum around corona and a lot of sample code to get you up and running. The folks at AnscaMobile pay special attention to the community, taking feedback and providing sneak peeks of upcoming features. They offer daily builds to registered developers and have just started a fortnightly/weekly meeting/webcast with the community.
If you have a look on the iTunes store, there are a lot of apps that are made with Corona that are int he New and Worthy or the Top Twenty.
Software : CoronaSDK
Version : Latest Stable Build
Publisher : AnscaMobile
Website : http://www.anscamobile.com/corona
Twitter : @ansca
Platform : Mac OS X / Windows XP or later
Demo : Unlimited
Price : $199 (Indie License) / $349 (Professional License)
And we have a copy of CoronaSDK for one lucky winner, all you need to do
1. Follow @whatsin4me
2. Retweet "Read reviewme.oz-apps.com, follow @whatsin4me and RT this msg. You might win a copy of #CoronaSDK from @ansca"