iOS 4.3 brings better performance.

Apple’s iOS 4.3 includes a new JavaScript runtime engine. Since NS Basic/App Studio works by translating BASIC code into JavaScript for execution, we tested to see what difference the new version makes.

iOS 4.2.1 iOS 4.3 diff
iPhone 4 180,428 282,674 +57%
iPad 208,276 264,293 +27%
iPad 2 437,853

The test is a simple one: how many times can you go through a loop, adding a number each time, in 1 second? It’s useful as a test of straightline processing power, but as in any benchmark, will not necessarily indicate what will happen to a particular app. Reports in other media are that the real world results are often much better than we found.

Still, the marvel is that more than quarter of a million statements can be executed in less than a second on a handheld device, be it iOS or Android. This really expands the types of apps NS Basic/App Studio can be used for.

Update: As of 4.3.0, this improvement only appears in apps running directly in the browser. It has not been extended to apps saved to the home screen yet.

Here are a couple of interesting links if you like this kind of benchmark:

SpeedTest is the standard benchmark we have been using on many devices. Results are shown for almost 50 devices. (The slowest was the BlackBerry Pearl, at just 671!) It also shows some desktop results. Let us know if you have some numbers to add!

Win CE Benchmarks shows the speed of NS Basic, eVB and .NET on various devices. Tops is NS Basic/CE on a souped up PocketPC 2003 at 55,511. As a bonus, results are also shown for a variety of desktop systems.

NS Basic/App Studio and PhoneGap

The most important feature of NS Basic/App Studio 1.1 is support for PhoneGap.

PhoneGap is an HTML5 app platform that allows you to author native applications with web technologies and get access to APIs and app stores. It takes your NS Basic/App Studio app and packages it so that it is acceptable for Apple’s App Store, Google’s Marketplace and other platforms.
It also provides additional API functions not found in NS Basic/App Studio.

Depending on platform, these can include:

  • Compass
  • Camera
  • Contacts
  • Files
  • System Information

PhoneGap is free.

Here are a couple of tutorials to help you get started.

Distributing apps using PhoneGap is much more complex than webapps. Android/PhoneGap has a complex installation procedure. While iOS is easier to get going, the 4+ gigabyte download and the complications of the App Store make it at least as complex an undertaking.

Create iOS App Store apps using PhoneGap

From Lennie De Villiers:

This requires a Mac OX running 10.6.0 Snow Leopard or greater.

  1. Download and install XCode with iPhone SDK.
  2. Note: You will need an Apple Developer license (USD $99.00 per year) to deploy to your device or the App Store.
  3. Get the latest PhoneGap for iPhone from GIT. See setup instructions at
  4. Create a new PhoneGap project using the XCode template.
  5. Delete index.html file under the www folder
  6. Download the NSBasic App Studio project to the www folder
  7. Rename “index.htm” to “index.html”
  8. You might need to change the “index.html” file to use the PhoneGap API if you want to use features like camera etc.
  9. Remove the off line file
  10. Reload the XCode project to pickup your files
  11. Build + Run
  12. You will see an PhoneGap splash screen first before it shows your application.

Once this is done, you can start the process for submitting to the App Store. Be prepared – it’s a lot of work.