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AppBuilder 3.5 Release Notes

Product version: AppBuilder 3.5

Released: September 26, 2016

Major Features and Updates

This release of AppBuilder introduces the following major feature across the AppBuilder clients:

  Feature In-Browser Client Windows Client Extension for Visual Studio Command-Line Interface
Hybrid Development Deprecated support for Apache Cordova 3.7.0 and 3.8.0
  Improved handling of minor Apache Cordova updates
  Develop Apache Cordova 5.0.0 apps with enabled WKWebView Coming soon
  Faster and more reliable builds in the cloud
  Improved builds for iOS
NativeScript Development Develop apps with NativeScript 2.2.0 (Verified)
  Develop apps with NativeScript 2.3.0 (Experimental)
  Develop apps with Angular 2 (Experimental) Not available
  Deprecated support for NativeScript 2.0.0
  Deliver continuous app updates with AppManager LiveSync
  Improved support for TypeScript development Not available
  Develop with private npm modules
  Faster and more reliable builds in the cloud
  Improved builds for iOS

Hybrid Development: Improved handling of minor Apache Cordova updates. AppBuilder now checks if the version of the Apache Cordova framework files in your app matches the server-side version for your target Apache Cordova version. If needed, AppBuilder will prompt you that an update is required and will be automatically applied. This ensures that your app always uses the latest implementation of the Apache Cordova version you are targeting.

NativeScript Development: Develop apps with Angular 2. You can now create and develop NativeScript apps using Angular 2 and TypeScript. Support for Angular 2 is currently experimental. To provide tight integration between NativeScript and Angular 2, the NativeScript Blank with Angular 2 (TypeScript) template targets NativeScript 2.3.0. In this version of AppBuilder, support for NativeScript 2.3.0 is also experimental. Experimental framework versions have not been thoroughly verified and you might experience multiple issues when working against them.

NativeScript Development: Improved support for TypeScript development. This release introduces multiple improvements for NativeScript development with TypeScript across all AppBuilder clients and services.

  • Improved code completion and type checking.
  • When you add frameworks or plugins using the Manage Packages wizard or the plugin commands, any typings (.d.ts) available from a @types repository, are installed automatically, unless otherwise configured.
  • Improved transpilation.
  • Multiple bug fixes.

For more details about client-specific TypeScript improvements, see the client and service sections below.

Improved builds for iOS. This release of AppBuilder introduces the following improvements when you build for iOS:

  • You can build and upload to the App Store apps that require Swift support.
  • AppBuilder automatically generates a valid Entitlements.plist file which lets you use any special app capabilities, declared in your provisioning profile.

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Breaking Changes

Hybrid Development

Warning Deprecated support for Apache Cordova 3.7.0 and 3.8.0. You can no longer change the target Apache Cordova version to 3.7.0 or 3.8.0. You will still be able to develop and build existing apps that target Apache Cordova 3.7.0 and 3.8.0.
Support for Apache Cordova 3.7.0 and 3.8.0 will be removed in a future release.

NativeScript Development

Warning AppBuilder now handles TypeScript definition files for NativeScript apps in an improved way. When you open an existing app, AppBuilder will remove the typings/tns-core-modules directory and introduce a new node_modules directory instead. This operation will remove the android17.d.ts and ios.d.ts files and native iOS or Android TypeScript calls will no longer be transpiled properly. TypeScript code completion for native iOS or Android calls will not be available.

Warning When you update your app to target NativeScript 2.2.0, you might experience multiple issues due to breaking changes in the APIs. For more information about the major changes in NativeScript 2.2.0, see Cross-Platform Modules Changelog, NativeScript CLI Changelog, iOS Runtime Changelog and Android Runtime Changelog.

Warning In this version of AppBuilder, support for NativeScript 2.3.0 is experimental. Experimental framework versions have not been thoroughly verified and you might experience multiple issues when working against them.
When you update your app to target NativeScript 2.3.0, you might experience multiple issues due to breaking changes in the APIs. For more information about the major changes in NativeScript 2.3.0, see Cross-Platform Modules Changelog, NativeScript CLI Changelog, iOS Runtime Changelog, Android Runtime Changelog.

Warning Deprecated support for NativeScript 2.0.0. You can no longer change the target NativeScript version to 2.0.0. You will still be able to develop and build existing apps that target NativeScript 2.0.0.
Support for NativeScript 2.0.0 will be removed in a future release.

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Features and Updates in the In-Browser Client

This release of AppBuilder introduces the following features and improvements in the in-browser client.

  • Complete overhaul of the code editor.
    • Modified Find and Replace dialog.
    • Improved JavaScript and TypeScript autocompletion.
    • Improved conflict handling in the built-in version control.
    • Introduced new key bindings.
    • Introduced multiple user interface improvements and bug fixes.
  • Redesigned search and filtering in the Manage Packages wizard.
  • Introduced Intellisense in XML and Angular 2-specific HTML files for NativeScript applications.
  • TypeScript definitions are no longer stored in your NativeScript app and AppBuilder loads them dynamically from the cloud when you need to access them.
    You can access your TypeScript definitions from the node_modules directory in the root of your app.
  • You can now use the Copy to Clipboard button to copy the contents of the Output and Error panes.

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Features and Updates in the Extension for Visual Studio

This release of AppBuilder introduces the following features and improvements in the extension for Visual Studio.

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Features and Updates in the Command-Line Interface and the Package for Sublime Text

This release of AppBuilder introduces the following improvements in the command-line interface and package for Sublime Text.

  • Improved QR codes and download URLs for all builds.
    AppBuilder now produces the QR codes and the download URLs to your built content per build. Your shared QR codes or URLs provide access to a particular build but have a limited life.
  • TypeScript definitions for NativeScript apps are stored in a node_modules directory in the root of your project. They are no longer included in your apps.
  • Improved appbuilder plugin add for NativeScript apps.
    • You can set the --default flag to install the recommended version of the selected plugin from the Telerik Verified Plugins Marketplace.
    • You can set the --latest flag to install the latest available version of the selected plugin from the Telerik Verified Plugins Marketplace.
  • Improved appbuilder plugin add and appbuilder plugin fetch for Apache Cordova apps.
    You can add or fetch Apache Cordova plugins published in the npm registry. The operation copies the plugin locally.
  • Changed the system requirements for macOS systems. The command-line interface now runs on macOS Yosemite or later.

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Features and Updates in the Companion Apps

This release of AppBuilder introduces the following features and improvements in the NativeScript developer apps.

  • Test apps developed with NativeScript 2.2.0 in the NativeScript developer app for iOS.
  • Test apps developed with NativeScript 2.2.0 in the NativeScript developer app for Android.

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Notable Resolved Issues

This release of AppBuilder introduces the following notable resolved issues.

Functional Area Notable Resolved Issues
General
  • When you attempt to build an app larger than 50MB which contains an unsupported file type, AppBuilder returns An error has occurred. instead of Unsupported file type .exe. Path: fileName.exe.
Frameworks
  • When you enable the StatusBar plugin, your app does not display properly in the Cordova developer app for Windows Phone. Two black bars appear at the top and at the bottom of the screen.
  • If your project includes Kendo UI and uses the Crosswalk web view, navigation does not work properly in debug builds.
Mobile Devices and Platforms
  • If you set a custom package identifier in AndroidManifest.xml, you might not be able to build your app because of mismatching package identifier values in AndroidManifest.xml and config.xml.
  • You cannot launch the NativeScript debug tools for connected Android devices more than once during the same AppBuilder session.
  • On iOS devices, if you interact with your NativeScript 2.0.0 app before starting a debugging session, you will not be able to hit any breakpoints. This behavior affects the AppBuilder debug tools and the Microsoft Visual Studio debug tools.
  • You cannot debug NativeScript apps on Android devices with the Microsoft Visual Studio debug tools. The debug tools do not load or if they load, they do not hit your breakpoints.
  • When you enable the StatusBar plugin, your app does not display properly in the Cordova developer app for Windows Phone. Two black bars appear at the top and at the bottom of the screen.
  • If your project includes Kendo UI and uses the Crosswalk web view, navigation does not work properly in debug builds.
  • Sometimes when you build a NativeScript app for iOS with the Debug build configuration, the operation cannot complete and the following error message appears: "Message": "[xcode-build] Process product packaging: error: class '(null)' of input object does not respond to either selector writeToFile:options:error: or writeToFile:atomically".
  • After the Microsoft Visual Studio built-in debug tools reach a breakpoint in a NativeScript app, the debug tools detach from the device, the following error message appears: System.TimeoutException: The operation has timed out. and the app on the device becomes unresponsive.
  • The command-line interface does not respect .abignore for LiveSync operations when the --watch switch is specified. All your changes are synced to the connected device.
  • When you work with connected iOS devices, the following error message might be added to log: Could not connect to port 62078.
  • On Windows Phone devices, you cannot use custom splash screens defined in the config.xml file.
  • On Windows Phone devices, the SplashScreen plugin does not show your splash screens properly.
In-Browser Client
  • The device simulator does not refresh changes to your TypeScript source files properly.
  • The Plugins tab in the Project Properties dialog might erroneously show that no plugins are currently enabled.
Windows Client
  • You cannot launch the NativeScript debug tools for connected Android devices more than once during the same AppBuilder session.
  • In the device simulator, you cannot scroll drop-down menus created with a select element.
  • When the App Store rejects your upload from the Publish wizard, the classic Windows desktop client does not show actionable error information.
Extension for Visual Studio
  • You cannot launch the NativeScript debug tools for connected Android devices more than once during the same AppBuilder session.
  • When using the extension for Visual Studio to develop a NativeScript + TypeScript app, you can build successfully only in Microsoft Visual Studio 2013/2015.
  • On iOS devices, if you interact with your NativeScript 2.0.0 app before starting a debugging session, you will not be able to hit any breakpoints. This behavior affects the AppBuilder debug tools and the Microsoft Visual Studio debug tools.
  • You cannot debug NativeScript apps on Android devices with the Microsoft Visual Studio debug tools. The debug tools do not load or if they load, they do not hit your breakpoints.
  • After the Microsoft Visual Studio built-in debug tools reach a breakpoint in a NativeScript app, the debug tools detach from the device, the following error message appears: System.TimeoutException: The operation has timed out. and the app on the device becomes unresponsive.
  • In the device simulator, you cannot scroll drop-down menus created with a select element.
  • When the App Store rejects your upload from the Publish wizard, the extension for Visual Studio does not show actionable error information.
Command-Line Interface
  • You cannot run the command-line interface on systems with Node.js 6.5.
  • You cannot launch the NativeScript debug tools for connected Android devices more than once during the same AppBuilder session.
  • The command-line interface does not respect .abignore for LiveSync operations when the --watch switch is specified. All your changes are synced to the connected device.
  • On systems running Node.js 5.x with npm 3, you cannot work with Screen Builder from the command-line interface. When you attempt to run Screen Builder-related commands, an error message appears that npm install yeoman-generator@0.20.1 --production cannot be completed.
  • In the device simulator, you cannot scroll drop-down menus created with a select element.
Developer and Companion Apps
  • When you enable the StatusBar plugin, your app does not display properly in the Cordova developer app for Windows Phone. Two black bars appear at the top and at the bottom of the screen.
  • In the Cordova developer app for Android, you cannot access external links, such as tel: links, using the InAppBrowser plugin.

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