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Could Tiny become a good idea for mobile "app" development?

Discussion in 'Project Tiny' started by PhilSA, Jan 15, 2020.

  1. PhilSA

    PhilSA

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    I'm not very knowledgeable of non-Unity mobile development in general, and I'm still struggling a little bit to understand what exactly Tiny is compared to just 'DOTS', but I was wondering:

    Can Tiny eventually become a good way to develop mobile "apps" (as opposed to "games")? How close could it be to native performance/power-usage/feature-set/etc? Can it even exist as an app and not just as an in-browser thing?

    Imagine I want to make a mobile task management app similar to Trello with Tiny. Basically just a bunch of runtime UIElements made with UIBuilder. Would that be a ridiculous idea, compared to -let's say- developing it with Android Studio in java?

    (I suspect some of the things I mentioned are not currently possible, but I'm mostly asking about the future)
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2020
  2. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    'Big" Unity is gaining the ability to shed entire chunks of the engine, so… maybe they meet in the middle sometime after 2021…?
     
  3. JakHussain

    JakHussain

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    in principal yeah you should be able to do whatever you want but unlike native android development, you'll come across limitations like accessing the image gallery or native camera and a load of other small things that can be easily taken for granted.

    That being said, there's nothing really wrong with just making a normal app with Unity as it is now without any of the new packages in the package manager. Whatever tool you find most comfortable should be the one that you use.
     
  4. PhilSA

    PhilSA

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    the problem with making simple UI-based apps with current unity is that it would probably drain your phone's battery for no good reason, take an eternity to launch, and take up way more disk space than necessary

    what would be really cool is if Unity could become a way to create mobile apps that are decently close to native apps in terms of performance, battery, size, responsiveness, and "good feel"
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 5:03 PM
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  5. JakHussain

    JakHussain

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    i see what you're saying now. In that sense project tiny should deliver on all of those things. The only problem is how they want to go about implementing dots UI. there are a couple of open source examples of that by the community but i think one or both of them have dependencies on the UnityEngine namespace and therefore can't be used in Tiny.

    Also, UIElements is going to be a thing but I'm honestly a little concerned for how that is going to be reworked for DOTS as well as classic Unity AND the editor as well. Seems like a lot to ask for.
     
  6. PhilSA

    PhilSA

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    regarding that, the devs made some interesting comments in a UIElements blog post:
    https://blogs.unity3d.com/2019/04/23/whats-new-with-uielements-in-2019-1/



    Seems like UIElements will not be tied to GameObjects or to DOTS in any way, and will just be its own independent thing that can be used by both
     
  7. wetcircuit

    wetcircuit

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    edit** you responded while I write...
    "probably' is a loaded term.

    Yes it will be larger than necessary because we can't strip out the rest of the engine yet, but minimal WebGL 1.0 can run anywhere – WebGL being a whole new host of issues, but (my tests) UI always worked even when other things didn't on very low-end devices. The trade off is that you can run a version on the 'puter, another on an iPod, access from web on someone else's 'puter…. Assuming it's all saving to an xml or database online.

    Is it 'worse' than running any other website on your phone? (probably, but how much worse?)

    UI can be designed for efficiency, by nesting the canvases so they don't force the entire UI to redraw. Sub-items and siblings redraw – everything inside the canvas, but items outside the canvas don't redraw….

    You can make a project that's just canvas, no cameras or lights. It will have a ton of garbage javascript (Tiny is also javascript… maybe just use javascript?)

    For a 'pro app' that you intend to sell, nah. This isn't the way to do it.
    For something you cook up yourself… try it and see.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2020 at 6:23 PM
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