Telerik‘s Kendo UI HTML5 framework for cross-platform development is getting a major update today that introduces a number of speed improvements and a new flat UI style, as well as some improvements to the framework’s data visualization capabilities and the ability to integrate Facebook-style drawer menus into mobile apps.
The highlight of today’s update is the introduction of a flat UI theme, though. This improves performance by around 30%, Telerik’s Brandon Satrom told me, because there’s no need to render drop shadows and other ornamentations. Obviously, this new optional theme is also a good fit for developers who want to embrace this design philosophy without having to redesign their existing Kendo UI-based apps themselves. By default, Kendo UI automatically switches to a theme that matches the native style on a given device, but developers can easily turn this feature off and just go with the flat UI instead.
As for other speed improvements, Satrom noted that mobile app transitions are now 200% faster and view transitions also feel quite a bit snappier.
With this update, Kendo UI now allows developers to use HTML5 Canvas to render charts. Compared to the SVG-based charts, which are still an option, these render quite a bit faster. Telerik also added support for basic QR codes and nine different bar code formats to the framework, as well as the option to use polar and radar charts.
Kendo UI is also launching a full-blown scheduler widget with this update. Currently, this widget doesn’t talk to existing calendar solutions, but Telerik tells me that’s coming in one of the next updates.
Developers obviously have quite a wide range of choices for their cross-platform development efforts, but it looks like the Kendo UI team is on the right path. So far, the company says, it has seen over 200,000 downloads from around the world.