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New V8-based iOS Runtime is Now in BETA

January 15, 2020 — by Emil Tabakov

New iOS Runtime!?

In case you missed it, our team is working on total revamp of the iOS runtime. The goal is to use the V8 engine instead of JavaScriptCore. Several months ago, the team shipped an alpha version of this runtime and now it’s time to announce the next iteration.

Scope of the BETA

We think that at this point the new runtime is feature complete and relatively stable...and ready to be tested by a broader audience. In most cases, you shouldn’t feel any difference compared to the old one. If that’s the case - the team did a great job!

Known Limitations

The following features are not yet implemented and are not supposed to work:

  • Safari Inspector is not supported
  • No armv7 architecture
  • Multithreading is not working as expected

Taking V8 for a Spin

Testing the new iOS runtime is easy. You need a working NativeScript application - you can try it on a brand new blank project or on some of your existing apps (be sure to have a backup!). The only command you need to run is:

tns platform add ios@beta-v8

After that, just run the application the usual way:

tns run ios

And you are all set!

Let Us Know How it Goes!

If you notice something unusual while testing the new runtime - be sure to let us know by opening a new issue in the V8 iOS Runtime repository.

What’s Next?

Based on the feedback, we will plan some time to address all the issues and bugs which we discover. When we reach a certain level of stability this will become the official version of the iOS runtime. This will likely be part of the next major version of the framework as it contains some missing features and changed APIs.