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Six major additions in NativeScript 1.5 release to skyrocket your developer experience

November 25, 2015 — by Valio Stoychev

1.5 is here. Go and get it.

1.5 is a special release for NativeScript as it marks a major milestone - providing NativeScript developers with the tools to make them a lot more productive. There are several major and important features added in this release that will skyrocket your developer experience.

TypeScript support

First, now TypeScript is a first-class citizen in our CLI tooling. Building and running your app with the CLI commands will automatically compile the TS files and deploy the output on the device. All of this is happens transparently for you, so all you need to do is write your TS code. You may be wondering how this makes you more productive? Well, the reason is simple - now we are shipping the TypeScript definitions of the all the NativeScript APIs which will give you IntelliSense, refactoring and code navigation support for your TypeScript AND JavaScript projects. Please read more about this in the documentation.

Babel support

The second thing, related to the first one, is support for Babel. Everything that I mentioned about TypeScript is true for Babel. In fact, you can plug any other transpiler and use it with NativeScript now. If you like to use CoffeeScript, you can check the source code of our Babel support and create support for CoffeeScript.

Hot reload a.k.a LiveSync

Third, we did a major refactoring of our hot reload functionality known as LiveSync. With this release, when you change the XML or CSS files, the changes will be applied immediately on the running app. No reload of the app will occur. It works like magic - see for yourself.

Note: Changing the JavaScript code will still trigger a reload of the app, but we are working on this and it will be covered in future releases.

Unit Test projects

The fourth major thing we are adding that will make you a superhero is the introduction of the NativeScript Unit Test projects and a new CLI ‘test’ command. With these projects you can now use any unit test framework and runner to create unit tests directly into the app itself. You can run them on the emulator or on the device. Please read the documentation articles about how to get started with this.

XML schema

Fifth, we are adding is an XML schema that will give you IntelliSense support for your XML files. You can see the schema here -, or just install it to your machine via npm install tns-core-modules-xsd-schema.

Plugins Marketplace

The sixth major addition to NativeScript that will make you even more productive is the plugins marketplace - more precisely, the VERIFIED plugins marketplace. The verified word is very important here because for each and every plugin in the marketplace, there are automated tests written and maintained by Telerik QA engineers. Initially, we added about 10 plugins. The list will only grow in the future. Here is the current list:
Background HTTP
Custom UI Dialog
Social Share
Telerik Push Notifications

There are several plugins that are to be verified, but are fully functional and you can use them today:
Multiselection Image Picker

All the features above will make your developer experience with NativeScript the one that we always wanted.

Core Framework improvements

In the core framework, we did a lot of bug fixing and polishing. We addressed 69 issues in the JavaScript modules, 86 issues in the CLI, 9 issues in the Android runtime and 25 issues in the iOS runtime. To see all of them in action please explore the code of our sample apps.

Last but not least, we are seeing a very good community growth in the last several months, but we know NativeScript can be of great use to even more developers. Share the news on Twitter and tell your friends how awesome NativeScript is becoming. They will surely thank you after that!

As always, please share your comments with us in the comments below. We will be glad to help you out.