Another option for IOS app development – RubyMotion

A colleague mentioned this in relation to another post I made here about Domino To Go. In a slightly different vein RubyMotion is an alternative development language which might be more attractive than the native OSX option of Objective C.

The developers describe it as


RubyMotion is a toolchain that permits the development of iOS applications using the Ruby programming language.

iOS is Apple’s mobile operating system, powering a variety of devices such as iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. Developers can write applications for iOS and submit them to the App Store, Apple’s application distribution system.

Conceptually, RubyMotion is a combination of two major components:

  • Runtime: a brand-new implementation of the Ruby language, tightly integrated with the native iOS runtime and optimized for embedded iOS device constraints.
  • Project Management: a command-line interface to create, manage and interactively develop RubyMotion projects. It also includes a static compiler that compiles Ruby into optimized machine code and an interactive console where you can evaluate expressions on the fly and change the way your app behaves in real-time.

RubyMotion installs itself into /Library/RubyMotion. A symbolic link to the command-line interface is created as /usr/bin/motion.

Importantly the prerequisites are

RubyMotion requires a Mac running OSX 10.6 or higher. OSX 10.7 Lion however is highly recommended.

You will need to install the iOS SDK on your machine. These days the iOS SDK comes with Xcode. Xcode can be downloaded and installed for free using the App Store application.

A simple Hello world example and how to get the app on the IOS device is shown here

So if you feel like getting down with some Ruby code – why not check this out.  There is currently an offer on the app – £96 – so get a move on if you want to take advantage of this.