The market for HTML5 design apps has heated up lately. The number one question that I now get asked about my Radi application is: How does it compare to Edge and Hype? Isn’t it the same kind of app? On the surface that is the case – all three are animation tools that target the modern web. But there are important differences under the hood. Although the apps look similar, they answer a different need and have a different growth path going forward.
Comparing Radi to Edge and Hype is pretty much “apples to oranges”, as the old saying goes. Fruits are not a very informative analogy, though. Let’s think of these apps as akin to musical instruments that can be used either solo or in a band. If Edge and Hype are the electric guitar, then Radi is perhaps the synthesizer. Unless you’re a genre purist, neither kind of instrument is objectively “better”. Either can be used to create a brain-wrecking cover version of Stairway to Heaven, but that doesn’t mean they are inherently flawed instruments…
For more sophisticated uses, the guitar and the synthesizer are more likely to complement rather than overlap each other, and so there are many individuals and creative groups that will want to use both together for the best effect. In this post, I’ll try to explain how the difference between Radi and other HTML5 apps, and how they can complement each other. I’ve got some simple content examples to illustrate things. (I’m also planning to write a second part that will concentrate on Canvas performance and WebGL, so stay tuned for more.)
First, a brief overview of the apps under discussion. My own Radi is at radiapp.com; check out the details there. Edge is a new application by the world’s most venerable content creation software company, Adobe. It is available as a free preview from Adobe Labs, and is also cross-platform (Mac + Windows). Hype is also a new application, but Mac-only. It’s created by Tumult, a company founded by two ex-Apple software engineers (who clearly know the Mac better than their own pockets).
As mentioned, Edge is free for now, but it stands to reason that it will eventually be included in Adobe’s Creative Suite because it’s clearly meant to complement Adobe’s other products rather than stand on its own. (For example, it seems unlikely that Edge will ever have vector drawing tools, with Adobe preferring instead to leave that task to Illustrator). Meanwhile Hype is available on the Mac App Store for $29. This is a limited-time offer upon its first release, which presumably means that Hype will cost more in the future. Continue reading