Today we are announcing that AppStudio 5.5 will be a “Long-Term Support” (LTS) release of the product and the last major release of AppStudio. The ArcGIS AppStudio product will be officially retired in February 2025.
The AppStudio Journey
The first release of ArcGIS AppStudio was at the end of 2015, and since that time we have seen some amazing native apps built for enterprise organizations and public app stores. AppStudio made it possible for anyone to create custom native apps and helped developers be more productive when building apps for multiple platforms. But 7+ years is a long time in the world of mobile app development, and over these years we have seen this landscape evolve. Mobile-optimized web apps have improved, out-of-the-box native apps are more capable and customizable, and there are newer app development technologies now available to our customers from major technology vendors; the barriers to app building and publishing are reducing. After considering current and future mobile app trends the decision has been made to start the retirement process for ArcGIS AppStudio.
Support and Retirement Plan
Any custom mobile app development takes considerable time and resources to build and deploy. To help existing AppStudio users update and maintain their current apps we have released AppStudio 5.5. This release will be fully supported for two years. To ensure the longevity and foundational support of AppStudio 5.5 we have built it upon Qt 5.15 and the ArcGIS Runtime 100.15, both of which are also long-term support releases.
So, what does “long-term support” mean? It means our users will continue to have access to technical support, documentation, and the Cloud Make build servers. During the two years of support, Esri will deliver any updates to the product as hotfixes or patches to address significant bugs, comply with security requirements, and maintain compatibility with app stores (Google Play, Apple App Store, and Microsoft Store). No new functionality or features will be added to AppStudio following the 5.5 release. After two years of AppStudio 5.5 long-term support, the product will be retired in February 2025.
See the “What’s New in ArcGIS AppStudio 5.5 LTS (Feb 2023)“ for more details about the enhancements, bug fixes, and component updates in this release.
We have posted an “AppStudio Product Retirement FAQ” with more details about the retirement roadmap as well as what this means for Survey123 and QuickCapture users.
Migration and the Future of Delivering Mobile Apps
Those who have already built apps with AppStudio can continue to add enhancements and maintenance updates to their apps knowing they are on a capable and stable development platform. Until retirement in February 2025, you will be able to build (using Cloud Make) and deploy your apps to app stores, mobile device management (MDM) systems, or through AppStudio Player.
Future of ArcGIS Survey123 and ArcGIS QuickCapture
ArcGIS Survey123 and ArcGIS QuickCapture are built using AppStudio. So, you may be wondering what does the retirement announcement of AppStudio mean for these products? Rest assured that these products will continue their normal schedule and new features are being added to both products, across all supported platforms. Both ArcGIS Survey123 and ArcGIS QuickCapture are currently being ported to a more modern Microsoft .NET MAUI architecture and the ArcGIS Maps SDK for .NET (MAUI) to better support the growth of these products in the future. See the “AppStudio Product Retirement FAQ” for more details about the future of Survey123 and QuickCapture.
Migration Options for your AppStudio Apps
We understand that native mobile app development can be a lengthy process with expectations of a long app lifespan. With that in mind, we highly encourage our users to choose an alternative solution to AppStudio when starting a new app project.
We also encourage all existing AppStudio users to start the process of evaluating their app audience, its features, and deployment requirements to select the best migration path. Here are some fantastic ArcGIS products for delivering mapping and geospatial solutions on mobile devices.
Cross-platform Mobile App Development
Using these products, you can write your app once and then generate native app builds for multiple platforms including iOS, Android, and even desktops.
- ArcGIS Maps SDK for .NET (MAUI)
A popular development language with a large and active community. Esri now supports Microsoft’s new .NET multi-platform application user interface (MAUI) tools so you can deploy your apps to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
- ArcGIS Maps SDK for Qt
A powerful and flexible cross-platform solution using the same QML language as AppStudio apps.
Native Platform Mobile App Development
These new SDKs from Esri provide users with the newest dev tools designed specifically for iOS and Android. Apps built using these platforms can be published to the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.
- ArcGIS Maps SDK for Swift (iOS)
Create apps for iPhones and iPads
- ArcGIS Maps SDK for Kotlin (Android)
Create apps for Android phones and tablets
Field Operations Mobile Apps – Highly Configurable
Do you need to deliver a native app to others in your organization to perform work outside the office? Maybe you want to collect data or have an interactive offline digital map in the field? We encourage all users to evaluate the suite of out-of-the-box field apps from Esri. These apps continue to add new features and they are all highly configurable.
- ArcGIS Field Maps
A flexible and intuitive app that uses data-driven maps and mobile forms to help you capture/edit data and find information on a map.
- ArcGIS QuickCapture
Esri’s rapid data collection mobile app. Collect with the simple tap of a button.
- ArcGIS Survey123
Capture data on a mobile app or on the web using highly configurable smart surveys.
Web Apps – Mobile Responsive/Optimized
- ArcGIS Experience Builder
Create a mobile-optimized web app by configuring widgets and layout options in a flexible drag-and-drop interface. Configure how your web app looks on different screen sizes.
- ArcGIS Instant Apps
You can turn your maps into mobile-responsive web apps in minutes by simply selecting and configuring a template.
- ArcGIS Dashboards
Present location-based analytics using interactive and easy-to-read data visualization on a dashboard.
- ArcGIS Story Maps
Transform your GIS work into stories that inform and inspire by connecting text, photos, and videos to your maps and web scenes.
Connect with Us
Please reach out to us on Esri Community or using email@example.com if you have questions about the retirement or app migration options.
The AppStudio team will be at the 2023 Esri Developer Summit on March 7-10th, if you would be happy to assist you with your current AppStudio projects as well as discuss the best solution for future apps.
The AppStudio Team