Famo.us Finally Rolls Into Private Beta
Almost exactly a year later, Famo.us is finally ready to let in a few of the 57,000 developers that signed up for beta access. Emphasis on “few”.
In the coming weeks, the company says they’ll be selecting around 40 developers (less than a tenth of one percent of their overall signups) from their beta pool to take up residence in their San Francisco office, helping Famo.us to stress test their framework before its wider release. Those 40 developers will get full, unobfuscated access to Famo.us’ source code, technical support from the folks who built the framework itself, and a bit of office space to boot.
As we’ve covered in depth before, Famo.us pulls off quite a bit of platform-by-platform trickery to allow web apps to utilize a device’s GPU (graphical processing unit) in a way that web apps generally can’t.
During our chat, Famo.us showed me examples of their framework being used in a way I’d never seen it used for before: super complex 2D web apps running at buttery speeds. Before today, nearly everything I’d seen come out of Famo.us were crazy, theoretical, 3D interfaces — like the oh-so-Minority-Report periodic table demo that sits on their homepage.
Remember Yahoo’s super-gorgeous new Weather app? For one of their internal demos, Famo.us built a pixel-for-pixel replica of that app… in HTML5. They’d managed to mimic everything from the popout menus, to the parallax scrolling, to the beautiful background blurring effects, and it all ran so smoothly that I never would’ve guessed it wasn’t running natively on the device. Unfortunately, they denied my (dozen or so) requests to get it on video, worried that Yahoo’s legal team might bring down the hammer. I hope they eventually get to release it, if only so I can properly tear apart the source. The lil’ mockup over to the right was the most I could get out of them.