To say this was by popular demand would probably be an understatement! We're pleased to announce that Construct 3 will include a Scirra-hosted service to build apps for iOS and Android directly from the editor.
Our aim is to get as close as possible to a "one click build" — a smooth and worry-free experience for getting your mobile apps built and published.
How will it work?
The Scirra build service will work much like other existing services: you'll export your project, upload it to the build service, wait a moment for it to run the build, and then download the built files. However this will all be done from within the Construct 3 editor, and using a service that Scirra hosts. Access to the build service will come with the Construct 3 subscription at no further cost.
Your projects are still stored locally on your device; they are only uploaded for the purpose of building. We won't store your projects long-term on our service. Also note that while the Construct 3 editor itself works offline, this particular feature will require an Internet connection to use. This is all in line with how other existing build services work.
The initial release will be able to build Android debug and release APKs, or alternatively return an Android Studio project for advanced users to customise. For iOS apps we will at first provide the ability to download an Xcode project that can then be built on a Mac. We're looking in to also building the iOS app itself (the IPA file), but this is a little more complicated due to Apple's tight restrictions around the iOS ecosystem. Hopefully we can add this feature to the build service later down the line.
We intend to make the build service accessible from the mobile version of Construct 3 as well. This should make it possible to open a project, build it, install the APK, and run it, all directly from an Android device. (Note this may require configuring the device to work in developer mode.)
We think this service will also be useful for existing Construct 2 users. So you'll also be able to use Construct 3 to build an app exported from Construct 2. We think using the editor as a build system will be compelling especially given the entire Construct 3 subscription still costs less than a PhoneGap Build subscription.
IAP & ad plugins
We'll also provide brand-new IAP and ad plugins for iOS and Android, as well as building and maintaining the underlying Cordova plugins ourselves. This should minimise any difficulties with configuration or third-party libraries.
We're not removing any existing options. For example users accustomed to using PhoneGap Build can continue to use the Cordova export option, just as it works with Construct 2. Using this option provides you with a zip file with the exported project and necessary configuration files included to use on other services, ready to be uploaded and built.
New features on the way
We believe that a browser-based editor with mobile support is a bold and transformative step to take. Adding a build system is the first of the major new features we've then added on top of that. There's still a load of new features in Construct 3 to get in to yet. We'll be posting news regularly right up to the public beta, which we've scheduled to start by April — so check back soon!
Missed our earlier announcements? Here's a list of all the news about Construct 3 so far: