Thursday, August 4, 2011

Delphi for iOS!

I attended the Rad Studio World Tour today in Auckland. Delphi XE2 has some nice features (x64, OSX, FireMonkey) but the standout for me was the iOS support.

Developing for the iPhone et al is mostly a pain in the proverbial. XCode is somewhat of a mess and Objective C was designed by someone with an unholy fetish for square brackets. The last time I did iPhone dev, I did most of my coding in c++ on Windows and only booted into OSX for deployment and testing on the iPhone.

Embarcadero are looking to fix that with Delphi XE2. You can write and test your code in Delphi on Windows. When you need to try it on iOS, you create a xcode project (1 mouse click, only needed once) and then boot into OSX and open the xcode project there. From xcode you can edit, compile, run and debug your 100% Delphi code. If you have either Windows or OSX in a virtual machine you can flick from one tother as you wish. Yor app can be compiled and run in both Windows and iOS.


It's not all perfect, xcode is still there, OSX is a must and the whole code signing is probably as irritating as before, but it's much better than the objective c alternative. It only works with new apps written using FireMonkey but you will be able to pull in older code.

The iOS app is full native code, with access to hardware such as gps, accelerometer and camera.

Note: Accessing the phone hardware means that your app will no longer run under windows due to either the hardware or the support units not being there. I suspect that this is resolvable with some conditional defines and a bit of hacking.

Much to my supprise I am now excited again; both about delphi programming and about iOS programming.