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.


Craig said...

Big win for XE2

Anonymous said...

Did they mention anything about a release date?

Dev{eloper} Stonez said...

10x for sharing it, with all the news coming XE2 looks absolutelly refreshing !

Boian Mitov also have some nice words about XE2 and FireMonkey:

"Delphi XE2 is with no doubt the most important Delphi release in its entire history, probably even bigger than Delphi 1 was when it was introduced (If you remember those days :-D )."

Upcomming support for Delphi XE2 and FireMonkey

For some aggregation on XE2 and FireMonkey news (& co) ...take a look on Twitter (!/search/#xe2 ,!/search/#firemonkey )

Anonymous said...

Sounds great!

Do you know if the iOS compiler Delphi-only, or does it include the C++Builder side too?

- David

Dev{eloper} Stonez said...

Jolyon Smith has a great and detailed blog about XE2 & Firemonkey and more here:

RAD Studio XE2: Launch Event Report

Some additional links/blogs:

Marco Cantu: FireMonkey for iOS (from Auckland presentation)

Ciprian Popa: RAD Studio XE2 & FireMonkey beta-blogging drums starting ...

Boian Mitov: Upcomming support for Delphi XE2 and FireMonkey

Sean said...

XE2 is still in beta stage but they are expecting to RTM later this month.

AIUI iOS is delphi only, not C++ Builder.

Sean said...

I ran in to Jolyon at the event (the NZ Delphi community was a small one). I was hoping to get a post put before him:)

Anonymous said...

Here more info about XE2:

I'm so excited with this release

Anonymous said...

now let's hope Embarcadero reduce the absolutely painful Delphi price to win more marketshare, otherwise it will be hard to recover all the market lost in the past decade

Thomas Mueller said...

So in order to put a compiled app onto an iOS device for testing, I have to boot to OSX? Wtf?
I doubt that I will start developing for iOS any time soon.

Unknown said...

Hi, my name is Adriano Santos and I'm Delphi specialist. I'm also very excited
with Delphi XE2 and I can't to wait to launching event on Brazil. For sure, I belive that this is version better of all times. I published in my blog about the Delphi Tour from Brazil event. Delphi? Go go go, :)

Sean said...

The iOS integration is incomplete at the moment, should be better in XE3.

AFAIAA, you cannot develop for iOS in any language without OSX to do the final code signing. That doesn't mean you need to buy a mac though, you can create a hackintosh or use an OSX VM.

Anonymous said...

They are using FreePascal to compile for iOS in this release, that's what Andreano Lanusse said in a comment in his blog.

kmorwath said...

Is this Delphi for iOS or FPC for iOS bundled with Delphi?
Because if it is the latter it's not a great deal... Embarcadero won't make a big impression "oh, yes, we're the mighty Embarcadero asking you $$$$ for Delphi, but we took more then five years to deliver a Win64 compiler and now we ship someone's else ARM compiler because we're not able to develop our own in time, just because the library we bought already supported it"