Embarcadero has rolled out RAD Studio XE6, a software development solution for building natively compiled apps for Windows, Android, iOS and Mac from a single code base. The new release introduces a C++ visual development environment for Android apps, enables developers to modernize their Windows applications with VCL enhancements and extensions to mobile, and helps increase developer productivity in creating high-quality apps on multiple platforms and devices.
Embarcadero has long focused on helping developers solve the multi-device development challenge, said John Thomas, director of developer products, Embarcadero. Given the two choices that they have which is either using platform tools to get the best experience but needing to write different code bases to deliver that, or looking at web-based solutions but having to compromise on their application performance and user experience, he said, “We are trying to provide the best of both worlds and we call that Multi-Device, True Native.”
Multi-Device, True Native Development
Multi-Device is a single source code base written in Object Pascal or Delphi, or C++, and being able to then compile that code down to the native CPU on each platform, said Thomas. What is unique about this approach is that it delivers the best possible performance and makes it easy to get to future hardware platforms “because we can talk directly to the CPU,” said Thomas. “Multi-Device is really about one team, one code base.”
Integrated IDE Supports Visual Development of C++ Apps for Windows, Android, iOS, Mac
According to Embarcadero, RAD Studio XE6’s expanded support for Android makes it the only solution on the market to provide an integrated development environment (IDE) that supports visual development of C++ applications for Windows, Android, iOS and Mac. Users can create natively compiled apps for all platforms for both desktop and mobile, and even wearable devices like Google Glass, with a single C++ or Object Pascal (Delphi) codebase. A simple recompile delivers the same app with either a native or custom user interface (UI) to iOS, Windows, and Mac OS X with no code changes. RAD Studio XE6 supports multiple versions of Android, including 4.4 KitKat.
Helping Developers to Migrate Users Off Windows XP
In addition, Embarcadero RAD Studio XE6 helps users migrate customers from the no-longer-supported Windows XP platform, and take advantage of Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 - and then extend beyond Windows onto mobile platforms. Using RAD Studio XE6, app developers can modernize VCL Windows applications; preview and interact with multi-windowed applications with new Windows taskbar components; give applications a fresh, updated Windows 7 and 8.1 or custom look; and fully style applications, including menus and borders, to deliver a modern user experience. Developers can also give customers high performance 64-bit versions of their 32-bit apps. “Windows XP is still broadly deployed - over 20% of desktops still have a Windows XP installation. The big concern is that it can become ridden with viruses, unstable, and become a deployment environment nightmare for developers,” said Thomas.
Helping Windows VCL (Visual Component Library) developers support their customers’ move to mobile, RAD Studio XE6’s new App Tethering components enable developers to extend existing Windows VCL applications to mobile – including wearable devices likes Google Glass – without having to port an entire Windows application. With mobile use becoming important, Embarcadero is seeking to help developers add more value to their Windows applications in the mobile world without porting the whole application to mobile, explained Thomas. With RAD Studio XE6, said Thomas, they don’t have to. “Some applications are millions of lines of code and in many cases the user interaction doesn’t make sense on mobile anyway,” he noted. Developers can create easy-to-build and powerful mobile companion apps for VCL applications, and pick the features that make sense for mobile and can easily interact with existing Windows applications.