iOS Development with RAD Studio XE3

Where’s the iOS Support?

Like others I rushed out and purchased RAD Studio XE3 because of its support for Windows 32-bit, Windows 64-bit, Apple OSX, Apple iOS (Apple mobile devices – iPhone and iPad) and HTML5 Builder.

However I found iOS support has been removed from XE3 (even though it exists in XE2).

In the XE3 source folder are the usual FMX source files (for OSX development) but the FMI source (for iOS development) are gone.

- C:\Program Files\Embarcadero\RAD Studio\10.0\source\fmx
- C:\Program Files\Embarcadero\RAD Studio\10.0\source\fmi

So RAD Studio XE2 includes iOS support but it has been removed in XE3. Understandably some Delphi users are confused.

But there is a happy ending to this story.

Embarcadero Road Map

You can see the Embarcadero roadmap here – http://edn.embarcadero.com/article/42544

2012 – Rad Studio XE3 release

  • Delphi Windows native 32/64 bit (64-bit introduced in XE2).
  • C++ Builder 32 bit (64-bit coming soon).
  • HTML5 Builder (New)

2013

  • New product “Mobile Studio” will provide iOS (iPhone/iPad) and later Android support.

iOS in XE2

Under XE2 the iOS support is a little convoluted and slow. You write source code under Windows in RAD Studio using FMI units. The source is passed to the Apple OSX and there compiled to XCode using the FreePascal compiler.

Mobile Studio

In the upcoming “Mobile Studio” release all code is written and compiled under Windows in RAD Studio IDE, so compilation is fast as with Windows 32/64-bit. FreePascal is no longer required on the OSX side and debugging across platforms is apparently much improved.

The Beta will be made available to all XE3 users. According to the road map we will see iOS support early 2013 and Android support later around mid 2013.

One assumes that RAD Studio users will be offered an upgrade to “Mobile Studio” for some small cost. The product should be a good money spinner for the company as they strategically roll-out the various mobile platforms support.

So how do I do IOS now?

There is always XCode under Apple OSX.

A friend of mine is looking at using Prism (Delphi for .NET) and MONO (.NET framework for mobile devices). That’s another way.

Or you can download and install XE2, which is included free with your XE3 license.
Grab a copy of Graeme Chandler’s book “FireMonkey Development for iOS and OS X with Delphi XE2″. A significant publication that explains everything about IOS development under XE2.  Graeme BTW is my brother, a very experienced developer and a certified Embarcadero trainer.

Initially I was wondering why Graeme was releasing an XE2 book on iOS when XE3 was just about to be released. Now I know!

Last Words

Initially I was disappointed and confused by all this. But Mobile Studio looks promising, a much better approach than iOS development under XE2.

Hopefully XE3 owners will be given a good deal on the upgrade.
If you can, wait a few months and try Mobile Studio.

If you can’t wait, then XE2 is still an option, but keep in mind that the code may change significantly as we move to Mobile Studio. Apparently the FMX units will be rewritten to contain both iOS and OSX code.

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