Embarcadero RAD Studio XE6 arrives this week amidst bold claims of being a new route to extend desktop applications to wearables. This multi-device natively compiled app development platform for Windows, Android, iOS, and Mac represents the first C++ visual development environment for Android apps. It promises to allow developers to modernize their Windows applications with VCL enhancements and get an easy expansion path to mobile.
What is perhaps most interesting here is the expanded support for Android that makes RAD Studio XE6 the only current product to provide an 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, with a single C++ or Object Pascal (Delphi) codebase.
A 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 — and RAD Studio XE6 supports multiple versions of Android, including 4.4 KitKat.
"Now that Windows XP is officially retired, app developers face new pressures and opportunities to modernize their Windows applications and transition customers onto a supported OS," said Michael Swindell, senior vice president of products at Embarcadero Technologies. "RAD Studio XE6 will help developers update their VCL applications to the latest versions of Windows and provide a fast and easy way to extend existing Windows applications to iOS and Android mobile devices, and even wearable devices like Google Glasses."
Embarcadero is also emphasizing RAD Studio XE6's ability to help Windows VCL (Visual Component Library) developers support their users' moves to mobile. New App Tethering components enable developers to extend existing Windows VCL applications to mobile and wearable devices without having to port an entire Windows application. Developers can create mobile companion apps for VCL applications and pick the features that make sense for mobile and can easily interact with existing Windows applications.