Delphi XE4 iOS Development - feedback from a developer

Posted by on in Blogs
Brent Dwayne recently wrote a blog post, "Delphi XE4 iOS Development", where he talked about his choice to purchase Delphi XE4, the mobile addon pack and one year maintence.  It is always great to get feedback and suggestions from our customers.  Brent's post provided really good information and advice for mobile developers and also for us internally.  Whenever I read articles from developers, like Brent's, I always forward them inside our company.  One of the great things about the developer community is they are not shy and will always speak their minds 24x7 whatever the conversation, suggestion or issue is.  Thank you Brent.  Here are few quotes from the blog post that caught my eye.

"I recently bought Delphi XE 4 Professional with the Mobile Add-On. I also purchased the Support & Maintenance so I would get upgrades for 1 year. I plan on continuing to purchase the Support & Maintenance to keep current."

"I am happy to report that XE 4 does a much better job. While the controls are not the native iOS SDK controls, they function and look almost identical. There are a few missing features. For example in the TListbox and TListView, there is no swipe to delete. There is no way to move list items by touch like the native control either. I test my applications with an iPhone 4. With XE 2, list scrolling not smooth at all on the device. With XE 4, applications produced have no problem scrolling through a list with several hundred items in TListview."

For full iOS native control support, Delphi developers also have the option to use TMS Software's "TMS ICL" component set that works within FireMonkey forms. ICL offers "No compromises: 100% iOS performance, 100% iOS look, 100% iOS feel components". You can read more about ICL at  ICL is part of TMS Software's TMS Component Studio for iOS.

In the blog post, Brent also has a few comments about cost and pricing (something that I am not directly responsible for, but I do pass the feedback on to the product owners in Product Management): "I have a few complaints. First, the initial cost is very high for a new user. As of July 24th 2013, Delphi XE 4 with Mobile Add-On and Support and Maintenance is $1983.00 USD. I was able to upgrade from XE 3 Professional for $798.00 USD in June. Embarcadero had a special price for the Mobile Add-On at the time. Another minus is applications created with Firemonkey controls run slower on my iPhone 4 than those produced with native controls. Thankfully, faster iOS devices such as iPad 2 don't have this problem."

Regarding total cost, each developer can choose to add maintenance or to wait for specific releases. I should add that adding maintenance is a one time upfront cost and if you do the cost calculation over time (with the renewal price less than upgrade price) and more frequent releases tied to the increased pace of technology additions, especially with the pace of new mobile devices and platform releases, you might find a cost savings. I will let each individual do the math that fits their planning. Regarding speed and size of iOS apps - the team is constantly focused on performance improvements. Using the ListView instead of ListBox has performance gains when dealing with longer lists (for example, customers in a database). It would be great to see specific examples of code and data and performance times. We are testing on a wide range of iOS devices internally including iPhone (3GS, 4, 4S and 5), iPad/iPad Mini and iPod Touch 4th Generation and higher.

Brent also writes "Delphi definitely has an advantages over other competing products. For a beginning programmer, the language is definitely easier to learn than Objective-C. Also, you can create an application capable of doing much more with a lot less code thanks to the FMX component library and third-party tools like those by TMS Software."

Brent ends his blog post by saying "Overall, I can definitely recommend Delphi XE 4 for developers that want to create iOS applications and don't mind spending some money. To me the ability to create iOS applications without using XCode in a short amount of time is definitely worth the investment. I strongly recommend Support & Maintenance because Android support will be coming in the next release later this year."

Brent's comments about Support and Maintenance tie nicely with a promotion we are running right now, "6 Months Support & Maintenance Free on select new user products". You can find all the details at Get free updates, upgrades and support for six months when you purchase select RAD Studio XE4 and Delphi XE4 New User products. Check out our roadmap to see the exciting new product features that are planned. Offer available July 22 through August 31, 2013. Buy now and not only will you get the next 6 months of updates and major upgrades free, but you'll also get priority access into our Android beta program!

Thank you Brent for the post and great feedback. Everyone can read his complete blog post at

Gold User, Rank: 1, Points: 2466
David Intersimone (known to many as David I.) is a passionate and innovative software industry veteran-often referred to as a developer icon-who extols and educates the world on Embarcadero developer tools. He shares his visions as an active member of the industry speaking circuit and is tapped as an expert source by the media. He is a long-standing champion of architects, developers and database professionals and works to ensure that their needs are folded into Embarcadero's strategic product plans. David holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo, California.


  • Guest
    Markus Ja Wednesday, 7 August 2013

    "applications created with Firemonkey controls run slower"
    Please keep investing in performance improvements. For me, performance is more important than the price.

  • Guest
    Daniel Tuesday, 3 September 2013

    Until the end of August Delphi XE4 came with TMS Cloud pack as a free bonus added to the whole package, however the version they offered is from June, when the offer was created, and it's non-upgradable, and not covered by the TMS "full version cycle" policy, meaning you cannot upgrade for free. It's just a tease, a bit misleading. Because I liked the cloud pack, I purchased the "TMS ICL" package, and the 100% native components are a bit poor when it comes to what they offer, so the ones Delphi XE4 are richer with loads of properties, compared to the true native ones. As of today, I don't see the point of buying into the "100% native" idea, if Delphi XE4 Firemonkey library does a better job.

  • Guest
    misti Sunday, 5 January 2014

    Very informative post.Thanks for share it....
    Thanks for sharing I was looking for a good tutorial and this one was the best ;)" rel="nofollow">Ipad Applications development

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