This week I am celebrating my 4 year anniversary at Embarcadero Technologies. Time has flown by and a lot has happened. Mostly a lot of good milestones. One of my favorite things is experimenting with developing on new devices, so I thought I would list some the new platforms and devices I’ve developed for with Delphi since joining Embarcadero.
- Android support was released shortly after I joined Embarcadero. This was and is a huge deal. I think when Embarcadero started down the path to add mobile support iOS was much bigger than Android, but now that has decidedly tipped. iOS is still very popular, but Android is the more popular platform, especially for line of business type development.
- Google Glass is just an Android platform, but the fact it worked out of the box with Delphi is a pretty big deal. I still have my Glass and use them from time to time. If I had prescription lenses or didn’t need my regular glasses I would probably wear them more. I am a big fan of wearable technology and the Android platform.
- Android Wear is another Android device, but still great to work with and develop for. This just worked with Delphi. I’ve tried with a few different Android watches, but different manufactures, round and square displays, and they all worked great. Despite the much lower power on Android Wear devices Delphi apps still performed great thanks to the native compiled binaries.
- Amazon Fire TV, FireTV Stick, Ooya, and other Android set top boxes all just worked with Delphi’s Android support. I even made a simple game to play to play with them. Sometimes when I see these new devices I wonder if it will require some effort to make it work, but typically it just works.
- Emotiv EPOC EEG Headset is a Brain-Computer Interface that reads your thoughts and interfaces them directly to the computer. I toured a number of software developer conferences, including some keynotes, with my Delphi developed thought controlled Parrot AR Drone.
- Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitors, Scales, etc. the scale was extra of fun because it didn’t have a GATT standard, so David and I spelunked it to get it to work. Found out the measurement was in some unusual metric measurement like decagrams, and had the high bit and low bit used to indicate something else.
- Linux is the newest official platform to be added. Out of the box it is Linux server, but thanks to FMXLinux by KSDev you can build Linux GUI applications on it as well. Again it officially supports Redhat and Ubuntu, but most other common Linux distributions are reported as working as well.
- Beacons are a cool new technology that provide proximity information, and thanks the triangulation between multiple Beacons you can do indoor location as well. The BeaconFence technology make it all even easier to work with too.
- Raspberry Pi3, Beaglebone Black, and other Single Board Computers were fun to work with. Since they have ARM CPUs it is simple a matter of loading Android on and they work like a charm. Sometimes installing Android was the most challenging part.
- Arduino isn’t a target directly for running a Delphi app on it, but when I used Boian Mitov’s amazing Visuino and then his Communication Lab components it is really easy to build an app on the Arduino and then talk to it from an app running on Delphi.
- Latte Panda is an Intel + Windows 10 based SBC with an embedded Arduino chip. This is like the best of both worlds when it comes to SBC projects. It is a full fledged Windows 10 computer, but you can dual boot Linux (which I did). In theory you could install and run Delphi on it, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I did install Visuino though, and it could talk to the embedded Arduino just fine. A real thing of beauty.
- REST Services aren’t really a device, but a lot of devices expose their data via REST Services. The built in REST Client Library and the new RAD Server REST Server solutions make it really easy to talk to pretty much any REST Server you encounter.
- Chrome OS is Google’s entry into the OS market running on Chromebooks, which are halfway between a tablet and a laptop. Google recently started rolling out Android support on the latest Chromebooks, so I picked up Samsung Chromebook Pro and sure enough, Delphi Android apps work great on it. While I was in there poking around I discovered Chrome OS is running on Linux at the core, and since the Samsung Chromebook Pro has an Intel CPU I decided to try targeting it from Linux support, and it worked too. Now I am thinking this might be my new favorite laptop!
That is a lot of new devices and platforms in four years. And I know I didn’t get all of them (like the Chromecast, the Kinect, Philips Hue Lights, etc.) Just take a look at our supported IoT Device list. I am looking forward to what the next 4 years holds in store for Delphi, C++Builder and RAD Studio.
What is your favorite new platform for Delphi? Or maybe you are a big fan of the fact we now have the free Starter edition?