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At #SXSW 2014 this week, Embarcadero Launches Appmethod, A New Multi-Device Development Platform For Native Apps (via: @TechCrunch)

Posted by jpluimers on 2014/03/06

The @appmethod secret.

The @appmethod secret.

Wow. Out of the blue, I just read Embarcadero Launches AppMethod, A New Multi-Device Development Platform For Native Apps | TechCrunch. And I’m impressed.

In short:

At SXSW 2014 (which is running now, its agenda has a schedule from March 7th till March 16th), Embarcadero announces appmethod, to be released in beta on March 18th, 2014 for building native cross platform applications. Many have found out you can apply for the beta at

More and more people are bumping into the appmethod link, for instance on FaceBook, on Google Plus, at Delphi Bistro and #Appmethod starting with the @appmethod secret by Joy Ruff.

Below are a few my observations from following all of the above links. Read them, especially the TechCrunch. I expect interesting posts from others to follow really soon now (:.

I’m only a few hours ahead of you readers, but I’m having a positive vibe just for these reasons:

  • There is going to be a Free version that can attract a new user base. This is bold, as there has not been such a pricing since a very long time.
  • Looking at competing products, a subscription model makes sense. Differentiating between free, small team and business subscriptions too.
  • Focus at the speed, versatility and maturity of the tool and libraries: not just cross platform UI, but suitable for every part of the development architecture.

Highlights from the above links

AppMethod logoJust a few:

  • The product name is Appmethod (lowercase logo, the Appmethod name is not the CamelCase spelling like in the TechCrunch post title).
  • It targets building native applications from a single code base for PC, Mac, iOS and Android now and will target wearables in the future. Languages are Object Pascal and C++.
  • I’m anxious to see what “Object Pascal and C++ support” means for the product differentiation.
  • There is a fully fledged IDE with all kinds of designers, connectors, and tools like for remote debugging and analysis.
  • Connectivity is key: SOAP, REST, middleware for services and enterprise databases not limited to one stack.
  • Seeing support for backend as a service platforms like Kinvey, Parse, and App42 mentioned, Michael Swindell’s post about Multi-Device is the New Platform now makes a lot more sense now especially as they are also in the RAD Studio, Delphi and C++Builder Roadmap – March 2014.
  • The sales model is subscription based, which a lot of tool vendors already use (Xamarin, RemObjects, Phone Gap, Appcelerator, DevExpress, etc). This is logical in a fast moving mobile and connected world, but different from the days desktop development platforms where the Delphi and Visual Studio product lines originally come from. Xamarin and many others had quite a few name changes in the past, so a new name for a new target audience is quite OK.
  • There is a Free plan for up to 5 Android devices.

To me, all of this sounds like Appmethod will be a counter part of RAD Studio, where you have both languages and all platforms, but a different sales model and a very different target audience.

I’m really anxious to see what Spikes (the guys providing AirGap – a secure virtualized browser outside your firewall – for the enterprise) thinks about their beta period with Appmethod.

Oh, and Appmethod are on social media too (:

If all of the above is true, I really look forward to help brining the full Spring4D framework into the mobile world. The Spring4D roadmap is clear, most of the mobile work is done, but multi-cast events are among the most important things not done yet. A blog post about that will follow soon.


Embarcadero just provided more information, will get back to that as I pulled an almost all-nighter:

First impressions:

  • Appmethod is RAD Studio without VCL aimed at pure cross platform development (boy, Microsoft wished they could rip out Windows Forms of Visual Studio).
  • There is going to be a middleware stack.
  • Appmethod is priced Per developer/Per platform/Per year. I need to do the math on this when I’m more awake, but it might be that for few platforms Appmethod is cheaper, but for all platforms RAD Studio might be cheaper especially if you have a RAD Studio maintenance contract.


via: Embarcadero Launches AppMethod, A New Multi-Device Development Platform For Native Apps | TechCrunch.

Appmethod IDE; Nexus 4 upright unlike at TechCrunch

Appmethod IDE with upright Nexus 4 phone (with permission from Embarcadero)

15 Responses to “At #SXSW 2014 this week, Embarcadero Launches Appmethod, A New Multi-Device Development Platform For Native Apps (via: @TechCrunch)”

  1. François said

    I find it hilarious that when you try to go to with Chrome, you get an error page saying:
    “Please update to a modern browser
    The site you are visiting can only be viewed using a modern browser. Please upgrade your browser to increase safety and your browsing experience. Choose one of the browsers above.”
    And the 1st browser in their recommended list is Chrome…

    Oh well!

  2. Simelane said

    Sigh… I hope that is not another distraction like Kylix was.

    I would much rather they focused on making RAD Studio more modular so that one could pay just for Win32 (VCL) development while those that want multi-platform could pay for each additional FMX platform that they want to target.

  3. Delphi in disguise ;)

  4. Worth noting that we (RemObjects) do *not* sell our products as expiring subscriptions, contrary to what it might sound like in your above list (Xamarin do AFAIK). If you buy a product from us, it will work for life.

  5. Joseph said

    I have very mixed thoughts on this. Regarding the pricing model: it does indeed seem like they’ve discovered they’re not alone in the universe and have finally acknowledged their competition and the prevailing pricing structures in the marketplace. :-) That’s a big win.

    As for the actual product itself… I’m not sure that it’s anything other than C++ Builder and Delphi in a single IDE with the same everything else – compilers, FireMonkey, etc. If you can use this for $299 (per platform per year) isn’t that going to cut into Delphi sales for those who only use it for Windows desktop? Between this and the “recharge” pricing, they seem to be hoping for a surge of new customers to make up the difference – or the stories about continual declines in sales are true.

    They also gave the product a very generic name which avoids the stigma of oldness that Delphi has associated with it. This is also very interesting and I know Michael Thuma suggested many times that renaming Delphi would be a good idea.

    The problem I see though is that they’re competing against Qt. Once again they claim to be offering something new in terms of “native” code support, but Digia and its Qt are doing the same thing. While what I read suggests that EMBT are months away from being able to offer C++ as a language, that’s Qt’s principal language and they can offer it today. A lot more people know C++ than know Delphi and it’s far more likely potential users will want to use it on mobile (iOS’ official language is Objective C and Android games are generally written in C++ already).

    The biggest difference is platforms. Qt 5.3 should be released next month. Unlike Embarcadero they were working right away on solving the Windows 8 problem, producing a white paper about what needed to be done, setting up a committee, etc. We just keep hearing from EMBT and Allan Bauer that they’re “looking at it”. Digia is saying that Qt 5.3 will have support for both Windows 8 Metro AND Windows RT. That’s in addition to also supporting Linux (including desktop), QNX (real-time embedded OS that also powers Blackberry), Tizen (mobile Linux OS that Intel and Samsung are backing) and even SailFish (Jolla’s OS that builds on an OS Nokia was working on). I may be wrong but a quick investigation suggested to me that it’s possible to run Qt on Android x86 unlike FireMonkey (and this apparently isn’t on the 2014 roadmap either).

    I still think they’re going to have a very big uphill battle against Qt and earlier comments from Marco and David I. suggested they really weren’t familiar with it or taking them very seriously. Another possible issue is how this concentration on mobile affects desktop support and existing legacy customers.

    • jpluimers said

      Thanks for brining that up, as I totally forgot about them since the era Qt was so unstable. It seems very much more mature now, and even have an IDE. Definitely worth looking at them, even though I’m not a real C++ fan.

      The biggest thing holding back development tool vendors for supporting WinRT (except market share) is the technical requirement by Microsoft to use Microsoft’s C++ RTL DLL. Qt might be able to solve that because they are already doing C++. I wish I knew if LLVM could help solve that problem too.

      • Joseph said

        The Linux desktop I’m running right now, KDE, as well as an IDE and several other programs I use were all written with Qt so I can attest it’s very stable. :-) Qt has bindings for many other languages so you’re not limited to C++.

        I’m not sure how many have been ported to the new Qt5 yet. Of course on mobile you’re going to need support for targeting the mobile OS/processor with your language of choice as well as binding support.

        You’re correct about the C++; I found this in Qt’s documentation:

        >Microsoft introduced a new design paradigm with the Windows 8 Modern UI. A core part of this new approach is
        >Windows Runtime (WinRT) that supports development using different programming languages, such as C++/CX
        >(component extensions), C# VB.NET, or JavaScript. The Qt port uses the C++ capabilities.

        • jpluimers said

          My main development system is a Mac (with Windows and other OSes in various VMs), as I ditched Linux for Desktop stuff when they desktop managers and UI libraries became an incompatible mess even after many tries. Bitten too much by it, I hardly see Qt stuff any more. I have kept Linux for server back-ends. Note grub GUI boot still is a mess, so I still have very mixed feelings about Linux and graphics. So you probably understand why I hesitate to use Linux on the desktop.

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