Application and database solution provider Embarcadero has added Android support to RAD Studio XE5, the latest version of its mobile application development platform. RAD Studio XE5 now helps application developers create “true native” applications by managing the codebases for Android, iOS, OS X and Windows.

Written in the Delphi programming language, RAD Studio XE5 lets developers take the same codebase they used to write, say, an iOS application and create the same application for Android. “Under the covers, what we’re doing is, by using the native developer kit on Android, we’re creating a native binary, which is something that runs directly on the CPU,” explained John Thomas, director of product management at Embarcadero. “So there’s no runtime language interpreter, no virtual machine, and nothing gets in the way of your application and the hardware. That’s how you get the best app performance and user experience.”

RAD Studio XE5 also now includes full support for Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS) since mobile applications need to be able to connect to services in the cloud. “What we’ve added is what we call a REST mobile client framework, which is a mechanism to easily add services, and the data from those services, into your application,” Thomas said.

“RAD Studio XE5 lets you write to your clients, to your middleware and to your enterprise back end. And you can integrate things from the cloud, like from Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.”

The company plans to add support for more platforms and devices in the future. “The platforms that we call ‘multi-device’ are going to continue to proliferate,” explained Steve Haney, senior director of product marketing at Embarcadero. “What happened with the Windows desktop world was almost an anomaly that will probably never happen again. Going forward, the future is about heterogeneous environments: a lot of different form factors with a lot of very different functionality; platforms that will be broadly open to developers to innovate on top of.”

Thomas added that, even today, embedded systems are app-ready. “For example, in-home automation systems use REST,” he said. “So it doesn’t matter what is running on those devices, you can interact with them easily using our platform. So, with RAD Studio XE5, developers are ready now to address this growing demand.”