After the launch of a C++ framework for developing mobile applications earlier this year, Embarcadero Technologies wants to make C++ developers an offer they can’t refuse. The company this week announced that its Appmethod framework is now free forever for developers targeting the Google Android platform.
John "JT" Thomas, director of developer products, says there are roughly 12 million C++ developers in the world, many of whom are looking to create applications that run on a broad range of devices.
While Embarcadero still plans to charge developers who use Appmethod to target other platforms, Thomas says a free forever license for Google Android phone platforms using C++should provide developers with enough of an incentive to use Appmethod. The expectation is that once they develop a Google Android application using Appmethod, developers will also want to deploy that application on other platforms. Developers are free to publish those applications on any public Android cloud store they choose.
Embarcadero is also allowing developers to build and publish apps for all other supported device platforms for 30 days before incurring any licensing fees.
Appmethod differs from other application development platforms, says Thomas, in that it enables developers to create applications that run natively on each mobile computing device. Each of those applications can then access any back-end-as-a-service environment they choose, including one provided by Embarcadero, via RESTful APIs that support JSON data formats.
Thomas says the goal is to give developers a cross-platform development environment that doesn’t require them to compromise on any of the native functionality available on a particular device platform. In contrast, HTML5 development environments provide a cross-platform capability usually at the expense of platform functionality, says Thomas.
Because each application is also natively compiled to run on that device CPU, Thomas says the performance of applications built using Appmethod is also significantly better.
In addition, Appmethod includes a component framework along with more than 100 user interface controls that can all be accessed via a common API.
While the debate between HTML5 versus native development has raged on for years, Embarcadero is making a case for a cross-platform development environment that allows developers to strike a balance between functions they need to have available across multiple platforms and functions that need to be created to optimize a particular end user experience.
Even though there may be 12 million C++ developers in the world, most of them have been left behind by the mobile computing revolution. Embarcadero is clearly in the business of making sure C++ developers have the right set of incentives in place to start bringing those C++ applications to the mobile computing world.