Sunday, 26 October 2014

Delphi vs Xamarin

Recently I have been doing some mobile development and assessing the pros and cons of Delphi and Xamarin. Here is a brief list of them, there will be more as I use both.

Delphi Pros

  • Use existing familiar IDE.
  • Quick to prototype and deploy to Android device.
  • Easy to use interface designer.
  • Large shared code base between different platforms.
Delphi Cons
  • Expensive to purchase the latest version of Delphi.
  • Crashes often with the loss of any recent changes.
  • Slow to build and deploy.
  • File size is big, 'Hello world' app will be at least 25MB.
Xamarin Pros
  • Nice to use interface (C# code).
  • Easy and quick to deploy app to Android.
  • File size small, suspect this is due to it having to also deploy virtual platform.
  • The app is quick to run on the device compared with Delphi app.
  • Cheap compared with Delphi.
Xamarin Cons
  • Less shared code between platforms.
  • Interface designer does not feel as flexible.
  • Properties inspector needs improving and is not as user friendly as Delphi.
  • Online tutorials and help are not concise and some seem out of date.
I should point out the version of Delphi I used was XE5, the current release is XE7 so they might have fix a few bugs. I did go to a XE7 launch event (which I will write another blog entry about) and from what I saw and the questions I asked it is not much different and they have not done anything to improve the build time. When it comes to the speed of the build for Android it is best to build to the device rather than use the Android simulator which for both is very slow.

I will continue to add to this blog entry with other pros and cons as I come across them.


  1. One issue I have recently discovered with Delphi is that when I updated my Nexus 4 phone to Lollipop, the Delphi developed App no longer worked, but the Xamarin App kept on working fine.

  2. Here is an interesting infographic about the main features of Xamarin: