We are making good progress on our new iOS VM and are starting to test a much wider range of apps. The VM is still experimental however many features that didn't work such as native interfaces, build flags etc. should now function as expected and perform well.
Build times are still longer than Android build times and this can be attributed in a large part to the screenshot process
and the fact that we still have a lot to compile. The compilation is not as fast as we would like it to be due to the overhead of reference counting and GC both of which are compiled directly into the code. This means more lines of code and thus more complexity for the compiler to tackle. However, the performance is still much better and the compile times are already shorter than the original XML VM backend.
Our team is currently in the process of generating a simplified webservices API/wizard that would allow you to easily invoke server side functionality within your own custom server. We are currently thinking about something very similar to the GWT request response however unlike the GWT approach we plan to offer both synchronous and asynchronous API's (which GWT can't offer). This would mean that in order to use this API you will need a proxy server to intercept client calls then forward them to your actual webservice functionality (notice that if you use Java on the server this just means adding a servlet and some classes that we will generate for you. We are soliciting feedback for this so if you have a strong opinion/view on this now is the time to speak up!
On a completely different subject we added some error handling API's to the ImageDownloadService which is a frequent RFE.
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