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Issue 14.3 ('Sunroom')
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Issue: 14.3 (May/June 2016)
Author: Paul Lefebvre
Author Bio: Paul Lefebvre is the Xojo Developer Evangelist. He has been using Xojo and prior versions since 2001.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 6,519
Starting Page Number: 71
Article Number: 14309
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Excerpt of article text...

Last year Xojo added support for creating apps for the Raspberry Pi 2, a fun and tiny computer. In March of 2016, the Raspberry Pi foundation announced an update to the Raspberry Pi: The Raspberry Pi 3!

To get the obvious question out of the way, Xojo apps continue to run just fine on Raspberry Pi 3.

So what changed with this 3rd version of the world's coolest gadget? If you just visually inspect the device, you'll be hard-pressed to notice any changes at all (although if you look closely at the motherboard you might notice it is slightly different). The Pi 3 is completely backward compatible with the Pi 2 as it has the same visible ports and the GPIO port is also exactly the same, but there are some significant changes.

The first notable change is that the Pi 3 has a much faster 64-bit CPU that runs at 1.2Ghz (up from 900Mhz). Although the Raspbian OS is still 32-bit (and might remain that way for a while since the Pi still has only 1GB RAM), this CPU does significantly improve the performance of the Pi and the apps you run on it. There is a downside to this, though: the Pi 3 runs noticeably hotter. At the very least, you'll want to make sure your Pi 3 has a heat sink installed on the CPU and your case has good airflow. If you are running apps that really make the CPU work, you might even want to consider a fan.

The next significant change is that the Pi 3 has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth support. With the Pi 2, you had to add USB dongles to add WiFi or Bluetooth, which cost a few bucks more, made the Pi take up more space, used one of the 4 USB ports and also caused the Pi to draw more power.

The last thing of note is that the Pi 3 costs exactly the same as the Pi 2: $35! In fact, the Pi 2 remains available, keeping its price of $35. Which begs the question: which one should you get?

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