A recent article from Intel Software Adrenaline titled “Building on Intel’s Momentum” showcased the incredible growth of mobile devices along with the corresponding growth and opportunities for developers. One of the most intriguing statistics quoted in this article came from Gartner, Inc., predicating that more than 2 billion mobile phones and tablets will ship globally in 2013:
“Worldwide traditional PC (desk-based and notebook) shipments are forecast to total 305 million units in 2013, a 10.6 percent decline from 2012 , while the PC market including ultra mobiles is forecast to decline 7.3 percent in 2013 (see Table 1). Tablet shipments are expected to grow 67.9 percent, with shipments reaching 202 million units, while the mobile phone market will grow 4.3 percent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units. The sharp decline in PC sales recorded in the first quarter was the result in a change in preferences in consumers’ wants and needs, but also an adjustment in the channel to make room for new products hitting the market in the second half of 2013.” – “Gartner says worldwide PC, tablet, and mobile phone shipments to grow 5.9 percent in 2013 as anytime-anywhere-computing drives buyer behavior”, Gartner.com
And who are the winners as far as market share? Again, according to the article, Android is leading the pack with a Q2 2013 share of 79.3 percent, with Apple following close behind. Obviously, developers have a gigantic opportunity in this favorable mobile ecosystem. And with the tools that Intel has provided for Android and other mobile platforms, it’s exciting to imagine the possibilities.
Intel offers a wide variety of useful tools for the developer interesting in creating something on Android at the Android Developer Zone, including:
Beacon Mountain: Beacon Mountain provides a complete set of design, coding, and debugging tools for native apps targeting Android-based ARM and Intel Atom processor-based devices.
Intel XDK Cross-Platform Development Kit: Use the power of HTML5 and Intel's cross-platform tools to write your app once and distribute it broadly. With the Intel® XDK, you really can “write once, deploy too many.” Build for iOS and Android, tablets and phones then deploy to the Google Play Store, Amazon App Store, and more.
Intel® C++ Compiler for Android* OS: For Android app developers using the Android* NDK, Intel C++ can deliver a performance edge. It’s compatible with GNU C++ and tools in the NDK. Improve application fluidity and responsiveness, enhance battery life.
Project Anarchy: Project Anarchy is a free mobile game engine for iOS, Android (including X-86), and Tizen. It includes Havok’s Vision Engine along with Havok Physics, Havok Animation Studio and Havok AI.
A report titled “Cross Platform Mobile Development Tools Market Analysis and Forecast” published by Smiths Point Analytics reports that the market for cross-platform mobile development tools exceeds $1.6 billion right now, and is expected to reach $8.2 billion by 2016:
“Developers are taking a number of cross platform development approaches and successful developers will match the right tools and approach to appropriate requirements and use cases. With the complexity of mobile app development continuing to grow, the tools vendors’ ability to reduce development time and increase application reach is generating significant opportunities. This new trend in mobile application development will also help fuel and more open and prosperous mobile app ecosystem.”
Intel’s HTML5 Development Environment is a cloud-based, cross-platform HTML5 application development interface that makes it as easy as possible to build an app and get it out quickly to a wide variety of software platforms. It’s easy to use, free to get started, and everything is based right within the Web browser. Developers can create their apps, test functions, and debug their projects easily, putting apps through their virtual paces in the XDK which mimics real world functionality from within the Web browser.
The XDK makes testing HTML5 apps as easy as possible. Various form factors - phones, tablets, laptops, etc. – can be framed around an app to simulate how it would function on a variety of devices. In addition to tablet, phone, and PC emulations, there is also a full screen simulation of different Ultrabook device displays within the XDK. This is an incredibly useful way to test specific Ultrabook features in order to make sure that they are at maximum usability for consumers. The XDK for Ultrabook apps enables testing for mouse, keyboard, and touch-enabled input, which takes the guesswork out of developing for touch-based Ultrabook devices.
The HTML5 Development Environment makes it easy to create one set of code and seed it across multiple cross-platforms, making the process of development – including getting apps to market – more efficient for developers. More information about the HTML5 XDK and porter can be found at the HTML5 Developer Zone.
Cross-platform development is the focus
The Intel Software Adrenaline article creates a compelling case for cross-platform development, especially when the overall mobile ecosystem is viewed holistically from a developer perspective:
"Intel’s tooling objective is to both satisfy developers’ current needs and keep an eye on the future......Intel is delivering developer solutions for cross-platform HTML5 development, native, performance-centric Android applications, and rapid Android system bring-up. These complementary offerings continue to evolve as developers push the envelope of user experiences on future mobile platforms."
Stay tuned as Intel continues to develop cross-platform development tools, environments, and resources for developers all over the world.