At IDF 2013, the Intel® XDK New, a tool to help promote and enable cross-platform HTML5 app development, was demoed. This is the newest version of the Intel® XDK with many new features added, including:
- Eliminated the dependence on Java* and Chrome* and replaced it with node-webkit.
- A new UI builder – App Designer – and integrated it with Intel XDK NEW. It supports more frameworks (jQuery Mobile*, Twitter* Bootstrap, and App Framework) for more UI design choices, as well as allowing “round-trip” design, edit, re-design within the tool.
- A new editor – Brackets* - you can go back and forth on files created in the UI builder or just use this great editor.
- A new emulator based on Ripple*.
- A new User Interface
- More host platforms
- Cordova 2.9 support
HTML5 Community Manager Eric Mantion (@captgeek on Twitter) interviewed Paul Fisher at IDF about the XDK, as seen in the video below:
This demo at IDF was merely a preview of the full release in October, and Intel® XDK New is now available for a free download. Available for Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems, this free tools enables developers to edit in code, tweak user interfaces, emulate across different form factors, debug, and much more.
One of the features within the XDK that was highlighted in the video was the Layout Tool. One of the unique elements of this particular feature is a “round trip editor”; basically, most editors are a “one way street” in that if you make changes, you can’t keep working within the layout itself. This is a very convenient feature for developers.
The XDK is made for cross-platform development, with the ability to create apps for iOS, Android, Windows, Tizen, Nook, Amazon, Facebook, Web apps, and more. Here’s another great demo of how the XDK really works – focusing on the emulator:
Video courtesy mobilegeeks.de
In this video demo, we see the emulator allows developers to simulate an app on a device virtually, toggling between devices as much as desired. The editor can be opened right from the emulator so developers can make easy edits on the fly, testing as they go.
Why cross-platform development is important
Rather than building separate applications for all the different platforms out there, this framework makes it possible to build just one with HTML5 and port an app to multiple platforms. This is a major timesaver, to say the very least. Developers looking for ways to streamline their work flow and get their apps quickly to end users will appreciate the user-friendly interface, rich features, and in-browser feature testing. However, the most appealing benefit is the ability to build one app instead of several different versions of one app and deploy it across multiple platforms for maximum market exposure.
A recent 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 XDK New is a 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. 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.
Want more information?
More information about the HTML5 XDK and porter can be found at the Zone. For more information on the Intel XDK New, check out the following links: