December 30, 2013

Intel Updates Its HTML5 App Development Platform

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but in the tech world, there are plenty of new tricks to be learned, for old and new dogs alike. The world of mobile app development certainly isn’t all that old, but there are certainly plenty of new tricks to learn; and Intel (News Alert) has recently put the old phrase to the test with an update to its app development platform.

Intel has updated XDK, its HTML5 app development environment that allows for the creation of cross-platform apps for app stores and devices. The December update has brought several new features, particularly for Android (NewsAlert). Indeed, only mobile devices running Android version 4 or later will support XDK.

One of the primary new features of XDK is remote debugging for Web and hybrid apps. This feature can be enabled via an on-device “App Analyzer” app and sets code breakpoints, inspects different variables, and is able to single-step through source code. Another crucial feature is XDK’s ability to run JavaScript profiling, which downloads and runs applications on Android-based mobile devices. The profiling collects various statistics that allow developers to gain insight into which portions of their source code are using the most processing power. What’s more, the update includes Crosswalk-based Web runtime, a newly integrated open-source project that uses an HTML5 rendering and layout engine. Such a setup aims to improve JavaScript, WebGL and WebAudio performance. It also supplements the JavaScript engine with hooks for better reliability in remote debugging and performance analysis.

XDK already has a cross-platform editor, device emulator and debugger to aid in app development. With the new update, it has gained a slew of other features such as an app for on-device testing, a JavaScript UI library optimized for mobile, and a prototype GUI quick-start wizard. Further, it supports the App Framework UI jQuery plug-in and Apache Cordova API. The updated XDK runs on Android, Chrome, iOS, OSX, and Windows 7 and 8.

So, maybe your old dog won’t learn how to play fetch tomorrow, but at least the app development world is still willing to put a few new tricks into practice.

Edited by Blaise McNamee


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