Feeds

Google Android code goes native

Dalvik VM hugs C, C++

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

Android developers can now slip native code into apps written for Android-based devices using Google's new native development kit (NDK).

The Android 1.5 NDK, which was announced Thursday on the Android developers blog, doesn't actually allow developers to run completely native code on devices. Instead, it supports adding native code into apps written to run in Dalvik virtual machine (DVM) instances.

Specifically, the NDK lets 'droid devs execute parts of DVM-bound apps using native-code languages such as C and C++.

But there are drawbacks to this method - so much so that the announcement warns developers that the NDK isn't for everybody. "As a developer," the announcement reads, "you will need to balance its benefits against its drawbacks, which are numerous!"

The announcement also details some of the pros and cons - actually, in their ordering, the cons and pros - of using the NDK:

Your application will be more complicated, have reduced compatibility, have no access to framework APIs, and be harder to debug. That said, some applications that have self-contained, CPU-intensive operations that don't allocate much memory may still benefit from increased performance and the ability to reuse existing code. Some examples are signal processing, intensive physics simulations, and some kinds of data processing.

The addition of the Android 1.5 NDK to the 'droider's arsenal indicates that the Android team is working to attract more developers to the platform - particularly Symbian developers, we would imagine, or possibly iPhone devs who have seen their hard work disappear into the horde of 50,000 apps now clogging the iTunes App Store.

If you're a developer with cojones of sufficient weight to wrestle with the obstacles outlined above, the Android team has set up a forum where you can swap notes with other native-code 'droiders. ®

Reducing security risks from open source software

More from The Register

next story
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Captain Kirk sets phaser to SLAUGHTER after trying new Facebook app
William Shatner less-than-impressed by Zuck's celebrity-only app
Do YOU work at Microsoft? Um. Are you SURE about that?
Nokia and marketing types first to get the bullet, says report
Microsoft takes on Chromebook with low-cost Windows laptops
Redmond's chief salesman: We're taking 'hard' decisions
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Chrome browser has been DRAINING PC batteries for YEARS
Google is only now fixing ancient, energy-sapping bug
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.