Android native code kit apes iPhone game 3D
Graphics beyond Java
Google has opened the door to iPhone-like 3D games on certain Android handsets, offering support for the OpenGL ES 2.0 graphics standard with its latest Android Native Development Kit (NDK).
Mountain View announced the third release of its Android NDK in a Monday blog post. The chief addition is Open GL for Embedded Systems 2.0 native libraries, bringing the platform in line with Apple's iPhone 3GS and the Palm Pre.
Android applications run inside Google's very own Java virtual machine, known as Dalvik, but since June the company has offered a kit that lets you embed components written in native code languages such as C and C++. The kit as a whole can be used to target devices running Android 1.5 or higher, but OpenGL ES 2.0 is only available for Android 2.0 or higher. The latest version of Google's (semi-)open source mobile stack is Android 2.1, which debuted with the company's very own Nexus One Phone.
Mozilla is using the Android NDK to bring Firefox to Google's platform, and according to Cnet, the open sourcers plan on switching development to OpenGL.
You can download the latest Android NDK for Windows, Mac or Linux here. The kit includes a sample application that uses OpenGL ES 2.0 vertex and fragment shaders. In supporting the standard, Google makes it easier for developers to move their existing ES 2.0 games to the platform. ®
The future will tell, however...
With prediction skills like that, you've got a future in banking!
Perhas you should define what "flop" would mean, because if we define it the same way, I predict you will be proven wrong.
That's what lawsuits mean
It's like that time I sued my neighbours for continually parking their car on my lawn. Because I couldn't compete.
OpenGL ES 1.1 vs OpenGL ES 2.0
The Hero, and other Android 1.5 devices only have ES 1.1 support, the same as the iPhone 3G. This update allows the platform to use the ES 2.0 rendering pipeline, which is the same as the iPhone 3GS and the Nokia N900.
The main feature that 2.0 adds is support for hardware shaders, which make a lot cleverer 3D effects possible.
An it's good too
Apple's lawsuits tell you that Apple thinks its great! So great that Apple can't possibly compete. And so it's playing the lawyer games instead.
I predict iPad will flop badly. If Apple want to understand why, they should turn to their lawyers to see the cause.
Warning! Version Number Overload
NDK r2 supported OpenGL ES1.1, but only for Android 1.6 and up (SDK 4+)
NDK r3 now supports OpenGL ES 2.0, but only on Android 2.0 and above (SDK 5+)
The SDK supports OpenGL ES 1.0 on all Android Levels (IIRC)
Hero (1.5) owners should be joining the ranks of Eclair (2.0) once HTC finish faffing with the Sense integration and roll the update out, (any day now)
Clear as mud?