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IDF: Intel bets big on HTML5 for Android apps

Can't rely on Android NDK avoidance
Wed Sep 12 2012, 19:05

SAN FRANCISCO: INTEL IS BETTING on HTML5 being the language that will help it take advantage of apps designed to run on smartphones and tablets.

Intel has been working hard to try to get Android apps to work on its x86 Atom processor, however there is still a grey area as to what percentage of the Android app library works on the firm's chips. Intel's Renee James, SVP of Intel's software and services division, revealed that the firm is betting big on HTML5 as a way for applications to run on many devices, including Android smartphones and tablets.

As James admitted that HTML5 is "overhyped", she talked up Intel's River Trail multithreading optimisation for Javascript on Mozilla's Firefox web browser, but it was clear that the firm is hoping that HTML5 apps will provide an operating system agnostic application development environment. James said Intel that will be releasing HTML5 development tools over the next two quarters, but didn't detail what work Intel has done to optimise HTML5 performance on x86 chips.

When The INQUIRER asked James whether Intel's HTML5 push was a move away from getting developers to work with Android's native development kit (NDK), which has lower level access to the hardware, she said the firm "is very supportive of Android NDK on devices", adding that HTML5 simply "gives developers an opportunity to create experiences", ones that also just happen to run well on Intel x86 smartphones and tablets.

Of course Intel didn't play up its support of HTML5 as a way for it to instantly get a library of Android apps, instead it said developers won't have to submit applications to different app stores. James repeatedly talked about portability from a developer's point of view, which is great, but it might not coexist very well with Apple's desire to make wads of cash through its App Store. µ


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