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Posts Tagged: Intel

Android on Intel Unity

Intel, largely known for their long-standing reputation as the king of processors powering PCs and Macs, has lately been moving into the mobile market. With a number of devices already sporting Intel chips, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1 being one of the more recognizable offerings, Intel hopes to make a splash in Android. It’s not as easy as it would seem, seeing as Android was developed natively for ARM processors, though Android does have x86 support. Any serious attempt from Intel to take a piece of the Android device pie will require developers to actually care about developing applications with Intel architecture support–and that has been difficult to come by. Until now.

Today Intel and Unity are announcing that they are collaborating to help bring Android applications, and those familiar with Unity’s development platform, to Intel architecture natively. For those unfamiliar with Unity, it is a high-performance development platform capable of bringing 2D and 3D environments to life on multiple platforms. This added support includes all of Intel’s current (Intel® Core™ and Atom™) and future processors. Says Intel’s corporate vice president Doug Fisher:

“We’ve set a goal to ship 40 million Intel-based tablets this year and expect more than 100 Android tablet designs on Intel in the market by the end of this year,” said Doug Fisher, Intel corporate vice president and general manager of the Software and Services Group. “Our collaboration with Unity will give its nearly 3 million developers the necessary software tools and support to build amazing Android experiences on Intel architecture.”

We look forward to seeing what our talented app developers on XDA are able to create using the power of Intel and Unity together. You can read more about the announcement here, or visit Intel’s Developer Zone.

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As you are undoubtedly aware, the vast majority of Android devices run on some variant of the ARM architecture. Despite this, Intel has been hard at work on the Android on Intel project. Intel’s efforts have resulted in the release of Android 4.4.2, which can be installed now on the Dell XPS12 and Intel NUC.

This build, which is labeled as android-4.4.2_r1-ia0, features a 64-bit kernel optimized for Intel architecture. But unlike previous Android on Intel releases, this build is unfortunately not available as a generic UEFI image. Instead it is only available on the XPS12 and Intel NUC. Despite this, it’s still nice to see progress being made to extend the scope of the Android Platform. We also can’t imagine that porting this release to other UEFI devices on similar hardware would be prohibitively difficult.

If you happen to own an XPS12 and/or Intel NUC, or just simply want to download their builds to play around with and possibly port, head over to the IA-4.4.2_r1 release page.

Does the Android on Intel project have any value to you? Would you like to have your smartphone running on some variant of the x86 instruction set, or do native app compatibility issues make this a no-go? Would dual-booting Android on your Windows-powered desktop/laptop/tablet be ideal in certain circumstances? Let us know in the comments below.

[Image source. Many thanks to Senior Member armada786 for the tip!]

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The Acer Iconia W700 is a perfect blend of the tablet form factor and ultrabook specs. Sure, it’s a little heavier and chunkier than your average Android tablet, but that’s the price you pay for having the power of a full desktop OS like Windows 8 at your disposal. Well, at least it is if you want that experience out of the box. You could always take you’re existing Android tablet and use something like the Linux on Android Project.

While it’s no doubt great to have the power of Windows 8 in a compact device, what happens if you find that the full on desktop experience isn’t always necessary?  You dual boot with Android, of course, and XDA senior member ThatGrass has put together a handy tutorial on how to go about doing just that. Despite running an Intel chip, getting Android loaded onto this device is remarkably simple, thanks to projects such as Android on Intel Architecture and of course Intel themselves.

There are a few prerequisites to fulfill and tools to gather before jumping into this, but overall the process is pretty straight forward and will add a whole new level of functionality to a device such as this. The process should also be applicable to other Intel-based devices as well, although some steps may vary. Be sure to check out the original thread for more information.

 

Tizen Banner

This year’s Mobile World Conference was different from most. There were still all the device presentations, announcements, and revelations that we’ve come to expect from the biggest tech event of the mobile industry each year. What’s different was that this time, the spotlight wasn’t taken by hardware, but rather by software—and for good reason. After all, it isn’t every day that three upcoming mobile operating systems backed by big names like Samsung, Intel, Mozilla, and Canonical are showcased at the same event. Apart from Mozilla’s Firefox OS and Canonical’s Ubuntu Touch, MWC 2013 also saw Samsung and Intel finally showcase Tizen OS running on actual hardware.

Among all contemporary mobile operating systems, Tizen OS has had perhaps the most tumultuous and complex history. First there was Nokia’s Maemo and Intel’s Moblin, before the two companies decided to combine them together into MeeGo, in collaboration with many major hardware and software partners. Then Nokia decided putting all its eggs in Windows Phone’s basket, and abandoned the platform after releasing the amazing N9 running MeeGo with Nokia’s Harmattan UI that won hearts of users and critics alike, despite not making many sales due to Nokia’s abandonment. While all this was occuring, Samsung had also decided to build an open OS of its own in order to decrease its dependence on Android, and the result was Bada. After Intel’s abandonment, the future looked bleak for MeeGo, and it indeed proved out to be so as well. The OS was shortly abandoned completely by all other supporters as well, and Tizen was born under the patronage of The Linux Foundation. Later, Samsung decided to join the picture as well, with an aim to merge Bada with Tizen.

After being in works for several years under all the different names, it was actually disappointing to see what was showcased at the MWC demo. With a conventional home screen that seemed to be nothing more than a mere grid of icons and an overall UI not too different from Android’s, Tizen seems to bring nothing new to the table that might lure users into switching to it when devices running the OS show up in the market. Granted it’s still in the making and what was demoed was essentially an early preview, it came nowhere close to what Canonical showcased in Ubuntu Touch.

The experience offered by the OS running on the demo devices was sub par at best, being laggy as well as lacking anything truly special and intuitive that’s not already out there. For an OS that has been in the making for several years by now and has major names of the industry backing it, this seems nothing short of inexplicable. One good thing was the announcement of the Tizen 2.0 Magnolia SDK being made available for developers to start working on apps for the OS. That said, there’s still a long way to go before we start seeing devices running Tizen hit the market. There have been no official time frames announced in this regard, but it is expected to be late 2013 by earliest. Also, since Bada is essentially being merged into Tizen, many are speculating whether Samsung will decide to abandon the devices running Bada, or upgrade them to the new platform in the future.

Here at XDA, we get excited about any development in the smartphone industry, especially when it’s an open-source mobile operating system aimed to offer a completely open alternative to Google’s semi-open Android ecosystem. We have also merged our Tizen and Bada forums to consolidate development for them under once roof, where you can also join several discussions about the OS.

You can learn more about Tizen and download its SDK from the Tizen website.

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The day so far at CES has been filled with product announcements that, while exciting, don’t excite us in the mobile development realm. Monster called up a cauldron of celebrity soup to hawk their headphones, people like Alicia Keyes and Xzibit—Yo Dawg, I heard you like celebrities…

However, Netgear claimed that 802.11ac is here, and any mobile device announced from here on out will have 802.11ac capabilities. They also announced that they are “doing Google TV right” with their NeoTV Prime.

At a different event, Intel began by talking about their next generation “Bay Trail” quad-core Atom processor, as part of their next generation tablet platform. The devices they showed mostly ran Windows 8, but this will presumably also include Android in the future. Will Bay Trail usurp the next generation Qualcomm Snapdragon, Samsung Exynos, and the rest of the mobile SoC army? We will have to wait until the 2013 Holiday Season to find out.

Additionally, Intel talked at length about convertibles. No, not cars. Tablets that can have their keyboards folded away or removed completely. Intel announced that all future convertible or tablet devices with their x86 Core processors must support touch and Intel Wireless Display technology. Finally, Intel made a grand statement about perceptual computing, which enables you to access your devices (including tablets) with your voice, multitouch, or vision. They claim their facial recognition log in cannot be defeated with a photo, but they did not prove it.

All told, Netgear having a stab and Google TV may just be the push that product needs. There is a lot of cool stuff we at XDA can do with Google TV and Android. Furthermore, Intel’s new Atom line may help it break into the mobile market, but I doubt it will make much of an impact this year.

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