There's more than one way to write Android apps, and if you're working on something intense, you know using the NDK and native code is the way to go.  If you're a part-time developer or anyone not part of a big mobile development house, you also know that some of the native development and debugging tools aren't cheap.  ARM has you covered by releasing the "Community Edition" of their DS-5 tool suite, and the great price of free.  It's distributed as an Eclipse plug-in, and an easy install will give you access to a C, C++, and Assembly graphical debugger, a software performance profiler and system analyzer, and more tools to help your development of native ARM code.

For those of us who aren't programmers, using native ARM code has some serious advantages.  It's up to 400 percent faster than code ran through the Dalvik virtual machine, makes for truly portable code (even between platforms), and because most Android phones and tablets run ARM processors developers can take advantage of platform specific instructions for apps that run better and use less resources (like battery power!).  ARM's new development suite offers app devs tools for native development built right into the same IDE they use for Java based code -- Eclipse.  Not having to learn new software while also debugging insanely complicated source code means the devs can better focus on their work.  All around it's a good thing.

Whether you're a developer with a need, or just a curious bystander who wants to learn more, hit the source links to find out all about it.

Source: BusinessWire; More: ARM


Reader comments

ARM announces free Community Edition of ARM Development Studio 5 [programming]

1 Comment

Question. If a programmer develops using the ARM NDK is there a risk that the commands and calls they use will "break" depending on processor it runs on? As in, if a program is developed using the NDK is there a possibility it will run just fine on Qualcomm and TI but the code will funk up on Exynos or Tegra3 chips, even though all four are ARM processors? Or is most of the chip fragmentation of Android more of a marketing scam done by the likes of nVidia to have exclusivity on optimized games.

Also, will code optimized through this NDK be comparable to optimization done for different chipsets? Would the gap in performance be indistinguishable in most cases?

I understand this news is probably great for me, as a consumer, but I really don't understand how [un]important this news is.