We know a lot of new features are coming with Honeycomb, and many of them will be behind the scenes to the end user. New APIs, and changes to existing APIs (Application Programming Interface) make things easier to program, run faster while using less resources, and bring new features. For the end user, this means a better Android experience.
One of the important new API's in Honeycomb will be Renderscript. It's Google's new 3D rendering engine, and by the looks of things it's going to be a treat. Renderscript uses developer friendly tools and methods to compile 3D rendering commands into scripts that the a device can run as native code. Your device can then run these commands the best way possible, using either the GPU core(s), or the CPU core(s). A huge bonus, and maybe the best part of the new API, is that high-end hardware can handle much of this on the dedicated graphics processor, while not so high-end equipment can process parts on the CPU. This means one set of code will run on many different hardware configurations. Great examples of Renderscript in action are the new YouTube and Books app used in Honeycomb (see them in action here).
Googler and Android engineer R. Jason Sams gives a nice overview of what Renderscript is on the Android Developers blog, and promises an in-depth and more technical presentation soon. Just like most things on the Android Dev blog, it's a great read for Android nuts. Hit the source link to read it, and after the break we have a video of Renderscript at work, captured directly from an Android device using HDMI out. [Android Developers]
- Filed under: