On the heels of Google’s inclusion of the MIPS architecture in Release 8 of the Android NDK, MIPS presented a keynote speech at the Android Day 2012 – Link All Together event, held on May 2nd and 3rd in Taipei. Perfect timing!
Several hundred people gathered at the conference to discuss current Android trends and developments. Hot topics included Android application development (and fragmentation), Android UI trends, Android devices, and Android debugging.
With Release 8 of the Android NDK fully supportive of the MIPS architecture, I could confidently predict in my talk a near future where Android apps will work seamlessly across connected devices, despite the processor architecture those devices are based upon. Using Release 8 of the official Android NDK, developers can now develop applications that use native code across architectures, resulting in apps that work on multiple devices including those based on MIPS.
The topic of my keynote was convergence of the smartphone, tablet, DTV, and set-top box platforms, and how Android will play into the future of connected home entertainment devices. While no one will argue that more and more devices are becoming inter-connected, they are still often standalone products. In the future, smartphones, tablets, and TVs will be more integrated and complementary of one another, and Android will be key in making this happen.
DTVs will always be the best way to experience a movie while at home, but aren’t necessarily the easiest way to browse the web. Tablets are perfect “couch computers” to quickly access information instantly at home. Smartphones are best as communications devices, but are also valuable for accessing snippets of information while on the go. PCs are probably going to be relegated to corporate communications devices, best when you want to create Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations. While each of these devices serves a different primary function, consumers want their applications to be accessible, and similar in display and usability, across all of their connected devices.
Android is well positioned to be the common platform across these devices. Given that it is license- and royalty-free, more and more OEMs are building Android devices. And if written properly, an Android app can scale between phones, tablets and TVs.
With the official inclusion of MIPS into the Android toolchain, these scalable Android apps, including those coded Native, will work seamlessly with MIPS-Based devices, be they tablet, smartphone, set-top box or DTV.