Intel is launching a new cross-everything development tool called INDE for mobile oriented platforms. Intel’s Integrated Native Developer Environment doesn’t do it all, but hopefully it does many things better than the old way.
Officially INDE is a set of cross-OS, cross-architecture, and cross-IDE libraries that hopefully work with almost everything that you need to work with. The cross-OS part means Android and Windows, cross-architecture means it supports ARM SoCs too, and cross-IDE is code for most of the major IDEs people code in. In short it is what you would expect from the names.
The tool itself comes in three flavors, Starter, Professional, and Ultimate Editions. Starter allows you to code OpenCL plus GPU offload and supports a few of Intel’s advanced features too. Professional adds C++, more debugging, and some media functions for Windows and Ultimate throws in support for Intel’s high-end tools.
If you are thinking that a tool which provides both Android and Windows support is a lost cause thanks to Microsoft hamstringing and breaking every standard out there, you are right. Luckily Intel is not aiming INDE at everything, instead it is supposed to ease lower level work like app logic, not GUI functions. For this target, a cross-everything platform is quite doable assuming you set proper boundaries about what it offers. Intel seems to be doing that. In short they aren’t promising the moon and hopefully delivering roughly that.
That brings us to cross-architectures, something Intel pretty much has to do if they want anyone to consider their mobile tools. Intel is the underdog here so supporting ARM is a necessity and so they do support it. Once again they aren’t promising the moon, they say that they support ARM for compiling and debugging where they can but are quite up front on it not being anything close to their native x86 support. If they only offer a few tools that make life easier for ARM developers and debuggers, INDE might get some legs.
On the cross-OS side, well we have to wonder why they bothered with Windows support. Yes I know the official line but anyone with a clue will see the real reasons, porting existing wares from Windows to Android. We consider this to be a one way street even if, officially speaking, Windows is a vibrant and important market for….*YAWN*.
In the end INDE is delivering a few tools, compilers, and debuggers that hopefully work with everything you care about. Unfortunately it only runs on 64-bit Windows and OSX but not Linux. Worse yet it only supports 64-bit Windows and 32-bit Android, 64-bit Android is not an option. While we expect this to be rectified in the future, for the moment it is a glaring oversight. You can plug INDE into Android Studio, Eclipse, and Visual Studio.
If you want to grab a copy of INDE, the Starter version is free, start here. At that price, if there is only a single function that it adds to make your life easier, it is worth it. In the end Intel is offering a low-level tool that supports everything but looks for all the world to be a one way porting street. At least they get which way the wind is blowing.S|A