Intel Developer Blog: Softtalkblog looks inside recently announced Beacon Mountain development environment

Intel launches new free toolkit for Android developers

Do you find it difficult to keep all your tools, libraries and operating systems updated when you’re making Android apps?

You’re not alone in that: there’s enough change going on inside your code, without the pressure of wrestling with all the change going on in the wider Android ecosystem.

Intel offers a solution to this in its recently announced Beacon Mountain development environment, which you can download for free today.

It brings together key tools for creating and optimising Android apps, and is able to maintain them by checking for new releases automatically and pushing them to your development environment.

The software supports those writing for Intel Atom and ARM processors running Android Jelly Bean (Android 4.2) and up. The development environment itself runs on Microsoft Windows 7 and Windows 8, on computers that have Intel Core processors.

Here’s a summary of what’s inside Beacon Mountain:

•Intel Hardware Accelerated Execution Manager (Intel HAXM): This uses Intel Virtualization Technology to speed up Android app emulation in your host environment, so you can more quickly test and iterate your software.

•Intel Graphics Performance Analyzers (Intel GPA) System Analyzer: This tool supports Intel Atom processor-based phones that run Android and gives you real-time insight into critical system metrics covering the CPU, GPU and the OpenGL ES API. It’s often used to identify graphics bottlenecks, and was already popular among PC developers on Windows before it came to Android.

•Intel Threading Building Blocks (Intel TBB): This C++ template library enables you to take advantage of the multicore and multithreading capabilities of processors, by using proven C++ algorithms. If you’re making an app that needs to squeeze every last ounce of performance from the processor, this is an essential addition to your tool belt.

•Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (Intel IPP) Preview: A library of pre-optimised image processing functions for Intel smartphones and tablets running Android.

• Google Android Development Kit (ADT Bundle) and Android NDK: Beacon Mountain isn’t just about Intel software, as the inclusion of these Google libraries and developer tools demonstrates. Beacon Mountain will help you to keep them current.

•Eclipse IDE: You might already be using this, but Beacon Mountain will help you to keep it updated too.

•Android Design: Put some zing into your graphics with this pack of icons and styles that you can use in your app, royalty-free.

•Cygwin: If you are cooking up a cocktail of Java and C/C++ code on Windows, Cygwin is a Linux-like environment that makes life easier for you.

•Oracle Java SE Development Kit (JDK): This cornerstone of Java development is also supported by Beacon Mountain. It’s not included, but Beacon Mountain will help you to keep it updated by notifying you when there’s a new version.

The simple and fast installation means you can start developing in just a few clicks away.

Beacon Mountain v0.5 runs on Microsoft Windows 7 and 8 in 64-bit host environments. Accelerate your software development by downloading Beacon Mountain for free today!

•This blog post is written by Softtalkblog, and is sponsored by the Intel Developer Zone, which helps you to develop, market and sell software and apps for prominent platforms and emerging technologies powered by Intel Architecture.

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