Intel XDK Relaunched
Written by KayEwbank   
Thursday, 27 June 2013

Intel has released a new version of its XDK HTML development tool. Can the hardware company manage to convince programmers that it has the best way to create platform independent applications? The tools are good but is the communication up to it? Intel is not a name you associate with software. 

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The original version of XDK was released in April following Intel’s acquisition of the tool’s original developers AppMobil in February. At that point XDK was essentially just rebadged as Intel XDK, and like the original could be used to create mobile apps for Android and iOS.

XDK lets you develop apps using the “HTML5 foundation”, the collection of standards that are intended to take the Web from being just static web pages documents to dynamic applications, then to give you a way to convert the dynamic apps for use on mobile devices.

It provides a web-based emulator that lets you write your app using HTML, CSS3 and JavaScript, you then get Intel XDK to build it as an HTML5 web app or as a native app for the mobile device(s) of your choice. The on-screen emulator has a good range of options so you can check the look and feel of your apps, and there’s an App Tester that lets you try the app out on a physical device. Once you’re happy, the Intel App Dev Center lets you package your app for Apple iOS, Google Android, Amazon Kindle, Facebook, and other app stores.

The new version of Intel XDK has a new drag-and-drop interface to make it easier to create new apps and prototypes. It also has a faster game interface, and a more powerful framework that you can use to create designs that adjust to a device’s native theme.

The final change is the ability to create apps to run on the Tizen operating system in addition to Android, iOS and Windows 8. Tizen is the open-source operating system that was left over after Mego collapsed. It can be used on devices including smartphones, tablets, and smart TVs, and consists of a Linux kernel and WebKit runtime.

 

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When the first release of XDK was made it was obvious that Intel had a potential winner in terms of unified app development. The real question is still whether or not the company can manage the publicity and support side of the tool so as to convince developers that they are serious about software as well as hardware. 

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