Android NDK r3 release: OpenGL ES 2.0 support


Google released the r3 version of the Android NDK yesterday finally bringing OpenGL ES 2.0 support for developers (OGL ES 2.0 is only avaialable on the SnapDrgaon and TI OMAP 3XXX chipsets).

Toolchain improvement
The toolchain binaries have been refreshed for this release with GCC 4.4.0, which should generate slightly more compact and efficient machine code than the previous one (4.2.1).

Note that the GCC 4.4.0 C++ frontend is more pedantic, and may refuse to compile certain rare and invalid template declarations that were accepted by 4.2.1. To alleviate the problem, this NDK still provides the 4.2.1 binaries, which can optionally be used to build your machine code.

OpenGL ES 2.0 support
Applications targeting Android 2.0 (API level 5) or higher can now directly access OpenGL ES 2.0 features. This brings the ability to control graphics rendering through vertex and fragment shader programs, using the GLSL shading language.

A new trivial sample, named “hello-gl2″, demonstrates how to render a simple triangle using both shader types.

Name simplification
This NDK release is just called “r3″, for “Revision 3″, to indicate that it is not limited to a specific Android platform/API level. Some developers thought that the previous release’s name (1.6_r1) was confusing and indicated that it could only be used to target Android 1.6, which was not true.

With Microsoft pushing mobile gaming as one of the main Windows Phone 7 Series it will be intersting to see Google’s (and its OEMs) answer. Head over to the Android dev blog for mor info.

Microsoft unveils first 3D games on Windows Phone 7 Series


Following theannouncment of XNA Game Studio 4.0Microsoft just unveiled the first screenshots of 2 3D games currently being developed for Windows Phone 7 Series. The first one is The Harvesta Diablo-like action game featuring destructible 3D environments developed by Luma Arcade. The second one, Battle Punks developed by Gravity Bear, is a sword-fighting Facebook game. Microsoft also confirmed what I told you guys in my WP7 article: Direct3D is going to be only 3D API supported on Windows Phone 7 Series. So OpenGL apps/Games will have to be ported. Suffice to say that Microsoft is going hard at the competition (Apple/Android). Engadget also had a short XNA/3-screens dev demo at the GDC (basically the same thing we saw a few days ago):

US T-Mobile HTC HD2 unboxed

The BGR boys got a chance to unbox the the US T-Mobile version of the HTC HD2 ahead of the March 16 launch event. Nothing new we haven’t seen before other than the fact that the T-Mobile box does look a lot nicer than the international one.

Source: BGR