Android NDK Update Targets Game Developers

In the latest sign of Google looking to make Android a stronger gaming platform, the company has introduced a new version of its native development kit for Android 2.3 Gingerbread that allows developers to build or port apps written entirely in C and C++ programming languages.

A wide variety of video games and game engines have already been written in these languages, and in a blog post tonight, Google is specifically touting the ease by which they can be modified for Android.

We worked hard to increase the utility of the NDK for this release because you guys, the developers who are actually out there making the awesome applications, told us you needed it. This release is specifically designed to help game developers continue to rock; with Gingerbread and the NDK r5, it should now be very easy to bring games written entirely in C and C++ to Android with minimal modification. We expect the APIs exposed by r5 to also benefit a wide range of media applications; access to a native sound buffer and the ability to write directly to window surfaces makes it much easier for applications implementing their own audio and video codecs to achieve maximum performance. In short, this release addresses many of the requests we’ve received over the last year since the first version of the NDK was announced.

Although Android devices lack the unified look-and-feel iOS devices, and the high-quality and large selection of the apps available for them, this move will, like the addition of Flash, help it attract more developers who have focused on building apps for the desktop and the web.