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Wind River Android tools add Honeycomb, tablet support

Feb 14, 2011 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Wind River has updated its Wind River Platform for Android and Wind River Framework for Automated Software Testing (FAST) for Android, and will demonstrate a new tablet user experience for MeeGo. Wind River Platform for Android adds upgrade paths for Gingerbread and Honeycomb, multi-windowing features, plus support for Ethernet, USB On-the-Go, the Nvidia Tegra 2, and DLNA Digital Media Server (DMS).

Wind River Platform for Android, which was updated for Android 2.2 in September, is billed as a commercial version of the Android software development kit. The enhanced SDK offers interface extensions, an automated test framework, plus pre-integrated PacketVideo OpenCore, and Red Bend FOTA software, says Wind River. The Froyo version added Flash 10.1 support, as well as built-in IP review, plus analysis process and documentation.

Originally optimized for the Texas Instruments OMAP3x platform, the software has since been extended to "hardened reference platforms" from Qualcomm (QSD/MSM) and Intel architecture processors. With today's release, it now supports the dual-core, ARM Cortex-A9 Nvidia Tegra 2 processor, which is found in most high-end Android tablets and a few smartphones as well.

UI personalization in a previous version of Wind River Platform for Android

The new version of Platform for Android offers "upgrade paths to future Android releases, including Gingerbread and Honeycomb to support a wider range of devices such as tablets," says Wind River.

Honeycomb, of course, is the tablet-focused Android 3.0, while Gingerbread, it would seem, has only been half-born. Android 2.3 was called Gingerbread, but so, it would seem, will be Android 2.4, rumored to be arriving in April or May. The latter Gingerbread will add dual-core support, largely with the Tegra 2 in mind.

The new Wind River Platform for Android adds several features that seem principally aimed at tablets running Honeycomb. For example, the new version adds "a multi-windowing experience," with features such as concurrent active application windows, windows movement, resizing and theme support, says Wind River. New DLNA Digital Media Server (DMS) functionality, meanwhile, allows an Android device to share media files with other DLNA-certified devices, says the company.

Wind River Platform for Android is also said to add support for Ethernet, as well as USB On-the-Go, enabling host functionality for connection to USB peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, or USB storage device.

Wind River FAST for Android updated

Wind River also upgraded Wind River Framework for Automated Software Testing (FAST) for Android. Ported last July to Android, Wind River FAST for Android is an automated software testing solution for embedded devices. Wind River FAST for Android is said to help analyze a device's functionality, performance, and stability, and also check compliance with the Android Compatibility Test Suite (CTS) standard.

The new version is said to add support for 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04 as a testing platform. Other new features include predefined tagging schema for easier test filtering, and improved error reporting mechanisms. The latter include console logging and crash detection for the monitoring of errors or crashes, as well as log filtering for easier searches, and detailed test script reports, says Wind River.

Wind River FAST for Android also adds more test assets, including new GPS and location manager tests, localization tests, and additional stress tests, says the company. Support for testing multiple devices over USB and TCP/IP are also said to be new to the release.

FAST for MeeGo, and a new MeeGo tablet UX

At Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011 this week, Wind River is also previewing Wind River FAST for MeeGo. The demonstration will showcase capabilities including tests to prove MeeGo compliance, user experience (UX) tests, and a MeeGo core test suite covering elements such as connection, telephony, location, graphics, and audio.

Also at MWC, Wind River will demonstrate a new MeeGo tablet user experience (UX), says the company. Wind River says it provided UI implementation, system integration, and optimization services for the tablet demonstration, but did not mention the hardware partner for the demonstration.

A few MeeGo tablets have already reached market despite the lack of a formal tablet UX, which may finally be announced this week. Wind River is owned by Intel, which also stands as the sole technology giant behind the Linux-based operating system (MeeGo partner Nokia announced on Feb. 11 that it was shifting to Windows Phone 7 for future high-end phones, instead of using MeeGo and Symbian).

With Nokia gone, MeeGo's smartphone future is very much in question, and the Intel Atom-focused netbook UX sub-project also appears to have lost momentum, due in part to lack of interest among hardware vendors in netbooks in general.

One promising area for MeeGo has been in-vehicle infotainment (IVI) systems. The open source Genivi Alliance has selected MeeGo for its next reference platform, and last month Wind River and automotive component manufacturer Magneti Marelli announced they were collaborating on the first IVI commercial solution based on the Genivi spec, which will first be brought to market by BMW.

Wind River mentioned only that the solution was based on Linux, but it seems likely it uses MeeGo Linux.

Stated Michael Krutz, vice president of worldwide solutions and services at Wind River, "Wind River provides commercial-quality software solutions to rapidly develop high-quality Android devices so device manufacturers can focus the majority of their efforts on the differentiating features that set their products apart from the competition."


The upgraded versions of Wind River Platform for Android and Wind River Framework for Automated Software Testing (FAST) for Android are available now. More information may be found at the Wind River Platform for Android page and the Wind River FAST for Android page, respectively.

Wind River is showcasing its latest mobile demonstrations this week at its booth in Hall 2, booth 2C04 at Mobile World Congress. More information may be found here.

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