Intel and Unity Technologies announced that the Unity Engine, which is used for creating games and other 2D/3D applications, will be optimized for Android devices using Intel hardware such as the Intel Core and Intel Atom series of processors. What that means for the consumer is a better experience on each and every Intel-based Android mobile device.
"Given our publicly stated goal to ship 40 million tablets this year and the fact that we will have more than 100 Android tablet designs in the market by the end of this year, it's important for us to offer great experiences on Intel platforms running Android," said Christos Georgiopoulos, Vice President, Software and Services Group and General Manager, Developer Relations Division, Intel Corp.
According to Intel, there are nearly 3 million registered Unity developers who can now write native apps on Android devices such as tablets, phones, desktops and laptops. Georgiopoulos said that by writing native apps on an Android device driven by Intel hardware, end users will see better application startup times, better performance and a great user experience on the whole.
Given that there are two sets of architectures (ARM and Intel) running the Android platform, one might be concerned that developers will need to write two separate versions of the same game or application, but that won't be the case; Unity will create a single "fat" binary that supports both Intel and ARM hardware, which can be uploaded to Google Play.
However, developers can choose to develop separate binaries if they so choose. Both choices will involve a minimal amount of work, Georgiopoulos told Tom's Hardware.
When asked what Intel is doing to convince developers to use this optimized engine, Georgiopoulos said that Intel is working closely with all of its developers worldwide. However, by default, all registered Unity developers will receive the Intel-optimized engine automatically and can start using it at no extra cost.
So what led to this agreement between Unity and Intel? "Intel's growing relevance in the mobility segment coupled with developers' demand for increased support for Intel based Android devices," Georgiopoulos said.
Unity Technologies offers two versions of the Unity engine, a free model and Unity Pro. Developers using the free edition can create games and applications without having to pay royalties. The catch is that it can be used for commercial use only if the developer's annual turnover does not exceed $100,000. The Pro version doesn't have that limitation and comes with the full toolset. This Pro edition costs $1,500 outright, or $75 per month for 12 months.