Currently most of the smartphones and tablets in the market are powered by an ARM-based microprocessor and thus app developers have to code apps to optimize the ARM architecture. Intel's tool will allow app developers to port these apps to devices running on its Atom processors. The tool helps the developers to spot the key changes they need to make to an Apple app to make it Intel-device compatible.
Because Apple iOS apps are coded in object-oriented language C, a developer needs to change specific instructions related to core functions targeted at the OS and microprocessor and the apps can be ported to other platforms with minimal changes.
Intel's move to primarily target iPhone apps is to leverage the popularity of Apple apps, as the number and quality of apps are deciding the success of a device and OS. Intel is attempting to create an ecosystem of developers and devices around its microchip.
Doug Fisher, vice president of Intel's Software and Services group and general manager of its Systems Software division, in an interview with IDG said: "We'll get [applications on] AppUp, then Meego and I imagine Windows. It's basically taking the existing applications, finding the ones that are most relevant to end users, and ensuring they get pulled over."
Intel is a latecomer in the smartphone and tablet arena. It recently bought German microchip maker Infineon's wireless solution business for $1.4 billion to boost its presence in the smartphone segment. Infineon makes baseband chips for iPhone.
Intel also launched its own app store, AppUp Center, and thus can use iPhone apps to add a stack of quality apps in its store. Intel is also mooting support for MeeGo OS that it has developed in partnership with Nokia.
Apple applies stringent measures to select an app for its store and thus only quality apps find their way to App Store. As a result, the App Store acts as a benchmark for other apps. Android is not able to garner the same quality because of a lack of oversight in the market. However, what goes unnoticed is the fact that Apple also provides a sleek revenue-model to developers and a platform for marketing their apps that is not offered by Android and other platforms.
Merely targeting Apple apps is not the key as much as creating a revenue-model and a platform for marketing the apps that developers are after. However, Intel is in the right direction as far as creating an ecosystem goes. Whether it can provide a viable revenue-model to developers needs to be seen.
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