If you're a game developer coming from a Windows or console background (often meaning Visual Studio), Android can be a bit of a culture shock. New tools, new setup, different workflows - it's a lot to take in. And really, a lot of developers that use Visual Studio are less than keen to step away from one of the most powerful IDE's on the market.

Well, now NVIDIA has a potential solution: Nsight Tegra, a brand-new plugin for Visual Studio that gives you a native Android development environment.

Unlike the last Visual Studio tool we covered, Dot42, which requires you to write your apps in C#, Nsight allows you to write and debug your native Java Android applications right from Visual Studio. Nsight also provides enhanced NEON support, and promises a 10% runtime performance increase for native Android code.

In order to download the Nsight Tegra platform, you'll need to be a registered NVIDIA Developer (free), and apply for the Tegra Registered Developer Program (also free). Once you're approved, you'll be able to download Nsight Tegra as part of the Tegra Android Developer Pack, free of charge.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Kokusho

    NVIDIA is the best ! Best software support of all.

  • http://twitter.com/Jug6ernaut William

    This wont be pulling me away from Intellij Idea any time soon, but this is still quite amazing. Gonna have to check this out.

  • Fissurez

    "promises a 10% runtime performance increase for native Android code."

    *only on tegra devices, and even if we can be arsed to allow it out of the tegra zone.

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

    As far as difficulty of applying, I was able to download it within 10 minutes of the first registration page. The approval process time estimates are way higher than the real amount of time needed.

  • ericl5112

    I've been using eclipse, and never used Visual Studio. Is there an advantage to switching?

    • http://trapchan.blogspot.com trapchan

      There's no point in switching if you never used VS before. It's there for people who familiar with VS, so they don't have to scratch their head dealing with Eclipse.

  • JohnnyRockets

    Has anyone used it? How much better, if any, is it than using Eclipse?

  • Matthew Fry


  • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

    I think I'll be checking into this really soon for non-game development. I've always disliked eclipse and have little interest in trying out most of the alternatives. Visual Studio is just so much nicer to use.

  • wolfkabal

    FYI - though it should be obvious, this is less desirable for those who don't own Tegra based hardware. It requires a physical device for debugging, and that device must be Tegra based. But for coding and deploying it's still valuable you just don't get native debugging.

    • Elias

      I'm guessing I could use it to code to any android platform, not only tegra devices. Is that right?

      • wolfkabal

        For general coding, yes it does still work for that. Quite well actually. But trying to test the app is more of a pain without manual deployment, or still pushing it to the native AVD.