Among Android L's many, many features is one that will set game developers' hearts aflutter – support for the recently announced OpenGL ES 3.1. This is the cross-platform rendering API used in many games, both mobile and desktop. Android L's support for v3.1 of the standard brings a ton of new capabilities.
It's 4 a.m., I just read the 6th mention of the same misleading story in the last 24 hours, and it's time for a rant.
Yesterday, several "independent" reports all claiming to arrive at the same conclusion at the same time (does anyone properly credit their sources anymore?) appeared on the web suggesting HTC had just (*gasp*) leaked two new Android 4.3 features: Bluetooth Low-Energy and OpenGL ES 3.0. And it's done so via a public meetup organized by the San Francisco Android User Group.
You seen one top-scrolling space shooter, you've seen 'em all, am I right? No, as a matter of fact, I am not. Voxel Invaders is here to prove that. Take a look at the trailer below and you see that the game starts off simple enough. Some nice, 3D-ish graphics adorn an otherwise banal battleground. Or so it seems. Until around ten seconds into the video, when the world shifts and we see things from a whole new perspective.
Speaking at SIGGRAPH 2012, a yearly computer graphics convention featuring some of the most prominent names in the business, Khronos unveiled updates for several key OpenGL properties including the specs for Open GL ES 3.0. OpenGL ES is the primary graphics API for mobile device platforms, including Android and iOS. As you would expect, the updates are rather technical, but here's an overview of what we can expect in the future.
Android app developer Chainfire released an interesting app into the Market recently called Chainfire3D - "an intermediary OpenGL driver." Basically, this app sits between your app and the proprietary graphics driver on your device and can manipulate the commands between the two.
This enables you do some pretty rad things with your device in order to increase efficacy, battery life, performance, etc. For example, you can use Chainfire3D to enable night-mode, which basically only powers the red pixels on your device in order to save battery life (yes, it makes everything look red - see below).