Android NDK r21 moves to beta

Android announced that NDK r21 is now in beta. Android NDK is a toolset for implementing parts of an app in native code. The release — which is the first long term support release —  includes improved defaults for better security and performance.

One of the key features in the release is an update to GNU Make to version 4.2, which provides a number of bug fixes, and enables ‘–output-sync’ to avoid interleaving output with error messages, the team explained. This is enabled by default with ndk-build.

Additionally, GDB, the GNU project debugger, has been updated to version 8.3, which includes fixes for debugging modern Intel CPUs. 

In addition, LLVM and all of its components was updated; Fortify is enabled by default when using ndk-build or the CMake toolchain file; and Arm code is now built with Neon by default. 

The Android team also said it is making changes to its release process to better accommodate users that need stability without hindering those who are eager for the latest features. The team will release LTS once a year for users who want stability. None-LTS “rolling” releases will happen quarterly and provide the latest features. 

The release supports minimum system requirements and 32-bit Windows is no longer supported. 

“We have the usual toolchain updates, improved defaults for better security and performance, and are making changes to our release process to better accommodate users that need stability without hindering those that want new features,” Dan Albert, NDK tech lead, wrote in a post. 

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