Developer says Android is 'unsustainable'

The developers of the Battleheart have decided to stop supporting the Android version of their popular mobile game, citing the platform's unsustainability for game developers. In a post on their official blog, Mika Mobile said that they have spent about 20% of their time working on the Android version of their app last year, mostly fixing issues due to fragmentation, and have received little in return for all their hard work.

The final nail in the coffin came with Google's recent announcement to allow apps larger than 50MB into the Android Market. The truth is that this isn't all it's cracked up to be; the APK file, the actual app, is still limited to 50MB, it's just that now developers have the option to add up to 2 2GB of expansion files onto the app.

Even though this is an improvement to the previous approach, Mika Mobile says that it just isn't worth continuing from a business standpoint, since it would take a lot of work to bring Battleheart up to speed with the new system.

The blog post gives some insight into the problems Mika Mobile and countless other developers have faced while working with Android. Instead of working on content updates to keep the game fresh, they've been spending most of their time doing mind-numbingly boring work like changing texture formats and shaders to support different hardware, and fixing issues with some obscure new device that just launched. The proliferation of Android hardware means that it takes a major investment from a developer to support the platform, and so far it just hasn't proved its worth.

At a time when they're locked in an apps race with Apple and Microsoft, Google really needs to be working harder to make it easier for developers to support quality content on their devices. If Android wants to be more than the next best thing to iOS, Google's going to have to make it easier to work with and help foster an environment where users are willing to reward developers for their hard work. Otherwise, they might be looking at more and more developers following in Mika Mobile's footsteps.

Image via Mika Mobile

 

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This is really saddening. NVIDIA has had a universal driver architecture for quite some time.

I really wish that the Android OS and other OS's in general adopted the same principal that Microsoft adopted with the Windows Compatibility Layer (WOW).

I honestly believe that all the libraries that are 'fragmented' can be stored remotely and can be downloaded temporarily on demand when required, thus moving the responsibility of the developer to maintain such libraries elsewhere.

Well. Until Microsoft gets Windows Phone established in the mobile market Android is the only real alternative to Apple. This site and one other that I visit has users pretty hyped up about Windows Phone, but most people don't even know they exist. That said I'm currently sticking with my Android phone for awhile longer to see how well WP can do before I make the switch. Never going back to Apple.

I'm not sure, I've always said if a developer calls it quits with a platform then that developer was never worth checking out - nor is he a real developer.

When you think of people who have created emulators and managed to fully-utilise Android, it kind of contradicts what Mika Mobile says.

What ?

fragmentation on android ? I was thinking that was a joke by apple users over android

/facepalm

Android is a piece ** **** ********* *** **************

One less idiot developer.

Everyone and their mother buys Android phones (or in the future Windows Phone) because usually they are given free when you tie yourself to a contract. Noone has the cash to spend a iPhone.

It may be easier to dev on a iPhone but you reach more masses with a Android.

And if he sets the price at "Free" for Android, his problem.

Well, first of all, this "idiot developer" team made game of the year Battleheart last year. (chosen by several sites and magazines) A feat that you will probably never accomplish so maybe you can show them a little respect and not call them idiots.

Second of all, saying noone has the cash to spend on an iPhone is clearly a silly statement based on the sale statistics.

Lastly, what's the point reaching more masses with Android when these masses can't or not even willing to pay 99 cents for an app. Even when it is clearly a superior one and above the usual crap standards. Of course it is very natural for some Android users to cry on the first occasion for the developers to release their app to Android as well and not just to other platforms.

I don't want to sound hostile but I always hate when someone denies the obvious. The phenomenon the article describes exists and developers are constantly complaining about it. Maybe it is time for Google to really do something about it because it is getting more and more complicated.

htcz said,
One less idiot developer.

Everyone and their mother buys Android phones (or in the future Windows Phone) because usually they are given free when you tie yourself to a contract. Noone has the cash to spend a iPhone.

It may be easier to dev on a iPhone but you reach more masses with a Android.

And if he sets the price at "Free" for Android, his problem.


If the masses are important then Windows wins by a mile. And windows 8 is dwarf Android. Nobody is really buying Android Tablets. The Ipad killing Android tablets and the only thing that can stop it is windows 8.

Instead of addressing his concerns head on let's just call them idiots. And make sweeping assumptions about platforms I like.

Because that will solve everything.

Not quite sure if this is correct, I almost feel like Android is the new Symbian OS. I mean look at how many phones back in the day ran that, which almost became a standard.

hrmm windows seem to be fine with countless amounts of hardware floating around, why cant these android developers work the same way windows dev's do?

DKAngel said,
hrmm windows seem to be fine with countless amounts of hardware floating around, why cant these android developers work the same way windows dev's do?

I think it has a lot to do with how open Android is. The hardware is a lot different than Windows machines tend to be, and plus Android is a lot more susceptible to being screwed up by the hardware makers. Just look at the different interfaces, and some of the companies' inability to roll out an update. You're in a much better situation if you buy one of the more well known (and more expensive) devices, but it sounds like it gets pretty abominable on a lot of the lower tier devices.

THolman said,

I think it has a lot to do with how open Android is. The hardware is a lot different than Windows machines tend to be, and plus Android is a lot more susceptible to being screwed up by the hardware makers. Just look at the different interfaces, and some of the companies' inability to roll out an update. You're in a much better situation if you buy one of the more well known (and more expensive) devices, but it sounds like it gets pretty abominable on a lot of the lower tier devices.

Not enough memory.. too many 'desktops'

drivers and code to optimize hardware is in 'android'
You have to adapt your code to take advantage of that particular hardware set in android, or it may crash, run badly, broken graphics, etc. You need to buy the hardware to test it.

iPhone, iPad, iPad 2.. not many.

piracy aside, sheer developement. iOS rapes 30% of your income, but their eco-system is cleaner and easier. what, 6 devices? most with same screen res and processor. Android has like 3000 different handsets with varying hardware and some region-specific.

Android is like linux. Yes, my phone is running android - my computer is running linux. Well, what linux? Fedora? Ubuntu? Mint? Gentoo?

Android is the same. Its Samsung, or HTC, or Motorola... The marketplace should reflect this, and google/HW developers should be responsible for adjusting the program for cross-market compatibility at a cut of the developers sales... Will it happen? no

this remind me of the middle age of telephony when nokia was churning out phones with gadzillion types of screens sizes, and developers were too busy catching up on compatibility, rather than creative content improvement.

It is true what he is saying! There is little money in developing on Android as the users are handed the ability to pirate on a plate and GLADLY do so!

I ported some of my apps over to Android and Android sales vs iPhone sales are ridiculous! iPhone outsells it by around 800% and it is not the quality of the apps between the different OS's that is the issue, it is more the fact that Google doesn't know its head from it's a*** and jumps into things half hearted with no real plan in place!

10 out 10 of my friends never purchased any android apps/games for their devices

why? because it is so easy to pirate 'em...it is the major downsides/problems of open source OS as piracy is rampant and developers got nothing....

Eins.MY said,
10 out 10 of my friends never purchased any android apps/games for their devices

why? because it is so easy to pirate 'em...it is the major downsides/problems of open source OS as piracy is rampant and developers got nothing....


Yeah, it is almost a joke how easy it is to pirate apps on Android. At least with an iPhone you have to jailbreak. On Android you have to do nothing but download the cracked app.

Walkie/Talkie said,

Yeah, it is almost a joke how easy it is to pirate apps on Android. At least with an iPhone you have to jailbreak. On Android you have to do nothing but download the cracked app.

And not have a conscience, I've been using android phones about two years now and never felt the need to steal a £1 application that someone put work in to.

Eins.MY said,
why? because it is so easy to pirate 'em...it is the major downsides/problems of open source OS as piracy is rampant and developers got nothing....

You've clearly got a point, because on a non-open source OS like Windows or OSX, there simply is no piracy to speak of - in fact it doesn't exist at all.

iPhone has no piracy either. Neither does Windows Phone/WinMo.

/facepalm

Walkie/Talkie said,

Yeah, it is almost a joke how easy it is to pirate apps on Android. At least with an iPhone you have to jailbreak. On Android you have to do nothing but download the cracked app.
Why do that? Is the $1 really killing you? Plus cracked apps can come with all sorts of "surprises" (aka malware) as it does on the PC not to mention it's just plain wrong.

Tim Dawg said,
Why do that? Is the $1 really killing you? Plus cracked apps can come with all sorts of "surprises" (aka malware) as it does on the PC not to mention it's just plain wrong.

Just because I am aware of how easy it is to do doesn't mean I go around pirating every $1 app I can find. Have I pirated apps on android before? Sure, I don't mind admitting it as I don't really care what people on Neowin think of me. However, I can tell you my Android device is just a deactivated phone that I hardly use and currently has no pirated apps on it. Also, I'm willing to bet some people who cry "it's only a dollar" have pirated something at some point as well. Doesn't matter what the cost of it is, it doesn't make it any more right. Either way, I'm not really trying to defend myself, just giving you an honest answer. Let the bashing begin if anyone feels the need, because you're perfect.

I didn't buy a single app on Android over the year I had my Desire, mainly because there was nothing worth buying and my Google Apps account wasn't supported for purchasing! Epic fail there Google.

Since going back to iOS I buy an app pretty much weekly.

Eins.MY said,

why? because it is so easy to pirate 'em...it is the major downsides/problems of open source OS as piracy is rampant and developers got nothing....

You're right. It's just so hard to "pirate" on a proprietary OS like Windows. It makes me wonder if anyone even bothers to do it.

Walkie/Talkie said,

Yeah, it is almost a joke how easy it is to pirate apps on Android. At least with an iPhone you have to jailbreak. On Android you have to do nothing but download the cracked app.

You can do the same with iOS

Jose_49 said,

You can do the same with iOS

Unless it has changed, you have to at least jailbreak your device. I mean you're right, it's not much harder on iOS but it does/did take a few more steps.

AbandonedTrolley said,

And not have a conscience, I've been using android phones about two years now and never felt the need to steal a £1 application that someone put work in to.

It's quite hard to expect people to have moral consciences, as if they care.

Inconvenience them enough with the constant cat-and-mouse game with say Apple and the pirates who use Cydia as a gate for illegal downloads, and you can tempt them to give up and cave into the legal route. Of course, the legal users must not be inconvienced in any way; legal users must receive better service than the pirates.

It's why the App Store and say Steam fare decently well in terms of sales. They've found the balance between lax protection (like we're discussing here) and draconian DRM schemes.

Nick Kessler said,
As long as Kairosoft keeps putting out games for Android I'll stick with the platform.

And yet they have serious hiccups during development, too. I wouldn't be surprised if they really want one platform to wind up "the winner" just so they could stop throwing so much effort into needlessly messy work.

UndergroundWire said,
Fragmentation aside, most Android users don't purchase apps in general.
They steal them? j/k

Seriously though, it's clear that's why Mika is pulling out of the Android market. There don't appear to be enough sales to justify the investment. Strange behavior though. Why would you purchase a smartphone without having any interest in apps? Just get a regular cheap phone like the Razr and save some money. IMHO the whole point of a smart phone is to be your PIM with some light internet access and apps to fill various needs.

UndergroundWire said,
Fragmentation aside, most Android users don't purchase apps in general.

But thats also because Google Fails at decent paying methods. In The Netherlands a big group of people dont have Credit Cards. if Google announced things like a "itunes card" i think people would buy more stuff.

Tim Dawg said,
They steal them? j/k

Seriously though, it's clear that's why Mika is pulling out of the Android market. There don't appear to be enough sales to justify the investment. Strange behavior though. Why would you purchase a smartphone without having any interest in apps? Just get a regular cheap phone like the Razr and save some money. IMHO the whole point of a smart phone is to be your PIM with some light internet access and apps to fill various needs.

I say that to people all the time. I buy apps all the time. It is an investment that will carry over to your next purchase. The problem is people on Android don't have the same mindset as Apple people. Personally I don't buy games on my phone. I find it stupid to play an action game on a small screen. I'll use my Xbox 360 and 52" TV for that.

FransB said,

But thats also because Google Fails at decent paying methods. In The Netherlands a big group of people dont have Credit Cards. if Google announced things like a "itunes card" i think people would buy more stuff.

I don't think that has anything to do with it. From my experience, Android users go for the free apps.

Tim Dawg said,
They steal them? j/k

Seriously though, it's clear that's why Mika is pulling out of the Android market. There don't appear to be enough sales to justify the investment. Strange behavior though. Why would you purchase a smartphone without having any interest in apps? Just get a regular cheap phone like the Razr and save some money. IMHO the whole point of a smart phone is to be your PIM with some light internet access and apps to fill various needs.

There are paid apps out there with hundreds of thousands of purchases so good/popular apps are not all stolen

Agreed with the 'Google Card'. Pretty dumb you can't gift in Android.

dvferret said,

There are paid apps out there with hundreds of thousands of purchases so good/popular apps are not all stolen

Agreed with the 'Google Card'. Pretty dumb you can't gift in Android.

Sort of...

In comparison to the purchase rates on WP7 or iOS, Android purchases are horribly BAD. The 'Try' model for WP7 has worked well, and does encourage users and gives them and the developers a slick and easy way to encourage and migrate from a trial/free App to a revenue generating Application.

The other thing that has 'hurt' Android is the copy cat developers, App reintroduction and the problem that a lot of projects come from from OSS work.

In basic terms, a lot of Apps on Android are often and quickly duplicated. So if a developer has a brilliant App idea, that they want to charge $1, sometimes in just a few days of posting the App, there are several other 'copycat/similar' versions of the App that is free or uses an Ad model to appear to be free.

I have seen some really good ideas that were sadly 'easy' to create, which means people took the idea, duplicated and destroyed and sale viability.

The only way to make money from Android Apps is to invest a lot of time and money in a highly complex App that has very little code from OSS projects. (A massive game for example that developers that are bored can't just recreate.)

There are a lot of Android developers that have bought into the FOSS model to a dangerous level, and with their free time, they do nothing but 'recreate' non-free Apps if they can gain access to any of the provided OSS code or the OSS code that the App was built from.

If ya want to make money directly selling Apps, Android is not the platform you target, the best way on Android to generate even a 'bit' of revenue is through Ad based Apps.

In a study from last year that followed several multi-platform 'small' developers, they made more money off WP7 than Android. (Which was surprising to everyone, even WP7 developers/fans.) Many complained about the copycat free versions, and trying to get noticed with pages of 'picture/theme/pornlike' Apps filling the 'new' categories.

thenetavenger said,
...

Which apps do you speak of that have been duplicated? Temple Run? Wouldn't that app have to be officially released first? I am curious as to what your eyes "see". Saying I've seen [...] and not providing an example can be misleading. Please provide your examples.

As for my experience, smart developers know that Android users do not pay for apps. Let's look at popular titles like Angry Birds or Words With Friends. Don't you find it interesting that you can't even buy that app anywhere on Google Play? Those titles are two of the biggest and most downloaded titles. I'm not much into games so that was the only titles I can come up with.

Google doesn't seem to be interested in the developer experience - I expect Andy Rubin to just come out and taunt some activation numbers again.

Fragmentation of applications is what worries me the most about Android, since their is so much choice in terms of handset choice and each manufacture has different levels if they will support their device into the future it has serious changed my thoughts on whether I will continue running Android in the future. I know this isn't really what it is about but, just another thing for me to be concerned of. Not too convinced by Apple's Platform of iOS I already use an iPad and do not like being as locked down as I am. If the next versions of Windows phone are really truly done well, that may be my next phone. I know for simplicity my parents will probably move from their Blackberries to iPhones next year. Me and my brothers are still trying to figure out where we are gonna go, I hate having to use modified versions like Cyanogen just to get on a semi latest updated version.

Sounds like a whiny developer. If you made somewhat of a decent game, it (hopefully) should sell. There are plenty of games that take advantage of the space problems. Just the other day I downloaded Modern Combat 3 - it says it requires 1.37 GB of space. That is quite a bit of space, considering phones generally come with 4, 8, 16, 32 GB of internal memory (and some Android phones don't have the ability to expand via MicroSD - ex: Galaxy Nexus).

Personally, I'm not a fan of apps that take up any more than 500 MB. That's valuable space to me. Perhaps this developer should have created the game from the get-go with this limitation in mind (while keeping it working on multiple platforms). They can take the time to limit the size of this app across all platforms. Again, space should be a pretty big consideration when you develop apps.

tsupersonic said,
considering phones generally come with 4, 8, 16, 32 GB of internal memory (and some Android phones don't have the ability to expand via MicroSD - ex: Galaxy Nexus).

But Nexus has 32GB. I have only used about 1.5GB of it with 65 Apps installed. Yet I can listen to my entire music collection, and view my entire photo collection. MAGIC!

EDIT: Nevemind, my post was ignorant and I have no evidence to back up anything I said....

Edited by Xerxes, Mar 11 2012, 6:16am :

UndergroundWire said,

But Nexus has 32GB. I have only used about 1.5GB of it with 65 Apps installed. Yet I can listen to my entire music collection, and view my entire photo collection. MAGIC!

Yes I also have the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus, which is 32 GB. The GSM version of the GN is only 16GB. Also, there is a rumor of a 16GB Verizon GN. In any case, it's not the point. 4GB out of 32 GB (which is more like 30GB) is quite a bit for a SINGLE game.

tsupersonic said,
Sounds like a whiny developer. If you made somewhat of a decent game, it (hopefully) should sell.

*whoosh*

Seriously. A developer is whiny if they don't want to fix their own bugs. A developer is not whiny if they don't want to deal with their platform's bugs, and they are frustrated that every other new phone that comes out needs a patch for the app to work correctly. Having worked on an Android game, I can tell you that this is very annoying. Atrix came out and the game wouldn't run on it. Tegra2 came out and the game wouldn't run on it. Never ran on SonyEricson phones. All of these required patches, and even had to get an nVidia engineer to help with the Tegra2 issues. None of these were developer bugs; they were platform bugs. And this is not even considering the support and maintenance for making everything work with every new screen size ratio that manufacturers experiment with every other day. It's a total mess, and there is no good reason for it.

tsupersonic said,
Yes I also have the Verizon version of the Galaxy Nexus, which is 32 GB. The GSM version of the GN is only 16GB. Also, there is a rumor of a 16GB Verizon GN. In any case, it's not the point. 4GB out of 32 GB (which is more like 30GB) is quite a bit for a SINGLE game.

I believe that will be the White version for Verizon. Also, I just prefer playing high-end games on my TV with my Xbox. I never bought a full-fledged action game on Android. But I do buy Apps all the time.

tsupersonic said,
Sounds like a whiny developer. If you made somewhat of a decent game, it (hopefully) should sell. There are plenty of games that take advantage of the space problems. Just the other day I downloaded Modern Combat 3 - it says it requires 1.37 GB of space. That is quite a bit of space, considering phones generally come with 4, 8, 16, 32 GB of internal memory (and some Android phones don't have the ability to expand via MicroSD - ex: Galaxy Nexus).

Personally, I'm not a fan of apps that take up any more than 500 MB. That's valuable space to me. Perhaps this developer should have created the game from the get-go with this limitation in mind (while keeping it working on multiple platforms). They can take the time to limit the size of this app across all platforms. Again, space should be a pretty big consideration when you develop apps.

I'm still confused about that file size limit increase based on what Neowin said in their previous article. I've downloaded up to a gigabyte (and maybe over?) of additional data for games before on my xoom. Did companies previously use their own servers for that?

tsupersonic said,
Sounds like a whiny developer. If you made somewhat of a decent game, it (hopefully) should sell. There are plenty of games that take advantage of the space problems. Just the other day I downloaded Modern Combat 3 - it says it requires 1.37 GB of space. That is quite a bit of space, considering phones generally come with 4, 8, 16, 32 GB of internal memory (and some Android phones don't have the ability to expand via MicroSD - ex: Galaxy Nexus).

Personally, I'm not a fan of apps that take up any more than 500 MB. That's valuable space to me. Perhaps this developer should have created the game from the get-go with this limitation in mind (while keeping it working on multiple platforms). They can take the time to limit the size of this app across all platforms. Again, space should be a pretty big consideration when you develop apps.

Ya like all the whiny developers at Facebook, EA, IBM, Adobe, and on and on, that have publicly complained about Android as a horrible platform in general, not even considering the newer problems of version differences and having to deal with more hardware variations that the OS does nothing to mitigate. Why should a developer have to be writing code to deal with how sound is handled on different devices, or even silly stuff like compensating by writing dithering code for various devices, when this is ALL stuff the OS should be handling to create an illusion of device uniformity.

(Windows has been doing this for 20 years, maybe it is time Google learned why Windows was successful and easy to develop software on?)

Ironically one of the few 'major' developers that hasn't complained publicly about Android when designing an App has been the Microsoft teams making Apps, but they aren't using the supplied development crap from Google and are working from their own custom built frameworks.

However, if you talk to the Microsoft language developers or compiler gurus, they will laugh out loud about Android and the total lack of understanding the Android development team has in just basic programming concepts.

Reading what the Android Developers at Google themselves write is worthy of a humor site. Start with the 'explaination' of why Android terminates Apps to free RAM, and how this is a 'feature'. Google made a video about it even, look it up.

I also can still remember a conversation from a Google developer that insisted parallel and async were the same and didn't even begin to grasp the scheduling and thread differences. -And this was their area of 'expertise' in coding the scheduler in Dalvik for Android.

There are some really annoying API level issues with Android as well, like it not providing information about touch points or gestures and developers having to recreate and code this themselves to figure out what the user is doing on the screen.

The developer my be whiny, but that doesn't make Android any less of a nightmare.

thenetavenger said,

Ya like all the whiny developers at Facebook, EA, IBM, Adobe, and on and on, that have publicly complained about Android as a horrible platform in general, not even considering the newer problems of version differences and having to deal with more hardware variations that the OS does nothing to mitigate. Why should a developer have to be writing code to deal with how sound is handled on different devices, or even silly stuff like compensating by writing dithering code for various devices, when this is ALL stuff the OS should be handling to create an illusion of device uniformity.

Very simple...revenue. If you're making any money out of the app., and your cost/revenue analysis is working for you, then they should keep developing the apps.

If it's such a horrible platform to develop for, why does Android have many apps (not to mention that some of them are pretty damn good apps)?

tsupersonic said,
If it's such a horrible platform to develop for, why does Android have many apps (not to mention that some of them are pretty damn good apps)?

Trust me the existance of an app on any marketplace has nothing to do with it's ability to generate a profit for the developer (individual or company). There has been such a boom in this market that everybody is making apps for everything and everybody has an idea. This is not a bad thing by any means. But there are plenty of people pouring money into this new market and what you're seeing a couple years out from many people on android is, it's more profitable to target other platforms with that same capital. Message of a Dollar is a magical thing and we're seeing hints of Androids "App future" Google needs to react or they could be in for a world of hurt.

MrHumpty said,

Trust me the existance of an app on any marketplace has nothing to do with it's ability to generate a profit for the developer (individual or company). There has been such a boom in this market that everybody is making apps for everything and everybody has an idea. This is not a bad thing by any means. But there are plenty of people pouring money into this new market and what you're seeing a couple years out from many people on android is, it's more profitable to target other platforms with that same capital. Message of a Dollar is a magical thing and we're seeing hints of Androids "App future" Google needs to react or they could be in for a world of hurt.

The existence of an app on any market place is usually the common ones people use on a daily basis (Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, etc...) Most people don't do high-end gaming on their phones.

Google needs to react if they want gaming on their platform.

Weird, this is the same thing that developers and industry experts have been saying since Android was released. From higher profile companies to smaller developers it has been the same thing repeated OVER and OVER again.

The development framework is horrible, and like other poor OS models Android does not offer the proper abstraction from hardware to let developers work on a consistent target.

This is an OLD argument, that goes back to why Windows was successful or why developers choose to target Windows which started happening with NT 3.1. Even the Server market development saw this happen when NT 3.1 had a real application framework and was highly device agnostic in sharp contrast to Novell and *nix servers of the time.

Yet 20 years later, and Google doesn't get it and Android fans don't care enough to try to understand this.

When people ask why Windows is better than Linux it isn't just a technical answer in how the schedulers work different. It comes down to a one example answer... Windows has a standard unified video and printing system.

Developers since Windows 3.x haven't had to code printer drivers, or video drivers, or sound driver or write device specific code.

So developers could for the first time, just make applications, and the OS and driver and application frameworks handled all the complexity of user hardware and software.
(Go look up Wordperfect 5.x, and the video drivers and 100s of printer drivers it shipped with. This was common and Windows made all this extra work go away.)

Watching Linux and Cups and the video frameworks and various window managers and upper layer application frameworks and the various ways sound is handled and the variations in video drivers where ATI and Nvidia had to create a new kernel access to get good OpenGL performance, and on and on...

And then people wonder why Linux is the desktop leader. Hmm... Maybe all the extra work that developers have to do, and the inconsistencies it creates for them and the end users.

......
And the big joke, is that Android is FAR worse than Linux. The Dalvik framework and the generic abstraction drivers are a freaking mess, and this isn't even taking into account the fragmentation issues that are a problem on top of all this inconsistency.


This is why tech savvy business projections show Android hanging on, but disappearing, with Windows replacing it, and iOS being the second popular option.


This is not news, this is something that has been a problem and around for years now, and Google has done NOTHING to address this, as their thinking 'at best' falls back to the minimal *nix/Linux model of driver and application support, which is why Windows owns the desktop. And outside of simple 'Web and File' Servers, Windows owns the application and managed server market as well.

Hardware fragmentation happens to every OS eventually. Just like you can't run most high end games on an integrated GPU in Windows, the same problems exist on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. You can write the best frameworks in the world, but if a game needs a certain GPU feature, or a dual core CPU to run smoothly, then you're **** out of luck if your device doesn't support it.

From the looks of it, this guy's blog consists mostly of complaining about receiving support emails from Android customers. If he wants to be a one platform operation, then so be it. He'll likely change his mind in the future though.

simplezz said,
Hardware fragmentation happens to every OS eventually. Just like you can't run most high end games on an integrated GPU in Windows, the same problems exist on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone.

The iPhone 3GS was rapid when I first saw it (I had a 3G at the time), its now slow as hell on iOS 5 when comparing it to my 4S. The same happened with the 3G, iOS 4 should have never been allowed on that handset. Fragmentation does happen to all devices at some stage. I guess though its easier for Apple to manage though when you control what devices your OS goes onto.

simplezz said,
Hardware fragmentation happens to every OS eventually. Just like you can't run most high end games on an integrated GPU in Windows, the same problems exist on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. You can write the best frameworks in the world, but if a game needs a certain GPU feature, or a dual core CPU to run smoothly, then you're **** out of luck if your device doesn't support it.

From the looks of it, this guy's blog consists mostly of complaining about receiving support emails from Android customers. If he wants to be a one platform operation, then so be it. He'll likely change his mind in the future though.


You really don't understand the argument at all. This isn't about device stats. This is about device abstraction and building a proper platform.

SK[ said,]

The iPhone 3GS was rapid when I first saw it (I had a 3G at the time), its now slow as hell on iOS 5 when comparing it to my 4S. The same happened with the 3G, iOS 4 should have never been allowed on that handset. Fragmentation does happen to all devices at some stage. I guess though its easier for Apple to manage though when you control what devices your OS goes onto.

Huh, new hardware performs better than old hardware? GTFO!

Anyway, I have a 3GS and thought that the performance was fine on iOS 5. Further, iOS 5.1 runs even better which shows that Apple keeps track of how their older hardware is doing in terms of performance AND features which is so very much more than any other handset maker is providing.

simplezz said,
Hardware fragmentation happens to every OS eventually. Just like you can't run most high end games on an integrated GPU in Windows, the same problems exist on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. You can write the best frameworks in the world, but if a game needs a certain GPU feature, or a dual core CPU to run smoothly, then you're **** out of luck if your device doesn't support it.

From the looks of it, this guy's blog consists mostly of complaining about receiving support emails from Android customers. If he wants to be a one platform operation, then so be it. He'll likely change his mind in the future though.

True that hardware fragmentation must occur, that is not the issue. The probem is how well an OS handles fragmentation and tiers their frameworks so that developers can degrade gracefully. Apparently, Android doesn't do it as well as Windows does.

simplezz said,
Hardware fragmentation happens to every OS eventually. Just like you can't run most high end games on an integrated GPU in Windows, the same problems exist on Android, iOS, and Windows Phone. You can write the best frameworks in the world, but if a game needs a certain GPU feature, or a dual core CPU to run smoothly, then you're **** out of luck if your device doesn't support it.

From the looks of it, this guy's blog consists mostly of complaining about receiving support emails from Android customers. If he wants to be a one platform operation, then so be it. He'll likely change his mind in the future though.

Of course hardware fragmentation happens, the trick is how the OS deals with the fragmentation. Software fragmentation is even more important, in that software shouldn't have to worry about hardware with the OS mitigating it.

Look at Windows... Software written in the 80s and 90s runs just fine, and plays sound and prints and does everything it always did, as it DOESN'T have to worry about that hardware.

Also Windows on lower end hardware scales back, XP run on a 200mhz Pentium with 80mb of RAM, and Win7 runs well on 512mb of RAM and a 800mhz Pentium III. As it shifts down to work well.

Another example is WP7, with the Mango update, Microsoft added in new features for a new more accurate sensor. Instead of 'breaking' existing phones, the OS compensates for the missing sensor and uses the other sensors and software to approximate the sensor that the WP7 Mango 7.5 have in hardware.

These are simple and tiny examples, but are generations away from Android. When Windows 3.x handled developer fragmentation, software fragmentation, and hardware fragmentation better, there is something wrong, as it is a 20 years old OS using really old concepts and basic implementations. (Heck Android doesn't even do VM, and instead terminates Applications to free RAM.)

Can't say I blame them. To be honest, the entire mobile scene is a bit of a mess and IMHO, I don't think the hardware is up to scratch just yet neither (looking at you battery). The recent HTML5 game article was interesting - I tried a few of these games on my v.cheap ~£70 android phone and was pleasantly surprised with how well they worked. Maybe dedicated mobile applications could be a thing of the past, to be replaced by HTML5.

People whine and complain about how locked down and closed apple's ecosystem is but when it boils down to it how can you dispute the numbers. Having the right tools and platform to develop great apps for the iOS platform has been paramount to Apples dominance in the mobile world. Quantity over quality will not sustain google forever.

Windows7even said,
People whine and complain about how locked down and closed apple's ecosystem is but when it boils down to it how can you dispute the numbers. Having the right tools and platform to develop great apps for the iOS platform has been paramount to Apples dominance in the mobile world. Quantity over quality will not sustain google forever.

which is why wp7 is the best of both worlds. variety of handsets, easy to support, and top notch OS. it's the one to have.

sweatshopking said,

which is why wp7 is the best of both worlds. variety of handsets, easy to support, and top notch OS. it's the one to have.

I agree. Apple were revolutionary in the phone market with the original iPhone, but have only been evolutionary since then. With Android, they have a worthy competitor in the adoption rate. But in Windows Phone <whatever number> they have a worthy competitor in every aspect. Maybe just not the adoption rate..... yet.
All have their place, but I think that it's up to the OS to dictate what the hardware of the phones should be. iOS to 1 phone. WP7, to multiple handsets with the same base spec. Android 1.6 through 4, across multiples of multiple handsets, no counting the different interfaces given to (nearly) every other phone.

UndergroundWire said,
I wouldn't be surprised if Google's announcement will be about gaming. This is Android's biggest weakness right now.

Game center for android! True innovation!

FalseAgent said,

Game center for android! True innovation!

PSN, xbox live??? it not innovation.... people call it innovation when apple makes a similar service... stupid people.

still1 said,

PSN, xbox live??? it not innovation.... people call it innovation when apple makes a similar service... stupid people.

yeah that was exactly my point. I was being sarcastic.

I love Android, just not the whole app thing. I have yet to find a great looking app that is stable and useable. many may be great but have disgusting UIs

seems android might be able to conquer a few more storms, but soon it will be a dying breed if it keeps this up.

Leo (DerpDerp) said,

He sure is taking his sweet time to do anything on Xcode. And right clicking? Are you kidding me? Same for Android. No bias, no bias at all.

Never used Xcode, but I am very familiar with eclipse and vs, and although eclipse itself is perfectly good, it never fails to amaze me just how insanely slow it is to do anything with it.

Martin5000 said,

Never used Xcode, but I am very familiar with eclipse and vs, and although eclipse itself is perfectly good, it never fails to amaze me just how insanely slow it is to do anything with it.


I agree completely, I use Xcode daily and have used Visual Studio extensively, and I can attest that both are light years ahead of Eclipse and the entire Google SDK+NDK toolkit. But this video is ridiculous and person performing the demonstration is either incompetent or biased. I am going to go with the latter option.