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Subject: Why no love for Android? rss

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Dune Tiger
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Not sure where to put this, so if it needs to be moved, I'm more than happy to do so.

What I'm curious about from developers and publishers/designers alike is why so many digital versions of games are on iOS, but not on Android. Is it the porting effort or is it something else entirely? I like the idea of playing many games against AI, especially given I have a pretty lengthy commute to work and I'm not going to be like George and Kramer, playing Risk on the subway.

I also have reasons that I am not an iPhone/iPad owner that I don't really want to get into, so "get an iPhone" isn't really going to mean much to me.

Anyways, care to shed some light?
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Ron Parker
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I came into this thread looking for a discussion of Android. I want my money back.
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David C
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DuneTiger wrote:
Not sure where to put this, so if it needs to be moved, I'm more than happy to do so.

What I'm curious about from developers and publishers/designers alike is why so many digital versions of games are on iOS, but not on Android. Is it the porting effort or is it something else entirely? I like the idea of playing many games against AI, especially given I have a pretty lengthy commute to work and I'm not going to be like George and Kramer, playing Risk on the subway.

I also have reasons that I am not an iPhone/iPad owner that I don't really want to get into, so "get an iPhone" isn't really going to mean much to me.

Anyways, care to shed some light?


Basically an ios device requires you to have a credit card on file. The rate of purchasing is SOOOO much higher on an ios device than an android device in part because of this.

http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/11/27/apples-ios-brings-...

You want to know who is REALLY moaning and complaining? Windows phone users and windows phone developers.
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Janessa Pagliaccio

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Fragmentation is one big reason. With the various screen sizes and resolution plus a wider variety of versions out there it's really hard to test for android.

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parkrrrr wrote:
I came into this thread looking for a discussion of Android. I want my money back.


You got your 2 cents back.
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Michael Carter
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Developing on iOS is a lot nicer than developing on Android.
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Ron Parker
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bippi wrote:
Basically an ios device requires you to have a credit card on file. The rate of purchasing is SOOOO much higher on an ios device than an android device in part because of this.


Related to that, walk into pretty much any gas station and you can buy an iTunes gift card. There is such a thing as a Google Play gift card, but I've never seen them displayed next to the cash register on the counter at CVS - even though CVS will happily sell me a downmarket Android tablet. Before I went and looked just now I didn't even know they existed.

What that means, practically speaking, is that when Aunt Hilda goes to buy a little something for her nephew's birthday, she's much more likely to think about a gift card for the one with an iDevice than for the one with an Android device.

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Ron Parker
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mlcarter815 wrote:
Developing on iOS is a lot nicer than developing on Android.


Except for that minor thing where only people who own Macintoshes can do it, anyway. And you have to learn a language that only NeXT and Apple have ever seriously used.
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Hudson81 wrote:
Fragmentation is one big reason. With the various screen sizes and resolution plus a wider variety of versions out there it's really hard to test for android.



I got this reason straight from a publisher friend that owns likely the largest wargaming publishing company out there (Slitherine Group).

It's not that iOS is better than Android where the game is concerned or the hardware is concerned. Frankly regardless of fan contradictions, the hardware is really equal these days.

But Android simply comes with too many variables, and iOS is less prone to oddity. iOS actually has a more confining market, but when it comes to making the game run, you pick the more stable environment. It means less hassle for the developer when it comes to adjusting to unforeseen bugs.

End result, I enjoy my Android immensely, but if I want to play the cooler wargames, I will have to be an iPad device. Battle Academy and Panzer Corps will likely be running on a Windows using tablet before it appears on an Android tablet, and that is because the games already run on Windows on PCs.
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Toms Leikums
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Stop whining. There are tons of boardgames (and all other applications) for Android, if compared with Windows Phone. I am so jealous about it.
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Need more board games for my Nokia 3310
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Dune Tiger
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chrislanning8 wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
I came into this thread looking for a discussion of Android. I want my money back.


You got your 2 cents back.


*initiates slow clap*
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Dune Tiger
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painkiller wrote:
Stop whining. There are tons of boardgames (and all other applications) for Android, if compared with Windows Phone. I am so jealous about it.


Not whining. I'm curious as to why there's such a divide between the two platforms and I guess it looks like it's because of the variables in the Android devices available. It's a shame, really, but it makes sense - same old argument for console vs. pc development, though that's slowly narrowing.

I get the argument of install base and likelihood of making money on one platform over the other, but it doesn't necessarily equal not making any money at all on that platform. PC, for example, was largely ignored not so long ago because "PC is dead", but it's really blown up over the last decade and even the big console devs are releasing on the formerly-dead platform.
 
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mlcarter815 wrote:
Developing on iOS is a lot nicer than developing on Android.


I have friends that have developed for both and they much prefer the Android platform. Like it's been stated before the biggest reason is fragmentation. You only need to worry about a few devices on iOS whereas in the Android world there's an insane amount of devices, with different amount of memory, screen size, screen resolution, processing power.
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Jin Juku
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This is all speculation, so take this with a grain of salt.

I think the purchasing commitment of the device owners is also an issue. One of my main reasons for purchasing an Android phone versus an iPhone is the price. It's cheaper to go with an Android phone than an iPhone.

I think this makes me a more frugal consumer in general. Even when I had an iPod Touch, I was far less likely to make an app purchase than your standard iPhone user.

I think developers realize this. If you had to sell to a market, would you sell to one that was more or less likely to spend money?
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Jin Juku
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Another note (and I've never done professional development for either platform, so take this with a grain of salt as well):

There isn't any technical reason that you can't use a nearly identical code base for both Android and iOS. Android has the native SDK, and Objective-C (what most iOS apps are coded in) will compile C code natively. So you could have the majority of your logic code in a shared code-base.

Still, a large portion of code now-a-days is UI related, which (I believe), has to be unique to the platform.

So a developer's best bet to dual-develop would be to write a general UI framework for both platforms, and re-use it for multiple apps. However, that's work that doesn't directly influence revenue, so that's not likely to happen.
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Jin Juku
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parkrrrr wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Developing on iOS is a lot nicer than developing on Android.


Except for that minor thing where only people who own Macintoshes can do it, anyway. And you have to learn a language that only NeXT and Apple have ever seriously used.


Not true. You can develop for iOS on other platforms. CodeGear RAD Studio will develop cross-platform applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Macintosh, etc, and is pretty only installable on Windows (afaik). I'm pretty sure there are other development environments also, but I can't think of them right now, so I could be mistaken.

Also, Objective-C is basically a super-set of C, with some (I think) funky object oriented syntax.
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Ron Parker
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jukujin wrote:
Not true. You can develop for iOS on other platforms. CodeGear RAD Studio will develop cross-platform applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Macintosh, etc, and is pretty only installable on Windows (afaik). I'm pretty sure there are other development environments also, but I can't think of them right now, so I could be mistaken.


But the official iOS SDK remains available for only Macintosh, no? So my choices, as presented here, are to spend minimum $600 for an extra computer I don't actually need, or to spend over $4000 for a development environment manufactured by a third party.

Or I can develop for Android on the computer I already have, using tools and an SDK that I can download and use entirely for free.

C++ and Java are (effectively) supersets of C, too, but unlike Objective-C they're used on more than one extant platform. I know which one I'd rather spend precious neurons on.

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Michael Carter
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apocalyp wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Developing on iOS is a lot nicer than developing on Android.


I have friends that have developed for both and they much prefer the Android platform. Like it's been stated before the biggest reason is fragmentation. You only need to worry about a few devices on iOS whereas in the Android world there's an insane amount of devices, with different amount of memory, screen size, screen resolution, processing power.


I have developed on both, and I prefer iOS. I think Objective-C is a more enjoyable language to work in than Java is and I think the developer tools are more polished on the Apple side.
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I am really curious to see if this scenario evolves over time. What I am about to say is purely anecdotal, but I think it suggests a shift. My teenage son recently got a smartphone. He essentially had his pick. You know what he chose? A shiny new Android-based phone. You know what he expressly didn't want? An iPhone.

I tried to convince him to get an iPhone on the assumption that it was what he'd find most of his peers using already or acquiring when they were able. He told me that I was wrong and looking around I see that is in fact the case. There are plenty of iPhones around, to be sure, but an awful lot of the more recently acquired phones seem to be Android. It also looks to me like gender is starting to play a role. Lots of iPhone among the girls, more Android for the boys.

Oh, and one more thing. These kids are happy to spend their money on content, games, etc. All the parents I speak with have some kind of budget/allowance tied to their kids' transactions via Play. They nearly all have some form of payment backing their Play account.

Like I said, this is all anecdotal. iOS is certainly the low hanging fruit for developers, but it seems like Android has so much untapped potential for those who figure out the market.
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Michael Carter
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jukujin wrote:
parkrrrr wrote:
mlcarter815 wrote:
Developing on iOS is a lot nicer than developing on Android.


Except for that minor thing where only people who own Macintoshes can do it, anyway. And you have to learn a language that only NeXT and Apple have ever seriously used.


Not true. You can develop for iOS on other platforms. CodeGear RAD Studio will develop cross-platform applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Macintosh, etc, and is pretty only installable on Windows (afaik). I'm pretty sure there are other development environments also, but I can't think of them right now, so I could be mistaken.

Also, Objective-C is basically a super-set of C, with some (I think) funky object oriented syntax.


I haven't seen this product before, but I've looked at other products that allow you to code for any device on Windows and it generates the native code for that device. I'm not a fan of that. Usually the code that gets generated isn't very good.
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Michael Carter
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parkrrrr wrote:
jukujin wrote:
Not true. You can develop for iOS on other platforms. CodeGear RAD Studio will develop cross-platform applications for Android, iOS, Windows, Macintosh, etc, and is pretty only installable on Windows (afaik). I'm pretty sure there are other development environments also, but I can't think of them right now, so I could be mistaken.


But the official iOS SDK remains available for only Macintosh, no? So my choices, as presented here, are to spend minimum $600 for an extra computer I don't actually need, or to spend over $4000 for a development environment manufactured by a third party.

Or I can develop for Android on the computer I already have, using tools and an SDK that I can download and use entirely for free.

C++ and Java are (effectively) supersets of C, too, but unlike Objective-C they're used on more than one extant platform. I know which one I'd rather spend precious neurons on.



It's not that painful to learn new languages. When I was in college, I would be using four or five different languages at the same time during a semester. If you already know a C-based language, it isn't that hard to learn any of the other C-based languages.
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Dune Tiger
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jukujin wrote:

I think developers realize this. If you had to sell to a market, would you sell to one that was more or less likely to spend money?


Depends on the cost of porting the application. So yes, while I can understand the initial target being iOS, if the overhead to port to Andriod isn't that high, I don't see why you would ignore a significant part of the market, even if the adoption rate of the app is lower than it would be on iOS.
 
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Jin Juku
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DuneTiger wrote:
jukujin wrote:

I think developers realize this. If you had to sell to a market, would you sell to one that was more or less likely to spend money?


Depends on the cost of porting the application. So yes, while I can understand the initial target being iOS, if the overhead to port to Andriod isn't that high, I don't see why you would ignore a significant part of the market, even if the adoption rate of the app is lower than it would be on iOS.


It depends on the portion. I'd be willing to bet (again, pure speculation here) that it really isn't a significant part of the market.

I'm mostly going on the assumption here that they've done the market research, and have numbers to back up their decisions to support a specific platform or not.
 
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I wish it was on Youtube, but back at PAX East 2013, a panel was run called "Digital Board Games: How board games are entering and growing in the digital world" and this topic was touched on briefly.

I believe it came down to iOS already having pre-built libraries around games and visuals, while Android did not and there was a lot more work to be done "from scratch".

A guy came up and asked "why doesn't every company get together and make common libraries for games?" One of the developers (possibly the guy representing the team that made the Ascension app) asked back at him "Why would we do this?" It was essentially saying there is no business incentive to do that as they are wildly successful on iOS alone.

EDIT: Oh, and this guy was a panelist there.

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He might have a better recollection of the panel than I.
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