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Battleheart Developer Drops Android As 'Unsustainable' 649

mr100percent writes with this excerpt from Electronista: "Battleheart's creator Mika Mobile in an update explained that it was dropping Android support. Google's platform was losing money for the company, since it spent about 20 percent of its time supporting the platform but only ever made five percent or less of the company's revenue. Much of the effort was spent on issues specific to Android, where the diversity was only creating problems rather than helping. 'I would have preferred spending that time on more content for you, but instead I was thanklessly modifying shaders and texture formats to work on different GPUs, or pushing out patches to support new devices without crashing, or walking someone through how to fix an installation that wouldn't go through,' one half of the husband and wife duo said. 'We spent thousands on various test hardware. These are the unsung necessities of offering our apps on Android.'"
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Battleheart Developer Drops Android As 'Unsustainable'

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  • by microbee ( 682094 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:38PM (#39314429)

    Good choice

  • What is (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:38PM (#39314433)

    Battleheart? What? Never heard of it.

  • by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:46PM (#39314469)

    The developer feels he's spending more to develop for Android than he's getting back - so he decides to stop developing for Android.

    I suppose that's interesting at some level, given past stories about Android developers not making money; but, in the end, it's just the free market operating rather than some amazing news item.

  • by Dunbal ( 464142 ) * on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:48PM (#39314487)
    You don't get free markets with 800lb gorillas like Apple and Google in the room. Stop kidding yourself.
  • Re:Wah wah wah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:50PM (#39314503)
    So they've done the right thing. They're not interested in sympathy; they found that a particular product on a particular platform was unprofitable, so they dropped it.
  • by KDR_11k ( 778916 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:52PM (#39314519)

    It's not Android that's unsustainable. It's their business that's unsustainable.

    Which is why they're making good money on the Apple market, right?

  • Re:Wah wah wah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:56PM (#39314553)

    Development isn't a test of machismo or stoicism. The Android version wasn't making any profit for them. Time is money, and when you're having to do more more work than the sales you are making, it's a business decision to stop doing it.

    iPhone is less work for much bigger sales.

  • Re:What is (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @06:57PM (#39314561)

    If only your lack of knowledge meant the problem didn't exist.

  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:03PM (#39314591) Homepage

    Their product would sell just as well on the Google Play Store if it wasn't shitty code. The great thing about IOS is anyone who isn't running the newest version is SOL. The android market base is far hotter and developers continue to blame android for not making much money on it, rather than write a decent app that doesn't rely on the IOShit framework.

    You sound like a jealous Android user. Why is that?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:04PM (#39314599)

    That's not the real problem, if the GPU doesn't support a feature you can fall back to another implementation. The problem arises when they don't properly advertise what features are available. OpenGL has this in the API, but most mobile drivers say they support features they actually don't have.

  • Re:Wah wah wah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrHanky ( 141717 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:06PM (#39314613) Homepage Journal

    App development for any mobile platform is a lottery. Most developers make very little from it. A few make tons of cash. Even on Android.

  • Re:He's wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:09PM (#39314631)

    Android has what, four versions in the wild? iOS has 3, 4 and 5 taking up something like 15, 20, and 65% roughly. Not a great deal of difference there.

    You've conveniently ignored the hardware diversity.

    This sounds like a complaint from a guy who is basically saying "Development is hard, and I don't want to work to make things good". Just as well he's calling it quits, shape up or ship out I say.

    Yeah, fuck him for having limited resources and wanting to make a living out of a small business.

  • Re:He's wrong. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:13PM (#39314651)

    /. really is a pile of freetards who think they know everything. Do you really think Android has only four versions in the wild? Have you ever developed for Android? How about for iOS? Until you release some apps on both platforms you are officially ignorant of what is actually required and your opinion is not valid.

  • Re:Wah wah wah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by flowwolf ( 1824892 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:16PM (#39314679)
    It's not that iphone is less work. They started with a focus on IOS. It's more work to port a highly focused piece of software and they just couldn't handle multiple platforms being a 2 person team. What they ended up porting to Android was such a bug ridden POS that it didn't sell at all. That doesn't mean App's dont sell on the Android. Developers just have to make decent software for it. It's just as easy to make software for Android as it is IOS, given that you plan your project to include both. They obviously relied heavily on IOS frameworks. There is nobody to blame but themselves.
  • Re:He's wrong. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the linux geek ( 799780 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:19PM (#39314697)
    Version diversity isn't the only kind. Implementation and hardware diversity matters too - for instance, I've run into a crash bug when attempting to start a new Activity from within a TabHost that only occurs on Galaxy S devices. That sort of thing is really incredibly frustrating, and makes QA far more of a pain in the ass than it should be.
  • by robmv ( 855035 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:25PM (#39314729)

    using Unity? so the real news here is that Unity must be crap on Android because that must be the work of the engine developer. Why do they write about different textures types support on each handset and things like that? Unity must be able to abstract all that if they want to be called a cross platform game engine

  • by Pieroxy ( 222434 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:27PM (#39314753) Homepage

    Apparently, a whole range of devs can't release a quality product on Android while they do just fine products on iOS. Coincidentally, it's all the devs that needs 3D Rendering.

    Go figure. It cannot be that Apple's platform is much more leveled. Nah. Can't be.

  • Re:Wah wah wah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unrtst ( 777550 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:43PM (#39314857)

    If they are spending more money than they are getting then what do you want them to do?

    The stats provided are damn near useless.

    Let's hypothesize and say I develop some app. Let's count the app-specific dev time/costs as a separate baseline cost (cause that's how comparison of cost to maintain a port should start).
    Now, out of my remaining monies, I spend 20% supporting "Android", and the rest (80%) supporting iOS.

    Would it surprise anyone if the platform receiving SIGNIFICANTLY less of my attention ran into more problems, bugs, bad reviews, fewer purchases, etc?

    I have no idea if that's what they meant by "20% of its time", but the other side of the coin is not even mentioned. It would be FAR more significant if they stated that they spent 5% of their time supporting iOS specific issues, 20% supporting Android specific issues, and 75% of their time improving core app and server functionality, and were still seeing 95% of their revenue come from iOS and 5% from Android.... but we just don't know.

    The only fact I can see is that their software had numerous issues on Android. Maybe if they fixed those they'd actually be able to turn a profit - people don't like to pay for shoddy work.

    It's EXTREMELY easy and common for businesses to spend more than they're making (ex. see restaurant turn-over). Plenty of people ARE making money though... so either you're spending too much, or you're not spending enough (assuming you're otherwise competent).

    This company had other viable options, such as:

    * go the hulu route - pick a small handful of officially supported devices, and add in device model restrictions. Only support those you can support well.
    * spend more time/money, and make sure you've got everything supported so people don't hate on your product.
    * combine those, and add devices as the beta/demo results show them working well.

    IE. this isn't as much an Android story as it is a business story (and a really poor one at that - no real details at all).

    And for the fanboy's ready to flame this... note I didn't say Android costs less to develop for or support. I'm only saying this "article" is for shit and doesn't provide enough to make any conclusions.

  • Re:Wah wah wah (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Sarten-X ( 1102295 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:47PM (#39314887) Homepage

    It seems to be the other way around to me.

    iOS is like IE6: one particular implementation with a huge market behind it. It has its own particular set of bugs, but they're well-known and apply consistently everywhere, so the devs are used to working around them.

    Android is like standard HTML 4: A definition of how things should be defined, and many implementations following that specification. Each implementation comes with its own set of bugs, so when your program expects a certain undefined behavior, it fails on other implementations than what you tested.

    As with web development, there are two solutions. You can stick with the "one implementation to rule them all" model, and ignore the rest of the world hoping it will go away, or you can write your program from the ground up to be compliant with the One True Spec, and you can port over to other implementations more easily.

  • Re:He's wrong. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anthony Mouse ( 1927662 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:51PM (#39314903)

    You're obviously not very good at math. If you're spending $X on development but still making $2X in returns, you end up losing $X by discontinuing development. That doesn't change just because you spent $4X on development on another platform and then made $20X. Losing $X is losing $X.

    On top of that, have you considered that spending 20% of the time on a platform that has 50% of the users may be a bad idea? How about spending equal time on it, so that your app doesn't suck on that platform and your sales don't keep dropping?

  • by flowwolf ( 1824892 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:51PM (#39314905)
    IOS is too restrictive to allow direct ports from open platforms. This is what was being talked about by the OSS pioneers that said walled gardens were a bad thing. Remember that ?
  • by mangobrain ( 877223 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:53PM (#39314937) Homepage

    Have you looked at the specs of modern smartphones? Dual core CPUs are increasingly commonplace, with quad core on the way - in fact, already here in some of the high-end tablets. We're talking about Android devices here, not sub-£50 "feature phones". Comparing the tricks needed on this sort of hardware with what was required to squeeze performance out of DOOM-era PCs is an insult to the ingenuity of the programmers behind the early ground-breaking titles. OpenGL ES 1.0 has been available since API level 4 (Android 1.6), and 2.0 available since API level 8 (Android 2.2).

    The primary language for Android development is Java. You *can't* go "pretty deep into the guts" from so high up; that's the very reason you can run the same bytecode on x86 and ARM devices. Yes, there's always the NDK if you really want to use C/C++, but if you stray outside the realm of the supported libraries then you deserve everything you get.

    MASSIVE DISCLAIMER: I'm only just getting started with Android development myself. Still, I have to wonder how many of the problems lie with the platform, and how many lie with developers not really understanding what they're working with, assuming that the size and nature of the audience automatically turns mobile game development into some sort of free lunch.
    * We all know that GPUs have driver issues, but don't rule out the possibility that issues are really to do with your own code: in my limited experience with OpenGL on the desktop, it's easy to write something that only works on certain hardware because you have unintentionally violated the spec, for example by setting something outside its officially specified range of values, or assuming some default piece of state which the standards don't mandate. Unless you're writing the next Unreal, this is more likely than uncovering driver issues with your 2.5D platformer or simplistic first-person engine. Keep your rendering pipeline as simple as it can be.
    * Apps published on the marketplace had (until very recently) a size limit of 50mb. Anything above that had to be installed via a follow-up download within the app itself, which adds complexity, and increases the chances of failure. This limit has now been raised to 4GB, but before that, any developer blowing the limit ought to have thought long and hard about whether they really needed to before going down that route. Even if you get it right, there will still be scores of complaints from users who just don't understand that trying to download several hundred megabytes (non-resumable) over a patchy GPRS connection is just not going to end well, no matter how much care you take to warn them up front.
    * I could be missing something here, but it appears to me that Android doesn't hand-hold your application through state management, especially if you're using OpenGL. This isn't just about saving basic state such as high scores, but the much lower-level business of simply writing something which is robust in the face of how Android handles multi-tasking. Read up on what events can and cannot cause an app's EGL context to get trashed, and what exactly you need to do when that happens. Remember the bad old days not so long ago, when alt-tabbing was a good way to crash full-screen games on Windows? Well, those days are still with us, just not on the same platform.
    * Another good thing to understand is how to use the manifest. Declare what screen sizes and orientations you support, what texture format support you expect from the hardware, and so on. I have no evidence of this, but it wouldn't surprise me if some devices claim support for texture formats which they can't actually handle (those pesky GPU vendors), but hey, sometimes issues are out of the developer's hands - that's what trial versions are for, right?

    I'm not saying it's easy. I don't fully understand how to navigate my way around most of the above issues myself, but rather than le

  • by zieroh ( 307208 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:54PM (#39314941)

    Ah no, that is also not the real problem.

    The real problem lies with people who have the mentality that we should be even attempt to code 3D FPS games on devices that were designed to make phone calls and occasionally surf the web.

    A tablet or cell phone is not a gaming machine. "Smartphone" is an oxymoron. And the only people trying to convince you otherwise are the people selling them.

    FFS, get over it. It's 2012. Your fantasy about these being incapable devices ceased to be convincing three years ago.

  • Re:Wah wah wah (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 10, 2012 @07:58PM (#39314963)

    You're all being ridiculous.

    The Android OS isn't really the major issue that these guys are facing. The biggest issue is how many different variations of hardware there are for Android devices and the fact that when you expect to be able to write it for one platform and then have it work perfectly well on other platforms (hardware specifically, though software does come into play with the modifications to the Android OS that all of the major manufacturers like to do like crazy), your plan is going to fail. You can see some of these same issues on PCs at times (I see it a little bit more in open source programs that haven't reached stable yet and have issues across different hardware it's being attempted to run on, to be specific).

  • by St.Creed ( 853824 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @08:06PM (#39315027)

    And that's a pretty stupid rename, IMO.

    I go to the market to BUY stuff. I go to the playground to PLAY. If I were an Android developer I'd be very unhappy about this.

  • Re:What is (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@nOspAm.world3.net> on Saturday March 10, 2012 @08:28PM (#39315153) Homepage Journal

    Maybe they are just shit programmers. Lots of other developers seem to be able to write complex games for Android without these kinds of issues.

    Perhaps they are getting confused by broken drivers on certain phones or something. If they were developing for Windows they probably wouldn't bother patching their game to support old graphics cards running old drivers that the card manufacturer should really update/fix.

    The bottom line is that plenty of other devs are getting on well with Android. This whole story just seems like a typical "tabloid" media story, i.e. find one disgruntled guy and try to make out he has discovered a huge flaw in the system that affects everyone.

  • Re:What is (Score:4, Insightful)

    by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @08:37PM (#39315201)

    Maybe they are just shit programmers.

    Or maybe it's a horribly fragmented platform.

    Lots of other developers seem to be able to write complex games for Android without these kinds of issues.

    That's not at all what it seems like. See the comment elsewhere about the Game Developer's Conference.

  • by Swampash ( 1131503 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:06PM (#39315319)

    What's the point of targeting a base of three hundred million people who are statistically unlikely to ever spend money on apps? Better to target the numerically smaller group of people who spend LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY on apps.

  • by peragrin ( 659227 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:07PM (#39315321)

    developers need 100's of different pieces of hardware to sort out android issues. or one new apple model a year.

    Every android vendor is releasing 6-12 new models a YEAR. each one with different OS, hardware, and generic software configurations.

    Those vendors charge each developer for every phone they buy. Why? because 99% of the developers don't have the reputation to earn free hardware.

  • by Penguinisto ( 415985 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:10PM (#39315337) Journal

    You may want to actually read the site that you cite, because it doesn't support your claim, at all.

    The author of the article said that the ad-supported version of Angry Birds makes more money for them than the paid version, and is only speculating that based on a predicted $1m in ad revenue per month. There was further speculation that this may be because Android's marketplace is limited in scope and "not too great."

    Seriously - that leap you made to your conclusion is over an awfully large gap.

  • by guidryp ( 702488 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:11PM (#39315341)

    The link doesn't say anything about them making more money with Android.

    It says on Android they go with Ad based model, because the pay model doesn't work as well on Android.

    There is no comparison with iOS.

  • by BasilBrush ( 643681 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:21PM (#39315383)

    Funny isn't it. When iOS development is in question, $99 to join the developer programme is too much money. But when it's Android, spending $thousands on test hardware is neither here nor there. It's even waved away with fantasies of free test hardware for developers.

    Android cheerleaders just don't live in the real world.

  • by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:43PM (#39315453) Journal

    When iOS development is in question, $99 to join the developer programme is too much money. But when it's Android, spending $thousands on test hardware is neither here nor there.

    Well, hold on a minute. It's $99 no matter what you want to develop.

    I think spending "thousands" on test hardware for a company that is trying to sell what they are touting as a top-level game is indeed "neither here nor there".

    Gee, I hope companies that are selling games are using test equipment. Otherwise, what are the odds that the game is going to be any good? There are a whole lot of crappy games for handhelds for all platforms. I've got an iPod Touch and an Android phone, and I don't see one being all that much better, from a game user's point of view, than another. Except for the fact that the Android has more powerful, faster hardware and an SD card slot right on the phone.

  • by whoop ( 194 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @09:43PM (#39315457) Homepage

    I bought the game last year, and this article got me to thinking. I cannot recall when I last saw an update in the market for it. So, I pulled up AppBrain page for it, and see updates were coming in from May to July 2011. Then there has been nothing since. So, I have to wonder how many tweaks to the shaders and whatever they say they really did? I mean, they gave up on the game a long time ago. It hit 50k purchases in August, so there's $150,000 in sales made. Google takes what, 30%? So that's $105,000 minimum.

    I know I've seen some nasty comments in the user reviews on the market, so I pull up their page there. I see 4991 four or five star reviews, and 383 one to three star reviews. That's just 7% of the reviews are bad. That looks quite good to me. Looking at the recent ratings, there have been many of the 196 one-star reviews posted just in the last couple of days. Since March 1, people have been giving it one star for not having updates like IOS has (Did that version just get an update?), which is an understandable sentiment.

    Now, that's considered a failure for small-time developers? They really put in more time/effort on this than to make it a losing venture?

  • by ozmanjusri ( 601766 ) <aussie_bob@@@hotmail...com> on Saturday March 10, 2012 @10:06PM (#39315543) Journal
    How about you respond to the comment instead of FUD spreading.

    As usual, the summary distorts TFA, but TFA clearly states that the developer's main complaint is a 50Mb limit to the download cache for Market apps. They then state that they don't want to commit resources to making game data a separate download.

    Think about that for a scond.

    This is not a challenging task, even for a moderately skilled coder - it's a solved problem. Now I have no doubt there's good reasons why this one developer can't support Android, despite 250,000 apps making it there, but the reason given in TFA is not the real reason.

    In reality, what's happened is that Google, recognising the need for larger apps and data, has increased the size of downloads from the Market as Expansion files. They did this so they could track when large in-game downloads were completing, because unscrupulous dvelopers were using large/slow downloads to make sure the user had no opportunity to finish the download before the refund period expired. Now the Market tracks that the user has completely finished downloading large applications, then starts the refund period. Most newer devices should download expansion files automatically, but older ones download them when you first run the application.

    I'm not suggesting that a developer with a poor quality port from a different platform might want to deny users the opportunity for a refund. Though, if they are really having trouble implimenting something as simple as in-game downloads, I might question the quality of their other work...

  • by psperl ( 1704658 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @10:13PM (#39315567) Homepage
    I am the author of projectM [google.com], a much more complex graphical application that the game in question here. Android fragmentation is an issue for me, but ONLY because of live wallpapers. The "standalone" version of my app is amazingly consistent across the different Android GPUs. I suspect their developers are not very experienced with OpenGL and shaders. The entire point of OpenGL is to abstract the GPU away from the developer. It works. projectM is profitable. What I take from this article is that an iOS port could bring me to Apple levels of profitability!
  • by sl149q ( 1537343 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @10:19PM (#39315591)

    Hmm... Apple supports their products with updates and rewards their end users for staying current with better software and better apps.... I suppose that the downside to that is that you are SOL if you don't want to upgrade.

    On the other hand with Android products you are just plain SOL because you don't get the choice to upgrade at all for the most part.

  • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @10:35PM (#39315659)

    In my experience new developers are very bad at adapting to new ways of doing things and very good at blaming the system for their own problems. They'll do something that is not the right way to do it on this system, hasn't been for a long time, is documented on how to do it, and then blame the system.

    Two of my favourite examples of developer laziness:

    1) Lack of 64-bit apps for Windows. While I realize most apps don't need to be 64-bit, and 64-bit Windows provides flawless 32-bit support, you should still have 64-bit version available. They do run a tiny bit faster and it is just the right way of doing things. Let's start getting rid of the legacy stuff. What's more, it isn't hard to do, at least according to the developers I hang out with. You set the compile target for 64-bit and go. Maybe a couple things to correct but all in all the compiler takes care of the details. However most don't. The reason is they were doing shit in the code they never should have, like casting pointers in to 4 byte integers and so on. They write bad code, and it makes 32/64-bit porting a problem.

    2) Drivers. Back when Windows 2000 came out, it introduced a whole new audio driver model, a much better one, called WDM. It supported the old NT drivers for legacy, but WDM was the way to go. Well the pro sound card I had wasn't getting WDM driers. They claimed WDM couldn't work for pro software because of a built in delay. That sounded wrong so I checked the docs and sure enough, there was a mode (KS) that bypassed it. Finally the driver came out and supported only 2 of the 8 channels. They claimed it was a limitation of WDM. Again checking the docs revealed that wasn't true. Eventually they got a fully working WDM driver but it took a long time, over a year, and much blaming the new format.

    So I could see it often being the case for Android too. Developers know one way of doing things, it asks you to do things a different way. Developers ignore that and do it their way, and it leads to problems.

    While I'm not saying Android is 100% blameless here, you need to make sure you are doing things the way the platform wants, regardless of if that is the way you like to do things.

    Finally there's just the fact that people need to accept that maybe mobile phones aren't as profitable as they want them to be. Yes I know, Angry Birds made eleventy kajillion dollars. You aren't angry birds, you aren't going to make so much. Some people have the right combination of luck, timing, and talent to make a shitload. Many others will not make a ton. That's life.

  • by Goragoth ( 544348 ) on Saturday March 10, 2012 @11:38PM (#39315879) Homepage

    It might help if Android had some sort of built in performance metric similar to the Windows experience index, that can measure the CPU/GPU/memory/etc... and spew out some easy to understand numbers that a user can use to compare to minimum specs listed in the Android store. Something like you need a minimum score of 3, recommended 4, you check your phone, see it only has a 2.2 and skip buying that particular game. No confusing GPU series numbers, memory amounts, CPU Mhz or Ghz or core count numbers, just a simple score the user can compare (or even the device automatically compares and lets the user know). As far as I know nothing like that exists just yet but it would be simple to implement and really solve the problem of different device capabilities for game developers.

  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @02:46AM (#39316529)

    I don't think that is what he is saying at all. Basically, don't try to turn a can opener into a rocket launcher, is what he is trying to say.

    He does have a point. The form factor alone, combined with several other technical flaws (or challenges) such as processing power and battery life, make using cell phones as anything other than a phone, just plain foolish. We have ended up with very expensive devices that don't do any particular function really well, have a piss poor form factor for web surfing (in standard page layouts) and applications.

    As far as the tablet goes, I disagree. Tablets do have a form factor suited for gaming and applications. That extra size allows for more processing power and battery life.

    I understand the desire though. One device. Dock it at home, have a different form factor and inputs, take it with me, have different functions, etc. Multiple devices really suck. Going back to the days of a cell phone, Palm, MP3 player, etc. is not something I want to do.

    The biggest gripe in the article is a problem plaguing Android right now. That is inconsistency in the hardware and platform itself. It seems to be less consistent and reliable than a PC as far as software and drivers go. Gaming is a bleeding edge industry anyways, and Apple has always had that benefit of homogeneous hardware. I don't really see the point in griping about it. If it does not make financial sense to develop on it, stop doing it. That will send a message to the manufacturers to get their shit together and start working with a standard a little more seriously.

    At this point I am ready to go back to a clam shell phone. I really, really don't want something that operates so terribly because it is trying to be too many things at once. While I would like one device, I am thinking that a tablet and a phone might just be the way to go here.

    The form factor just sucks and trying to slam more and more power into it to do something else in a mediocre fashion that is also just a losing battle as far as battery life is concerned seems rather pointless to me.

    So it's not that I don't want to try something new. We have. I call it a failure. Now, let's try something different. Perhaps, modular devices and flexible displays that expand. Allow me to just take a very very small phone device with me, and choose when to dock into a tablet. Retinal displays, or displays built into my glasses. Basically anything other than the form factor and inputs on the standard smartphones today. They just plain suck to me.

  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @12:50PM (#39318369) Homepage Journal

    So in essence the whole article is bitching about the difficulty of developing games for these devices, and have encountered the same problems PC game developers have struggled with for decades: inconsistent driver level support for OpenGL features and buggy implementations.

    To imply that this is a problem with the Android platform is disingenuous. The problem is the graphics programming stack, not the operating system, it's languages, or it's libraries.

    And quite frankly, the "problem" is irrelevant to anyone doing "real world" applications instead of graphical eye candy for video games. Had this been someone doing a "news reader" or some such other common style of application, it would have made me sit up, take notice, and question the sanity of Android as a platform.

    But as it is, it only makes me question the sanity of a game developer being surprised that there are differences between the hardware and driver stacks for different machines/cards.

  • by Cute Fuzzy Bunny ( 2234232 ) on Sunday March 11, 2012 @03:07PM (#39319103)

    I thought it was only a troll if it wasnt true and the lie only perpetuated to inflame.

    iPad, around $500-600. Any other tablet that I like just fine that does everything the ipad does are easily found for under $200.

    21" imac, $1200, equivalent i5 desktop machine with far more ram and storage goes routinely for under $500 with the monitor.

    15" i7 macbook, $1800, equivalent i7 laptop with more ram and storage can be had for under $600. Ha ha ha...they want $200 to bump it from 4 to 8GB of ram. What is that, like $30 on sale from newegg?

    As far as whether they buy the software on the ipad/ipod/iphone? I dont have any broad numbers but everyone I know that has one has dozens and dozens of apps on it.

    In any case, is this all really any sort of news? When you button up a platform and offer limited options and configurations and everything comes from the same company, its going to be easier to develop for and manage. So why doesnt apple software, apps, accessories and other stuff cost less than windows? After all, its a lot simpler to develop for.

    It doesnt mean Android is a bad product or an ipad is especially great. Its just that the latter has a lot less permutations. If lack of choice and paying at least a 100% premium somehow turns out to be appealing in exchange for fewer things that could go wrong, I guess I'm missing that appeal. If I wanted that, I'd buy a single vendor stable platform.

Exceptions prove the rule, and wreck the budget. -- Miller