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Animate2D

Gamedev Users: How many have iOS versus Android


60 posts in this topic

[quote name='L. Spiro' timestamp='1352212821' post='4998041']
Thanks to the difficulties in developing for Android, it is simply not possible for Android to win.
...
Android development is something to which I will never subject myself, and fuck Google for making it so. In history there has never been so much dip-shittery. “Let’s let all the devices have capabilities dependent on vendors.”
Nice way to segregate the developers who really just want their shit to run the same on all devices they support.[/quote]Not had a problem myself with Android development (or Symbian). And much better than only being able to develop on an Apple computer (imagine if you could only develop on a Google computer?), and having to pay $99 a year. If you haven't done it, how do you know?

[quote]While number of sales is one statistic, it really has no meaning.
I can sell an acorn for 10 cents and create 10,000,000 sales.
If I sold the same acorn for $1 and sold only 1,000,000, I have done the same thing.
It’s super-duper that Google has sold so many Android devices, but in the end it was just a 10-cent sale. The numbers say Android is winning in terms of users, but that really has no meaning when prices are compared. Android can rack up all the numbers it wants; it is still losing because those iPhone sales are profitable for Apple.[/quote]Well sure there are other stats of interest to developers, but then, you should also not just look at Android and Iphone. E.g., I recall the same stats that show Iphone as being more profitable than Android also show Nokia Store better than Android; other stats might be downloads per developer, which Symbian/Nokia does well on.

But it's not all about profit - there are large numbers of free applications out there, and sometimes pure numbers matter (e.g., you're offering software for a service or website, or you make money through ads, or whatever).

Also I'm confused, are you talking about sales for developers, or profit for the phone companies? As a developer and user, how much profit a company makes matters least to me - indeed, high profit is a sign that they're overpricing, rather than passing savings onto the customer (i.e., me).

[quote]I like Google, but Android is nothing but shit.[/quote]Well this is now just opinion about what is better, and there are plenty who disagree. Edited by mdwh
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[quote name='L. Spiro' timestamp='1352212821' post='4998041']
angry post
[/quote]


Making Android an open source platform is never a good thing. After making it open source, Google can't control all the Android variants. Amazon even took the liberty to create their own version and screwing up Google and all Android developers for having yet another version to worry about for their app. However, if there's one thing that Android does right, it's the fact that the whole platform is designed for multi-resolution devices. iPhone no.

Look at iPhone development. All fixed for one particular resolution. Makes it easier to develop? Yes. Makes it easier to maintain and manage? No. Mobile development is always going through changes with all these new devices released, making your code adaptable to these changes is one of the primary core of mobile development. Apple has to release iPad Mini with the same resolution as the iPad. Apple has the money and technology to make iPad mini run in HD, Retina Display, and all that jazz to wow its fans even more. However, Apple knows that by doing so, it will break the compatibility of most of the apps on the App Store. Right now on iPhone/iPad development, you need to provide two sizes for each one of your resource file, one is at the old resolution, another is the retina display resolution at double the sizes. It's only a matter of time until you are required to provide another one at three/four times the resolution.

Android development might be nasty (still less nasty than J2ME), but it enforces its developers to think two or three more steps ahead. We already have the system to manage resources at multitude of resolutions since day 1. Android XML layout files, even though it's nasty to work with, I still think it's better than the iPhone layout files (not talking about the GUI). Watch as new devices with new resolutions are released. iOS developers scatter in panic to make their app compatible with the new resolution. Android developers, "meh".

The thing that Android is lacking is the proper development tools. Emulator runs like shit. No GUI editor, layouts have to be hard-coded (sure there are tools on the web, but they are not part of the official tools that Google released). Can't debug NDK, just like how you complained. GPS emulation is crap (iPhone can simulate driving!). When you have to ssh to your phone as part of the debugging, you know something is wrong! Documentation is crap. It's like the entire Android team in Google is run by Linux nerds.
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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1352228497' post='4998154']
See this is the thing - whilst there are plenty of minor firsts that one can credit Apple for, the same is true of Google, Nokia, Samsung and so on. If we wrote a list of top 100 phone firsts, sure, Apple would make a few in the list, but you'd also have lots of entries from lots of other companies.
[/quote]

I'm sure of this. Apple would only have a few. Like creating a game it takes a small set of unique characteristics to have a runway hit.
Taking a chance on glass screen was a big jump. Particularly for a phone which is sensitive to damage from falling.
And another and I remember the quote. Not being able to change the battery was quoted as being a amateur's mistake. Though I don't consider this an innovation but in a way it is because the body of the iPhone 5 is more solid and durable without question than anything in the market.

Why is it that apple is the one that ushered in this new era? And could it have been done by another company?
Maybe it had to be apple because they had a user base from iPod to tap of which the phone was the next logic up sell so to speak.

It seemed to take so long for other companies to respond, they were truly caught off guard.

[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1352228497' post='4998154']
No, rather it wasn't possible to use a stylus, so this is just repeating "capacitive screen" again, and I don't see it as a benefit. And indeed, now that companies like Samsung and MS have developed capacitive screens that can use styluses, we are seeing them reappear.
[/quote]

You use a capacitive stylus with a capacitive screen.
Wacom bamboo pen is one.
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[quote name='Animate2D' timestamp='1352328937' post='4998629']
Why is it that apple is the one that ushered in this new era? And could it have been done by another company?
Maybe it had to be apple because they had a user base from iPod to tap of which the phone was the next logic up sell so to speak.

It seemed to take so long for other companies to respond, they were truly caught off guard.
[/quote]

Indeed. It's not like the other companies hadn't been _trying_ to make touch phones, for years before iPhone.
And indeed it is very few points where apple was first.
But first does not matter. First can even be a disadvantage. What matters is correct timing, (both the tech being mature enough, and the market being mature enough) and delivering a whole product with features that work well together.
And this is where Apple excelled.

Here's some praise for Nokia: They've always had excellent hardware, both build quality and battery time. Really nice engineers too. They do not deserve to die, I hope (and think) they will get a revival now when they've finally dropped symbian and go for a modern mobile os. Edited by Olof Hedman
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[quote name='Olof Hedman' timestamp='1352134700' post='4997626']
You can see on the numbers that the thing android does more then anything else is help expanding the smartphone market (90%+ growth!), selling to people who never had a smartphone before, and taking over symbian, bb and windows shares.

It doesn't seem to be that many that convert from iOS just yet.
[/quote]If we're talking individuals, it's hard to say - some people have switched from IOS, just as they've switched from Android.

Overall, IOS has been growing - but then, so has Android. So we could just as well say that not many are converting from Android either. (They might be more likely to switch between Android manufacturers, but then that's the great thing about Android, you have that freedom of choice.)

[quote]I don't think anyone who actually know anything about the smartphone market have ever thought that iPhone is the largest.[/quote]Well indeed, "actually know anything" is the problem though [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]

[quote]Though, on the other hand, most people don't even know what a smartphone is, and don't care.

It has been the biggest "large fancy touch-phone" for some time though, which I think is what the customer classifies it as.[/quote]But it isn't! I'm confused how you would even think this would change anything, since all Android devices ever have always fitted this definition.

It's true that "smartphone" is terribly ill-defined, but the definition used today and the past few years by the media is one that only looks "large fancy touch-phone". If we were going to get rigorous about smartphone definitions, I'd say it's rather odd that the original iphone is included (which couldn't even run apps), but many "feature" phones aren't (even though they've done apps and Internet for years, as well as yes, touch screens). But still, even with the restricted definition which just looks at a selected set of platforms, Android is way ahead.

[quote]Cool that you can get that many downloads on symbian still!
Just out of curiosity, are you selling it, or is it free/adware? Is it a game or an app?[/quote]Sadly for free [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Interestingly this picture is reproduced over the 3 cross-platform apps I have, one is a utility (1.4 million downloads on Symbian since Jan 2012), the other two are games (one is around 20,000 downloads last time I looked on Symbian since around Apr 2012; the other is a lot less popular, just a simple breakout clone).

[quote]I'm not saying anything about if you should or not, just that most people tend to do.
Symbian never tried to market their name to end users though, so its not that strange that many forget about it.[/quote]Fair enough, I misunderstood [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] It's true that "Symbian" has never been a marketed name that Nokia used in their branding.

[quote]I do very much not like it though, something I developed over 5 years of working with them. Not just writing apps, but writing code for the actual OS.
That's one horribly over-engineered and very inefficient system, no matter how much their architects tried to upsell it
If one need an example of OOP running amok, Symbian is a good case.

It was obvious to me that they would die, about 4 years ago, a death by legacy, by not beeing able to cope with change[/quote]But they did change! Note that things got massively better in 2010 when Qt became the official SDK. It's all I ever used, and I love it (in fact I'm using the Qt port for Android too). I did hear bad things about the older Symbian C++ system.

I can think of plenty of reasons why they might have switched - it's a lot easier to use someone else's OS than maintain it yourself. But despite it's age, it was still doing well. Of course it's true that sometimes things have to be replaced - just as Apple had to do with classic Mac OS, or MS did with DOS, Windows 9x, and more recently with Windows CE. But there's also the question of branding - Apple still call the new different OS X "Mac OS", and Windows Phone in fact switched from Windows CE to NT for the kernel from 7 to 8. So legacy problems don't mean a platform has to die, though I can see Nokia deciding it better to switch to something else, like Apple did when they used Next, but there was little point keeping the Symbian name when they'd never marketed it.

[quote]It's not clear to me either who comes out on top, but it should be a pretty tight race if you only look at high end devices over the years.
We're talking about devices that is released as the top end of their product line, so also S2 and iphone 4 is counted.[/quote]Since writing that, I've now seen this: [url="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/08/analyst_names_worlds_best_selling_smartphone/"]http://www.theregist...ing_smartphone/[/url]

The S3 alone outsold iphone 4S in Q3 2012. Of course, on top of Apple's totals, we'd have to add the iphone 4 and 5. But to Android totals, we're adding the Note, Note 2, S2, as well as the flagship phones from all the other Android manufacturers like HTC. So it's not proof, but I'd be very surprised. (Plus, does say an old iphone 3GS that's still being sold today really count as a high end device? It seems unfair to count that, but exclude mid-range phones today that completely outdo it.)

[quote]For us, as application developers, what really matters is one thing. "cost to develop" compared to how many are willing to give us money for our work.

The really big problem for android is that cost to develop skyrockets when there is so much fragmentation, and the will to pay is still very much lower then on the app store.[/quote]I'm certainly not saying there are no reasons to developer for iphone. Everyone has their own reasons - and the reason you give isn't the only consideration either.

The OP asked which was more popular, and I'm just clearing it up that it's Android, by miles.

There are indeed many considerations, and the fact that it isn't simply about popularity is also why one shouldn't just restrict consideration to Android and IOS. Similarly on desktops - Windows is clearly by far the most popular platform, but that doesn't mean there isn't reason for some people to write for OS X or Linux (or a combination with cross-platform software). It's true that the stereotype seems you're more likely to find mugs with iphones who are more likely to splash out loads of money for software even if it's simple to develop, though as a user, I much prefer the greater range of free software on Android.

For my perspective: Having to buy Apple PCs would be extra cost, as would the yearly Apple fees. It's also extra hassle - if I'm travelling, how do I develop if I only have my Windows laptop? Do I have to lug two laptops around with me? Even at home, it's a pain to have to switch to another computer just to write some code.

Whilst supporting more models is extra cost/time, I wouldn't say it skyrockets - if this was the case, no one would ever develop for Windows. Also consider that "fragment" implies small, when really these are huge great chunks - as shown above, even if you restricted yourself to Samsung Android phones, or even just the S3, it's beating Apple.

It's no longer the case that there's one single model either for IOS - you've got 3 earlier iphones, the 4 and 4S at a different resolution, then iphone 5 with a different size and resolution, then 4 ipads with varying resolutions, and now an ipad mini with a new resolution. It's getting to the stage where supporting those devices is no harder than testing the varying range of the Android resolutions anyway. I don't think you need to test every single Android device, just as no one would test every single configuration of Windows PC there is out there.

Plus, even though it may be an advantage, I still much prefer the freedom of choice of what models there are to buy (and develop for).

I develop for Symbian still as the tools are excellent and there's no hassle, and Qt allows me to develop for Android (and Windows and Linux desktop) too. Nokia have a great feature on their website to allow remote testing of any Nokia phone - I do wish something like this existed for Android. I also dislike as a matter of principle Apple's model of controlling the software so that you can't release without Apple's permission (same reason I don't want to develop for WP or Windows RT). I'm not saying everything's perfect on Android (the emulator control options aren't very user friendly, for example), but each platform has its pros and cons (Nokia and WP seem to have good tools too), and if we're looking at more than just installed userbase, just as there's more than just Android, there's also more than just Android and iphone.
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[quote name='mdwh' timestamp='1352229091' post='4998159']
But it's not all about profit - there are large numbers of free applications out there, and sometimes pure numbers matter (e.g., you're offering software for a service or website, or you make money through ads, or whatever).
[/quote]

The funny thing is that even free or ad financed games are getting more downloads and significantly more playtime(and thus more displayed ads) per download on iOS than on Android, Androids big disadvantage (for us game developers) is basically that a fairly large portion of the Android users aren't treating their phones as portable game consoles.

I do however think that Android is worth supporting, both for games and service apps but it would take a lot for me to consider writing my own Android game engine. (The better mobile game engines will handle the differences between devices for you)
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Ah, you use Qt, that explains why you might like developing apps for it. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
That came after I gave up on Symbian, so my dislike is partly based on the mess of UI-framework that was before it.
After it became open source, I kind of lost track of it, also my professional focus shifted, and the experience over the last years had me dislike symbian development so much I said I never wanted to do it anymore.

Its not an easy decision to drop a platform, there was silly amounts of man-years poured into symbian. Though change was reeeaaally slow in that organization, it had a lot to do with that the company symbian in one way was its own, but also was owned and controlled by _competing_ manufacturers, and those manufacturers of course couldn't talk to each other. Symbian didn't drive any development really, only reacting to change requests. And lots of features poured in pretty uncontrolled, making the system unstable. It was hell to get even a bug free working phone out in the end (before I left the industry).
I think symbian got too expensive to maintain after a while.

Going open source, I saw as its last death throes, they hoped it would magically fix everything, but it didn't... the problem with that is that you still do not get any internal drive. Only ones contributing is the phone projects, and they still don't want to or have time to talk to each other enough. And they fix their own little problem without consideration to the whole. Change to Qt was a great thing though, but that wasn't enough either. You also needed to throw out most of the system services and rewrite them if the system would ever become sane... I don't know how much they did of that.

Android is very different in how its organized. Google has their own clear vision of what android should be, and they drive this. Everyone can use it, but they stay in control. That makes change a lot faster and more directed, and they have indeed delivered a complete and very competent system in just a few years.

iOS too obviously, and even more so, and its this focus that makes it possible to deliver the product as fast as they actually did, and with this feeling of being "whole".

I think this lack of drive was the thing that most of all made me realize they wouldn't make it in the race.

[quote]
The S3 alone outsold iphone 4S in Q3 2012. Of course, on top of Apple's totals, we'd have to add the iphone 4 and 5. But to Android totals, we're adding the Note, Note 2, S2, as well as the flagship phones from all the other Android manufacturers like HTC. So it's not proof, but I'd be very surprised. (Plus, does say an old iphone 3GS that's still being sold today really count as a high end device? It seems unfair to count that, but exclude mid-range phones today that completely outdo it.)
[/quote]

Q3 is a bit unfair measure point for iphone, but that is impressive sales for the S3...

I'm all for freedom of choice too, but it makes my life as a developer easier if the software systems are kept to a minimum and standardized, so I don't morn symbian. Because I think we still need to talk about symbian in the past sense, they were big, and admittedly, bigger then I thought in recent time, but from now on, it's safe to assume its "Android", "iPhone" and "Windows Phone" that will compete.

Android snatch a chunk from both the low end and the high end cookie, but the others will likely stay in the high end, so its probably safe to say that android will continue to outsell the others for quite some time. The market is growing so much that there likely will be room for all three of them to be profitable, so the choice will be there

I just wish it was nicer to develop native code for [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
And maybe also that people would like to pay me for my work, its a bit too easy to pirate android apps, and Google seems to not care. They think everyone can live off ads like they do or something. I'd like the freedom of choice of business model too...

You know, some of that software that cost money is not just thrown together, there are loads of apps with great production value, that is well worth the few bucks you spend on it. Also with software, its generally true that you "get what you pay for". Of course there are gold diggers, but a quick read on the reviews should give you second thoughts. The days when you could write a fart app and become a millionaire are long gone. Mobile software is really ridiculously cheap for the end user if you look at what else you get for $2-$3. Some people spend twice that on their coffee!

I don't claim my considerations to be universal in any way, I guess I just felt like declaring some of my/our own. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
For us, its still hard to justify android development, even with the sales numbers of devices.
App sales need to improve too.
I think we can agree that there are many considerations to do at least, I respect your choices of course.

Those iphone resolutions are actually really simple to handle, since they have kept to their x2 retina standard. Only the iphone 5 is the odd man with its different aspect ratio. When I last counted different resolutions and aspect ratios on android, I stopped when I reached 20. And its not only screen size differences, also hardware differences which vary a lot more, and a lot more unpredictably then on iphone. I guess that is mostly relevant for high performance games though.

Samsung actually has a remote testing lab for their android phones too. Unfortunately its quite unstable, but I wish all manufacturers had that! Really helps the small developer. You don't have to test on every device (that would be impossible) but it felt like the pile of devices was ever increasing on my desk... and then you need to start reflashing versions on them, because it doesn't work in some specific os version and phone model combination you can't ignore. And there are still some models our game does not work on for unknown reasons... Edited by Olof Hedman
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The thing that bothers me most about android is the fact that even within a single manufacturer, there are 20 to 50 different models. Drives me absolutely nuts as if they haven't learned from apple who decided that building the brand on a smaller set of products is more bang for your buck. Maybe this is what they are doing now but it's almost like coke versus pepsi. Coke initially had a massive portfolio of beverages that made pepsi's look tiny. So coke's strategy was to use up all possible refrigerator space in the deli even if the product was net negative in profit to reduce space left for completing products.

But this does not work so well. Pepsi decided to focus more energy on fewer products. Remember the Cindy Crawford pepsi advertising campaign? But now pepsi is more like coke. Remember John Sculley's strategy as CEO to Apple? He used to sell sugared carbonated water for pepsi and apple under Sculley exploded with a plethora of computers that differed by knob an tint. Obviously applied beverage strategy to personal computers only to realize there was no refrigerator space to compete over.

I contend, and google knows this too. It is better to focus on a smaller set of core products than to spread yourself thin and confuse your customers.
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[quote name='Animate2D' timestamp='1352065613' post='4997306']
[quote name='Olof Hedman' timestamp='1352024321' post='4997122']
But when I could carry around a little computer with internet connection I could write programs for, the choice was easy
[/quote]
Laptop screen too small for me to write code. I like to see a lot of lines at once wide.
[/quote]

Missed this one...
I was referring to that little device that people seem to want to call "phones" for some strange reason :)
(personally I hardly ever use the phone app on my little pocket computer)
And I said "for", not "on"...
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[quote name='Olof Hedman' timestamp='1352912566' post='5000960']
(personally I hardly ever use the phone app on my little pocket computer)[/quote]
Ditto.

Not to mention that I pay twice per month for voice what I do for data, and I only use about 20 voice minutes each month.
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