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starbasecitadel

good Android tablet to test game on? testing?

7 posts in this topic

I'm getting closer to the point of needing to test my game on Android and was looking for recommendations on which exact model to get.  

 

I've currently been using my iPad Mini (1st gen) for all device testing and that's it.  I'm out of the loop on the Android side.

 

I'm looking for something a bit on the cheaper side of things (ideally I'll get one used on eBay), as this will purely be a demo/test device and not the tablet I personally use for reading.   What I'm looking for is a device that is fairly representative of what your average Android tablet user has today.

 

On a related aside, I'll probably be limiting the Alpha tests to Android since Apple has a 100-device limitation for testing.   Perhaps they would make an exception for MMO games, but even still I suspect the process of configuring test accounts would be difficult.  

 

So instead, my current strategy for Alpha tests will be to control user account creation via my website and simply provide an app download link. That will allow me to easily distribute the app for testing purposes without the registration overhead.   I'm also going to take a look at this app to see if it would offer additional value:

 

  https://testflightapp.com/android/

 

But in general this kind of strategy is what appears to be typical for MMO developers for iOS games-- you actually do you Alpha + Beta testing in large numbers only on Android since it has far less restrictions, even if you initially do your production launch exclusively to iOS.    

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Nexus 7?

 

I've never developed for android, but just looking at my nexus, it seems to have a fair few "diagnostic" tools. such as seeing how much memory the app is using, and it also has a "developer" mode which i personally never have activated, but might be somthing to look into.

 

I Imagine, other Google android device will work the same (Nexus 4) if your looking for a smaller phone sized screen.

Edited by Andy474
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Nexus 7?

 

I've never developed for android, but just looking at my nexus, it seems to have a fair few "diagnostic" tools. such as seeing how much memory the app is using, and it also has a "developer" mode which i personally never have activated, but might be somthing to look into.

 

I Imagine, other Google android device will work the same (Nexus 4) if your looking for a smaller phone sized screen.

 

Thanks for the advice, I'll check them out!

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Nexus 7 3g is probably the best choice I suppose. Pure android version without being modified, pretty fast, and fully function.

 

However it's not the representative of the whole android community since there are a way lot more devices which are weaker and running lower android version.

If you want your game to be pretty light weight and runnable on most devices, I suppose you choose a device with 1GHz chip, RAM 512, Adreno200, running either android 4.x or 2.3. Samsung P1000, Archos G8 are probably the good ones.

I believe pretty soon, android 4.0 and devices with dual core chipset like 1GHz x 2, RAM 1G will be the new trend, so you can try these too. Kindle Fire 1, Archos G9, G10, or Nook Tablet are some examples.

Edited by tunglxx226
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Are you talking tablets, or phones?
The original Amazon Kindle Fire is an Android device that's pretty run-of-the-mill by now.
For phones, it seems like 400-800 MHz and 256 MB RAM running 2.3 in 480x640 resolution is the lower end -- and, thus, the bigger market. If you're targeting iPad v1, then it seems you want a wide market, so you should consider that. Also: there are still androids out there in 320x480 resolution.
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Oops, I realize I didn't mention several important requirements:

 

 

The first is it will require a faster network than 3G.  I've tested it on Wifi and Verizon 4G LTE.  While I haven't tested it on a 3G connection yet, I wasn't planning on supporting 3G at all both for bandwidth as well as latency considerations.   I was thinking of just explicitly requiring 4G LTE.   It seems like all the carriers are standardizing and moving to 4G LTE anyway.

 

Second, a while ago I tested it on the original full-size iPad 1, and while it played fine at the time, that was before I added a lot of new functionality and some particle effects.  Apple has a policy that if you support one of the older devices, you must always continue to support it (until such time as they officially end-of-life it) or they won't approve updates to your app.  On the other hand, when you get your app approved for the very first time, it is ok to specify a minimum hardware version.    So I was going to require a minimum of iPad version 2 (full size), or for the mini's iPad Mini version 1 to help future proof it more as I continue to add further particle effects, animation etc.  The game is 2D using Corona so I think anything at least as powerful as the iPad Mini version 1 on the Android side should be good.

 

This will purely be for Tablet devices, I won't build it for Phones (the game requires a larger screen than phones have).

 

Also, timeline-wise, it won't be ready for launch until sometime next year, so by then hopefully the average consumer's tablet will be somewhat beefier than the average for today.  That said, I'm trying to finish up the first internal Alpha release in the next few months to start getting some initial feedback.

 

On the Kindle Fire, my concern there is their distribution policy might be more cumbersome than I would like (though I could be wrong, haven't really researched it in detail).  The nice thing about non-Kindle Android (the basic Google Play Store) as I understand it is there are virtually no QA standards, so it is easy to distribute Alpha versions and things of than nature (even including just providing your own download link).

 

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If you have fill rate concerns, beware that Retina units count as "newer" but actually have less effective fill rate because of the higher resolution.
One solution for that might be to render to a render target at a smaller resolution, and stretch-blit to the screen for present.

The first is it will require a faster network than 3G.

3G does several megabit of download speed. This is the same kind of speed as a lot of users have on wired connections with DSL or even lower-end cable modems in some areas. Also, many users pay for data on their 4G connection, so a game that uses more than a megabit a second to play would be pretty harsh on the wallet. WiFi doesn't have that problem, but then has to share the connection with everything else in the household (Netflix, bittorrent, zombie trojans, WoW patching, etc.)
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3G does several megabit of download speed. This is the same kind of speed as a lot of users have on wired connections with DSL or even lower-end cable modems in some areas. Also, many users pay for data on their 4G connection, so a game that uses more than a megabit a second to play would be pretty harsh on the wallet. WiFi doesn't have that problem, but then has to share the connection with everything else in the household (Netflix, bittorrent, zombie trojans, WoW patching, etc.)

 

Good points.  I went ahead an tested it on 3G, and to my surprise it worked just as well.  

 

 

I downloaded a bandwidth measuring app and the game currently clocks in at 0.25 Mbps download per player (upload 0.04 Mbps).   I expect that to increase as I add more units including player count and other features (for example chat isn't implemented yet).  That said, there are several major network optimizations that I will be making which will hopefully counterbalance a good portion of the new features in terms of bandwidth usage.  I'll try to keep download speed under 0.5 Mbps per player which still fits with 3G.

 

Still thinking it over a bit, but probably going to go with a Nexus 7 3G for Android testing.

 

Thanks again! 

 

 

edit: Looks like for 3G the Nexus 7 doesn't work on Verizon's network.  Right now I'm looking at going with the Galaxy Tab SCH-I800.

Edited by starbasecitadel
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