Things you should think about before getting into Android development

November 26, 2009 in Unity3D by synapsemassage

android

android

- Gameloft is taking a step back (not necessarily for ever), and cuts it’s budget on Android development. Even if this may look a bit cowardish in some eyes. It’s a good idea to think about it. Learning the lessons of mobile development before the iPhone era is definitly a good idea.

- Android OS on different devices/hardware, means fragmentation. Fragmenation means necessarily more resources for adapting your software, easily up to 50% of development time. Means more expensive development. Porting to some crappy devices means less fun.

- If your customers are enthusiastic about android apps developers should be aware that this enthusiasm can easily disappear on any day. Customers just have to discover that it’s a nasty bit more expensive to develop for this new platform. Maybe some customers don’t care about the price because they want to promote there über-movie or new über-phone-device. In this case developers are on the lucky side. Don’t forget to charge enough.

- Currently only 40 paid apps at Android Market. That’s not a good sign. Yeah, I know in 2010 everything is going to be greater for sure… blabla…pumping some hot air into the soap bubble.

- iPhone owners behave differently, they are used and willing to pay for the cool things. And Android customers? They hear “open source” and think of “free apps”. So developers will have another nice marketing task: convincing consumers to pay for apps.

- Currently Android Market is a halfhearted copy of the iTunes App Store. Google and other competitors think it’s just cool to open up their own Apps Store and everything is going to be fine. It won’t! Android needs some real masterpieces (hardware and software), currently it doesn’t. Xperia X10? Droid? Not really! Maybe things will change in 2010 or 2011 or 2012.

- An approval-free Store means more crappy Apps, and pretty sure malicious software. Mr. Kevin Nakao says: ….but T-Mobile proved that an open platform would not be riddled with malware and abuse… In my eyes this is against any experience, any platform with huge dispersion and making money is a potential target for the bad guys. If T-Mobile proved something then maybe that its spread of Android Phones is not large enough (3% vs. Apple’s 33%). Read Mr. Nakao’s entry on TechCrunch to form your own opinion.

- checkout the success story ;-) of larva labs developing for Android. Entry 30th Oct.

- also check featured Derek James on gamasutra

Android has obviously the potential to become a successful story but there is much to improve. I think the only company who can do this is google. They have enough spirit for such a thing but unfortunately not a lot expertise with design. I think they should hire Apple for this part ;-) Don’t get me wrong I would love Android to be a success. Real competition would open up some doors for the real things IMO. If you are well funded you should go ahead developing. Apple woke up the giants, but they are still a little bit dozy.