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HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.

 
Picture of William Volk
HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by William Volk - Wednesday, 22 April 2009, 5:29 PM
 
Want to know why there are over 30,000 applications on the iPhone? Ask Ethan Nicholas. Mr. Nicholas programmed a little game called iShoot in his spare time. iShoot shot to number one on Jan 11th, with the $2.99 game reportedly earning Ethan over $800,000. Mr. Nicholas has quit his day job at Sun (good timing!) to devote himself to iPhone programming. ....

The chance of striking it rich or at least quitting their day job is what drives developers to code the next iShoot. Most iPhone apps won't be big successes but the possibility is real. One Billion application downloads on over 20 million devices proved that online distribution's time has arrived.

Sadly, this is not the case with Android. According to the tracking websites AndroidStats.com and Cryket.com, the best selling Android games are only selling a few 1000 units. Even recognized brands like Guitar Hero(r) World Tour (Hands On) have had disappointing sales.

....

Here's some comments by Android developers on the Google "Android Discuss" group:

"The sales aren't disappointing; they are jaw-droppingly terrible."

"I got nearly a hundred thousand downloads of my [FREE] demo, but the sales of the (very highly rated) priced version have been appalling. And I'm ABOVE Guitar Hero in the rankings, for Heaven's sake!" - SUNDOG

"I did look at the downloads of the top 10 apps - they are PATHETIC, the max number of downloads I saw was 1000-5000." - Stoyan Damov

More at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/william-volk/mountain-view-we-have-a-p_b_189252.html

Picture of Jason Delport
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Jason Delport - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 2:17 PM
 
I'm very interested in this subject. Here's my take.

Problems:

(1) User's don't want to sign up to Google checkout (you've mentioned this previously)

(2) There are plenty of places to find illegal copies of paid Android apps

(3) The store is over cluttered with crap apps

(4) The store has a poor design and has a rubbish user experience compared to the iPhone app store

(5) Paid apps were launched later than free apps and a tone was set in the market that apps were, and should be, free.

Some possible solutions:

(1) Proper DRM on paid apps

(2) Market redesign (better UX and navigation).
- Quality paid applications get more prominently featured.
- More ways to browse the application catalogue (most popular by day, week, month, all time)
- Provide application screen shots
- Improve the overall design (those boring black lists got tired very quickly)

(3) Google offers users an incentive to sign up for Google Checkout and buy applications.

(4) Google offers incentives to regular buyers
Picture of Alex Kerr
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Alex Kerr - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 2:29 PM
 
This article, plus the (lack of) quality of the G1 and the relatively tiny sales figures of Android handsets is why we should take Eric Schmidt's [Google CEO] recent bullish talk of Android success this year with a very large pinch of salt.

Android is a great OS, but Google are doing a great job of squandering all it's benefits at a rapid rate.

Personally I think developers would do much better to look at the much less hyped Nokia Ovi store due to a.) more and better payment options for users, b.) an immediate much bigger user base than iPhone or Android with projected growth to a vastly bigger user base, c.) more development options (though yes iPhone still has a superior SDK) and d.) Not just apps - crucially lots of other content too, including Widgets built on easy to learn and develop web based technologies, thus opening up a potentially far larger developer base.

For me the hype to reality ratio of Android is very telling (overhyped, underperformed), and the Ovi store if it meets projections will be too in the opposite sense (under hyped, potentially huge rewards).

Alex
Picture of Zigurd Mednieks
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Zigurd Mednieks - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 4:16 PM
 
It's not an iPhone-sized success for 3rd-party developers, but what is? Not Blackberry, despite the very strong handset sales numbers. Not Windows Mobile. Not even Symbian/S60.

Where you will find evidence of the success of Android is the very high level of activity of speculative ports of Android to all kinds of different hardware. ODMs are very bullish on Android.

Android's openness is qualitatively different from Apple's: Let's say you are a WiMax carrier and you are looking for an IMS-ish endpoint solution for VoIP, IP-to-IP handover, PBX-as-a-service etc. Unless Microsoft or Nokia have it on the shelf for you to use, your choices are Android or build the whole UI from scratch on top of Linux.

That's got nothing to do with applications, though Android is a nice applications platform, too.

Android has made system software for a phone completely open. And that is something new and different.
Picture of William Volk
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by William Volk - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 5:01 PM
 
RIM's decision to go after Operator Billing shows that they are paying attention.

Ovi could be the big winner in the long run. It covers S40 handsets and there's a lot of companies with inventory for that platform.
Picture of Alex Kerr
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Alex Kerr - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 6:17 PM
 
> RIM's decision to go after Operator Billing shows that they are paying attention.

Nokia's decision to go after Operator Billing shows that they are paying attention.

;-) (Assuming I'm reading that right)

> It covers S40 handsets and there's a lot of companies with inventory for that platform.

I think the S40 factor is hugely significant but also the variety of content that can be sold (far more than just apps) and the key factor that that other content does not require the technical skills that apps require to create -> therefore far larger base of potential sellers in the Ovi Store, with far more products. Apps can even be created in the form of widgets with those not up to "proper" :) coding...
Picture of Zigurd Mednieks
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Zigurd Mednieks - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 7:26 PM
 
A lot of Apple's ability to reach a large audience rests on their already-dominant position as a music retailer. They have a mass customer-base across handsets and PMPs.

Nokia is going to have to hit those same milestones. And, while Nokia is one of the very few who could, there are a few intermediate steps:

  1. They need to rival Apple's customer base for music and other other passive media. As far as I know, Nokia isn't close to this, and Nokia's base of customers for ring tones and other phone-specific passive content isn't a significant leg up.
  2. Nokia handsets are going to have to become competitive with iPod and iPhone as a platform for music listening and video. That is, they have to get within reach of Apple in the number of people listening to and watching a similar amount of content. This wn't be easy. Mobile handsets have not displaced PMPs in the same way that they have invaded photography.

At that point Ovi can compete, and application developers can realistically expect similar results from Ovi and iTunes.
Picture of Jason Delport
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Jason Delport - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 5:07 PM
 
Here's my response as a developer:

(1) Most Nokia user's don't download applications where as almost all Android users do (William's problem is with paid apps in particular)
(2) The Ovi store doesn't exist yet and because most Nokia phones don't have OTA firmware updates most of the current Nokia owners won't see the Ovi store until they upgrade phones
(3) Java ME apps in the Ovi store need to be Java Verified (instant fail in my eyes)
(4) Nokia will have the same payment problems that Android has
(5) Developing for Android is infinitely more enjoyable than developing for Nokia phones and I'd be willing to bet Android has web widgets before years end.

PS - you really seem to love Nokia, they wouldn't happen to be a client of yours would they? ;-)
Picture of Alex Kerr
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Alex Kerr - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 6:53 PM
 
> (1) Most Nokia user's don't download applications where as almost all Android users do (William's problem is with paid apps in particular)

Agreed but I (and I think most observers seem to agree) that that's been due to the very poor quality of Download! and it's lack of PR, and being hidden away on the device, so looking forward to Ovi Store launch your argument is invalid.

(2) & (3) - OK, without going into a detailed rebuttal, lets see what happens, and how much of an effect these have. But Nokia say (OK, that's all we have to go on right now) that the Ovi Store facility will be on 50 million devices at launch (i.e. sold, in people's hands) and within a very few years, around 300 - 400 million. How many is Android on exactly?

(4) Nokia's going for credit card and carrier billing. Android is Google Checkout, which is credit card. So... ?

(5) "infinitely more enjoyable"? OK, let's distill that down to saying Android is arguably more enjoyable, how much depending on your opinion, and what's being developed. General content and widgets don't count as in both cases you're using whatever 3rd party tools you want. Actual OS apps, fair enough, Nokia's SDK is not as enjoyable, agreed!

> you really seem to love Nokia

Yeah I'm very aware that this might be a side effect of what I write, but it doesn't negate my need to say what I say - i.e. I'll take the risk. I don't love Nokia at all. But I am totally against the hype that surrounds the iPhone and Android. They're both great OSes and handsets (in the case of the former). And yes I have used and studied all of them. But iPhone and Android REALLY don't deserve the fanboyish hype that most of the industry has lavished on them for the past 2/3 years. I'm merely redressing the balance by pointing out their flaws and Nokia's upsides where appropriate. Entranced by the hype of newer systems, not many people seem to defend Nokia, or other systems, and the key fact that everyone needs to remember is - what devices are in people's hands? A: NOT iPhones or Android, which account for 0.1% and less than 0.1% global handset market share respectively. This is appalling insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Mobile technology is there to help people, not just to make us industry bods a pile of cash. And if 99.9% of people aren't using a technology, lets focus on what people ARE using. This issue becomes even more important in the 3rd world, where mobiles are more crucial to their everyday life, and used in more varied ways. iPhones are not on the cards for people in the developing world. Android may be one day. Nokia is and has been en masse for some time (esp. with S40). So, lets keep a balanced perspective.
Picture of Zigurd Mednieks
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Zigurd Mednieks - Thursday, 23 April 2009, 7:32 PM
 
But iPhone and Android REALLY don't deserve the fanboyish hype that most of the industry has lavished on them for the past 2/3 years. I'm merely redressing the balance by pointing out their flaws and Nokia's upsides where appropriate. Entranced by the hype of newer systems, not many people seem to defend Nokia, or other systems, and the key fact that everyone needs to remember is - what devices are in people's hands? A: NOT iPhones or Android, which account for 0.1% and less than 0.1% global handset market share respectively. This is appalling insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

I've done a few pitches to VC firms where everyone in the room has a Blackberry, and everyone they see in the parking lot has a Blackberry. And, more recently, all their kids have iPhones. Doh!
Picture of Jason Delport
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Jason Delport - Monday, 27 April 2009, 3:27 PM
 
Hi Alex,

I'm also a big believer in mobile technology as an enabler in the developing world (I have masters degree in the social sciences from a university in a developing country so I have a particularly strong interest). Given the opportunity to make a living by do something philanthropic I would jump at the chance (we did help Icon Mobile build the BBC News Select application in Arabic, Russian, English, Urdu, Hindi and Spanish - http://www.paxmodept.com/telesto/blogitem.htm?id=763) but I live in the UK and most of our clients are in the US and Europe and that means I need to target the platforms on which they are most likely to succeed (and for the purposes of this discussion that is measured by the number of application downloads).


To be brutally honest that means we don't even consider S40 devices any more. Symbian is certainly on the list but if falls well behind the iPhone and Android as a priority. I'm no fanboy, I try to base all my decisions on statistics and evidence and thats why I chose iPhone and Android as our primary development platforms (with BlackBerry as a close third). I'm willing to give Symbian / S40 another chance but only after I have seen the cold hard stats that proves users are actually downloading and using applications regularly. Until then all those stats you are throwing about are just hype in my opinion.

PS - Prior to upgrading to the G1 (I also carry an iPod Touch with me) I was a *long* time S60 user so I am hoping Symbian can actually bring their OS up to current UX standards but at the moment it's well behind. I dearly miss the camera on my old N95 and would love to see Nokia produce an OS I can embrace so I can go back to their excellent hardware. :)

J
Picture of Alex Kerr
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Alex Kerr - Monday, 27 April 2009, 5:47 PM
 
Jason,

You're another of the myriad folks in the world trying to make a living off of mobile, and that's great, I wholly support your point of view (apart from Android, which going on general industry vibe is an almost total non starter at the moment, if it's different for you, let's hear more about it). That's your, and you're firm's focus. All good stuff. If I was doing the same thing I would focus on iPhone, and any other platform that showed returns and ignore ones that didn't.

Firstly, Android despite technically being quite good has quite simply failed to live up to the hype, particularly on income from store sales, on handset quality which is poor at best - the G1 (hardware) is comparatively poor at best, and the OS is not quite the be all and end all we hoped for. Secondly, the legitimate enthusiasm people have for iPhone in being a platform in which potentially people can make money (and a few have) has bled over into too much hype about it's relative importance. It's shown the big fish in the pond (mainly S60) need to be better, which I'd certainly agree with. But iPhone inevitably gets too much press, too much hype etc. relative to a.) it's user base, and b.) it's ability to generate significant income for significant numbers of developers.

Yes, we'll see if the reality of Ovi Store lives up to the projected figures, I hope so. It's looking FAR more promising though than iPhone currently does to my mind. Fighting through the crowds on the iPhone store to get one's app noticed is practically impossible (I say from general observation not personal experience - i.e. hopefully this reflects the market rather than any personal success/failure and thus a more valid viewpoint) - this may happen eventually with Ovi Store. But the key point is with a far bigger userbase and more content types that crucially don't require the specialist technical skills of iPhone development I'd argue that Ovi Store offers a much greater chance for a lot more people to make money, than does the iPhone.

Separate to all this of course is the notion that if one wants to make mobile software that is as useful to as many people as possible in the world, the platforms you would NOT target are Android, iPhone, RIM, WinMo, Palm. The ones you would target are mobile web (with it's limitations), J2ME (with it's challenges) and S60. Because these are the platforms the most people have access to. If one looks at all the great things being done (in real terms) with SMS in the developing world, then even mobile web is a big leap forward, and J2ME (despite the fragmentation etc), let alone S60 are just amazing.

Alex
Picture of Jason Delport
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Jason Delport - Tuesday, 28 April 2009, 11:55 AM
 
Some stats for you:

Over 2 years ago we wrote a free Java ME application that allowed people to access Twitter (it's called Twitlet). It's really basic but it works on virtually every Java ME phone out there. It got mentioned in a few blogs and is easily found via Google. It's had 5000 attempted downloads of which 2500 were successful. We measure these things very carefully so those stats are accurate (most Java ME download stats are ridiculously over inflated and should be discounted unless the people reporting them also disclose their methodology and logic on how they are determined).

A few months ago I wrote a simple Android sound board application. It's just an image and some sound bites. That application has had over 15000 downloads.

2 billion Java ME phones = 5000 downloads (being generous)
2 million Android phones = 15000 downloads


I would love to do the same experiment for Ovi but that requires us to get our application Java Verified. Unfortunately Java Verified is the biggest rip-off in mobile so that's not going to happen.
Picture of William Volk
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by William Volk - Tuesday, 28 April 2009, 5:08 PM
 
Java Verified...

So, what's that ... about $200 per app plus pre-testing .... $500?

Anyone know for sure?
Picture of Alex Kerr
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Alex Kerr - Wednesday, 29 April 2009, 1:32 PM
 
Jason,

Thanks for the stats. So what do these stats imply for the larger success of the platforms? Not really anything very much I'd say, unless you can give further data for the differences.

They also do nothing to contradict anything I've said about the respective platforms (HW and SW).

Anyone who says J2ME is nowhere near as easy, cheap, pleasurable etc to develop for compared to iPhone or Android, I'd totally agree with you.

I'm saying anyone can develop iPhone or Android apps until the cows come home, and they're going to be absolutely zero use to 99.9% of the mobile owning or using population of the planet. And so it will remain for the forseeable future. I think it's great that a comparatively limited number of developers on the iPhone (out of the whole pool of developers with apps in the appstore) can make money from the remaining 0.1% of the mobile owning population. Cool, well done them! As regards Android, regarldess of the number of downloads you've enjoyed (free?), judging by what William Volk has said on this forum and what I've read elsewhere, Android development is generally a loss making exercise for developers.

Is J2ME development a loss making exercise for developers who are solely focussed on trying to make a living, and thus not worth the hassle? Yes, probably in many cases it is.

However, if developers want to reach the 99.9% of non-IPhone and non-Android mobile owners in the world with their software, what platforms should they use?

1.) Mobile web
2.) J2ME
3.) S60

Yes, it may be a long hard slog, but these are the platforms you need to use as a mobile developer to reach these people. Unless you want to use SMS and IVR.

Cold, hard, reality I'm afraid ;-)
Picture of C. Enrique Ortiz
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by C. Enrique Ortiz - Tuesday, 28 April 2009, 6:21 PM
 
This has been a very interesting thread to track....

Jason - no bias, just pure pragmatism; love it. Can't disagree w/ anything you have said...

Alex writes about the platforms that are most "useful" to as many people as possible in the world... these being J2ME, Web and S60.

But useful is *very* relative. For talking on the phone? For writing applications? For deploying and making money from?

I used to think as Alex... yes, it all sounds reasonable -- target the platforms that should reach the largest number of subscriber. That is until you take into consideration "Show me the money", as Ajit says.

Subscribers will download rich, useful applications - others, such as Web and SMS, well, they like those for free! Don't you agree? Meaning the business model is not around the subscriber but against "the other side of the subscriber" such as busineses, etc.

From the "show me the money" perspective "rich development platforms and ecosystems" have proven, finally, successful. Remember the debates between Ajit and myself on Web vs. local apps, including at J1 Keynote a couple of years ago? But it took Apple to show "us" the way.

App Stores have proven central for developers (i.e. "show me the money"), and for subscribers (to easily find and download apps).

And just want to reiterate, that when I say "rich development platforms and ecosystems", ecosystems go beyond app repositories, and it is about all the details that make it work, which includes integrated billing/payment, social and not, feedback system, and all the goodies a good designed app store is all about.

A word on Android: just give it time. It has the potential to be everywhere - phones, internet appliances, cars, etc. around the Globe, and thus many different types of developers (mobile to embedded). And it very well might allow developers to enter "emerging" markets easier. Judging Android after 6 months or so means nothing in the grand scheme of things.

A word on BlackBerry. They are getting it, but imposing a minimum app price of $2.99 -- because "they value the efforts of developers" is bogus and is an attempt to sound developer-friendly. Let the market decide pricing!

A word on Nokia: they are trying, but keep it simple!

A word on J2ME: I still believe it has potential to be the platform of choice for mid-level phones. Specially with the latest API-stacks that will be coming later this year. And today,if you have the right market and channels, go for it.

A word on Web: best channel for apps that easily bring "generic" content out to people.

A word on short messaging (regardless of SMS or Twits): best channel for notification-like distribution. Second to none.

Best type of app? Hybrid app!

Cheers,
ceo

Picture of Alex Kerr
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Alex Kerr - Wednesday, 29 April 2009, 1:41 PM
 
CEO,

> Jason - no bias, just pure pragmatism; love it. Can't disagree w/ anything you have said...

Jason has shown at least as much bias towards Android as I have shown towards Nokia... ;-)

Anyway, as regards the rest of your post, with my making money hat on, I would totally agree with you - chase where the money is. You have written your post solely from this perspective. Though I still maintain that most iPhone developers do not make enough money from iPhone apps to survive on it. And I maintain that just from common sense alone, Ovi Store offers far more promise due to the inevitably far larger userbase, the better discovery methods the store is promised to have, and of course the much wider range of content types that the store will allow, most of which crucially don't require the level of technical skill that iPhone development does. (and for those that think S60 development is C++, go and check out PyS60 :) )

Yes, Android shows much promise for the future. But so do flying cars. :)

Anyway, as I said above, if one wants to reach 99.9% of people in the world with one's software, one targets mobile web, J2ME and S60 (and IVR and SMS perhaps).
Picture of C. Enrique Ortiz
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by C. Enrique Ortiz - Wednesday, 29 April 2009, 3:04 PM
 
On Ovi, I really hope Nokia hits the ball out of the park --but they should consider simplifying their portfolio tho, see http://weblog.cenriqueortiz.com/mobility/2009/02/10/on-nokias-app-store-strategy/

On bias, yes here I speak from the "easier way to go to market", and OK yes, *trying* to make money; but we have to agree that today, integrated app stores that caters subscribers directly is the best channel for developers.

About the potential for reaching more folks via J2ME, S60, and Web, yes potential, but one thing is to create and attempt to deploy apps for those platforms, and the other is that the those apps are getting downloaded and used; which is Jason's point.

On Android vs. flying cars - just wait. No need to argue on this one; time will tell (but I stand by what I said tho).

Cheers,
ceo

Picture of Jason Delport
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Jason Delport - Thursday, 30 April 2009, 12:06 PM
 
A positive for Symbian. All of these devices use S60 v5. The power of these three brands is not to be trifled with. And the screen size variation is something that Android hasn't got right yet. One problem is that it seems all three manufacturers are using different JVMs.

Nokia/5800D 360x640
Samsung/GT-I8910 240x320
Nokia/N97 360x640
SonyEricsson/P100 360x640
Picture of Zigurd Mednieks
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Zigurd Mednieks - Friday, 1 May 2009, 3:27 AM
 
Android's Java runtime is in a class by itself. It is the only application runtime as sophisticated as Apple's, and nearly the entire Android userland, including the dialer, is implemented in Java.

Android's UI framework is very sweet and makes it possible to drop your app seamlessly into the Android UI. Very very unlike the typical handset Java ME.

Both Microsoft and Nokia missed a multi-billion-dollar bet when they decided that manly men code in C++ and managed languages are for sissies. Had Microsoft taken C# and NETCF seriously, things might be very different. Nokia? Maybe they could have had the Python-based userland.

Now both Nokia and Microsoft are in a position where even a full-on effort at turning their handset OSs into open systems is up against long odds. Too much legacy, too many parts need modernization.

A CLDC MIDP 3.0 Java for running downloaded apps is not even close to enough. We will have to see Nokia's Web runtime to see if they take the problem seriously enough. Done right, it could be what the Pre might have been. But that means a redo for the entire userland. No matter what they call it it would no longer be S60. And then what to do with legacy apps?

Strangely enough, Microsoft owns Danger now, which is Android's ancestor. I hear tell, but have not seen firsthand, that RIM has a Java-based userland. Probably not easy to open these up and retrofit secuirty for 3rd party apps.
Picture of C. Enrique Ortiz
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by C. Enrique Ortiz - Friday, 1 May 2009, 4:27 AM
 
"Both Microsoft and Nokia missed a multi-billion-dollar bet when they decided that manly men code in C++ and managed languages are for sissies."

The above doesn't stand, as Apple/iPhone is based on Objective-C yet it is hugely successful. Don't you agree? It is all about where the money is -- and developers will adapt and follow...

ceo
Picture of William Volk
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by William Volk - Friday, 1 May 2009, 5:34 AM
 
Android's Java may be the best mobile Java there is, but a compiled language like Objective C will run from 10x to 100x faster. iPhone games rival Sony PSP and Nintendo DS titles in performance. We have a 3D game in development that pushes the iPhone to the limit, it simply would not be possible on Android.
Picture of Zigurd Mednieks
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Zigurd Mednieks - Friday, 1 May 2009, 12:48 PM
 
Dalvik is an interpreter, and Objective C code will run faster compared to Dalvik bytecodes. But, if your program spends most of its time drawing, then the speed difference will be mainly determined by the 2D and 3D graphics implementations, font rendering, etc. DIfferences in graphics performance could dominate the comparison, though at this point in Android's development, that will probaby be to Apple's advantage.

Still, UI performance in Android is more than adequate, and improved substantially in version 1.5.
Picture of Zigurd Mednieks
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Zigurd Mednieks - Friday, 1 May 2009, 11:34 AM
 
Objective C is a Smalltalk-like dynamically typed language with garbage collection. It is in the same class with Java. Some would say it is better (not me, though).

C++ is neither fish nor fowl. Frameworks like STL try to take C++ in a more object-oriented, managed language direction, but it never gets there. Google "Linus" "rant" and "C++" to see some first-quality vitriol poured on C++.

There is a big technology hole in both the Windows Mobile and Nokia platforms. And for Microsoft it is a self-inflicted wound. They treated a perfectly good Java-like language and runtime like the red-headed stepchild. C# is considered to be the successor to Visual Basic, not a platform for core applications in Microsoft's OS products.

Nokia having skipped that step, except for flirting with Python, is probably going to go straight to a browser-based runtime and UI system and the JavaScript language.
Photo from ComicCon 2009
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by William Fisher - Friday, 1 May 2009, 5:32 PM
 
People may pour vitriol on C++, but for many applications it's a far better choice than Java.

If you want portability, Java has many advantages even though it's not perfect there. But you pay in speed. For many types of apps, that's acceptable, because the app itself actually doesn't need to do that much work. As is pointed out in the following post, libraries often shoulder much of the burden.

C++ (or Objective C, for that matter -- on Apple platforms they're used together) is far better if you need high performance. Since my company does mostly desktop and server apps, we work mostly in C++. And we're far happier programming for BREW in C++ than for J2ME, because our apps on phones tend to be games that demand high performance.

The project requirements will determine the best tool for the job.
Picture of Tom Hume
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Tom Hume - Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 12:21 AM
 
Heya

Popping in, possibly a little late...

We've been pleasantly surprised by download figures for Android apps. We've launched a few experiments really, nothing more - little free apps our team knocked up in a day. Zero promotion, just put them up onto the store to see what would happen. I think one got IRO 6000 downloads within a week or so - which we felt was quite decent and certainly piqued our interest. I particularly like the fact that you get retention statistics for them too - i.e. you know how many people tried your app then uninstalled it. That's a useful metric, and the feedback in comments on the Android marketplace has proved really helpful too.

For now, J2ME is, despite the pain of developing, where the mass market is. We have one client doing well over 1.2m paid J2ME downloads p.a. in the UK alone, I'd struggle to see us getting that volume with any single device (even iPhone), and today if you want to do apps across devices, J2ME is all there is. Flash, web runtime, silverlight, and others are all in the running, but none deliver the same audience today. Mobile web and SMS/MMS are the only platforms that do better and they're limited in what they can deliver.

One really nice thing about app stores is their international nature. Having to do deals with operators at home is painful enough, never mind rolling out abroad. All the app stores I've seen seem to have removed this headache - bravo!

Tom

Picture of William Volk
Re: HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by William Volk - Wednesday, 6 May 2009, 1:15 AM
 
Yep, FREE APPS are doing quite well on Android.

The issue is with the billing for PAID apps on Android.

Wouldn't it be great if Nokia's OVI did the same sort of sales/handset that Apple is getting?


Picture of Tomi Ahonen
Samsung Android phone announced - HUFFPO: Mountain View, We Have A Problem ... Google's Android Phone Disappoints Developers.
by Tomi Ahonen - Wednesday, 29 April 2009, 5:31 PM
 

Hi all in this thread


Sorry I haven't read the full thread so my apologies if this is old news, but I just spotted the news that Samsung is announcing its 17500 phone which they say is the second Android phone after HTC, and they say it will launch in Germany in June.

Cheers


Tomi Ahonen / HatRat   :-)