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Game developers still not sold on Android

Cassandra Khaw | April 3, 2013
Though we're constantly buffeted by stories about new Android-powered game consoles and the continued growth of the Google Play Store, the fact still stands: An Android port seems to remain a footnote in development process, an afterthought, a thing that has to be done as opposed to the thing to do. Even today, you'd be hard-pressed to find a game that's exclusive to the Linux-based platform, or a developer willing to profess an undying affection for "Android. People might make Android games, but they don't seem like it.

A different frontier

From the outside, it's easy to believe that Android and iOS development are one and the same; both circle around similar-looking, touch-centric devices, after all. A rose by any other name is still a mobile device capable of keeping you up to date with your best friend's fusillade of Instagram photos, right? In theory? Yes. In practice? Not quite.

Understanding this seems essential to surviving Android's unusual idiosyncrasies. And while there are those like Vining who seem doubtful about its current status, few are unwilling to offer grudging acknowledgment that things may well change. "There are things that Google can do, or that other Android stakeholders can do, in order to try and make this situation not terrible. Better control over standards, for one thing. I'm all for free market competition, but the incompatibility problems are a good example of free market competition hurting the consumer. If the situation gets better, we'll reconsider our stance."

The popularity of Android devices have increased exponentially over the recent years. According to the Gartner group, Samsung ended 2012 as the No.1 company in terms of worldwide smartphone sales and overall mobile phone sales. There's a lot of potential in this upcoming market but there is an equal number of problems to face. High piracy rates, severe device fragmentation, and a user base that is purportedly more reluctant to pay for premium apps--these are all variables that make difficult for developers. Still, Rome wasn't built in a day and if things continue to maintain their momentum, we may one day see iOS users lobbying for equal treatment instead.


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