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Android state of affairs?

08-03-2011, 06:27 PM
Joined: Jan 2010
Location: Weaverville, NC
Posts: 43
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Android state of affairs?

Most of us have probably seen stats saying more Android devices are being activated. Android is supposed to overtake iOS before long, yada, yada. And in my part of the world it seems like it's already true. Android is already more popular and most people I know prefer Android. The 7 inch tablets are particularly sexy.

But what is the state of affairs from a for-profit developer's perspective? Are Android users still unwilling to pay? Is piracy still pathetically easy? Are the charts still fragmented? How well does in-app billing work? Can you make money off ads?

And, finally, is there a Touch Arcade equivalent for Android?
08-03-2011, 08:14 PM
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 114
Personally, I don't really ever see the Android platform garnering too much attention from core gamers which means it'll be stuck in 99 cent casual-land forever. The disparity in hardware in the platform makes it somewhat difficult to develop for, and since you don't have only one company coming out with new products, you run a risk of having the next big thing on the market be a device that doesn't work with your app.

All the data I've seen suggests that the growth of the Android platform is due to loss of share from RIM instead of Apple, which to me indicates you're not gaining much of a gaming audience. My opinion, I'd stay away from developing specifically for Android. I don't think it makes sense to do so for the near future.

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08-03-2011, 08:22 PM
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Portland, OR, Cascadia
Posts: 332
I don't want to see biased, but a lot of articles are indicating the Android bubble's about to pop:


Personally, I've decided to stick to the Apple platforms in the near-term.
08-03-2011, 11:09 PM
Android releases so many new devices that its hard for the developers to stay in touch with what apps work on what devices etc. I just think the whole Google market is too unorganized to make any money off of.
08-04-2011, 01:58 AM
Raleigh: what's "your part of the world?" (raleigh like North Carolina Raleigh?)

On my part of the world I see two trends: iPhone for 20+year old people who have a bit of money / Android for people with less money.

In a way, that also matches the fact that apps and iAPs work less at the moment on Android based phones.

Regarding game development, I think it's still interesting to port your iOS games on Android if it's not to expensive (if you dev in C++ it should be easy)
08-04-2011, 12:36 PM
i'd offer an alternative view, if you have resources to easily port or are using a design method that makes it simple - not to look at android because it's growing necessarily but to look for smaller / up and coming options.

For instance, there's a bunch of tablets coming to market (some using android) that are trying to open their own app stores separate from marketplace- and there's options like WebOS/Touchpad too.

They don't have the millions of users iOS has, but that also means a greater chance of standing out with a good product.

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08-05-2011, 06:30 AM
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
I've spent the better part of the last year of my life concentrating on Android development (still pursuing iOS as well). It really is making me much, much happier in many ways - but yeah, a year ago when the topic came up I'd often shake my head at the notion and say "won't bother, not worth it."

What I have learned is that you cannot really make a direct comparison between the two markets surprisingly. Each has their own unique pros and cons, and there certainly is plenty of misinformation (and politics) proliferating which are coloring a lot of people's opinions in a less-than-useful manner.

The Android scene is a big huge mess, it's true, but it also isn't the "members only" club that iOS has become. At the bottom line, there's still plenty of room to stand out (and plenty of hungry customers), it really does remind me of iOS from several years back, before there was anything else modern to compare to.

Android, like iOS, is not for the faint of heart - probably almost no one who goes over there right now stands to "strike it rich" immediately, but I cannot stress enough that for those who are wise and feel that "the party is kinda over" on iOS, they might feel that the party is just getting started on Android.

As usual, and this often falls on deaf ears, it's crucial to work hard to become more than just a developer building a product. You've got to pimp your brand, develop your name, spend as much time/more going out and trying to help build the scene, and you may be surprised what kind of reaction you could get.

As for me, I've made next to no money on iOS OR Android, but $ is finally starting to find it's way into my wallet, and soooo many powerful connections and opportunities that I'd've had no clue existed even a year ago. I should have a good year in 2012

Also as usual, a bit of shameless self-promotion, but I do go into a lot of detail about my experiences with all of this (iOS to Android, how & why, what kind of numbers) on my blog, you might dig around there if you'd like to know more specifics in my own case.

And yeah other devs, get your freakin' heads out of the sand Actually please do continue to stay away from Android, that's fine with me, less quality apps for me to compete with

Last edited by headcaseGames; 08-05-2011 at 06:32 AM.
08-05-2011, 10:10 AM
In North America, and particularly Canada where I'm from, buying an iPhone meant you were forced into a data plan. This is great for developers because you basically have almost every iPhone user as a potential customer.

Many Android phones in North America are given away free when you sign on with a contract. These users are not required to purchase a data plan. The bulk of Android handset sales are these customers. You will never see a cent from these customers as they will never go online with their phone and will never visit an app store.

I would not go on handset sales alone as that number is obviously not a good indicator of how successful app sales can be. This is what I think is the main reason why so many Android developers are disappointed in the end. They see that a half million Android handsets are activated every day and think that each one of these are a potential customer.

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08-05-2011, 10:19 AM
Joined: Sep 2008
Posts: 827
Figured I'd add to this. I've been doing IOS for 3 years and Android for 5 months.

Right now I make about 16-17k / month on IOS and 13k-14k on Android. If you have a hit title on IOS then you should definitely think about porting it to Android. My IOS sales have dropped 50% over the last year and I made up the difference by porting to Android.

Android tablets are not very popular according to my sales. Only 1700 out of 800,000 downloads were from tablets. If you have a simple 2D game that you can get working on small screen devices (320x240) and low end phones you could make some decent money.

Also I am making about 4k/month from ads on Android, but again you need to have something popular and get on the charts.

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08-05-2011, 12:07 PM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 6
Originally Posted by 30BelowStudios View Post
Many Android phones in North America are given away free when you sign on with a contract. These users are not required to purchase a data plan. The bulk of Android handset sales are these customers. You will never see a cent from these customers as they will never go online with their phone and will never visit an app store.
This is why it is deceiving to judge total activations as potential customers. A couple people I know with Android handsets are into tech and have both rooted their devices. They would never pay for an app and have no problem with piracy. I don't know if this is the norm but it seems many Android 'fans' tend to be more techy. Fragmentation isn't a myth either and it exists at an app store level too.

The iPod Touch has sold 60 million devices and the iPad has sold 30 million devices. This data is not factored in to device activation totals because they are not phones.

RPGGuy's numbers are promising though. Google is making attempts to curb fragmentation such as minimum compatibility requirements and support for multiple APKs.