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The future of Android

 
dave green
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With the increasing number of Android phones and tablets what do you think the chances of developers becoming frustrated with the increasing number of systems to test and develop on and users frustration of finding that certain apps dont work on their current model? With Apple only having a couple of handsets in service at one time they have made it easier to control this, but do people think this limits developers and users choice?
 
Ulf Dittmer
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I don't see much all that much difference between Android devices that you'd need to test against. After you've made a decision of which Android version to target, it comes mostly down to hardware differences. Different screen sizes can be handled by the emulator, and with respect to features such as camera, phone, sensors - either they're present and you can use them, or they're not. Either way, not much to test.

Picking a minimum version of Android to require depends on which features you absolutely need for your application. 2.1 is in widespread use by now and gets you probably 80% of the overall market. But it's not like there are a whole lot of versions to choose from.

Also see http://www.businessinsider.com/tweetdeck-steve-jobs-2010-10
 
robi sen
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Dave,

You make a excellent point. Ulf is right that in general you can do development on the emulator, now a days you can even using web cams or a simulator to exercises your targeted sensors, but you NEED to really test on the devices you choose. In fact one of the companies I work with often points out to customers that we will only target something like the Droid X, Evo, or a couple of handsets to test because there is divergence in API support, drivers, Webkit versions, and numerous other factors that can effect a application's performance from one phone to another and we never guarantee that a application will work on every Android phone. That being said there are ways to mitigate the amount of testing and cross platform support but do not expect that a complicated application, like a video game, can be just tested in the Emulator and will work on all your phones. You really need to test on physical devices.

 
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