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*LTD*
Nov 20, 2010, 06:37 AM
http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20023199-264.html

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/10/11/19/angry_birds_maker_apologizes_for_android_fragmentation_issues.html


Angry Birds maker apologizes for Android fragmentation issues

The developer of "Angry Birds," a top-selling iPhone game, reported that bringing the title to Android devices ended up more difficult than anticipated due to fragmentation within the open platform.

According to a CNET report, the title's developer Rovio Mobile apologized for poor performance across a variety of Android devices, explaining that, "despite our efforts, we were unsuccessful in delivering optimal performance."

The company added, "So far, we have hesitated to create multiple versions of Angry Birds for the Android platform. But judging by the feedback we have received, we feel that by providing a lightweight solution, we are doing a favor for our fans. We are currently developing a lighter solution to run Angry Birds on lower-end Android devices."

Openly fragmented

The issues highlights the problem of platform fragmentation that is endemic to widely-licensed software platforms designed to run on nearly any makers' hardware. Apple chief executive described the problem as a "daunting challenge" for developers in comments to analysts at the company's most recent earnings report in October.

"Google loves to characterize Android as open and iPhone as closed. We see this disingenuous and clouding the difference," Jobs said. However, rather than focusing on the range of different hardware sold with Android, Jobs noted a parallel problem: a software-oriented fragmentation of the user's experience across different devices.

"Unlike Windows, where PCs have the same interface, Android is very fragmented," Jobs said. "HTC and Motorola install proprietary user interfaces to differentiate themselves. The user left to figure it out. Compare this to iPhone where every handset works the same."


This is only a fragment of the original story. Click links above to read more.

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Folks, let's call a spade a spade: Google has almost ZERO interest in high-quality apps. Apps and User Experience are not the driving force of their platform. Google wants you to use search and watch ads. That's the only way they make money. Contrast it to Apple's way of making money: achieving a superior User Experience. They *have to* - they only sell one (or at most, two) phones. It's all about each company's attitude when it comes to the user. Google doesn't actually care one way or the other. If they did, we'd see a successful, exemplary flagship phone that speaks loudly to attention to detail - not a whored-out, universally-lincensed OS to anyone who can slam together a box.

There's a reason Google has no choice but to flood the market in order to compete against the singular iPhone: they're unable to pull off what Apple does with one phone. They don't understand (or care) about UI design. What they DO know is search and ads. Rather concerning when you think about each company's real motivations.

What's the point of being "open" when you're shipping junk?

kdarling
Nov 20, 2010, 07:48 AM
This is not about fragmentation. It's about older and/or lower powered handsets, which are an electronic fact of life.

For example, Apple decided that it's not worthwhile to support multitasking on their older, slower devices.

The only real news here is that developers such as Rovio have decided that the low-end Android handset market is totally worth creating a lightweight Angry Birds version.

Especially with Christmas coming.

Stella
Nov 20, 2010, 07:59 AM
When you have multiple devices of various hardware, software isn't going to run on all those devices.

Angry Birds is graphically demanding, if you don't have the hardware in your phone, your not running AB.

Like kdarling above mentioned, Apple have been dropping features in IOS 4 for older iPhone and iPods.. there's no difference vs Android. Furthermore, Apple, in the past have dropped features in OSX depending on what hardware you are running. Software fragmentation has little to do with it.

This isn't anything to get excited about, merely another chance for LTD to post his crap and / or continue his play acting as an extreme Apple fanboy.

maflynn
Nov 20, 2010, 08:01 AM
The only real news here is that developers such as Rovio have decided that the low-end Android handset market is totally worth creating a lightweight Angry Birds version.

Especially with Christmas coming.
Agreed, this is about a developer who sees great potential for profits, even among the low end android devices.

roadbloc
Nov 20, 2010, 08:15 AM
I can't view the article or the OP's post, but I can pretty much guess from the topic title and other people's replies what this is about.

My response: Who cares? If you don't have the hardware, you cannot run the app. This is nothing new, and I think the dev of Angry Birds is to be at blame here. It's a simple, lightweight app, and a rather poor game at that. Other software companies have no problem developing for a wide variety of platforms, fragmented or not.

The apology was an apology for their failure. Not a middle finger to android.

KnightWRX
Nov 20, 2010, 08:27 AM
2 versions of 1 application is the same fragmentation level that exists currently in the iOS world. How is the iPhone 3G doing at running things like Rage and Epic Citadel ? Oh right...

A big list of devices does not mean fragmentation. Look at the number of different vendors/configurations for PCs, yet how many versions do game makers ship ? Yeah, just 1. As long as the system APIs abstract the differences and present the programmer with 1 unified interface, there is no fragmentation.

FUD is FUD.

It's funny how the iOS die hards keep re-linking this tid-bit as if it showed some kind of point, yet no one has yet to reply to my iPhone 3G comment... It's the same situation, but somehow it just applies to Android. It took almost a year before us 3GS owners got some meat on the App Store because of the iPhone 3G holding back developers. It's now that we're starting to see apps take advantage of our advanced hardware. In a sense, that's even worse. At least the Android people are getting their advanced apps right away.

rdowns
Nov 20, 2010, 09:08 AM
Apple, Industry and Internet Discussion…bringing fanbois and haters together since 2002.

anjinha
Nov 20, 2010, 09:59 AM
2 versions of 1 application is the same fragmentation level that exists currently in the iOS world. How is the iPhone 3G doing at running things like Rage and Epic Citadel ? Oh right...

A big list of devices does not mean fragmentation. Look at the number of different vendors/configurations for PCs, yet how many versions do game makers ship ? Yeah, just 1. As long as the system APIs abstract the differences and present the programmer with 1 unified interface, there is no fragmentation.

FUD is FUD.

It's funny how the iOS die hards keep re-linking this tid-bit as if it showed some kind of point, yet no one has yet to reply to my iPhone 3G comment... It's the same situation, but somehow it just applies to Android. It took almost a year before us 3GS owners got some meat on the App Store because of the iPhone 3G holding back developers. It's now that we're starting to see apps take advantage of our advanced hardware. In a sense, that's even worse. At least the Android people are getting their advanced apps right away.

The iPhone 3G is not currently sold by Apple. A lot of the Android devices that can't run Angry Birds are still being sold.

Stella
Nov 20, 2010, 10:20 AM
The iPhone 3G is not currently sold by Apple. A lot of the Android devices that can't run Angry Birds are still being sold.

That is true, however, LTD post is still highly irrelevant.

You could apply that post to OSX... and claim OSX is fragmented because some software won't run on the current Macbook Air...

Angry birds has hardware requirements, without them, AB will not run. Doesn't imply that Android is fragmented or that Roxio is apologizing...

Android is flexible because phone manufacturers can create phones from basic entry level, up to high end phones. You wouldn't expect GPU intensive games to run on low cost Android phones. Fragmentation is used to rally the iPhone fans and to justify that Android is crap - aka, spreading FUD.

kdarling
Nov 20, 2010, 10:27 AM
The iPhone 3G is not currently sold by Apple.

When people bring up potential market, they don't leave out old iPhone models.

If they want sales, developers don't target just the latest model of anything.

A lot of the Android devices that can't run Angry Birds are still being sold.

In this case, that says more about how Angry Birds was written. Does anyone here think that such a simple game couldn't have been run on even a relatively slow and crippled game console of the early 1980s?

I do agree that a buyer of a cheap handset should not expect it to work as well as a more premium model.

Rodimus Prime
Nov 20, 2010, 10:36 AM
Because LTD is on my ignore list can someone provide me a link to the article with out LTD comments.

MacMini2009
Nov 20, 2010, 10:38 AM
Because LTD is on my ignore list can someone provide me a link to the article with out LTD comments.

http://www.rovio.com/index.php?mact=Blogs,cntnt01,showentry,0&cntnt01entryid=47&cntnt01returnid=58

Stella
Nov 20, 2010, 10:38 AM
In this case, that says more about how Angry Birds was written. Does anyone here think that such a simple game couldn't have been run on even a relatively slow and crippled game console of the early 1980s?


It is not a simple game, like I said before, its graphically intensive.

The two other links were:
http://news.cnet.com/8301-30685_3-20023199-264.html
http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...on_issues.html

anjinha
Nov 20, 2010, 10:53 AM
When people bring up potential market, they don't leave out old iPhone models.

If they want sales, developers don't target just the latest model of anything.

But that's the thing. With Android some devices that came out just a few months ago don't support Angry Birds for example. That means more work for the developers to reach the same potential market as iOS.

On iOS Angry Birds, for example, only requires 3.0 and all iPhone and iPod Touch models can upgrade to that. On Android even if hardware wise a phone supports a certain game it might not be able to play it if the necessary OS upgrade isn't available for that particular phone.

chrono1081
Nov 20, 2010, 10:55 AM
Wow for all of you guys claiming android isn't fragmented its pretty obvious you have no clue what fragmented really is. Also if you read the article you will see that the developer isn't just talking about old hardware, hes talking about new hardware not capable of running the game as well.

Ok, lets get one thing out of the way: iOS is not really fragmented. Yes there are older versions of hardware that can't run some newer stuff. This is hardware becoming outdated like in any type of electronics category. This is the equivalent of your 6 year old computer not running the latest game. Unfortunately for phones they have less of a life cycle for computers.

I know some people will try and pull the "BUT iPAD IS ON 3.2 and iPhone is on 4.1!!!11!" Yes, very good but that really means nothing. A developer (like myself) can easily implement (very easily implement) some lines of code to handle that problem. Its really no biggie and doesn't really count as fragmentation because it can easily be taken care of without huge changes to the code. Its really not a big deal. Apple takes care of the developers and makes it very easy to adjust to changing hardware. VERY easy.

Then there is Android, which even GOOGLE admits (http://www.pcworld.com/article/192841/googles_plan_to_end_android_fragmentation.html) is fragmented and they plan on fixing it. Fragmented is taking an OS, making it work on different hardware (which is fine so far and normal), and reskinning it, locking out certain features, creating a completely custom interface that can and does affect performance of the device. That last part is fragmentation, and every open source platform has had it. Thats one of the sometimes good but often bad things about open source. Linux is very fragmented for example. Its still the base underlying OS and some programs work for all versions, but then again there are a lot of programs that wont, just like on Android.

Android straight from Google is fine. It works great and is available for everyone to use. If the manufacturers didn't change it, the platform would not be considered fragmented for the most part. (You will would have some handsets running it that aren't really of the smart phone variety so there would be a wee bit of fragmentation but not enough to concern a developer). Its when manufacturers get ahold of it, re-skin it, change the interface, lock out features, create huge performance issues where there should be none (original droid with the newest version of android anyone? I have one right here if you don't believe me!) That is fragmentation. A developer can't make a game that they know will run equally on all android handsets without generating huge amounts of extra code, doing tons of testing, and in this case, making an entire separate version.

TLDR version: iOS: You test on an iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPad, and MAYBE an iPhone 3G. You have iOS 3 and iOS 4 to test on.

Android: You test on 18+ handsets and on four different versions of the OS.

Now how is Android not fragmented?

kdarling
Nov 20, 2010, 12:00 PM
It is not a simple game, like I said before, its graphically intensive.

I ported action games written in assembly language, and did graphically intensive stuff back in the early 1980s. I would not count Angry Birds as intensive.

Even Rovio has said that their new lightweight version won't have any less content than the current one. It would simply be written more optimized so that a slower device can run it better. As I said, this whole brouhaha is more about the way they wrote the game. If they'd done a better job to start with, they'd have been done.

Ok, lets get one thing out of the way: iOS is not really fragmented. Yes there are older versions of hardware that can't run some newer stuff. This is hardware becoming outdated like in any type of electronics category.

Of course iOS is fragmented. If I needed to write an app with multitasking support, I can only target about 35% of the iOS devices right now. If I wanted to write an app in Flash, the same percentage (as of now) would apply to Android.

TLDR version: iOS: You test on an iPhone 4, iPhone 3Gs, iPad, and MAYBE an iPhone 3G. You have iOS 3 and iOS 4 to test on.

As of a couple of months ago, iOS version adoption was like this:

3.1.2 - 10%
3.1.3 - 22%
3.2.0 - 13%
4.0.0 - 20%
4.0.1 - 14%
other - 21%

Android: You test on 18+ handsets and on four different versions of the OS.
Android adoption a couple of months ago:

1.5 - 12%
1.6 - 18%
2.1 - 42%
2.2 - 29%

Now how is Android not fragmented?

They're all fragmented. A lot of iPod touch users never upgrade, which is why the 3.1.x are so prevalent. The iPad still doesn't have 4.x support. But it's BS anyway. Versioning is a non-issue for most iOS or Android apps, because they don't need the latest APIs.

When people talk about a "huge" iOS market, no way do they leave out older iOS devices, even if they're not capable of the latest OS. And with Android, you don't leave out slower, cheaper devices, as Rovio has found out.

Likewise, a developer doesn't care when a device was sold, or if it's still being sold. We care about how many devices we can currently sell to. In other words, if you're smart, you write for the broadest audience in your particular target market, be that iOS or Android or whatever.

steve2112
Nov 20, 2010, 12:49 PM
This is one thing Microsoft got absolutely right with Windows Phone 7. They set minimum hardware standards for all the phone manufacturers to follow. I'm no developer, but this seems it would make life much easier. You know what hardware will be running the OS, so you don't have to develop different versions for different hardware.

maflynn
Nov 20, 2010, 01:02 PM
This is one thing Microsoft got absolutely right with Windows Phone 7.
The advantage that MS has is that they see the mistakes from both apple and android and positioned the phone to have the best of both worlds.

kdarling
Nov 20, 2010, 02:46 PM
This is one thing Microsoft got absolutely right with Windows Phone 7. They set minimum hardware standards for all the phone manufacturers to follow.

Everyone sets minimums when they first start out :)

The trouble is, processors and displays have, and will, continue to advance, memory will get cheaper, and new sensors will become attractive.

Heck, I think the original Android cpu minimum speed was 200Mhz (!). By next year, some Snapdragon handsets will be pushing 2GHz.

So setting a minimum only works for a short while.

maflynn
Nov 20, 2010, 06:38 PM
Everyone sets minimums when they first start out :)
The difference is that (if I understand things correctly) google didn't really mandate android minimum standards. Just look at the buttons, every phone is different order. I think google offered guide lines and not mandates.

KnightWRX
Nov 20, 2010, 06:50 PM
The iPhone 3G is not currently sold by Apple. A lot of the Android devices that can't run Angry Birds are still being sold.

The iPhone 3G was sold until June 2010. That's a whole year where the developer base had the same fragmentation of slow vs fast GPU. That's also a whole year where us 3GS owners basically had no advantage besides a compass and video since no one bothered to make apps that supported our faster GPU.

Now it's retina display vs plain old display and it forces devs to release 2 versions. Rage vs Rage HD. iPad makes it even worse, since iPad apps are basically a no go on mobile iOS devices.

The point is, it's quite disingenuous and ignorant to claim Android is the only platform suffering. On the contrary, it would seem the Android APIs are much more robust than Apple's own when dealing with said fragmentation.

Wow for all of you guys claiming android isn't fragmented its pretty obvious you have no clue what fragmented really is.

Deflect more. I said Android is fragmented, but not more than iOS. iOS developers face the same challenge with their apps that Android developers do. Which API level to target ? What is safe and not to assume about hardware ? Ship multiple versions to support multiple screen resolutions or detect and adjust ?

The plain truth is a lot of the iOS people that like to trumpet how Android is fragmented keep ignoring that iOS is too. Heck, the Mac is not better. Devs have been dealing with "fragmented" for ages, as early as the 70s. If you're a dev yourself, you would have to be a pretty poor one to require a completely homogenous environnement in order to succeed. Good devs learned to deal with varying levels of hardware back in the DOS days when it required them to write basically whole drivers for each piece of hardware they wanted to support.

These days we have things like OpenGL ES that expose a viewport that's agnostic to the screen resolution. We have things like OpenAL which means you write sound code once and it plays everywhere. Input control is managed by the OS and exposed as a unified API. There just isn't any excuse to cry over some level of difference of hardware when it's this properly abstracted.

jaw04005
Nov 20, 2010, 09:58 PM
Then there is Android, which even GOOGLE admits (http://www.pcworld.com/article/192841/googles_plan_to_end_android_fragmentation.html) is fragmented and they plan on fixing it. Fragmented is taking an OS, making it work on different hardware (which is fine so far and normal), and reskinning it, locking out certain features, creating a completely custom interface that can and does affect performance of the device. That last part is fragmentation, and every open source platform has had it. Thats one of the sometimes good but often bad things about open source. Linux is very fragmented for example. Its still the base underlying OS and some programs work for all versions, but then again there are a lot of programs that wont, just like on Android.

That is NOT how Google defines fragmentation at all. Just watch Eric Schmidt's answer to the fragmentation question at the Web 2.0 conference (very end of video). Google fully supports carrier and manufacturer "value added" features (like the HTC Sense UI, etc).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKOWK2dR4Dg

Google defines fragmentation as not being able to run an Android application on all handsets running a given version of the Android OS.

If Angry Birds is developed for Android Froyo and up, but it doesn't work on a Motorola Droid running Froyo --- it's considered fragmentation.

As for the other, that's related to Google's three tier manufacturer support/branding/logo program for Android (first tier - free for all for manufacturers, second tier - must carry Android market and certain Google apps, third tier - the "Google Experience" tier where nothing Google-provided is blocked).

If your handset qualifies for the third tier, you get to put the Google logo on your device. Google is effectively endorsing your product (notice none of the current Android tablets sport the Google logo!).

Liquorpuki
Nov 23, 2010, 03:33 PM
The advantage that MS has is that they see the mistakes from both apple and android and positioned the phone to have the best of both worlds.

Not to mention they created Windows Mobile, where fragmentation problems were ridiculous

Too bad they're a non-factor at this point