Mobile OSs How to tell which Android apps work on what device

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by killerbee79, Nov 19, 2012.

  1. killerbee79 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    #1
    I have an honest question since I think there are plenty of knowledgable people on this forum in terms of Android. I am not, I've had my Nexus 7 for a mere 2 weeks(ish). It is my first experience ever in Android as I am previously an iOS person in the past.

    I have friends that keep asking me how they can tell what apps will work on the Android device they are looking to get. They are all iOS users mainly and are looking to possibly switch or get an Android device to have both worlds. They are used to going into the App Store and not worrying about this. Which I know the feeling....

    I tell them I have no clue. Since I already have a Nexus 7 the Google Play store tells me if something won't work with it. I just took that leap of faith without knowing.

    Now I'm just downright curious. If someone doesn't own an Android device currently and are researching Android apps in the Google Play store before purchase, how do they tell if the app will work on that particular device?

    Any current Android user will tell you that all apps won't work on all devices.
     
  2. nickchallis92 macrumors 6502a

    nickchallis92

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #2
    well it's true that not all apps work on all devices but it's hardly a massive problem. I've maybe had 1 app in the last 6 months that I haven't been able to put on my S3
     
  3. dalbir4444 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2012
    #3
    I believe it depends on what device you have. Eg. I have never had a problem with this with either my GS1 or GS2. But I've heard people with Motorola phones complaining about this. Perhaps someone could confirm.
     
  4. kdarling macrumors demi-god

    kdarling

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2007
    Location:
    Cabin by a lake
    #4
    It's basically done the same way in both stores: when a developer creates an app, they specify what the minimum required OS version is.

    Using that info, the stores only display apps that'll run on your device.

    Sometimes developers (especially new ones) goof up when they set this info, and apps that should be available on more devices, won't appear in a search when they could've.

    People talk about fragmentation, but I would guess that the majority of both Android and iOS apps only need basic APIs, and thus will run on very old OS versions.
     
  5. hyteckit Guest

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2007
    #5
    I have many apps that don't run on my Android tablet. It's a big problem.

    I believe it's a bigger issue with android tablet than phones. Most android apps are design for the android phones. My Android phones seems more stable than my Android tablets.

    It's like buying lottery scratcher tickets. You don't know until you bought the ticket and scratch off the numbers.

    I want a list of common or popular apps/games that are incompatible with a particular android device.
     
  6. Vegastouch macrumors 603

    Vegastouch

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2008
    Location:
    Las Vegas, NV
    #6
    I know if you search for an App and it doesnt show up on your device to download when you know the market has it , it means it wont work on your device. Same thing if there are a couple versions and the newest one dont show up for download.

    Other than that, i dont know asside from trying to read about it in the market and you can do that on a PC by going to the market and reading comments and such.
     
  7. Explicitic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Undecided
    #7
    Technically, any app will work on any device. Just get the APK. Some may crash but I've downloaded APKs for apps that weren't available for my device yet and they worked fine. With paid apps, this would probably be considered pirating though...
     
  8. kiltedthrower macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    #8
    I've found two that won't work between my Galaxy Note and my Nexus 7. I counted back 160 apps before I got tired of counting that I've tried on both devices.
     
  9. matttye macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, England
    #9
    If they crash then they don't work. There will be at least some features that don't work properly if its not compatible with your device and I wouldn't advise using them.
     
  10. Explicitic macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2012
    Location:
    Undecided
    #10
    Actually, if the app loads fine then all features should work properly. This is just my experience from my past Android devices.
     
  11. matttye macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Location:
    Lincoln, England
    #11
    You always run the risk of losing data if the app isn't listed as compatible with your device, and the developer likely won't support you if you have problems.

    If it's just a game or something, go for it, but if it's something that maintains and saves data you should be careful.
     

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