Google, Android Market, Terms of “Service”..

Seriously. This is not funny anymore. Google deleted the Android Market account of my business partners again. Without letting us know what the issue is. All you get in this situation when contacting Google is an automated response. So we understand we have violated Google’s Terms of Service. But they don’t tell us what exactly we did. Well. Nice going.

Now I wish Microsoft would get its act together and build a decent mobile OS to crush Google/Android. But no hope there. And Apple, well, they couldn’t stop the Android train rolling over them. Evil Google..

Hey, just kidding..

Anyway, for now JamJam is not available from the Android Market anymore. But you can find it on the Psychocell Homepage and in some other app stores.



Thoughts on Nokia

Stumbled upon this DZone post: Nokia and Microsoft: a few thoughts

Maybe Nokia is trying to be(come) a software company when it should stick with what it knows (knew?) about best: Building phone hardware.

Anyway, it would probably not have hurt Nokia to build a small task force and have them create a few phones using Android. Maybe release the same hardware with different naming for the different OS used on it? And then just let the market decide. Sometimes the market does a better job than “management”.

And I wonder if there is a way to really free Symbian and have a community develop a phone OS. Probably too much of a (security) risk. But this way Nokia could stick with serveral OS choices (Symbian, Android, WP7, MeeGo?) based on integration task forces – and focus on bringing good hardware to the life.

But then again, maybe HTC has taken this role and Nokia just had its time..


The PlayStationPhone Phenomenon

From when I saw the first images of a rumored “PlayStationPhone” I knew this could be big for Android. The games I’m interested in don’t work well with touch controls. They need a game pad and or a analog or digital stick. With something like the PlayStationPhone available people could develop on the beautiful Android platform and target a very much gaming-capable single device (or line of devices).

Now, if the “PlayStationSuite” becomes real it would really blow away much of the iOS hype that is still going around. If Sony starts a gaming-oriented app store and provides tools for developers to develop for it, this will be huge.

[Minor Rant – Start]
Then, hopefully, we don’t have to read stupid posts about fragmentation and all that crap anymore. Just stumbled upon this one a few hours ago. People don’t get it. They argue apples versus oranges.

You like webOS? Fine. Go with it. You’re an Apple fanboy? Fine. Stick with your iPhone. But none of these “reasons” invalidate Android as a competing platform. You “liking” webOS doesn’t mean Android is fragmented. Or Android development sucks. Because: Here’s an “eye opener” for you.. I “like” Android development. I don’t think it sucks. I don’t see fragmentation. I see a rich suite of different devices. I write my apps targeting the core Android platform and add optional features that activate when the device has the proper capabilities.

But: Maybe webOS development sucks? Maybe iOS development sucks? Doh. Kindergarden.. :)
[Minor Rant – End]



Android Market – Why Google doesn’t care..

There are a bunch of post online now about the rotten state of the Google Android Market. Here’s the latest I just stumbled upon.

I wonder why everybody seems to think that Google should create the Android Market. Google isn’t Apple. Android isn’t iOS. For me it looks like Google just provides a Android Market and silently waits for alternative markets to appear and fill more specific requirements.

Doesn’t that make sense?

Look at the AppsLib store for example. Focusing on applications tested specifically for the Archos tablets. There are other, more generic, market alternatives like SlideMe and Pdassi. Both with different payment methods.

Now look at the carriers and big game publishers if you will: Why shouldn’t they come up with their own app stores, too? Isn’t that exactly the freedom they want? Vodafone branded Android phones come with the Vodafone app store preinstalled. Simple payment using the phone bill would be possible. EA could provide the EA Android Store. With special download packs that may not even be apks..

With something like Apple’s closed iOS app store this looks like a good alternative. Doesn’t it?

Well, at least we are free to provide alternative markets.. That’s a good thing, right?


The App Store Myth

before i started android development i did a quick analysis of the apple app store. i came up with some roughly comparable numbers as shown in this Communities Dominate Brands post.

the reason i chose the android platform is that you may still have some kind of first mover advantage. well, second mover. or third mover by now. but you get the point, right? :-)

now.. i still don’t get it why people are flocking like crazy to this weird apple world.. where apple sure makes some big bucks.. but apart from them, only a handful of developers are getting lucky..

of course there’s the coolness factor. it’s not all about money. but it’s very subjective. and for me google wins over apple.. evil both they are, of course.. but who isn’t?

anyway, just my two cents..


Android on iPhone

Now this could be a reason to get an iPhone.

And so, finally, porn arrives on the iPhone.. :)


Why Android?

For some reason I prefer Android over the iPhone.

No, it’s not the tyranny of Apple over the developers. No, it’s not the fanboyism of the Apple users. No, it’s not the high price tag that says “I don’t care how much it is. I’m a superior being. I have to use Apple products.” No, it’s not the horrible look of the Cococa UI. No, it’s not Apple’s defense of its intellectual property rights against other phone manufactures. (Because Apple really build the first phone on this planet! And sure does it make sense to stifle innovation by suing other companies over multi-touch patents and the like.) And of course, for me as a developer, it’s not related to Apple’s latest 3.3.1 developer agreement changes. (There simply isn’t anything better than Cococa and Objective-C in this world. I enjoy having Apple dictate what I do.. :-)

No, it’s none of that..

Honestly, I didn’t know the answer up until now: “Folks who want porn can buy an Android phone”

Now I know..


Android Development – Status Report 3

Before I get started: Does someone seriously consider the iPhone or Android a gaming platform? Not saying that there aren’t any fun games for these devices. But they a clearly playing in a different league than the PSP or the DS, right? And it simply is not only about graphics and performance. Mostly it’s about usability and controls!

The last few days/weeks I worked on bringing touch and trackball controls to IntensiGame. Especially trying to make DroidShock/JamJam playable with these new control concepts.

So far I failed.

I have a somewhat usable trackball control implementation to make Galaxina and DroidShock playable. But when the going gets tough, nothing beats the DPAD of my Galaxy. Even the more precise touch screen of the Nexus One will simply not deliver the gaming experience the DPAD gives you. And so won’t the somewhat improved trackball of the Nexus. Compared to the G1/Dream there is some more control here. But it’s not enough.

Baseline: You can have a very responsive trackball or touch control, or you can have one that translates longer ‘motions’ into ‘multi events’. But combining these two approaches seems very hard.

And so far, it looks as if I am not the only one who failed. I haven’t found one shooter or Tetris-like game with touch controls that I would consider really usable. Everything using touch mostly sucks. Android and iPhone are not different here.

So, no good touch controls?

My point is: No good touch controls for these type of games! There are different games that benefit from touch controls. Of course. And you can bend you game a little and make it workable with touch controls. But for now I am not willing to make this compromise too easily. One example of ‘bending’: Touch controls with Tetris games will almost always result in showing where the tile will drop. Otherwise your finger will be in the way. Simple problem. Simple solution. Well.. Got the point?

I consider marking games via the AndroidManifest.xml to not work on devices without a DPAD or trackball, etc. Because: What is the alternative? People complaining about bad usability? Non-responsive touch controls? Too responsive touch controls?

I’ll keep on tweaking my implementation and I’ll add various control settings to the engine to let users tweak the touch and trackball behavior. But I doubt this will ever come close to proper game-pad-like controls. (Of course! Doh..)


Food Inc

I know it doesn’t make much sense to appeal to you people out there about this.. In a world gone mad.. What’s the point? But hey, you just ignore it then, aight?

Get this movie and watch it:
Food Inc at IMDB
Food Inc Homepage
Food Inc at TPB

Enjoy Life! Respect Life! Go Vegan!

There are so many things in life you can have fun with.. Make your choices.. Wisely..


Windows 7 – Another one to skip..

From time to time I help people clean up their laptops and PCs. Uninstall stuff. Reinstall the OS. And things like that.

When Windows Vista came around I started telling people sorry, can’t do it. Don’t want to do it. Luckily for me most people skipped Vista. Those with Vista came running to me with Wifi trouble and stuff like that. And I usually shrugged my shoulders and say sorry. Well, we all know what a great job Microsoft did with Vista.. :)

Now there’s Windows 7. And for some time it looked like it could be a replacement for Windows XP. Finally.

But it’s not. It’s crap. The same as Vista. Same problems. New problems. Usability is really bad. We don’t have to get into any discussions about security I assume. With the latest IE8 hacks out there it is futile for anyone to defend Microsoft in the area of security.

Anyway, I have to continue shrugging my shoulders and will continue to urge people to stick with Windows XP as long as possible. Or switch to Ubuntu/Linux. A few converters are really happy with Ubuntu. The switch does make sense by now. If you are into games you can keep a dual boot Windows partition or switch to a console. But don’t bother with the Windows 7 crap as your main desktop OS.. Please..


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