Jan 20 AT 6:03 AM Guest Blogger 103 Comments

How does a developer showoff on the Android Market place?

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by the team at ustwo. In an email the other day they said they had an article about shortcomings in the Android Market and asked if we’d like to post it. It sounds like they’ve come up with a creative way to drive downloads in the Market and we thought that was worth sharing.

How does a developer showOFFâ„¢ on the Android Market place?

At ustwoâ„¢ – the studio of dreams — we’ve launched a number of successful apps on a various platforms including Apple’s App Store, The Nokia Ovi Store, and the Android Marketplace. We’ve experienced the most success to date with the Apple App Store where we have achieved over 700k downloads.

The number of apps made available to download on each of these stores increases day by day and with it, the ensuing popularity, hype and expectations surrounding them also grows — especially around the Android Marketplace. The Android Goldrush is well and truly on the cards.

For the last 6 months we’ve heard that the Android Marketplace is about to explode and its download numbers will soon begin to compete with those achieved on the Apple App Store. We’ve seen a major influx of up to 17 manufacturers releasing their own phones with the Android OS and most recently heard about the launch of Google’s Nexus — described as the iPhone killer. Then our hopes are immediately dashed as we hear that Google has only managed to shift 20k Nexus handsets in the first week compared to a pre-order of over 50k iPhones on the Vodafone UK carriers launch. We then hear a change in angle from Google and the emphasis in the press focuses on the way in which they sold and distributed the phone. This is just one timely example of something Android related, that sounds imminently massive, but then a few weeks later fails to live up to our expectations.

Unfortunately and being totally honest at ustwoâ„¢, we’re beginning to doubt the hype surrounding Android as just that…..hype. We’re now not sure if the Android Marketplace will ever manage to compete with Apple’s 3 billion download head start. What makes it worse is that it’s just been announced that according to Gartner, Apple is now responsible for 99.4% of mobile app sales. I think this really puts things into perspective. How can anyone — even Google compete with this level of dominance?

Well at ustwoâ„¢ we’ve had a think about some of the basic things Android Marketplace could do as a store front to compete with Apple’s App Store. We’ve highlighted some of the issues and limitations of the Android Marketplace that we see today:

A Store Front!

The Android Marketplace needs a simple online or desktop interface to enable users to browse the apps available to them. One key advantage to Apple is that all review sites online can easily point to the apps in question, even making money from the click-though if the user goes on to purchase. Without a storefront presence it’s near on impossible to sell.

Account purchase Synchronization

Also it’s likely that Android users will upgrade their handsets as the latest phones become available, so the need to simply create an account within the Android Market is 100% needed. Therefore the requirement to sync previously purchased Android apps onto other handsets is now a necessity to attract mainstream users. It should all be about user experience and at the moment it’s clearly and frustratingly not.

Customizable Search Options

Filter options have to be added to the Android Marketplace so that users can at least narrow down their search results. Right now they are confronted with an endless list of apps with no way to cut through the clutter. A filtering option is therefore another necessity allowing users for example to search by: number of downloads, most commented, highest rated etc. To help the search more tags and keywords are definitely needed to identify specific apps.

Promo codes

Promo codes (allow anyone to redeem a free copy of an app) are a powerful tool for developers to get their apps to the most important and influential bloggers, journalists and special fans. Without this they have to send the APK file (the source file of the Android app) to their contacts, and by doing this they risk piracy, which is clearly becoming a huge issue on the Android Market.

Expanding Google checkout for global market

While Android handsets are available for purchase in many countries throughout the world — the opportunity to buy paid apps is limited to specific countries. For example users in Sweden, Canada, Australia and Hungary are unable to purchase paid apps from the Android Marketplace. This clearly isn’t a restriction that sits well with developers — the market needs to be open.

Clear app ranking

The ability to properly categorize an app is very limited on the Android Marketplace. Developers and users are crying out for a more in-depth categorization on the storefront. A simple yet highly effective way to increase the number of downloads.

It’s because of these issues that as an android app developer we find it almost impossible to promote our applications as we’d like to. Simple changes listed above would make our job of promotion much easier; but as this isn’t the case, we’ve had no choice but to take the matter into our hands with our latest app — showOFFâ„¢.

showOFFâ„¢ is a free app with 5 exclusively designed and illustrated wallpapers by world famous ustwoâ„¢ designer Paris Hair which allows users to personalize their handset like no other. If that’s not enough — the app has been developed to be an ever-expanding gateway into ustwo’s world. So when a new ustwoâ„¢ app is launched on the Android Marketplace — a new, freshly designed wallpaper will be made available via showOFFâ„¢ for all users of the app.

We believe that by offering top quality free content interspersed with relevant information about our casual gaming premium apps — we can drive our fans to make a purchase that they would have been previously unaware of. We are essentially giving back twice in 1 app. Free wallpapers and the gift of awareness!

showOFFâ„¢ is launched today.

About ustwoâ„¢

ustwoâ„¢ is a multi platform development studio based in London, UK and Malmo, Sweden — 50 strong and growing rapidly in notoriety. In the last year alone the studio has developed and released 16 apps including the infamous MouthOffâ„¢, .â„¢ (48hour series), Steppinâ„¢ and Reebok’s iSprint. ustwo’s apps have sold globally in their 100,000s and have become brands in their own right.

millsâ„¢ is well known within the industry with his refreshingly honest and open approach being well received by developers, gamers and fans alike.

From time to time we invite guest bloggers to contribute articles about various Android topics. This is one of those times...

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  • http://Website Branyr

    I have a correction for the article – Australians most certainly CAN purchase paid applications from the market. You’re probably confused by the fact that the carrier Optus and others they lease their towers to aren’t allowed to purchase paid apps, however people on the carriers Telstra, Vodafone and Three can purchase paid applications with stock hardware. The majority of Australian android users are with Three and Vodafone.

    Otherwise this is a good article which points out the flaws in the current android market system.

  • http://Website ansroidawg

    Solid article. Well thought out and 100% correct.

  • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

    Thanks, we are struggling with app awareness on Android, and are trying to inovate rather than complain. Its going to be interesting to see the piclup (if any) of this app.

  • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

    Hey Branyr

    We stand corrected — in Australia it is a network issue as you’ve quite rightly pointed out. However I suppose the overall point we were tying to make was that limitation exists on a number of levels. As developers we want open access to all Android users. Google needs to wake up and open up the sluice gates. Thanks for the feedback.

  • http://Website Sean Murray

    Just wanted to let you guys know, that immediately after reading this article I did a search for, and purchased, both of the ustwo apps that I could find on the marketplace. I couldn’t find ShowOff, but I’m assuming it will be available later today.

  • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

    Hey Sean, The app is going live any hour now. Thanks for buying the apps, what do you think of them?

    • http://Website Sean Murray

      MouthOff is great! I’m a teacher, and I showed it to my kids a few minutes ago and they couldn’t get enough of it. I haven’t had a chance to play DOT yet, that will have to wait until I get home.

  • http://Website friedgold

    Very good article, and very valid points, though couple of questions.

    Store Front: You can provide links that when clicked on open the android market place with your app (though only on an android handset), I was under the impression this is similar to what happens with Apple, except the link opens up iTunes so I guess you have a way to view/ read about the app on the desktop, am I correct or do apple now have a web based store front?

    Account Sync, I have reset my phone and installed different roms a number of times and I am always able to re-download my purchased apps, they seem linked to my Google account. I don’t see why this would be any different if I change handsets? Or is this related to phones which don’t have the with Google branding?

    • http://Website Hoss789

      I recently had to switch phones because of a bad headphone jack. Downloading the purchased apps was easy. Downloading the free apps,,,not so much. There is no record of free apps kept in the Android Market.

      Luckily I backed up all my apps to the SD card using Astro file manager (highly recommend this free app) so I did not have to hunt and for everything.

      • http://www.fried-gold.co.uk friedgoldmole

        That is true, but I don’t think it would be reasonable or usable for google to keep track of every single app you have downloaded and installed. Especially as a large number of applications you test end up being rubbish.

        Maybe it would a nice feature to take a snapshot of the current apps you have installed, to be accessible in the market place. Though as you say there are already apps that let you backup non copy protected apps.

  • http://nexsoftware.net/ nEx.Software

    Let me first say that it is definitely not my intent to be a jerk in this response, but I felt the need to say something. By my estimation, what we have here is a cleverly disguised advertisement for your product and company. It almost appears an excercise in SEO (given the number and location of keywords throughout the article), to be completely honest.

    This article plays upon the frustration that some (while I would have liked to say “many” or “most”, I feel that “some” is more appropriate based on various polls and feedback I have seen) have with regard to the Android Market, in order to drive exposure. Unfortunately, the article says nothing new about the state of the Market and only offers those “solutions” which have been proposed countless times before.

    As far as your article content itself…

    I am not sure why you think that a purchased app would not move with the purchaser to a new handset? Purchases are tied to the Google Account, not the handset. I use my purchased apps on all of my handsets which use the same account.

    I find it hard to believe that sending your APK to “influential bloggers, journalists and special fans” would be considered a true piracy risk. After all, if these people are truly as influential or “special” as indicated, there should be a level of trust already afforded. The risk is no greater (and is probably less) than some kid purchasing the application, making a copy from their phone and then distributing it. Of course, that is not to say that promo codes would not be a great tool for the Developer to promote a product… It’s just that the argument is flawed.

    As for your other suggestions, I do agree and have expressed the same opinion publicly before.

    Note: I am fully aware that this comment might be down-ranked quickly (I am almost expecting it to be, if I am being honest), as it expresses what some might consider to be a negative or anti-progress, but I assure you that is not it.

    • http://Website Serg

      +1

      Just wanted to add that you dont need to show off anything to succeed in android market. If your app is any original, it will pick up virally itself due to crapfest of garbage apps on Android Market.

  • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

    Hey Nex, love the angle…always good to read about haters who feel the need to vent against us. To be honest if you didn’t have an opinion it wouldn’t be worth it. We innovate, and innovation always leads to reaction. Please remember that this is ‘our’ feeling and frustration with the market place. We hope aspiring developers will learn from this, while perhaps reiterating to the masters. It’s great to see you think our article is SEO friendly, which will save me having to hire an SEO expert in the future. I can assure you this wasn’t our intention, we are just good at writing.

    Not sure I understand you when you say this – “By my estimation, what we have here is a cleverly disguised advertisement for your product and company. ” Surely it’s obvious this is just that? There is no hidden agenda here, this is an article written by one of the young innovators (ustwoâ„¢) in this sector telling the world about what we do. We inspire and we create ways around problems. This is just that. Nothing wrong with selling.

    on a more boring note:

    APK files: You, as a developer must understand how precious APK files are, when you are moving in an area, full of sharks. For example: the piracy at MouthOff Android is more then 50%! You surely don’t want to risk anything here.

    Google account: Although this works fluently on many devices, we have read numerous reports when the synchronisation was not working and people lost their apps (personal experience when immigrating from an HTC Hero to the Motorola Droid). How easier/more reliable would this be with a desktop based application where you just simply ‘one click’ import your apps.

    keep it real.. @millsustwo

    • http://nexsoftware.net/ nEx.Software

      Not a hater, not sure why you got that impression…

      If your intent was never more than to advertise your company than it should not have been done under the guise of an article related to improving the market. That’s what I was saying.

      I would estimate that 100% of those pirated copies originated from someone who pulled the APK from their phone and not anyone that you sent it to.

      • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

        “If your intent was never more than to advertise your company than it should not have been done under the guise of an article related to improving the market. That’s what I was saying” – its not the intent, it’s our inovative way of trying to get awarenss of our two massively selling iPhone apps that we have now released on the Android Market place. The Actual app is the inovation, But the article is far more interesting if we tell the readers why we have felt the need to showOFFâ„¢

        • http://nexsoftware.net/ nEx.Software

          I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. Good luck, I’ll be interested to hear if this ends up working for you guys.

        • http://Website Derek

          It’s innovative to advertise your company using a rant on the Android Marketplace? Yes, you will go far :-/

          • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ @millsustwo

            I am not ranting, I am laying out the facts as we see them, coupled with an attempt to overcome the issues.

    • http://www.strazzere.com/blog strazzere

      Applications sync with your account.

      “Issues” people have is that applications sync with your account, but are only *shown* and *available* if the developer has specified on the application that it works with this level api.

      Sometimes applications have not been upgraded fast enough and it appears you “lose” them in an upgrade.

      I’m not sure why making a desktop application would make this better? It would just have you APK files, and complain on install… Not to mention if you’re truly worried about piracy I think a desktop backup solution my conflict with those worries…

  • http://Website millsustwo

    Hey friedgold, my point exactly, opening itunes (although not perfect) is 50% more perfect than forcing someone to own the device or at least have the device in front of them. Many users have itunes regardless of wether they own the phone. So at least they can be engaged.

    • http://www.fried-gold.co.uk friedgoldmole

      @Millsustwo To be honest I can’t stand iTunes, I find it a bloated solution and try to avoid it if at all possible, I use a third party solution to manage my ipod music collection. I can see that having a desktop solution for getting more information on your application would be useful, I guess pointing users to your website is a stop gap solution, lets hope Google get a move on with a web based store front.

      • http://www.fried-gold.co.uk friedgoldmole

        Case in point I just clicked on a link in your twitter stream for more information on dotdotdot and I can’t find anything out about it as I don’t have iTunes installed on my work machine, so I can’t find out any information about your app.

        • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

          That’s a good point, that is one of the worst things about it not being web based solution, but we chose to target iPhone lovers with …â„¢ (its actually only a test tweet as it goes to apple in 10 mins) you can read more here (although I realise you are not actually interested :) http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/tagged/dot

          • http://www.fried-gold.co.uk friedgoldmole

            I’m sure I saw a video of that game ages ago, although perhaps it was dotdot. I have dot on my G1, but cannot get a score higher than 71. Are we going to get the sequels on android at any point?

  • Mitch

    I’m very inclined to agree with Nex on this. If this were a true assessment of the marketplace and improvement suggestions there wouldn’t be a need for a product placement so frequently. Yes we are aware youmake android apps but one mention (preferably as a footnote about the author) would lend weight to you argument.

    • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

      Not sure what you are on about. Its an article about our showOFFâ„¢ app, which is not meant to be a savior of the app store, but our reaction to the issues we raise. I know we are deemed as one of the saviours, but we can’t help everyone. Sometimes developers need to dig themselves out of their own problems.

      Re the footnote, there is one, have you read it?

      • http://nexsoftware.net/ nEx.Software

        In that case, I will have to express my disappointment in the way that this was posted by Android and Me. The way that this article is presented does not accurately describe it as a full page advertisement. And certainly should not have warranted being one of the “featured” stories on the site.

        I assure you, know one expects you to be the savior of the Market.

  • http://Website Roy

    @Millsustwo

    If you are concerned about a lack of discoverability, then why don’t you create software libraries that other apps can use and make apps more discoverable? I agree that this isn’t your businessmodel, but isn’t there an opportunity here?

    Two ideas that pop to mind would be:
    1. In app advertising for other apps (like app circle). You could take sales’ percentages from the promoted apps.
    2. A software library that enables apps to use promotional codes (like a2b). You could sell the use of these directly to developers.

    There is a lack of discoverability that all developers feel. Why don’t you try to cash in on this gap?

    • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

      “If you are concerned about a lack of discoverability, then why don’t you create software libraries that other apps can use and make apps more discoverable? I agree that this isn’t your businessmodel, but isn’t there an opportunity here?”

      This particular application is made to gain awarenss of our own ustwoâ„¢ apps. Not really intended to save the world.

      HOWEVER!!! Your proposal hits the right chord. One of our biggest app releases of the year will be on the iPhone. Named PositionApp ( @positionapp), it charts and highlights global app success (we will move this to other platforms once it hits the No1 spot in all countries) READ MORE HERE http://www.positionapp.com

  • http://Website Tans

    Great article – too many Android Geeks on here like Nex who’s named himself after the Google Nexus :).

    As a new Android user I wanna see improvement on the Marketplace – it’s currently rubbish and anyone talking about improvement and opening this up to discussion should be commended. We need more of this so google listen!!!

    I’m gonna get showOFFâ„¢ on my phone now – cos it’s FREE

    • http://nexsoftware.net/ nEx.Software

      “…too many Android Geeks on here like Nex who’s named himself after the Google Nexus :) . ”

      Thanks for the laugh.

    • http://heuristix.blogspot.com Taggs

      I agree – the android geeks moaning about the author trying to sell stuff kinda illustrates the point: unless the android marketplace makes it easier to advertise and sell stuff TO CASUAL CONSUMERS, it will die.

      As a confessed geek with both iphone and nexus one, who reads a lot of press about both, I see a similar dynamic between apple osx and linux fans. Sure, Apple locks you in, and android phones offer multi-tasking & better hardware, but 90% of the potential buyers DON’T CARE. They just want simplicity: a phone, with apps. No skins, widgets or multi-tasks that make apps slow or crash or hang, just apps on a grid, that are tested by Apple and that I can buy in the same way I buy my music or movies. SIMPLE.

  • http://Website Brian Hanifin

    “Account purchase Synchronization”

    This is a major problem! When I have wiped my phone a couple of times, my phone only ends up downloading a small portion of the apps I had previously installed on my phone. When my dad had to swap his DROID out for a new one he couldn’t find some of the apps he had PAID for!!!

    My biggest complaint with the Market right now is there is no master list of downloaded apps! Unfortunately, the “Downloads” list is incomplete. I am pretty sure I have paid for an app or two which I may never be able to remember. :-(

    • http://Website friedgoldmole

      You should have receipts emailed to your gmail account, do a search for “Google Checkout”

  • http://Website Mark

    “Account purchase Synchronization”

    This works fine for me. What is the problem? All the apps I had purchased on my G1 showed up as already purchased on my Nexus One. Then when I swapped Nexus Ones due to a hardware problem the new one immediately downloaded every app I had had installed on the first one.

    If you’re seeing bugs with this process, log them with Google.

    • http://Website Mark

      By the way, other than the Purchase Sync item, I agree with all the points you made. As an Android developer I have some serious issues with the market.

  • http://www.technogasms.com Riles

    The App Store sales stat that you cite is incorrect, that was the figure for total downloads rather than sales. The actual sales figure is still phenomenally high, estimated at something like 97.5% I think, but slightly less crazy.

    Regarding the filter function you are talking about, you missed what I think is about to become a critical component and that is the ability to filter by device. The disparities in hardware running Android that exist now are sufficient to justify this kind of filtering and I think it is fairly obvious that the gap between “high and low” Android devices is only going to grow wider in the coming year.

    Finally, although I don’t have a problem with the built-in sales pitch, I think you should have held it for the “About usTwo” section below the article. You’re already getting the face time with the guest post and people are going to look you up as a result and I frankly think you would come across better by just writing a clean article and then you can hit people with whatever you want in your company description below the article.

  • http://Website Jeroen

    “How does a developer showoff on the Android Market place?”

    By developing apps that are actually worthwile and professional, and not the countless totally useless and effortless apps that are on the Market now.
    Sorry to sound like a jerk, but the overall quality and originality off most apps falls way short.

  • millsustwo

    Nex “In that case, I will have to express my disappointment in the way that this was posted by Android and Me. The way that this article is presented does not accurately describe it as a full page advertisement”

    mate, I feel for you. You don’t get it. This is a post on our reaction to the difficulty selling on android. It’s our innovation. Something we are gifted with.

    • http://nexsoftware.net/ nEx.Software

      If you say so man.

      But to clarify… Your innovation is really no different than what other developers have done by showcasing their apps in their other apps.

      If by stating “something we are gifted with” you are somehow making an attempt to imply that I (or others) lack innovation, I’d have to ask you to kindly get off your high horse that you’ve put yourself on.

      • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ @millsustwo

        When I refer to ‘we’ I am talking solely about us and make no judgement on the success or gifts of others..

    • http://Website Derek

      “It’s our innovation. Something we are gifted with.”

      You keep using that word, “innovation” or “innovative”…I don’t think you know what that means. I’m sorry, but you rant about selling on the Marketplace…that’s not innovative.

      That’s just complaining.

  • krazytrixxxsta

    honestly, who gives a f**k if apple have more apps and downloads than the android market. iphone been out since 07 it would be unusual if it didnt. where the article for updates specific dates that what i want to know.

  • Andras desanta

    That’s fresh nexus. I think @millsustwo. Has sold out to ‘the man’

    yuckshimush

  • millsustwo

    Nex. Again you miss the point. This app is an app solely intended to give awareness of our incredible apps by giving away incredible and stylish wallpapers. ustwo is inovative. We are incredible. And i say this because i know what we have achieved and what we will be achieving this year. We are mobile. We are the future. We are progressive. This app is a simple carrier of a message, the message being ‘ustwo break boundaries to bring engagement to the mobile platform’

    I feel for you, because you will now watch as year on year we step up and up with our inovapption.

    Ive really enjoyed the banter. It’s always appreciated my man.

    • http://Website Derek

      “ustwo is inovative”

      You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means…

    • http://Website Derek

      “ustwo is inovative. We are incredible”

      You’ve convinced me with this lack of humility that your applications are way too incredible for me to handle…I won’t be spending money on them.

      You’ve innovated yourself out of a customer, congrats!

  • Tans

    I’m selling my droid now. Worst phone ever….worst community. All about Apple. Embrace the iPhone and experience what it’s all about.

  • http://Website archboy

    There are some good points in the article but then there some that are wrong for instance the apps are connected to the user. I’ve switched Android devices twice now and when I log in the apps which I have paid for have followed me with no problem at all.

    Yes, the market needs an update for developers and user to showcase like sorting most popular, ranking, price, better searching…etc. It is an issue that I’m hoping will be fixed to Android Market place. And it does need to improve to compete with the iPhone market since in the end all the ads and commercial is about the amount of apps in one’s store (not necessarily about the quality of the apps).

    Secondly, there are lots of great developers, not just you. While you do make interesting, innovative apps (I like mouthoff) but unlike the iPhone market place I think Android has a more grassroots feel at the moment. We are pickier and many are unwilling to pay the crazy prices like in the apple store but knowing that if the app is ‘worth’ it people will pay for it.

    Also, at least for me it is from word of mouth and reviews as a source for great apps. For instance I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t download Handcent sms app onto their phone. Of the several apps out their people seemingly are able to find this app. It stands out from the crowd even in a crowded one. While is app is free but certainly I would have paid for it. I think like anything else it is my natural selection. Great apps will find its way onto phones. Bad apps will find its life in the abyss of the market. So in the end if you make great apps it will filter through and people will recommend it.

    • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ @millsustwo

      “but unlike the iPhone market place I think Android has a more grassroots feel at the moment”

      personally I feel grassroots feel is actually ‘limited choice’ and quality because most design/game studios havent attempted to invest heavily in the Android Market, mainly ‘I’ feel because there are no majorly ‘promoted’ app success stories on the platform. I see many apps, but mostly created by developers with no design experience to make the app look attractive.

      “We are pickier and many are unwilling to pay the crazy prices like in the apple store but knowing that if the app is ‘worth’ it people will pay for it.”

      What crazy prices are there in the appstore? 59p? 1.19? a touch more? I’m confused…

  • http://Website DizWARE

    I’m surprised at how bad you are at taking criticism, millsustwo. I honestly didn’t think you put yourself in a bad light by writing this article, and I don’t think anyone was saying that you were originally, but you really are painting a nasty picture for you and your company by attacking peoples comments(rudely, nonetheless).

    I, for one, have complaints about the market and getting my name out, but none of which you have listed in your article. We all have our own opinions and struggles, and I don’t think its fair to shoot down anyone else, just based on your experience.

    BTW nEx.software has had his name on this site(and I’m assuming on his company) since the beginning of this site…pretty sure he didn’t name it after the Nexus One.

  • http://headtoheadracing.appspot.com/ Craigo

    I stopped reading after “20k Nexus handsets in the first week”. That figure is just a rumour. Eric Tseng won’t tell us the real number (Ref: Engadget Show). The author should check their facts before spreading rumours.

  • millsustwo

    Guys, i feel sorry for for you all. I’ll leave it at that. Androne.

    • http://Website TS

      This isn’t how you gain fans of your software. Insulting people is a great way to gain ill will towards you and your company.

    • http://www.blogspot.dizware.com DizWARE

      How can you say things like that and think you are defending a position? This was rude and uncalled for and you directed it to everybody. Is that the voice of your company? Is this what you want people to get from this article?

      You have to remember that what you wrote in this article is not fact. It is fact, however, that you and your company feel this way, hence why it is a valid and well written article. Its not the case for everyone, and you have shot down everyone who has stated against it. That is not a debate.

      I personally haven’t had much trouble being successful on the market. My products have been succesful because they were innovative, well designed, and have great customer service, and i only see me benefiting from one of your many bullet points. Does that mean I’ve done things wrong? Obviously not, and I don’t feel its fair to treat peoples personal experience as if they are wrong, be cause they aren’t…just different.

    • http://www.clan31337.org grindking

      so the truth finally comes out. i sensed bias in the initial article and lurked by reading all the comments. i’m glad this article hasn’t been removed so that everyone may see what a lousy way your company responds to opinions of others that you disagree with; great job…

  • Tans

    Wow. Guys. This is about google. Not @millsustwo. Wake up. I like this chat/debate….but Android Marketplace needs to move forward. Simple as that. Thing is, like me, we’re all regretimg not buying iPhone. I don’t know about you guys. But everyday I’m reminded and it makes me sick :(

    • http://www.androidui.net ExtremeT

      I’m pretty sure the majority of Android users certainly don’t regret not buying an iphone lol

    • http://Website Derek

      I most certainly don’t regret not buying an iPhone. I like my Android phone.

  • millsustwo

    Dizware, I’m sorry you think i am attacking. I’m not. I’m defending my position. I’m protecting my brand. But I realise this is banter, I realise emotions are high, I realise that the inovators get trashed. Bottom line, we are making an effort to succeed in a convoluted Market place where many a joker actually manage to succeed. We are mobile.

    • http://Website TS

      Innovative…Mobile…?

      I just realized, you must be their marketing monkey

  • http://www.androidui.net ExtremeT

    Honestly, talking about improving the market and what specifically can be done about improving the market is beating a dead horse by now…relentlessly beating it. All of us developers are well aware of the multitude of ways that the market can be improved, only a few of which were mentioned in this article, none of which were original by any way of thinking.

    Now, I’m sure I as well will be dubbed a hater for this next comment but…your showOFF app just seems like a glorified RSS reader that allows you to get a wallpaper once in awhile when you release an app. That’s fine and perhaps that will work for you to get your name out there a bit more but in no way does that help any other developer nor is that a suggestion to improve the market. All in all I agree with Nex, this was really just a big ad. Why bother mentioning the points about improving the market at all? Why not just say ‘Hey this is what we are doing, this is our app to help us advertise and it’s on the market go get it”?

    Lastly, comments in articles like : “Unfortunately and being totally honest at ustwoâ„¢, we’re beginning to doubt the hype surrounding Android as just that…..hype.” etc etc coming from a developer who’s quiet successful in the iphone market really isn’t helping anything at all but to put a darker cloud of thinking out there, especially for other developers who are thinking about making the jump into this market.

    Just my 2 cents..at least the wallpapers are nice..sorta.

  • millsustwo

    TS please don’t think I’m insulting, trust me, if I wanted to insult I would. I’m stimulating an engaging debate that highlights the issues successful design studios have with android at the moment. I know all too well about these pains as I’ve battled through them over the last few years, but fear not. The best is still to come. We won’t give up. We will succeed where many have failed. @millsustwo

  • Tans

    Just accept it guys….iPhone is better in terms apps. I love my droid. But I want apps. I want to pull out something smooth. Impress the ladies but I can’t. Instead I impress with me latest SMS app and guess what….it doesn’t cut the mustard.

    I’m here ready to download something that understands who I am. Instead I have literally nothing…and am sat here in North Carolina.

    I want more. Come on guys. U know what I’m saying. Surely?

    • http://clarklab.net Clark Wimberly

      If you’re looking to impress the ladies with a phone you’re doing it wrong

    • http://Website friedgoldmole

      Not entirely sure what applications you are going use on an iPhone to impress the ladies? I would certainly be interested to hear.

      iPhones and Macs have been the mainstay for a large chunk of the creative industries, and because of that they attract more design savvy developers. I have many read articles on iPhone app development and the amount of work that some of these teams put into just the UI design is amazing, I am talking about dozens of revisions of the UI design, where most would be happy with the first concept.

      Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of very compelling and well designed applications on Android and I wouldn’t swap my G1 for an iPhone (I would swap it for a nexus though), but if you want the volume of polished apps that the iPhone has we have to be patient.

      • http://gyurigrell.com Gyuri

        “Not entirely sure what applications you are going use on an iPhone to impress the ladies? I would certainly be interested to hear.”

        iViagra?

    • http://www.androidui.net ExtremeT

      If you want to impress the ladies with your phone you’ll probably need to download one of those apps that can do custom vibrating patterns, they label it as massage apps but we all know better.

  • http://Website friedgoldmole

    There has been a good deal of banter on here, and I can see that it has rubbed more than a few people up the wrong way.

    The fact is that whether or not these issues have been discussed before, and they have, on numerous occasions including on this site, it can only help to keep them current, to keep these issues in Googles peripheral vision.

    An article like this from a well known iPhone and more recently Android developer is more likely to register with Google than complaints on a forum. And while I think it would be foolish to assume that Google are not aware of these issues and are not already hard at work on them, we can’t help but want solutions ASAP.

    Of course this article has an agenda, but what sane developer would not take advantage of every opportunity to plug and promote their brand and product. I would presume that this article is written from the point of view of a long time iPhone user and some of the points made may be incorrect, or not tell the whole story but that doesn’t mean we should disregard them.

    As Android users we can’t afford to look at our favourite platform with Rose tinted spectacles. I think we as a community are sometimes very quick to jump on criticism of our favourite little green robot. We need to understand how the situation looks to the outsider.

    In much the same way the Apple users are accused of being fanboys, I think the same can easily be said of us, especially the dedicated users that read and contribute to Android related Forums and News site such as this, and lets be honest I won’t deny I am a massive Android fan.

    I also can’t deny that the iPhone is a great product, with compelling applications and functionality. Hell I would love to try out the new Palm Pre, I bet that platform has some pretty cool features and garners the exact same level of fanaticism seen by both Apple fans and us Android people. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if these competing products didn’t exist.

    Lets not take things so seriously, I think this has been an interesting debate in the most part. And can I say, this post is not aimed at anyone directly, but a culmination of my thoughts and feelings after reading a number of comments from android users across several forums including engadget/gizmodo/androidandme/androidguys etc.

  • millsustwo

    I’m just telling how it is. Trust me. I don’t say these things for effect. I run one of the most progressive studios working today. A studio willing to spend on marketting in ways no other studio would entertain. That’s because we are mobile through and through. Not users, but makers. We create the path that users rightly follow. We earn that right because we live mobile. We live entertainment. We live progress. As it stands. As much as I’d love to hype android. It doesn’t cut the mustard. Yet.

    • http://Website friedgoldmole

      You certainly don’t show any lack of self confidence! I would question the idea you are not users, but makers, when you go on to say you earn the right because you live mobile. To say that suggests you are both a user and a maker, you use mobiles to understand your market, and from reading your twitter feed you obviously try out other peoples apps (eg Revolve), so no need for quite so much marketing speak and use of buzz words, your not the end all and be all, but keep up the good work :-)

  • http://www.mobilepornhub.com Mobile Porn Hub

    I agree with the article, but it left out one of, and probably the biggest reason the Android Market is behind Apple’s (besides the fact that Apple’s has been around alot longer)

    ..and that is the storage capacity on the device.

    I’ve purchased a few games from the market since I got my G1 back in Oct ’08.

    **Trouble is, everything you buy slows down the phone because theres no room on the darn thing!

    Add to that the fact that the games SUCK because they need to keep them small in filesize, and I’ve all but stopped even looking at the market at this point.

    Fix those issues, and you’ll see people downloading like monkeys.. but until then, for an android user thats not using app-2-sd, every app=slower phone

  • http://Don'twasteyourtimewiththat99.4%bs vitriolix

    That Gartner “analyst” pretty much just made all his numbers up. To prove the point, he claims 16 million non iphone apps downloaded. Lets look at just Android:

    http://www.androlib.com/appstats.aspx

    24000 apps in their db

    http://www.androlib.com/appstatsdownloads.aspx

    0.8% of apps have >250k downloads

    0.008 * 24000 * 250000 = 48 million.

    And that is less than 1% of the apps in the market. I’m not claiming any authoritative number, but just showing that the numbers they cite are off by ridiculous orders of magnitude that the whole report is worthless headline trolling.

  • millsustwo

    Mr mobile porn Hub, massively Important point that we ommitee. When we first launched mouthoff on the android Market place their was literally an Internet backclash against us for making the app bigger than 10meg (to contain all 55 animated mouths it was necessary to be around 14meg) so we had to reduce the amount of mouths in the app. I’m not quite sure why google would release phones with such small capacity to house the very apps that would ultimately be the making of it! Madness. The same goes for the super simple showOff where memory was such an issue that we could only have 5 full size transitioning wallpaper motions!

    Although all may change next week with apple, I find the need to develop for ultimately 4 different screen resolutions an issue (but realise this is the manufactureres choice and not google)

  • http://Website chris

    Honestly i do not disagree with most of this article they are things that i have thought…while not all of them and some may not work exactly but their are alot of great ideas,suggestions and common complaints.i think google could seriously consider some of these suggestions……..

  • http://www.typhon4android.org Mike Leahy

    While I stayed out of the fray early on nEx.S pretty much summed up my initial reaction to this “guest post / advertisement”.

    >millsustwo:
    >When we first launched mouthoff on the android Market place their was literally an Internet backclash against us for making the app bigger than 10meg

    You and your company are not victims or the 1st to encounter this aspect of the Android platform and current devices in the wild.

    It’s completely straight forward to store large art/game assets on the SDCard. If you guys are half competent with engineering/dev it should take a day or two to roll your own solution and not much longer to create a robust one that can hook up with say Amazon S3 or similar storage web service.

    >millsustwo:
    >Although all may change next week with apple, I find the need to develop for ultimately 4 different screen resolutions an issue (but realise this is the manufactureres choice and not google)

    A simple solution to this problem is 2D compositing and with proper use of nine-patch images and other standard compositing techniques available in the Android 2D API it’s easy to create detailed and engaging images sized dynamically to the screen size of any given device. The tools are there; you just need to use them.

    Heck if you guys thought of that you’d probably try to claim how daring, “innovative”, and how much you guys are living the mobile compositing lifestyle; note the sarcasm… ;) Unfortunately this is graphics 101; ok maybe 102.

    There are several phrases in your original post and in comments that come across as simply complaining about Android and they do not reflect well on your efforts here or on usTwo and a lot of what you write comes off as naive, but you’ve been told this already in other comments.

    Innovative companies can work around engineering difficulties with original solutions and truly innovative companies release these solutions via open source when possible.

    It’s no small surprise that your effort here on A&M is perceived as a general failure and is getting modded down given your approach and general lack of tact.

    I do find this as an interesting and novel post for A&M having followed A&M since near the beginning. I’d prefer in the future if guest posts save the out right chest thumping to just company info at the end of a post/press release/article/comments or otherwise be flagged as an advertisement (preferably paid eh Taylor/Clark et al!)

    • http://Website @millsustwo

      Thanks for the Android Graphics 102 but our interface demands aren’t usually solved with 9-patches, we are aiming higher. You can see for yourself if you download our three apps, If you feel that you have been coerced by this article then the beauty of the Android Market place is you can get your money back!

      • http://www.typhon4android.org Mike Leahy

        >Thanks for the Android Graphics 102 but our interface demands aren’t usually solved with 9-patches, we are aiming higher.

        Yeaaahh… You didn’t catch the tact part apparently.. The above is a fallacious statement. 1st you ignore the real power mentioned which is the 2D compositing features of the Android 2D API which more than adequately solves composition of 2D images (aka wallpapers) procedurally making it easy to support multiple screen resolutions. Then you dip towards a little ad hominem sprinkled with red herring sauce.

        “we are aiming higher”

        Goooo onnnnnnnn…. and? This is completely irrelevant and a hopelessly vague statement at best. This is why people smarter than you don’t like you. ;)

        >You can see for yourself if you download our three apps, If you feel that you have been coerced by this article

        Tell you what.. Why don’t you make a 3 or 4 minute video and put it on YouTube or site of your choice if you haven’t already and post a link. I’ll give that a look..

        No one is being coerced by the article, but a 1st impression of sorts has been made by one of us that much is true.

        • http://Website Matt Polls

          In actual fact i think this sums up in some ways one of the issues with the android marketplace in the first place. To be completely frank, a huge percentage of the content is simply ugly, and developed without much thought to creating an engaging , or in some cases even mildly usable interface design.

          The fact of the matter is , it is a very developer centric approach to believe that a dynamic and exciting interface can be developed just by using the power of nine slicing. In actual fact, all that allows you to do is create rather lack-luster elements that very traditionally focus around rectangular , circular or if you are really pushing the boat out , rectangular shapes with rounded edges (note the underlying sarcasm).
          This doesn’t really help when it comes to developing anything character based, graphically rich and unique in its style. To create truly beautiful applications, in my honest opinion you need to redesign for all screen size variants.

          The market place , and i would hazard a guess, a large percentage of the android users are technology ‘geeks’ (i mean this in an endearing fashion, being one myself) , and the fact of the matter is, most of the applications on it are created by independent developers, or smaller development companies. I mean this in the context that as a developer, i would focus on the underlying technologies, capabilities and the functionality i can squeeze from the platform. But without as much thought for design , and UXP (user experience) , you can end up with the most functional application in the world, but people that are not tech savy can figure out how to use it, or its such a nightmare to use, they give up before they realize just how amazing it is.

          Although i am in no way an apple fanboy, you have to acknowledge that one of the key drivers behind the success of the iphone was its ui design, and intuitiveness ( even my mum worked it out in about 20 mins, which is no mean feat). They have also invested a lot of money in educating the general public on what an ‘app’ is (advertorials, articles, mass media marketing). Even though technically, the phone is not as functional as most smart-phones on the market (also, mine has a horrible tendency to crash and call my voice mail every ten minutes), the user experience has made it so popular, and accessible.

          Without ease of use, and mass market appeal, the android marketplace for any larger company doesn’t in my opinion offer a significant ROI yet. I really hope this does change however, because it is one hell of a platform.

          • http://www.typhon4android.org Mike Leahy

            Hello Matt Polls, I do believe someone connected with ustwo tangentially or otherwise, care to announce your bias? A simple google search “matt polls ustwo” has some hits..

            When the main mouth gets a smack down send in the reserve.. ;P

            >Matt:
            >To be completely frank, a huge percentage of the content is simply ugly, and developed without much thought to creating an engaging , or in some cases even mildly usable interface design.

            First off.. I agree with what you are saying 100%.

            Also, I am not refuting that the Android market place could be better.

            I myself have a very long list of “grievances” against the development of Android and how Google as a whole has handled a few things, but I appreciate it greatly for what it is and what it will allow me to accomplish as a software/hardware dev house.

            Do I wish Google added twice as many engineers to the Android dev team, why yes, but such is life.

            Innovative companies will find their way around any perceived hurdles and initial shortcomings or differences between platforms and APIs. Those that complain lack initiative at least where Android is concerned.

            Matt:
            >it is a very developer centric approach to believe that a dynamic and exciting interface can be developed just by using the power of nine slicing.

            This is not the entirety of what I mentioned and both yourself and that mills bloke have again overlooked the power of the Android 2D API to do _advanced compositing_ Let me explain what compositing is though this shouldn’t be necessary for “amazing world wide designers” ™ (TM) if ascii code didn’t take!.. It’s what all your graphics jockies are doing in Photoshop (or graphics package of choice) quite often.

            It is the creation of new images of any size out of a dynamic combination of other images _and_ drawables in the context of the Android 2D API. With the application of alpha blending, shader/tiling, porter-duff compositing and some more tricks very attractive, seamless, and fit to size images can be created to enable stunning and engaging images that can be used in any GUI or uploaded to OpenGL ES for 3D use without the need to custom create art assets for every screen resolution/density profile.

            For instance it’s quite easy to do texture splatting with the Android 2D API and even better because you can use gradient drawables as intermediaries and such:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texture_splatting

            I’m sure you can plug compositing into Wikipedia or Porter-Duff as well.

            Practically anything that can be done in Photoshop can be dynamically arranged and composited via the Android 2D API.

            Coming from someone who has deep Java2D API experience for 10+ years the Android 2D API is quite nice.

            >Matt:
            >To create truly beautiful applications, in my honest opinion you need to redesign for all screen size variants.

            The fact that most devs including ustwo are not using the Android 2D API to it’s full capability is not the fault of Android itself per se, but a lack of art/engineering capability. IE using engineering with an artistic goal directly to create beautiful applications.

            Now to be honest to effectively use the Android 2D API it does help if one can create an intermediate compositing framework cause just the raw tools are available in Android without easy to use facilitating features, but the tools are there!

            So yes… The Android market can be improved, but so can ustwo’s approach to Android and any “PR antics” can be toned down. Who gives a damn about 10 million _unregistered_ trademarks littered through press releases. It’s trite and doesn’t convince anyone of reasonable intelligence.

  • http://www.typhon4android.org Mike Leahy

    I thought this blog post that went up recently by Mark Murphy captures a reasonable perspective on the situation and is congruent with the sentiment I express above:
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/56252

    • http://www.nexsoftware.net nEx.Software

      Thanks for the link Mike. A good article indeed. Mark Murphy usually has very interesting and well thought-out things to say.

    • http://Website Matt Polls

      Hi mike,

      thanks for getting back to me. It is very true, i also work at ustwo, but mills is a big boy and can comment for himself, i am merely expressing my own opinion. I am glad as well as extensive development knowledge you are also able to preform simple google searches, and please believe me if i was here purely as a reserve, i would probaly have at least hidden my very easy to search name.

      Thank you for pushing the information on the 2d api, it is not something i am 100% familiar with (not being a hardcore developer myself), and i will be having a look deeper into it to try and fully appreciate your comments. I would still be to differ that overall composition of any given scene dependent on screen-size is not something that can be worked out with mathematical algorithms, and is something that needs to be done by a person. Although many of the features described in your 2d api would allow this to predefined by the designers, unfortunately this puts us back into the situation of having to redevelop for every screen size and the subsequent budget spend this would require. The fact that we would have to / could develop our own frame work to do this this only adds to that cost, and due to the nature of our graphical work, in my opinion would not be something that could be used on every project. And as the android market place at this time does not have in our opinion offer a significant return on investment, we might as well spend that budget on actually registering some of those trademarks you are so found of ;)

      On that subject, thank you for your constructive feedback on our PR and Marketing techniques, and i apologize profusely if we have insulted your ‘intelligence’. I am however glad you have taken the time to read through all our press releases, check out our work and form your own opinion on our company.

      matt (ustwo)

    • http://Website Lonny

      Hey Mike,

      as a developer freelancing for design studios I’m really interested in your post. I’ve been looking into what these guys are doing, here is a video of one of their apps:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JOF_xLCBrc&feature=player_embedded

      Now I don’t mean to discuss the value of the app itself, but how would I create an interface (a mouth, in that case) as the one above with the techniques you mention? I’m sure I could get there and that would be good enough, but design studios are quite picky and the need their interfaces to be crisp and perfect to the pixel, for all resolutions since we’re talking about Android.

      I’m pretty sure I could get good results with what you suggest, but I think the problem here is the definition of “good”. Thoughts?

      • http://www.typhon4android.org Mike Leahy

        I’ll get back to Matt above later..

        >Now I don’t mean to discuss the value of the app itself, but how would I create an interface (a mouth, in that case) as the one above with the techniques you mention?

        One of the real problems is sizing of art assets. For Android I’d have the assets made for the largest screen/density desired for the app though for future maintenance and upgrades I’d have the artists create even larger assets to have as source material. 1st step would be to size the oversized assets for the highest resolution/density device supported. Right now with Android that is hdpi settings with screens roughly 854×480 (800×480 for the Nexus One!). Android netbooks aside they may have larger screens, but similar densities. The density, dpi, is the key not so much the resolution. One uses DisplayMetrics and it’s density parameter to scale the assets. With hdpi the density parameter is 1.5 for the Droid and N1 and other 1st gen devices such as the G1 the density parameter is 1.0. So the assets should be scaled to 2/3 or 66% the size of the original. This is easily done with creating a new Bitmap and drawing a scaled version into it.

        Now there are two types of potential assets in a lot of animation systems; static and dynamic. The dynamic assets in the case of mouth off are the animated mouth which is centrally displayed and/or the addition of the chin. It’s easy to position the mouth as it goes in the center of the screen!. In the particular video you linked you’ll see that there is just a central mouth and a static background.

        For the particular example you linked to first I’d tile a generic textured green background and that will fill the screen. Depending on design requirements it may be possible to just draw into the static background a left hand detail and a right hand details (the darker highlights that make the static background look like a round puff ball). So the difference between the Droid and N1 would be that there is 54 less pixels in the central portion of the puff ball. The details for various effects can just be alpha blended or use PorterDuff->Multiply or PorterDuff->Lighten.

        Some mouth off versions have two dynamic elements. Say a chin and the mouth. _IF_ the design permits the chin to stretch in the center or have extra space on the left/right sides to accommodate various screen resolutions (again think Droid vs N1 or devices with varying resolutions but the same density) then you can draw a nine-patch into an appropriately sized bitmap filling the width of the screen (landscape orientation), but say 25% of the height or wherever the proportional top of the chin happens to end. You do this for each frame of the chin. If a nine-patch doesn’t meet design goals then again a compositing solution similar to drawing the puff ball highlights is done to create the chin frames.

        The actual animation is pretty simple as it just correlates volume to a just a handful of animation frames at varying loudness levels. The eye can be tricked with just 3-6 different frames at each level such as the tongue being stuck out all the way in the video you linked to. It’s only seemingly 3-5 frames.

        For versions with the chin the process would be similar to the mouth insofar that there are just a handful of frames for each level state and conceivably for the chin various animations could be repeated for different loudness levels whereas the mouth would have unique animation frames for each loudness level.

        The dynamic parts are rendered over the static background each frame.

        ————————–

        Now this is the dark arts of Android part as there are tricks involved with Android on the business side of things. On the 1.6 OS and above there is _automatic_ asset scaling if you just drop the assets into the drawable resource directory. The assets are only scaled up in the automatic system. This is very bad cause remember we want to have the assets non-scaled and at the size appropriate for the highest density device supported. There is a nodpi tag in 1.6 that prevents automatic scaling, but ahhh, the kicker it’s not supported in 1.5, so you can’t use it if you want to support 1.5 devices. There is a work around though. Normally images are loaded with BitmapFactory and through this API this is where the automatic scaling occurs.. Well crap, what if you want to load an unscaled image. You can still do it on 1.6+ and 1.5… On 1.5 images in the stock drawable resource directory are not scaled. On 1.6 they are autoscaled unless you modify a new parameter in Bitmap called “inScaled” or use BitmapFactory.Options.setDensity. Well that sucks cause these new parameters are not available on 1.5! What to do?
        In Typhon, the framework I’m soon releasing, I simply created “UnscaledBitmapFactory” that uses reflection to determine if these parameters exist and if so set them for 1.6+ OSes when it’s desired to load an unscaled bitmap directly from the drawable resource folder as remember there is no “nodpi” on 1.5.

        I also created another helper class aptly named DisplayHelper and it provides a lot of easy to use methods that will assist in density scaling. This thread has been positive as I only considered up scaling as this is mostly for font sizes or absolute positioning. I’m going to add a bunch of helper methods that will help down scale sizes given a source density and the given density of the device.. So hey there you go when you leave the office or have a flame war surreptitiously a new requirement surfaces surrounding a particular angle I didn’t think about yet in my own applications of Typhon.

        >I’m pretty sure I could get good results with what you suggest, but I think the problem here is the definition of “good”. Thoughts?

        Designers are often wankers when it comes to their OCD and it gets worse when you got chest thumping folks surrounding them. ;P Their OCD is often triggered by the unknown and then slides into the frantic zone of, “oh my goodness now we have to create pixel perfect images just for the Nexus One and the Droid cause one is 854×480 and the other 800×400″. That is the wrong and completely unscalable approach and hence these design oriented houses will bitch about Android cause they don’t understand the technology they are using.

        With compositing or with the tool set I created over the Android 2D API you can exactly position items, position by percentage, or position by set locations (top-right, etc). This in addition to easily tiling, scaling images, drawing partial parts of an image, all the standard matrix transforms (rotation, shear, etc)

        Of course all of the above is available in code, but there is functionality in Android to create your own LayoutInflater.Factory, so you can enable a good portion of the custom 2D API I’ve built in Typhon for instance to be accessible via designer friendly XML definitions. Essentially it’s no different than CSS layouts by percentage or any other design friendly system, so it’s not even a matter of “good enough”.

        Here is an example of defining a tiled and composited splashscreen using the Typhon components via a custom LayoutInflater I’ll wrap it in a pre tag as the XML may not display correctly.

        This takes a light metal texture and tiles it. It then uses a dark gradient drawable and multiplies that darkening the tiled metallic texture and giving it a gradient. Finally a nine-patch is composited using PorterDuff->Screen. The splashscreen central image is shown in the center and there is a 2 second fade in/out and 3 second delay. Where you see the “layer1″ parameter the splashscreen can take any number of layers and TiledBitmapDrawable can even have callbacks defined to provide custom compositing after each layer is rendered into the tiled background. There is a ton possible and exposed via XML, but the above sample is simple, but provides a pleasant effect that works on all devices. Now yes the only thing above that has a medium and high resolution version is the central splashscreen image (company logo/text); everything else is loaded as an unscaled image.

        I’d also take the time to create an image of the individual components and final result, but I’ve kind of exceeded my time on this issue explaining things in reasonable detail.

        Whether or not Android 2D API is used in mouth off or OpenGL ES it’s quite possible to do all the frame / Bitmap creation with Android 2D API then upload to OpenGL ES the specially sized assets for a given device.

        Lonny you better not work for ustwo…. or where do I send the bill? ;P

        • http://www.typhon4android.org Mike Leahy

          No brackets this time for the XML:

          com.egrsoftware.android.gui.view.splashscreen.SplashScreenRuntimeView
          android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
          android:layout_height=”fill_parent”
          typhon:fade_time=”2″
          typhon:show_time=”3″
          typhon:layer_1=”com.egrsoftware.android.gui.drawable.bitmap.TiledBitmapDrawable”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_1_drawable=”@drawable/background_metallic”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_2_drawable=”@drawable/background_gradient”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_2_xfermode=”multiply”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_3_drawable=”@drawable/background_fractal”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_3_xfermode=”screen”
          typhon:splashscreen_1_drawable=”com.egrsoftware.android.gui.drawable.bitmap.LocationBitmapDrawable”
          typhon:location_location=”center”
          typhon:location_drawable=”@drawable/splashscreen”

        • http://Website Lonny

          > Designers are often wankers when it comes to their OCD and it gets worse when you got chest thumping folks surrounding them. ;P Their OCD is often triggered by the unknown and then slides into the frantic zone of, “oh my goodness now we have to create pixel perfect images just for the Nexus One and the Droid cause one is 854×480 and the other 800×400″. That is the wrong and completely unscalable approach and hence these design oriented houses will bitch about Android cause they don’t understand the technology they are using.

          I think this is the main point, but if (like I do) you work for them at the end of the day they get to choose how much pixel perfect they want it. After all they are paying my bills :)

          > Lonny you better not work for ustwo…. or where do I send the bill? ;P

          Haven’t had the pleasure yet :P

          • http://www.typhon4android.org Mike Leahy

            >I think this is the main point, but if (like I do) you work for them at the end of the day they get to choose how much pixel perfect they want it. After all they are paying my bills :)

            For sure as long as they pay the bills one can tweak away, but doing so with dynamic and not 100% static pre-rendererd assets is the most scalable way to accomplish that goal. Plus it gives the freedom for an app to run on new hardware with reasonable if not perfectly adequate results whereas prerendered assets will never scale.

            Those running or managing design firms often have no concept of scalability, engineering complexity, or realize that fixing problems upstream prevent more costly future maintenance (a general problem with all organizations). It’s an uphill battle that should be fought, but the folks involved just don’t care or have the capability to even think about “total quality” (quality over the entire lifetime of a product).

            I’m making a strong attempt shortly to transform from 3rd party engineering to offering 1st party middleware for Android and beyond. 3rd party work can get frustrating after years of doing it.

            The thing that cracks me up which you alluded to as well is that in the end it’s just “pop apps”; nothing necessarily innovative and just cheap tricks for the most part. Does this class of app make $$$ currently, yes, but not forever at least in the current state of things. Design firms are a dime a dozen. In 5 years time we may look back and laugh (who needs to wait 5 years!) at the pop apps that 1st appeared when the masses started carrying legitimate mini-computers / smartphones oh wait, right, “superphones”. ;)

  • http://Website david

    this article worked since i just downloaded showOFF to my mytouch3G. Keep up the good work guys and thanks androidandme for bringing this article to our attention. I think I speak for all android users in saying we want the marketplace to be a success.

  • http://Website jeff

    Not sure about some of the points made in this article but was good to read.

    Also downloaded showOFF

  • http://Website USDroid

    Is Mike man or machine or android….who knows…but he is very clever ;)

  • http://Website Carolyn

    Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want anything on my computer like ITunes and why do articles continuously compare two phones and platforms that shouldn’t be. The Iphone and Itunes have been around a long longer than Android.

    I get what I need from androlib.com. Scan the QR code and bam it’s on my phone in two clicks. I can’t tell you the last time I used the actual Marketplace.

    Android is what a lot of people want and just because it does do exactly what Apple products can do is a wasted discussion. Look at the Android platform for what it is and what it has accomplished in a little more than a year. Let Android pave its own way because I for one don’t want the constraints and blocks that Apple puts on their products. If I wanted Iphone qualities or ITune capabilities I would have bought an IPhone.

  • http://Website Matt W

    I think the article for the most part was ok, but I honestly think this is the worst PR attempt I’ve ever seen by a company. Millsustwo, you’ve got a lot to learn about effective PR/Marketing techniques. I don’t know where you get off calling you or your company innovative when you obviously do not understand the basics of PR (i.e. do not insult potential customers). I’ve gotta say, if your company is so innovative, mobile, and all these other good sounding but ultimately empty words, why do you not let your work speak for itself? Arrogant and belittling speech doesn’t get you very far in grown-up world.

    • http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/ millsustwo

      Matt W, I appologise. Was not my intention to insult, and reading back I don’t believe I do (apart from one time when i let my emotions run high). I simply state my case like the others state theirs. Selling, or making waves in the Android market place is a tough one. And as a creaotor of content, I personally can’t see a way of making money as it stands, and until Google change the way apps are sold, eyeballed and distributed on this platform.

  • Tans

    This is too good. millsustwo is promoting a FREE app and you lot are crying about PR/ marketing like grannies. It’s FREE and guess what….some people are gonna push the boat out and pay absolutely nothing for it. Seems like a deal to me! You gotta be stupid not to.

    It’s the most commented article on android and me this week!!!! Sounds like good PR to me and I ain’t no expert like all you lot are claiming to be.

    I’m thinking…actually hoping….that not all customers or readers of this site wanna talk geekoid on android all day long. If that was the case….wow….we’re all doomed. In fact the whole Android platform is doomed.

    Seems like the jokes on the android geeks to me. Classic and what makes it worse is that some people on here….claim to be soooo intelligent ;)

    Suckers!!!!!

    • http://Website friedgoldmole

      Your right of course it’s good publicity, and stirring it up a little with some debate has only helped to make it a hot topic.

      Regarding your comment on Android geeks, you’ll find that on websites like androidandme, you’ll get geek users of the android platform like me, wanting to talk about Android, I know crazy, not sure what you were expecting ;-)

      Find any good android apps to impress the ladies yet? (I’m genuinely interested, what iPhone apps would you use for this purpose?)

  • marlon

    There will be a application of flash player for the samsung moment maybe for the next update or something like that can some one answer me to ticotime@hotmail.com

  • http://Website Tans

    Hey Friedgoldmole

    Have been looking but haven’t had any joy yet…need something fun to whip out – an icebreaker – a deal sealer ;)

    I read android and me and myself am a newly converted android geek – but there are levels of android geekoidism on here from mild to unhealthy :) – you could say the site offers a full spectrum of geekoidism – which is great!

    I have to say reading through all these comments was fun – love debate and love people that know their stuff and show passion!

    • http://www.androidui.net ExtremeT

      Is it just me or have you suddenly changed your tune?

      • http://Website Tans

        You’re right – and guess what I changed my tune yet again – thank god – sold my Droid on wkend ;)

  • http://twitter.com/amaroth bret

    Hi, I was just wondering if anybody has those pictures that are on all the android phones in the image at the top of this article…
    hehe

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  1. BranyrGuest 5 years ago

    I have a correction for the article – Australians most certainly CAN purchase paid applications from the market. You’re probably confused by the fact that the carrier Optus and others they lease their towers to aren’t allowed to purchase paid apps, however people on the carriers Telstra, Vodafone and Three can purchase paid applications with stock hardware. The majority of Australian android users are with Three and Vodafone.

    Otherwise this is a good article which points out the flaws in the current android market system.

  2. ansroidawgGuest 5 years ago

    Solid article. Well thought out and 100% correct.

  3. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Thanks, we are struggling with app awareness on Android, and are trying to inovate rather than complain. Its going to be interesting to see the piclup (if any) of this app.

  4. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Hey Branyr

    We stand corrected — in Australia it is a network issue as you’ve quite rightly pointed out. However I suppose the overall point we were tying to make was that limitation exists on a number of levels. As developers we want open access to all Android users. Google needs to wake up and open up the sluice gates. Thanks for the feedback.

  5. Sean MurrayGuest 5 years ago

    Just wanted to let you guys know, that immediately after reading this article I did a search for, and purchased, both of the ustwo apps that I could find on the marketplace. I couldn’t find ShowOff, but I’m assuming it will be available later today.

  6. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Hey Sean, The app is going live any hour now. Thanks for buying the apps, what do you think of them?

    • Sean MurrayGuest 5 years ago

      MouthOff is great! I’m a teacher, and I showed it to my kids a few minutes ago and they couldn’t get enough of it. I haven’t had a chance to play DOT yet, that will have to wait until I get home.

  7. friedgoldGuest 5 years ago

    Very good article, and very valid points, though couple of questions.

    Store Front: You can provide links that when clicked on open the android market place with your app (though only on an android handset), I was under the impression this is similar to what happens with Apple, except the link opens up iTunes so I guess you have a way to view/ read about the app on the desktop, am I correct or do apple now have a web based store front?

    Account Sync, I have reset my phone and installed different roms a number of times and I am always able to re-download my purchased apps, they seem linked to my Google account. I don’t see why this would be any different if I change handsets? Or is this related to phones which don’t have the with Google branding?

    • Hoss789Guest 5 years ago

      I recently had to switch phones because of a bad headphone jack. Downloading the purchased apps was easy. Downloading the free apps,,,not so much. There is no record of free apps kept in the Android Market.

      Luckily I backed up all my apps to the SD card using Astro file manager (highly recommend this free app) so I did not have to hunt and for everything.

      • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

        That is true, but I don’t think it would be reasonable or usable for google to keep track of every single app you have downloaded and installed. Especially as a large number of applications you test end up being rubbish.

        Maybe it would a nice feature to take a snapshot of the current apps you have installed, to be accessible in the market place. Though as you say there are already apps that let you backup non copy protected apps.

  8. nEx.SoftwareGuest 5 years ago

    Let me first say that it is definitely not my intent to be a jerk in this response, but I felt the need to say something. By my estimation, what we have here is a cleverly disguised advertisement for your product and company. It almost appears an excercise in SEO (given the number and location of keywords throughout the article), to be completely honest.

    This article plays upon the frustration that some (while I would have liked to say “many” or “most”, I feel that “some” is more appropriate based on various polls and feedback I have seen) have with regard to the Android Market, in order to drive exposure. Unfortunately, the article says nothing new about the state of the Market and only offers those “solutions” which have been proposed countless times before.

    As far as your article content itself…

    I am not sure why you think that a purchased app would not move with the purchaser to a new handset? Purchases are tied to the Google Account, not the handset. I use my purchased apps on all of my handsets which use the same account.

    I find it hard to believe that sending your APK to “influential bloggers, journalists and special fans” would be considered a true piracy risk. After all, if these people are truly as influential or “special” as indicated, there should be a level of trust already afforded. The risk is no greater (and is probably less) than some kid purchasing the application, making a copy from their phone and then distributing it. Of course, that is not to say that promo codes would not be a great tool for the Developer to promote a product… It’s just that the argument is flawed.

    As for your other suggestions, I do agree and have expressed the same opinion publicly before.

    Note: I am fully aware that this comment might be down-ranked quickly (I am almost expecting it to be, if I am being honest), as it expresses what some might consider to be a negative or anti-progress, but I assure you that is not it.

    • SergGuest 5 years ago

      +1

      Just wanted to add that you dont need to show off anything to succeed in android market. If your app is any original, it will pick up virally itself due to crapfest of garbage apps on Android Market.

  9. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Hey Nex, love the angle…always good to read about haters who feel the need to vent against us. To be honest if you didn’t have an opinion it wouldn’t be worth it. We innovate, and innovation always leads to reaction. Please remember that this is ‘our’ feeling and frustration with the market place. We hope aspiring developers will learn from this, while perhaps reiterating to the masters. It’s great to see you think our article is SEO friendly, which will save me having to hire an SEO expert in the future. I can assure you this wasn’t our intention, we are just good at writing.

    Not sure I understand you when you say this – “By my estimation, what we have here is a cleverly disguised advertisement for your product and company. ” Surely it’s obvious this is just that? There is no hidden agenda here, this is an article written by one of the young innovators (ustwoâ„¢) in this sector telling the world about what we do. We inspire and we create ways around problems. This is just that. Nothing wrong with selling.

    on a more boring note:

    APK files: You, as a developer must understand how precious APK files are, when you are moving in an area, full of sharks. For example: the piracy at MouthOff Android is more then 50%! You surely don’t want to risk anything here.

    Google account: Although this works fluently on many devices, we have read numerous reports when the synchronisation was not working and people lost their apps (personal experience when immigrating from an HTC Hero to the Motorola Droid). How easier/more reliable would this be with a desktop based application where you just simply ‘one click’ import your apps.

    keep it real.. @millsustwo

    • nEx.SoftwareGuest 5 years ago

      Not a hater, not sure why you got that impression…

      If your intent was never more than to advertise your company than it should not have been done under the guise of an article related to improving the market. That’s what I was saying.

      I would estimate that 100% of those pirated copies originated from someone who pulled the APK from their phone and not anyone that you sent it to.

      • millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

        “If your intent was never more than to advertise your company than it should not have been done under the guise of an article related to improving the market. That’s what I was saying” – its not the intent, it’s our inovative way of trying to get awarenss of our two massively selling iPhone apps that we have now released on the Android Market place. The Actual app is the inovation, But the article is far more interesting if we tell the readers why we have felt the need to showOFFâ„¢

        • nEx.SoftwareGuest 5 years ago

          I think we’ll just have to agree to disagree here. Good luck, I’ll be interested to hear if this ends up working for you guys.

        • DerekGuest 5 years ago

          It’s innovative to advertise your company using a rant on the Android Marketplace? Yes, you will go far :-/

          • @millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

            I am not ranting, I am laying out the facts as we see them, coupled with an attempt to overcome the issues.

    • strazzereGuest 5 years ago

      Applications sync with your account.

      “Issues” people have is that applications sync with your account, but are only *shown* and *available* if the developer has specified on the application that it works with this level api.

      Sometimes applications have not been upgraded fast enough and it appears you “lose” them in an upgrade.

      I’m not sure why making a desktop application would make this better? It would just have you APK files, and complain on install… Not to mention if you’re truly worried about piracy I think a desktop backup solution my conflict with those worries…

  10. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Hey friedgold, my point exactly, opening itunes (although not perfect) is 50% more perfect than forcing someone to own the device or at least have the device in front of them. Many users have itunes regardless of wether they own the phone. So at least they can be engaged.

    • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

      @Millsustwo To be honest I can’t stand iTunes, I find it a bloated solution and try to avoid it if at all possible, I use a third party solution to manage my ipod music collection. I can see that having a desktop solution for getting more information on your application would be useful, I guess pointing users to your website is a stop gap solution, lets hope Google get a move on with a web based store front.

      • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

        Case in point I just clicked on a link in your twitter stream for more information on dotdotdot and I can’t find anything out about it as I don’t have iTunes installed on my work machine, so I can’t find out any information about your app.

        • millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

          That’s a good point, that is one of the worst things about it not being web based solution, but we chose to target iPhone lovers with …â„¢ (its actually only a test tweet as it goes to apple in 10 mins) you can read more here (although I realise you are not actually interested :) http://blog.ustwo.co.uk/tagged/dot

          • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

            I’m sure I saw a video of that game ages ago, although perhaps it was dotdot. I have dot on my G1, but cannot get a score higher than 71. Are we going to get the sequels on android at any point?

  11. MitchGuest 5 years ago

    I’m very inclined to agree with Nex on this. If this were a true assessment of the marketplace and improvement suggestions there wouldn’t be a need for a product placement so frequently. Yes we are aware youmake android apps but one mention (preferably as a footnote about the author) would lend weight to you argument.

    • millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

      Not sure what you are on about. Its an article about our showOFFâ„¢ app, which is not meant to be a savior of the app store, but our reaction to the issues we raise. I know we are deemed as one of the saviours, but we can’t help everyone. Sometimes developers need to dig themselves out of their own problems.

      Re the footnote, there is one, have you read it?

      • nEx.SoftwareGuest 5 years ago

        In that case, I will have to express my disappointment in the way that this was posted by Android and Me. The way that this article is presented does not accurately describe it as a full page advertisement. And certainly should not have warranted being one of the “featured” stories on the site.

        I assure you, know one expects you to be the savior of the Market.

  12. RoyGuest 5 years ago

    @Millsustwo

    If you are concerned about a lack of discoverability, then why don’t you create software libraries that other apps can use and make apps more discoverable? I agree that this isn’t your businessmodel, but isn’t there an opportunity here?

    Two ideas that pop to mind would be:
    1. In app advertising for other apps (like app circle). You could take sales’ percentages from the promoted apps.
    2. A software library that enables apps to use promotional codes (like a2b). You could sell the use of these directly to developers.

    There is a lack of discoverability that all developers feel. Why don’t you try to cash in on this gap?

    • millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

      “If you are concerned about a lack of discoverability, then why don’t you create software libraries that other apps can use and make apps more discoverable? I agree that this isn’t your businessmodel, but isn’t there an opportunity here?”

      This particular application is made to gain awarenss of our own ustwoâ„¢ apps. Not really intended to save the world.

      HOWEVER!!! Your proposal hits the right chord. One of our biggest app releases of the year will be on the iPhone. Named PositionApp ( @positionapp), it charts and highlights global app success (we will move this to other platforms once it hits the No1 spot in all countries) READ MORE HERE http://www.positionapp.com

  13. TansGuest 5 years ago

    Great article – too many Android Geeks on here like Nex who’s named himself after the Google Nexus :).

    As a new Android user I wanna see improvement on the Marketplace – it’s currently rubbish and anyone talking about improvement and opening this up to discussion should be commended. We need more of this so google listen!!!

    I’m gonna get showOFFâ„¢ on my phone now – cos it’s FREE

    • nEx.SoftwareGuest 5 years ago

      “…too many Android Geeks on here like Nex who’s named himself after the Google Nexus :) . ”

      Thanks for the laugh.

    • TaggsGuest 5 years ago

      I agree – the android geeks moaning about the author trying to sell stuff kinda illustrates the point: unless the android marketplace makes it easier to advertise and sell stuff TO CASUAL CONSUMERS, it will die.

      As a confessed geek with both iphone and nexus one, who reads a lot of press about both, I see a similar dynamic between apple osx and linux fans. Sure, Apple locks you in, and android phones offer multi-tasking & better hardware, but 90% of the potential buyers DON’T CARE. They just want simplicity: a phone, with apps. No skins, widgets or multi-tasks that make apps slow or crash or hang, just apps on a grid, that are tested by Apple and that I can buy in the same way I buy my music or movies. SIMPLE.

  14. Brian HanifinGuest 5 years ago

    “Account purchase Synchronization”

    This is a major problem! When I have wiped my phone a couple of times, my phone only ends up downloading a small portion of the apps I had previously installed on my phone. When my dad had to swap his DROID out for a new one he couldn’t find some of the apps he had PAID for!!!

    My biggest complaint with the Market right now is there is no master list of downloaded apps! Unfortunately, the “Downloads” list is incomplete. I am pretty sure I have paid for an app or two which I may never be able to remember. :-(

    • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

      You should have receipts emailed to your gmail account, do a search for “Google Checkout”

  15. MarkGuest 5 years ago

    “Account purchase Synchronization”

    This works fine for me. What is the problem? All the apps I had purchased on my G1 showed up as already purchased on my Nexus One. Then when I swapped Nexus Ones due to a hardware problem the new one immediately downloaded every app I had had installed on the first one.

    If you’re seeing bugs with this process, log them with Google.

    • MarkGuest 5 years ago

      By the way, other than the Purchase Sync item, I agree with all the points you made. As an Android developer I have some serious issues with the market.

  16. RilesGuest 5 years ago

    The App Store sales stat that you cite is incorrect, that was the figure for total downloads rather than sales. The actual sales figure is still phenomenally high, estimated at something like 97.5% I think, but slightly less crazy.

    Regarding the filter function you are talking about, you missed what I think is about to become a critical component and that is the ability to filter by device. The disparities in hardware running Android that exist now are sufficient to justify this kind of filtering and I think it is fairly obvious that the gap between “high and low” Android devices is only going to grow wider in the coming year.

    Finally, although I don’t have a problem with the built-in sales pitch, I think you should have held it for the “About usTwo” section below the article. You’re already getting the face time with the guest post and people are going to look you up as a result and I frankly think you would come across better by just writing a clean article and then you can hit people with whatever you want in your company description below the article.

  17. JeroenGuest 5 years ago

    “How does a developer showoff on the Android Market place?”

    By developing apps that are actually worthwile and professional, and not the countless totally useless and effortless apps that are on the Market now.
    Sorry to sound like a jerk, but the overall quality and originality off most apps falls way short.

  18. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Nex “In that case, I will have to express my disappointment in the way that this was posted by Android and Me. The way that this article is presented does not accurately describe it as a full page advertisement”

    mate, I feel for you. You don’t get it. This is a post on our reaction to the difficulty selling on android. It’s our innovation. Something we are gifted with.

    • nEx.SoftwareGuest 5 years ago

      If you say so man.

      But to clarify… Your innovation is really no different than what other developers have done by showcasing their apps in their other apps.

      If by stating “something we are gifted with” you are somehow making an attempt to imply that I (or others) lack innovation, I’d have to ask you to kindly get off your high horse that you’ve put yourself on.

      • @millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

        When I refer to ‘we’ I am talking solely about us and make no judgement on the success or gifts of others..

    • DerekGuest 5 years ago

      “It’s our innovation. Something we are gifted with.”

      You keep using that word, “innovation” or “innovative”…I don’t think you know what that means. I’m sorry, but you rant about selling on the Marketplace…that’s not innovative.

      That’s just complaining.

  19. honestly, who gives a f**k if apple have more apps and downloads than the android market. iphone been out since 07 it would be unusual if it didnt. where the article for updates specific dates that what i want to know.

  20. Andras desantaGuest 5 years ago

    That’s fresh nexus. I think @millsustwo. Has sold out to ‘the man’

    yuckshimush

  21. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Nex. Again you miss the point. This app is an app solely intended to give awareness of our incredible apps by giving away incredible and stylish wallpapers. ustwo is inovative. We are incredible. And i say this because i know what we have achieved and what we will be achieving this year. We are mobile. We are the future. We are progressive. This app is a simple carrier of a message, the message being ‘ustwo break boundaries to bring engagement to the mobile platform’

    I feel for you, because you will now watch as year on year we step up and up with our inovapption.

    Ive really enjoyed the banter. It’s always appreciated my man.

    • DerekGuest 5 years ago

      “ustwo is inovative”

      You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means…

    • DerekGuest 5 years ago

      “ustwo is inovative. We are incredible”

      You’ve convinced me with this lack of humility that your applications are way too incredible for me to handle…I won’t be spending money on them.

      You’ve innovated yourself out of a customer, congrats!

  22. TansGuest 5 years ago

    I’m selling my droid now. Worst phone ever….worst community. All about Apple. Embrace the iPhone and experience what it’s all about.

  23. archboyGuest 5 years ago

    There are some good points in the article but then there some that are wrong for instance the apps are connected to the user. I’ve switched Android devices twice now and when I log in the apps which I have paid for have followed me with no problem at all.

    Yes, the market needs an update for developers and user to showcase like sorting most popular, ranking, price, better searching…etc. It is an issue that I’m hoping will be fixed to Android Market place. And it does need to improve to compete with the iPhone market since in the end all the ads and commercial is about the amount of apps in one’s store (not necessarily about the quality of the apps).

    Secondly, there are lots of great developers, not just you. While you do make interesting, innovative apps (I like mouthoff) but unlike the iPhone market place I think Android has a more grassroots feel at the moment. We are pickier and many are unwilling to pay the crazy prices like in the apple store but knowing that if the app is ‘worth’ it people will pay for it.

    Also, at least for me it is from word of mouth and reviews as a source for great apps. For instance I don’t know of anyone who doesn’t download Handcent sms app onto their phone. Of the several apps out their people seemingly are able to find this app. It stands out from the crowd even in a crowded one. While is app is free but certainly I would have paid for it. I think like anything else it is my natural selection. Great apps will find its way onto phones. Bad apps will find its life in the abyss of the market. So in the end if you make great apps it will filter through and people will recommend it.

    • @millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

      “but unlike the iPhone market place I think Android has a more grassroots feel at the moment”

      personally I feel grassroots feel is actually ‘limited choice’ and quality because most design/game studios havent attempted to invest heavily in the Android Market, mainly ‘I’ feel because there are no majorly ‘promoted’ app success stories on the platform. I see many apps, but mostly created by developers with no design experience to make the app look attractive.

      “We are pickier and many are unwilling to pay the crazy prices like in the apple store but knowing that if the app is ‘worth’ it people will pay for it.”

      What crazy prices are there in the appstore? 59p? 1.19? a touch more? I’m confused…

  24. DizWAREGuest 5 years ago

    I’m surprised at how bad you are at taking criticism, millsustwo. I honestly didn’t think you put yourself in a bad light by writing this article, and I don’t think anyone was saying that you were originally, but you really are painting a nasty picture for you and your company by attacking peoples comments(rudely, nonetheless).

    I, for one, have complaints about the market and getting my name out, but none of which you have listed in your article. We all have our own opinions and struggles, and I don’t think its fair to shoot down anyone else, just based on your experience.

    BTW nEx.software has had his name on this site(and I’m assuming on his company) since the beginning of this site…pretty sure he didn’t name it after the Nexus One.

  25. CraigoGuest 5 years ago

    I stopped reading after “20k Nexus handsets in the first week”. That figure is just a rumour. Eric Tseng won’t tell us the real number (Ref: Engadget Show). The author should check their facts before spreading rumours.

  26. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Guys, i feel sorry for for you all. I’ll leave it at that. Androne.

    • TSGuest 5 years ago

      This isn’t how you gain fans of your software. Insulting people is a great way to gain ill will towards you and your company.

    • DizWAREGuest 5 years ago

      How can you say things like that and think you are defending a position? This was rude and uncalled for and you directed it to everybody. Is that the voice of your company? Is this what you want people to get from this article?

      You have to remember that what you wrote in this article is not fact. It is fact, however, that you and your company feel this way, hence why it is a valid and well written article. Its not the case for everyone, and you have shot down everyone who has stated against it. That is not a debate.

      I personally haven’t had much trouble being successful on the market. My products have been succesful because they were innovative, well designed, and have great customer service, and i only see me benefiting from one of your many bullet points. Does that mean I’ve done things wrong? Obviously not, and I don’t feel its fair to treat peoples personal experience as if they are wrong, be cause they aren’t…just different.

    • grindkingGuest 5 years ago

      so the truth finally comes out. i sensed bias in the initial article and lurked by reading all the comments. i’m glad this article hasn’t been removed so that everyone may see what a lousy way your company responds to opinions of others that you disagree with; great job…

  27. TansGuest 5 years ago

    Wow. Guys. This is about google. Not @millsustwo. Wake up. I like this chat/debate….but Android Marketplace needs to move forward. Simple as that. Thing is, like me, we’re all regretimg not buying iPhone. I don’t know about you guys. But everyday I’m reminded and it makes me sick :(

    • ExtremeTGuest 5 years ago

      I’m pretty sure the majority of Android users certainly don’t regret not buying an iphone lol

    • DerekGuest 5 years ago

      I most certainly don’t regret not buying an iPhone. I like my Android phone.

  28. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Dizware, I’m sorry you think i am attacking. I’m not. I’m defending my position. I’m protecting my brand. But I realise this is banter, I realise emotions are high, I realise that the inovators get trashed. Bottom line, we are making an effort to succeed in a convoluted Market place where many a joker actually manage to succeed. We are mobile.

    • TSGuest 5 years ago

      Innovative…Mobile…?

      I just realized, you must be their marketing monkey

  29. ExtremeTGuest 5 years ago

    Honestly, talking about improving the market and what specifically can be done about improving the market is beating a dead horse by now…relentlessly beating it. All of us developers are well aware of the multitude of ways that the market can be improved, only a few of which were mentioned in this article, none of which were original by any way of thinking.

    Now, I’m sure I as well will be dubbed a hater for this next comment but…your showOFF app just seems like a glorified RSS reader that allows you to get a wallpaper once in awhile when you release an app. That’s fine and perhaps that will work for you to get your name out there a bit more but in no way does that help any other developer nor is that a suggestion to improve the market. All in all I agree with Nex, this was really just a big ad. Why bother mentioning the points about improving the market at all? Why not just say ‘Hey this is what we are doing, this is our app to help us advertise and it’s on the market go get it”?

    Lastly, comments in articles like : “Unfortunately and being totally honest at ustwoâ„¢, we’re beginning to doubt the hype surrounding Android as just that…..hype.” etc etc coming from a developer who’s quiet successful in the iphone market really isn’t helping anything at all but to put a darker cloud of thinking out there, especially for other developers who are thinking about making the jump into this market.

    Just my 2 cents..at least the wallpapers are nice..sorta.

  30. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    TS please don’t think I’m insulting, trust me, if I wanted to insult I would. I’m stimulating an engaging debate that highlights the issues successful design studios have with android at the moment. I know all too well about these pains as I’ve battled through them over the last few years, but fear not. The best is still to come. We won’t give up. We will succeed where many have failed. @millsustwo

  31. TansGuest 5 years ago

    Just accept it guys….iPhone is better in terms apps. I love my droid. But I want apps. I want to pull out something smooth. Impress the ladies but I can’t. Instead I impress with me latest SMS app and guess what….it doesn’t cut the mustard.

    I’m here ready to download something that understands who I am. Instead I have literally nothing…and am sat here in North Carolina.

    I want more. Come on guys. U know what I’m saying. Surely?

    • If you’re looking to impress the ladies with a phone you’re doing it wrong

    • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

      Not entirely sure what applications you are going use on an iPhone to impress the ladies? I would certainly be interested to hear.

      iPhones and Macs have been the mainstay for a large chunk of the creative industries, and because of that they attract more design savvy developers. I have many read articles on iPhone app development and the amount of work that some of these teams put into just the UI design is amazing, I am talking about dozens of revisions of the UI design, where most would be happy with the first concept.

      Don’t get me wrong there are plenty of very compelling and well designed applications on Android and I wouldn’t swap my G1 for an iPhone (I would swap it for a nexus though), but if you want the volume of polished apps that the iPhone has we have to be patient.

      • GyuriGuest 5 years ago

        “Not entirely sure what applications you are going use on an iPhone to impress the ladies? I would certainly be interested to hear.”

        iViagra?

    • ExtremeTGuest 5 years ago

      If you want to impress the ladies with your phone you’ll probably need to download one of those apps that can do custom vibrating patterns, they label it as massage apps but we all know better.

  32. friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

    There has been a good deal of banter on here, and I can see that it has rubbed more than a few people up the wrong way.

    The fact is that whether or not these issues have been discussed before, and they have, on numerous occasions including on this site, it can only help to keep them current, to keep these issues in Googles peripheral vision.

    An article like this from a well known iPhone and more recently Android developer is more likely to register with Google than complaints on a forum. And while I think it would be foolish to assume that Google are not aware of these issues and are not already hard at work on them, we can’t help but want solutions ASAP.

    Of course this article has an agenda, but what sane developer would not take advantage of every opportunity to plug and promote their brand and product. I would presume that this article is written from the point of view of a long time iPhone user and some of the points made may be incorrect, or not tell the whole story but that doesn’t mean we should disregard them.

    As Android users we can’t afford to look at our favourite platform with Rose tinted spectacles. I think we as a community are sometimes very quick to jump on criticism of our favourite little green robot. We need to understand how the situation looks to the outsider.

    In much the same way the Apple users are accused of being fanboys, I think the same can easily be said of us, especially the dedicated users that read and contribute to Android related Forums and News site such as this, and lets be honest I won’t deny I am a massive Android fan.

    I also can’t deny that the iPhone is a great product, with compelling applications and functionality. Hell I would love to try out the new Palm Pre, I bet that platform has some pretty cool features and garners the exact same level of fanaticism seen by both Apple fans and us Android people. Wouldn’t the world be a boring place if these competing products didn’t exist.

    Lets not take things so seriously, I think this has been an interesting debate in the most part. And can I say, this post is not aimed at anyone directly, but a culmination of my thoughts and feelings after reading a number of comments from android users across several forums including engadget/gizmodo/androidandme/androidguys etc.

  33. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    I’m just telling how it is. Trust me. I don’t say these things for effect. I run one of the most progressive studios working today. A studio willing to spend on marketting in ways no other studio would entertain. That’s because we are mobile through and through. Not users, but makers. We create the path that users rightly follow. We earn that right because we live mobile. We live entertainment. We live progress. As it stands. As much as I’d love to hype android. It doesn’t cut the mustard. Yet.

    • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

      You certainly don’t show any lack of self confidence! I would question the idea you are not users, but makers, when you go on to say you earn the right because you live mobile. To say that suggests you are both a user and a maker, you use mobiles to understand your market, and from reading your twitter feed you obviously try out other peoples apps (eg Revolve), so no need for quite so much marketing speak and use of buzz words, your not the end all and be all, but keep up the good work :-)

  34. Mobile Porn HubGuest 5 years ago

    I agree with the article, but it left out one of, and probably the biggest reason the Android Market is behind Apple’s (besides the fact that Apple’s has been around alot longer)

    ..and that is the storage capacity on the device.

    I’ve purchased a few games from the market since I got my G1 back in Oct ’08.

    **Trouble is, everything you buy slows down the phone because theres no room on the darn thing!

    Add to that the fact that the games SUCK because they need to keep them small in filesize, and I’ve all but stopped even looking at the market at this point.

    Fix those issues, and you’ll see people downloading like monkeys.. but until then, for an android user thats not using app-2-sd, every app=slower phone

  35. vitriolixGuest 5 years ago

    That Gartner “analyst” pretty much just made all his numbers up. To prove the point, he claims 16 million non iphone apps downloaded. Lets look at just Android:

    http://www.androlib.com/appstats.aspx

    24000 apps in their db

    http://www.androlib.com/appstatsdownloads.aspx

    0.8% of apps have >250k downloads

    0.008 * 24000 * 250000 = 48 million.

    And that is less than 1% of the apps in the market. I’m not claiming any authoritative number, but just showing that the numbers they cite are off by ridiculous orders of magnitude that the whole report is worthless headline trolling.

  36. millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

    Mr mobile porn Hub, massively Important point that we ommitee. When we first launched mouthoff on the android Market place their was literally an Internet backclash against us for making the app bigger than 10meg (to contain all 55 animated mouths it was necessary to be around 14meg) so we had to reduce the amount of mouths in the app. I’m not quite sure why google would release phones with such small capacity to house the very apps that would ultimately be the making of it! Madness. The same goes for the super simple showOff where memory was such an issue that we could only have 5 full size transitioning wallpaper motions!

    Although all may change next week with apple, I find the need to develop for ultimately 4 different screen resolutions an issue (but realise this is the manufactureres choice and not google)

  37. chrisGuest 5 years ago

    Honestly i do not disagree with most of this article they are things that i have thought…while not all of them and some may not work exactly but their are alot of great ideas,suggestions and common complaints.i think google could seriously consider some of these suggestions……..

  38. Mike LeahyGuest 5 years ago

    While I stayed out of the fray early on nEx.S pretty much summed up my initial reaction to this “guest post / advertisement”.

    >millsustwo:
    >When we first launched mouthoff on the android Market place their was literally an Internet backclash against us for making the app bigger than 10meg

    You and your company are not victims or the 1st to encounter this aspect of the Android platform and current devices in the wild.

    It’s completely straight forward to store large art/game assets on the SDCard. If you guys are half competent with engineering/dev it should take a day or two to roll your own solution and not much longer to create a robust one that can hook up with say Amazon S3 or similar storage web service.

    >millsustwo:
    >Although all may change next week with apple, I find the need to develop for ultimately 4 different screen resolutions an issue (but realise this is the manufactureres choice and not google)

    A simple solution to this problem is 2D compositing and with proper use of nine-patch images and other standard compositing techniques available in the Android 2D API it’s easy to create detailed and engaging images sized dynamically to the screen size of any given device. The tools are there; you just need to use them.

    Heck if you guys thought of that you’d probably try to claim how daring, “innovative”, and how much you guys are living the mobile compositing lifestyle; note the sarcasm… ;) Unfortunately this is graphics 101; ok maybe 102.

    There are several phrases in your original post and in comments that come across as simply complaining about Android and they do not reflect well on your efforts here or on usTwo and a lot of what you write comes off as naive, but you’ve been told this already in other comments.

    Innovative companies can work around engineering difficulties with original solutions and truly innovative companies release these solutions via open source when possible.

    It’s no small surprise that your effort here on A&M is perceived as a general failure and is getting modded down given your approach and general lack of tact.

    I do find this as an interesting and novel post for A&M having followed A&M since near the beginning. I’d prefer in the future if guest posts save the out right chest thumping to just company info at the end of a post/press release/article/comments or otherwise be flagged as an advertisement (preferably paid eh Taylor/Clark et al!)

    • @millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

      Thanks for the Android Graphics 102 but our interface demands aren’t usually solved with 9-patches, we are aiming higher. You can see for yourself if you download our three apps, If you feel that you have been coerced by this article then the beauty of the Android Market place is you can get your money back!

      • Mike LeahyGuest 5 years ago

        >Thanks for the Android Graphics 102 but our interface demands aren’t usually solved with 9-patches, we are aiming higher.

        Yeaaahh… You didn’t catch the tact part apparently.. The above is a fallacious statement. 1st you ignore the real power mentioned which is the 2D compositing features of the Android 2D API which more than adequately solves composition of 2D images (aka wallpapers) procedurally making it easy to support multiple screen resolutions. Then you dip towards a little ad hominem sprinkled with red herring sauce.

        “we are aiming higher”

        Goooo onnnnnnnn…. and? This is completely irrelevant and a hopelessly vague statement at best. This is why people smarter than you don’t like you. ;)

        >You can see for yourself if you download our three apps, If you feel that you have been coerced by this article

        Tell you what.. Why don’t you make a 3 or 4 minute video and put it on YouTube or site of your choice if you haven’t already and post a link. I’ll give that a look..

        No one is being coerced by the article, but a 1st impression of sorts has been made by one of us that much is true.

        • Matt PollsGuest 5 years ago

          In actual fact i think this sums up in some ways one of the issues with the android marketplace in the first place. To be completely frank, a huge percentage of the content is simply ugly, and developed without much thought to creating an engaging , or in some cases even mildly usable interface design.

          The fact of the matter is , it is a very developer centric approach to believe that a dynamic and exciting interface can be developed just by using the power of nine slicing. In actual fact, all that allows you to do is create rather lack-luster elements that very traditionally focus around rectangular , circular or if you are really pushing the boat out , rectangular shapes with rounded edges (note the underlying sarcasm).
          This doesn’t really help when it comes to developing anything character based, graphically rich and unique in its style. To create truly beautiful applications, in my honest opinion you need to redesign for all screen size variants.

          The market place , and i would hazard a guess, a large percentage of the android users are technology ‘geeks’ (i mean this in an endearing fashion, being one myself) , and the fact of the matter is, most of the applications on it are created by independent developers, or smaller development companies. I mean this in the context that as a developer, i would focus on the underlying technologies, capabilities and the functionality i can squeeze from the platform. But without as much thought for design , and UXP (user experience) , you can end up with the most functional application in the world, but people that are not tech savy can figure out how to use it, or its such a nightmare to use, they give up before they realize just how amazing it is.

          Although i am in no way an apple fanboy, you have to acknowledge that one of the key drivers behind the success of the iphone was its ui design, and intuitiveness ( even my mum worked it out in about 20 mins, which is no mean feat). They have also invested a lot of money in educating the general public on what an ‘app’ is (advertorials, articles, mass media marketing). Even though technically, the phone is not as functional as most smart-phones on the market (also, mine has a horrible tendency to crash and call my voice mail every ten minutes), the user experience has made it so popular, and accessible.

          Without ease of use, and mass market appeal, the android marketplace for any larger company doesn’t in my opinion offer a significant ROI yet. I really hope this does change however, because it is one hell of a platform.

          • Mike LeahyGuest 5 years ago

            Hello Matt Polls, I do believe someone connected with ustwo tangentially or otherwise, care to announce your bias? A simple google search “matt polls ustwo” has some hits..

            When the main mouth gets a smack down send in the reserve.. ;P

            >Matt:
            >To be completely frank, a huge percentage of the content is simply ugly, and developed without much thought to creating an engaging , or in some cases even mildly usable interface design.

            First off.. I agree with what you are saying 100%.

            Also, I am not refuting that the Android market place could be better.

            I myself have a very long list of “grievances” against the development of Android and how Google as a whole has handled a few things, but I appreciate it greatly for what it is and what it will allow me to accomplish as a software/hardware dev house.

            Do I wish Google added twice as many engineers to the Android dev team, why yes, but such is life.

            Innovative companies will find their way around any perceived hurdles and initial shortcomings or differences between platforms and APIs. Those that complain lack initiative at least where Android is concerned.

            Matt:
            >it is a very developer centric approach to believe that a dynamic and exciting interface can be developed just by using the power of nine slicing.

            This is not the entirety of what I mentioned and both yourself and that mills bloke have again overlooked the power of the Android 2D API to do _advanced compositing_ Let me explain what compositing is though this shouldn’t be necessary for “amazing world wide designers” ™ (TM) if ascii code didn’t take!.. It’s what all your graphics jockies are doing in Photoshop (or graphics package of choice) quite often.

            It is the creation of new images of any size out of a dynamic combination of other images _and_ drawables in the context of the Android 2D API. With the application of alpha blending, shader/tiling, porter-duff compositing and some more tricks very attractive, seamless, and fit to size images can be created to enable stunning and engaging images that can be used in any GUI or uploaded to OpenGL ES for 3D use without the need to custom create art assets for every screen resolution/density profile.

            For instance it’s quite easy to do texture splatting with the Android 2D API and even better because you can use gradient drawables as intermediaries and such:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texture_splatting

            I’m sure you can plug compositing into Wikipedia or Porter-Duff as well.

            Practically anything that can be done in Photoshop can be dynamically arranged and composited via the Android 2D API.

            Coming from someone who has deep Java2D API experience for 10+ years the Android 2D API is quite nice.

            >Matt:
            >To create truly beautiful applications, in my honest opinion you need to redesign for all screen size variants.

            The fact that most devs including ustwo are not using the Android 2D API to it’s full capability is not the fault of Android itself per se, but a lack of art/engineering capability. IE using engineering with an artistic goal directly to create beautiful applications.

            Now to be honest to effectively use the Android 2D API it does help if one can create an intermediate compositing framework cause just the raw tools are available in Android without easy to use facilitating features, but the tools are there!

            So yes… The Android market can be improved, but so can ustwo’s approach to Android and any “PR antics” can be toned down. Who gives a damn about 10 million _unregistered_ trademarks littered through press releases. It’s trite and doesn’t convince anyone of reasonable intelligence.

  39. Mike LeahyGuest 5 years ago

    I thought this blog post that went up recently by Mark Murphy captures a reasonable perspective on the situation and is congruent with the sentiment I express above:
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/node/56252

    • nEx.SoftwareGuest 5 years ago

      Thanks for the link Mike. A good article indeed. Mark Murphy usually has very interesting and well thought-out things to say.

    • Matt PollsGuest 5 years ago

      Hi mike,

      thanks for getting back to me. It is very true, i also work at ustwo, but mills is a big boy and can comment for himself, i am merely expressing my own opinion. I am glad as well as extensive development knowledge you are also able to preform simple google searches, and please believe me if i was here purely as a reserve, i would probaly have at least hidden my very easy to search name.

      Thank you for pushing the information on the 2d api, it is not something i am 100% familiar with (not being a hardcore developer myself), and i will be having a look deeper into it to try and fully appreciate your comments. I would still be to differ that overall composition of any given scene dependent on screen-size is not something that can be worked out with mathematical algorithms, and is something that needs to be done by a person. Although many of the features described in your 2d api would allow this to predefined by the designers, unfortunately this puts us back into the situation of having to redevelop for every screen size and the subsequent budget spend this would require. The fact that we would have to / could develop our own frame work to do this this only adds to that cost, and due to the nature of our graphical work, in my opinion would not be something that could be used on every project. And as the android market place at this time does not have in our opinion offer a significant return on investment, we might as well spend that budget on actually registering some of those trademarks you are so found of ;)

      On that subject, thank you for your constructive feedback on our PR and Marketing techniques, and i apologize profusely if we have insulted your ‘intelligence’. I am however glad you have taken the time to read through all our press releases, check out our work and form your own opinion on our company.

      matt (ustwo)

    • LonnyGuest 5 years ago

      Hey Mike,

      as a developer freelancing for design studios I’m really interested in your post. I’ve been looking into what these guys are doing, here is a video of one of their apps:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JOF_xLCBrc&feature=player_embedded

      Now I don’t mean to discuss the value of the app itself, but how would I create an interface (a mouth, in that case) as the one above with the techniques you mention? I’m sure I could get there and that would be good enough, but design studios are quite picky and the need their interfaces to be crisp and perfect to the pixel, for all resolutions since we’re talking about Android.

      I’m pretty sure I could get good results with what you suggest, but I think the problem here is the definition of “good”. Thoughts?

      • Mike LeahyGuest 5 years ago

        I’ll get back to Matt above later..

        >Now I don’t mean to discuss the value of the app itself, but how would I create an interface (a mouth, in that case) as the one above with the techniques you mention?

        One of the real problems is sizing of art assets. For Android I’d have the assets made for the largest screen/density desired for the app though for future maintenance and upgrades I’d have the artists create even larger assets to have as source material. 1st step would be to size the oversized assets for the highest resolution/density device supported. Right now with Android that is hdpi settings with screens roughly 854×480 (800×480 for the Nexus One!). Android netbooks aside they may have larger screens, but similar densities. The density, dpi, is the key not so much the resolution. One uses DisplayMetrics and it’s density parameter to scale the assets. With hdpi the density parameter is 1.5 for the Droid and N1 and other 1st gen devices such as the G1 the density parameter is 1.0. So the assets should be scaled to 2/3 or 66% the size of the original. This is easily done with creating a new Bitmap and drawing a scaled version into it.

        Now there are two types of potential assets in a lot of animation systems; static and dynamic. The dynamic assets in the case of mouth off are the animated mouth which is centrally displayed and/or the addition of the chin. It’s easy to position the mouth as it goes in the center of the screen!. In the particular video you linked you’ll see that there is just a central mouth and a static background.

        For the particular example you linked to first I’d tile a generic textured green background and that will fill the screen. Depending on design requirements it may be possible to just draw into the static background a left hand detail and a right hand details (the darker highlights that make the static background look like a round puff ball). So the difference between the Droid and N1 would be that there is 54 less pixels in the central portion of the puff ball. The details for various effects can just be alpha blended or use PorterDuff->Multiply or PorterDuff->Lighten.

        Some mouth off versions have two dynamic elements. Say a chin and the mouth. _IF_ the design permits the chin to stretch in the center or have extra space on the left/right sides to accommodate various screen resolutions (again think Droid vs N1 or devices with varying resolutions but the same density) then you can draw a nine-patch into an appropriately sized bitmap filling the width of the screen (landscape orientation), but say 25% of the height or wherever the proportional top of the chin happens to end. You do this for each frame of the chin. If a nine-patch doesn’t meet design goals then again a compositing solution similar to drawing the puff ball highlights is done to create the chin frames.

        The actual animation is pretty simple as it just correlates volume to a just a handful of animation frames at varying loudness levels. The eye can be tricked with just 3-6 different frames at each level such as the tongue being stuck out all the way in the video you linked to. It’s only seemingly 3-5 frames.

        For versions with the chin the process would be similar to the mouth insofar that there are just a handful of frames for each level state and conceivably for the chin various animations could be repeated for different loudness levels whereas the mouth would have unique animation frames for each loudness level.

        The dynamic parts are rendered over the static background each frame.

        ————————–

        Now this is the dark arts of Android part as there are tricks involved with Android on the business side of things. On the 1.6 OS and above there is _automatic_ asset scaling if you just drop the assets into the drawable resource directory. The assets are only scaled up in the automatic system. This is very bad cause remember we want to have the assets non-scaled and at the size appropriate for the highest density device supported. There is a nodpi tag in 1.6 that prevents automatic scaling, but ahhh, the kicker it’s not supported in 1.5, so you can’t use it if you want to support 1.5 devices. There is a work around though. Normally images are loaded with BitmapFactory and through this API this is where the automatic scaling occurs.. Well crap, what if you want to load an unscaled image. You can still do it on 1.6+ and 1.5… On 1.5 images in the stock drawable resource directory are not scaled. On 1.6 they are autoscaled unless you modify a new parameter in Bitmap called “inScaled” or use BitmapFactory.Options.setDensity. Well that sucks cause these new parameters are not available on 1.5! What to do?
        In Typhon, the framework I’m soon releasing, I simply created “UnscaledBitmapFactory” that uses reflection to determine if these parameters exist and if so set them for 1.6+ OSes when it’s desired to load an unscaled bitmap directly from the drawable resource folder as remember there is no “nodpi” on 1.5.

        I also created another helper class aptly named DisplayHelper and it provides a lot of easy to use methods that will assist in density scaling. This thread has been positive as I only considered up scaling as this is mostly for font sizes or absolute positioning. I’m going to add a bunch of helper methods that will help down scale sizes given a source density and the given density of the device.. So hey there you go when you leave the office or have a flame war surreptitiously a new requirement surfaces surrounding a particular angle I didn’t think about yet in my own applications of Typhon.

        >I’m pretty sure I could get good results with what you suggest, but I think the problem here is the definition of “good”. Thoughts?

        Designers are often wankers when it comes to their OCD and it gets worse when you got chest thumping folks surrounding them. ;P Their OCD is often triggered by the unknown and then slides into the frantic zone of, “oh my goodness now we have to create pixel perfect images just for the Nexus One and the Droid cause one is 854×480 and the other 800×400″. That is the wrong and completely unscalable approach and hence these design oriented houses will bitch about Android cause they don’t understand the technology they are using.

        With compositing or with the tool set I created over the Android 2D API you can exactly position items, position by percentage, or position by set locations (top-right, etc). This in addition to easily tiling, scaling images, drawing partial parts of an image, all the standard matrix transforms (rotation, shear, etc)

        Of course all of the above is available in code, but there is functionality in Android to create your own LayoutInflater.Factory, so you can enable a good portion of the custom 2D API I’ve built in Typhon for instance to be accessible via designer friendly XML definitions. Essentially it’s no different than CSS layouts by percentage or any other design friendly system, so it’s not even a matter of “good enough”.

        Here is an example of defining a tiled and composited splashscreen using the Typhon components via a custom LayoutInflater I’ll wrap it in a pre tag as the XML may not display correctly.

        This takes a light metal texture and tiles it. It then uses a dark gradient drawable and multiplies that darkening the tiled metallic texture and giving it a gradient. Finally a nine-patch is composited using PorterDuff->Screen. The splashscreen central image is shown in the center and there is a 2 second fade in/out and 3 second delay. Where you see the “layer1″ parameter the splashscreen can take any number of layers and TiledBitmapDrawable can even have callbacks defined to provide custom compositing after each layer is rendered into the tiled background. There is a ton possible and exposed via XML, but the above sample is simple, but provides a pleasant effect that works on all devices. Now yes the only thing above that has a medium and high resolution version is the central splashscreen image (company logo/text); everything else is loaded as an unscaled image.

        I’d also take the time to create an image of the individual components and final result, but I’ve kind of exceeded my time on this issue explaining things in reasonable detail.

        Whether or not Android 2D API is used in mouth off or OpenGL ES it’s quite possible to do all the frame / Bitmap creation with Android 2D API then upload to OpenGL ES the specially sized assets for a given device.

        Lonny you better not work for ustwo…. or where do I send the bill? ;P

        • Mike LeahyGuest 5 years ago

          No brackets this time for the XML:

          com.egrsoftware.android.gui.view.splashscreen.SplashScreenRuntimeView
          android:layout_width=”fill_parent”
          android:layout_height=”fill_parent”
          typhon:fade_time=”2″
          typhon:show_time=”3″
          typhon:layer_1=”com.egrsoftware.android.gui.drawable.bitmap.TiledBitmapDrawable”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_1_drawable=”@drawable/background_metallic”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_2_drawable=”@drawable/background_gradient”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_2_xfermode=”multiply”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_3_drawable=”@drawable/background_fractal”
          typhon:bitmaptileinfo_3_xfermode=”screen”
          typhon:splashscreen_1_drawable=”com.egrsoftware.android.gui.drawable.bitmap.LocationBitmapDrawable”
          typhon:location_location=”center”
          typhon:location_drawable=”@drawable/splashscreen”

        • LonnyGuest 5 years ago

          > Designers are often wankers when it comes to their OCD and it gets worse when you got chest thumping folks surrounding them. ;P Their OCD is often triggered by the unknown and then slides into the frantic zone of, “oh my goodness now we have to create pixel perfect images just for the Nexus One and the Droid cause one is 854×480 and the other 800×400″. That is the wrong and completely unscalable approach and hence these design oriented houses will bitch about Android cause they don’t understand the technology they are using.

          I think this is the main point, but if (like I do) you work for them at the end of the day they get to choose how much pixel perfect they want it. After all they are paying my bills :)

          > Lonny you better not work for ustwo…. or where do I send the bill? ;P

          Haven’t had the pleasure yet :P

          • Mike LeahyGuest 5 years ago

            >I think this is the main point, but if (like I do) you work for them at the end of the day they get to choose how much pixel perfect they want it. After all they are paying my bills :)

            For sure as long as they pay the bills one can tweak away, but doing so with dynamic and not 100% static pre-rendererd assets is the most scalable way to accomplish that goal. Plus it gives the freedom for an app to run on new hardware with reasonable if not perfectly adequate results whereas prerendered assets will never scale.

            Those running or managing design firms often have no concept of scalability, engineering complexity, or realize that fixing problems upstream prevent more costly future maintenance (a general problem with all organizations). It’s an uphill battle that should be fought, but the folks involved just don’t care or have the capability to even think about “total quality” (quality over the entire lifetime of a product).

            I’m making a strong attempt shortly to transform from 3rd party engineering to offering 1st party middleware for Android and beyond. 3rd party work can get frustrating after years of doing it.

            The thing that cracks me up which you alluded to as well is that in the end it’s just “pop apps”; nothing necessarily innovative and just cheap tricks for the most part. Does this class of app make $$$ currently, yes, but not forever at least in the current state of things. Design firms are a dime a dozen. In 5 years time we may look back and laugh (who needs to wait 5 years!) at the pop apps that 1st appeared when the masses started carrying legitimate mini-computers / smartphones oh wait, right, “superphones”. ;)

  40. davidGuest 5 years ago

    this article worked since i just downloaded showOFF to my mytouch3G. Keep up the good work guys and thanks androidandme for bringing this article to our attention. I think I speak for all android users in saying we want the marketplace to be a success.

  41. jeffGuest 5 years ago

    Not sure about some of the points made in this article but was good to read.

    Also downloaded showOFF

  42. USDroidGuest 5 years ago

    Is Mike man or machine or android….who knows…but he is very clever ;)

  43. CarolynGuest 5 years ago

    Maybe it’s just me but I don’t want anything on my computer like ITunes and why do articles continuously compare two phones and platforms that shouldn’t be. The Iphone and Itunes have been around a long longer than Android.

    I get what I need from androlib.com. Scan the QR code and bam it’s on my phone in two clicks. I can’t tell you the last time I used the actual Marketplace.

    Android is what a lot of people want and just because it does do exactly what Apple products can do is a wasted discussion. Look at the Android platform for what it is and what it has accomplished in a little more than a year. Let Android pave its own way because I for one don’t want the constraints and blocks that Apple puts on their products. If I wanted Iphone qualities or ITune capabilities I would have bought an IPhone.

  44. Matt WGuest 5 years ago

    I think the article for the most part was ok, but I honestly think this is the worst PR attempt I’ve ever seen by a company. Millsustwo, you’ve got a lot to learn about effective PR/Marketing techniques. I don’t know where you get off calling you or your company innovative when you obviously do not understand the basics of PR (i.e. do not insult potential customers). I’ve gotta say, if your company is so innovative, mobile, and all these other good sounding but ultimately empty words, why do you not let your work speak for itself? Arrogant and belittling speech doesn’t get you very far in grown-up world.

    • millsustwoGuest 5 years ago

      Matt W, I appologise. Was not my intention to insult, and reading back I don’t believe I do (apart from one time when i let my emotions run high). I simply state my case like the others state theirs. Selling, or making waves in the Android market place is a tough one. And as a creaotor of content, I personally can’t see a way of making money as it stands, and until Google change the way apps are sold, eyeballed and distributed on this platform.

  45. TansGuest 5 years ago

    This is too good. millsustwo is promoting a FREE app and you lot are crying about PR/ marketing like grannies. It’s FREE and guess what….some people are gonna push the boat out and pay absolutely nothing for it. Seems like a deal to me! You gotta be stupid not to.

    It’s the most commented article on android and me this week!!!! Sounds like good PR to me and I ain’t no expert like all you lot are claiming to be.

    I’m thinking…actually hoping….that not all customers or readers of this site wanna talk geekoid on android all day long. If that was the case….wow….we’re all doomed. In fact the whole Android platform is doomed.

    Seems like the jokes on the android geeks to me. Classic and what makes it worse is that some people on here….claim to be soooo intelligent ;)

    Suckers!!!!!

    • friedgoldmoleGuest 5 years ago

      Your right of course it’s good publicity, and stirring it up a little with some debate has only helped to make it a hot topic.

      Regarding your comment on Android geeks, you’ll find that on websites like androidandme, you’ll get geek users of the android platform like me, wanting to talk about Android, I know crazy, not sure what you were expecting ;-)

      Find any good android apps to impress the ladies yet? (I’m genuinely interested, what iPhone apps would you use for this purpose?)

  46. marlonGuest 5 years ago

    There will be a application of flash player for the samsung moment maybe for the next update or something like that can some one answer me to ticotime@hotmail.com

  47. TansGuest 5 years ago

    Hey Friedgoldmole

    Have been looking but haven’t had any joy yet…need something fun to whip out – an icebreaker – a deal sealer ;)

    I read android and me and myself am a newly converted android geek – but there are levels of android geekoidism on here from mild to unhealthy :) – you could say the site offers a full spectrum of geekoidism – which is great!

    I have to say reading through all these comments was fun – love debate and love people that know their stuff and show passion!

    • ExtremeTGuest 5 years ago

      Is it just me or have you suddenly changed your tune?

      • TansGuest 5 years ago

        You’re right – and guess what I changed my tune yet again – thank god – sold my Droid on wkend ;)

  48. bretGuest 5 years ago

    Hi, I was just wondering if anybody has those pictures that are on all the android phones in the image at the top of this article…
    hehe

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