What mobile would you buy to develop for....

Community Forums/Monkey Talk/What mobile would you buy to develop for....

Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#1]
I'm in the market for a new phone... Wow its a bewildering array of hardware out there these days. I would like to buy a phone that doesn't cost the same as what I paid for an Amiga 1200 a little while ago (i.e. 400 quid), however there does seem to be a perception that Apple have cornered the 'quality' end of the mobile apps market.

That is not to take anything away from Android, indeed a phone with Android was going to be my primary choice until I did some research that seems to suggest that a percentage may expect to get all their apps for free, I know that al will not fall into this category.

The blackberry seems to provide reasonably priced phones built to check emails etc, although I've a sneaking suspicion you cannot (easily) develop apps for it.

So, my shortlist is currently:

Samsung Tocco F480 - 10.21 monthly cost free phone
Samsung S5620 Monte - 10.21 monthly cost free phone
Blackberry Curve 8520 - 12.26 monthly contract free phone

Yeah, an iPhone would be nice - but 400 quid, youch!

Tri|Ga|De(Posted 2011) [#2]
From a developer point og view I would go for iPhone or Android.

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Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#3]
@Tri, thanks, they're my considerations at the 'upper end' of the budget. Monkey can also build for XBox, I might stick with this option rather than shelling out hundreds of sheckles for a phone for dev purposes.

The LG Optimus One looks appealing.

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GfK(Posted 2011) [#4]
Get an 8GB iPod Touch. That way you can dev for iOS without the need to sell any vital organs to fund the hardware.

Winni(Posted 2011) [#5]
You can get a NEW iPad 1 now for 379 bucks from Apple...

Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#6]
Get an 8GB iPod Touch. That way you can dev for iOS without the need to sell any vital organs to fund the hardware
Thanks for the suggestion GfK, I might not get the dosh required for my 'vitals' due to the mileage they have on the clock....

So the iPos Touch is a serious consideration ;)

GfK(Posted 2011) [#7]
You can get a NEW iPad 1 now for 379 bucks from Apple...
...since he's in the UK, that'll be $532 (329 at the current rate of $1.62).

[edit] My liver is in fine fettle. I've been pickling it for years.

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EOF(Posted 2011) [#8]
For Android I am currently on Galaxy S (and the occasional Moto Milestone test)

For tablets I am tempted to hold out for an Android 8.9" form factor (expected from Samsung). This is the most ideal screen size for me. Galaxy Tab at 7" is a just a shade too small but on the other hand 10.1 is way too big to be practical purposes (travel)

Wiebo(Posted 2011) [#9]
Get an 8GB iPod Touch. That way you can dev for iOS without the need to sell any vital organs to fund the hardware.

You still need an Apple machine to run Xcode, yes?

GfK(Posted 2011) [#10]

[edit] I assumed he has one already as the only gripe for him with iPhone dev, seems to be the cost of an iPhone. But in hindsight, maybe not?

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Canardian(Posted 2011) [#11]
I will buy soon a Samsung Galaxy S2, because it's the only phone which has 1080p video recording and playback, and develop on that. I just wish it had a 9" screen, so I could carry it in a ladie's handbag :)
But maybe the Galaxy Tab S2 will have.

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Chroma(Posted 2011) [#12]
Get an 8GB iPod Touch. That way you can dev for iOS without the need to sell any vital organs to fund the hardware.
But don't you still need to compile the app on a Mac computer? Which is a tad bit expensive.

Ha, didn't see Wiebo's post.

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Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#13]
@GfK, if I was to take the iPlunge (the pool doesn't seem to murky from an unintiated stand point). I defo would not be getting a new uber swich MAC, it'd be an old 2nd hand beast. I think I've been overdoing the pickle-age - ah well they'll be growing new livers in the near future that can just be super glued onto your current one, you read it here first!

@Jim Brown, I like the sound of your line up.

@Lumooja, yeah, I've seen how sweet the Samsung Galaxy S2 looks, bit pricey at the mo though - or it will be! Saving grace is the current Galaxy S might tumble in price.

Have been back in Blitz3D tackling another project where I achieved the complex task of getting the (running Garmin) data displayed in 3D via clunky key presses - now to learn how to implement buttons within B3D within the GUI to make it digestable for the masses. Oh yeah, and design a project directory structure and maybe a front end with a 3rd party piece of software. There is a little company called (cough) microsft that I've been using for some front end-age, only coz I'm oh-fay with it.

The bonus about devving on phones is that it won't be so easy for me to sit there and ponder about 'I wonder if I can do that in B3D', invariably the answer is eventually yes but my ponderings are leading me to dev apps which take longer & longer to reach fruition, ah well. Coffee time ;)

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gameproducer(Posted 2011) [#14]
iPod touch (for dev) + cheap phone (for talking)

Ked(Posted 2011) [#15]
You can get a NEW iPad 1 now for 379 bucks from Apple...

No, they're still $399.

taumel(Posted 2011) [#16]
iPad2 or an iPhone/iPodTouch, i'm sorry but despite Apple's politics these devices are just great. Between these i would favour the iPad2 because size matters.

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Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#17]
@Gameprod - sounds like the best route ;)

Looks like a HTC Wildfire is coming my way ;)

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Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#18]
htc wildfire now charging ready for some monkey to be poured into it. I've gotta say I'm really impressed with the UI that the phones has - touch screen is so the future ;)

Winni(Posted 2011) [#19]

No, they're still $399.

Sorry, I was talking about EUROS, not US Dollars: Apple reduced the price from 499 EUR for the iPad 1 to 379 EUR in Germany.

ima747(Posted 2011) [#20]
my opinions from a couple perspectives.
As a user:
iPhone: costs more but it feels like a finished product. It's a joy to use, and obviously the app selection is tops. I am a cheapskate but it really is worth the difference.
Android: It's really neat, and I love the open concepts. However in the real world there are always problems that I just can't live with. Battery life, manually HAVING to manage your applications or your batter gets eaten even faster. The interface is designed for people who love linux, not people looking to get things done on a Phone, too many menus, it's very cold and digital feeling. The browser is a little choppy compared to iOS in actual use, etc. It is a fantastic system but it's no where near as polished as iOS.
RIM: It's a sinking ship, the app support is horrid, I don't like my data passing through their servers, I personally don't like their keyboards (which is the main draw), I see no point now that there's iOS and android devices.

iOS: You need a mac to develop for it, but the returns can honestly make this trivial. my toy side projects paid for my phone, my dev account, a mac mini to get started, an upgrade to my phone, my dev account renewal, an iPad, and a mac pro to replace the mini... that's 2 crappy $1 apps I threw together just to familiarize myself with the SDK... the market is there, huge and hungry. the games side is quite busy but it's still THE place to be as a developer. Getting started can be daunting because Objective C syntax can mess with your head until you're used to it, but now it's totally natural. The community (official and otherwise) is very active so getting help is generally very easy. The documentation is very complete. Basically it's the leader on all fronts for a reason.
Android: The barrier of entry is technically much lower, free dev kit, don't have to use the market if you don't want, and it's only like $20 instead of apple's $100 to get into. More device selection. And you write java which is easier to get your head around, no approval process, just upload and you're online. the flip side is the turnover on the market seems FAR lower than iOS, you can't expect to make nearly as much money as easily. The market is quite hostile to developers compared to the apple's app store. Users can return your software easily, the market is generally very hard to navigate so being found is much harder, etc. IMO Java is a terrible language for mobile devices. The Garbage collector kills system performance and resource handling. Java is inherently slower than highly optimized fully compiled C family code. You can mix in C++ via the NDK but in my attempts it's just not even worth thinking about, I was better off re-writing everything in Java. On top of that Android can run on different processors so if you compile C++ it won't always work because the processor might not be arm, it might be x86... Then there's testing. the simulator is awful, crazy slow and doesn't accurately simulate the hardware so anything beyond GUI elements might cause it to fail totally. Then hardware, there's SO many android devices and they're all different, there's no way to vet your code, you just have to do your best, test on as many devices as you can, and hope there's no problems on stuff you can't try. 8+ screen sizes without factoring in tablets, not all devices have touch screens, etc. you have to do lots of untested contingency planning. Documentation for the SDK I find confusing an un-informative. The community is all over the place so getting help can be tricky.
RIM: Don't have a TON of experience here but it's JAVA based like Android, only the SDK is a mess. There is no community to speak of. Most RIM owners don't know there IS an app store. Just as many hardware fragmentation problems as android... unless someone is paying you there really is no point IMO.

All opinion. Regardless of what you go with for personal use iOS is THE platform to develop for, a used iPod touch is probably the cheapest way to get started, and because of apple's consistency it's technically all you need. The simulator can even get you 90% of the way there if you want to put off purchasing hardware.

D4NM4N(Posted 2011) [#21]
Android first for me. iOS second. Bberry third wmobile fourth.
iOS dev is not cheap unless you already have a (newish) mac

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ima747(Posted 2011) [#22]
Very true, if you don't have a mac then that raises the barrier by the cost of a used mini at the very very least. However you can use that mac to develop everything (ios and android, bmax for mac and windows, dual boot into windows for anything else...), and the app store will pay more than android market place if you're looking to turn a profit...

The startup costs IMO are worth it, but they VERY much are not trivial assuming you're starting from scratch. Estimates (USD): doing it on the cheap probably $5-600 for used mac + dev account + used iPod touch, doing it with new stuff probably $1,000+, planning for the future the sky is the limit...

D4NM4N(Posted 2011) [#23]
Lol yeah but then you have to USE the mac. To be honest if there was ever a computer that was more anti-techhead / anti dev it is the mac. The keyboard is disgusting.... What is with the F keys?!? Also, what is with that annoying ribbon/dock thing. Gimme a "Applications Places System" menu any day (or even a windows start button or just a command line! hell even a debian @ menu would be better than that).
Sorry but it just is not nice to use unless you are just an average "user" in which case i am sure it works great.

Edit: Appologies to mac fans but i have to use a mac now for my new job and it is taking a lot of "getting used" to...

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Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#24]
Lol yeah but then you have to USE the mac.
Yeah, there is that.

I've a HTC wildfire and am blown away by the functionality that lies within a very reasonably priced piece of hardware/software, my wife also now has one.

So now here we go, off to write an Age of Empires clone to allow LAN battles via blue tooth, time to market I reckon 4 days ;)

I buy into the persepctive that developing apps for the iPhone may ge a return quicker than the Android, however the initial outlay I believe a few may find prohibitive.

Therefore, I am considering buying an iPad, still need a bloomin' MAC as well though to program for it - chances of that happening soon - slim.

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D4NM4N(Posted 2011) [#25]
Another thing i am wondering (since i too now have to delve into appleworld) is how do you beta-test your software? AFAIK it is not as if you can simply make a program package that you can just quickly build and mail/distribute to a select few to install and test like you can on other platforms.
Or is there some system for this (and does it cost money?)

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dawlane(Posted 2011) [#26]
D4NM4N: As far as I know the only way you can do this is to add more test devices to the list.

Found something that may shed some light on the situation from Stack Over Flow.

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Winni(Posted 2011) [#27]
Edit: Appologies to mac fans but i have to use a mac now for my new job and it is taking a lot of "getting used" to...

Yeah, it took me about two weeks, and I was asking myself every day "what have I done?!". But since then, Windows in any version is more likely to disgust me than any other platform - and I use Linux and Windows at work and OS X at home every day. In an ideal world, I would be using Linux for everything - but since it doesn't run apps like Photoshop or Aperture, it's only a great server platform, but not an option for my daily desktop needs.

The problem with the Mac keyboard is easily solved. I use a Microsoft Natural Keyboard 4000 and a Microsoft mouse with my Mac and both work very well. The only problem that I face now is the Display Target Mode of my 27" iMac: I have hooked up my Xbox 360 (with a Dr Bott converter) to my iMac, and only the original Mac keyboard can switch the input between OS X and the Xbox. THAT sucks. ;-)

From a commercial perspective, none of this matters. At the moment, the only truly successful mobile platform is iOS, and if you want to write for iOS, you have to use a Mac. End of story.

I don't expect Android tablets to take off before the end of next year. And even then the question is if the industry really wants to consolidate on Android at all. It appears that all manufacturers are also working quietly on their own platforms like Bada, WebOS or even join the Microsoft train again. The market is fragmented and apparently still not going anywhere. iOS devices are the safest bet at the moment.

D4NM4N(Posted 2011) [#28]
and if you want to write for iOS, you have to use a Mac.

Yep hopefully the antitrust watchdogs will make them open it up a little. :)

To be honest i think Android has only just got started. The reason being that other than Windows mobile (which is total cack) it is the only afaik one that is not bound to a specific manufacturer (unless HP have this model for Webos). A multi platform OS is kind of attractive in itself to manufacturers in the same way that PCs being "Windows compatible" has been attractive for so many years, it means you only have to compete at a hardware level and not have a unique OS to push that you hope to god succeeds as well (because if that fails your hardware, no matter how good.. fails too which i suspect was one of nokia's biggest problems -among many others).
-That is until something better.. or more importantly "more popular" comes along :D

PS: you can use photoshop on linux in wine (CS2 runs out of the box and i -think- CS3 can be made to work, dunno about the others) You could always use a photoshop autoloading VM (which is what i used to use until i discovered wine could do it).

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Blitzplotter(Posted 2011) [#29]
I am blown away by the functionality on my Android (HTC Wildfire), you can even use dropbox - so I can access files I've put in dropbox via my phone, Amazing!

And I've bought a game, gunsnglory, pretty good it is to: