01
Mar
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In a very interesting piece of news today, a new platform has emerged for developers that may let Android get a lot more iPhone apps very quickly. Unity Android aims to make porting an iOS app to Android as easy as clicking a button.

Games will need to be developed under the Unity Engine from the start to enable the simplest conversion, but others have cited the ease with which their previous iOS apps were ported:

"We're amazed of how easy and fast it was to port our latest iOS game Stupid Zombies to Android. It took us less than two days to fully port the game and do some fine tuning."

  - Marc Andreoli, Partner at GameResort LLC

"We were very impressed with how simple it was to port our iPhone game Drift Mania Championship to Android. The complete process took less than a week, which consisted of minor graphic adjustments and some fine tuning."

  - Pat Toulouse, President of Ratrod Studio

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There is both a free (trial) version and a $400 add-on for developers to play with. The promising new platform is available now.

Source: Market Wire

Will Shanklin
Will's typical, run-of-the-mill story is that of 'classically-trained actor turned Android smartphone and tablet writer.' If you catch him quoting Shakespeare, it's not because he misses it, but because he desperately wants his Masters in drama to count towards something.

Sir William dwelleth in the fair haven
Chicago; with his fair maid'n Jess and his
trusty cur, Ziggy.
  • JDubs

    I want to say this is awesome having any of the best iOS programs available for Android but I keep wondering if it could mean the death of a still-small group of Android-only programs from larger developers. Why develop for one when you can for both when doing it for iOS first?

    Also, now that it looks like Blackberry might* be allowing the the installation of Android applications on their future devices are we going to just have one large market between all systems that's basically the same in quality programming?

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      What this means is developing for the lowest common denominator. By writing cross-platform apps, you can only take advantage of congruencies in OSes and platforms. I think that Unity services a thin market.

    • Jon Garrett

      This is great news and it benefits all of us. Ive long fantasized about a device that can run app across platforms.

      When all of the iOS apps become Available for Android, apple will loose it's only real strength.

      News like this is always good for the consumers. the more choices we have the better quality we will get as everyone competes for their piece of the pie.

  • stamatis

    @JDubs

    iOs will never have some app cause o apple dictating what should and what should not be in the app store. But i realy don't see a probleme in having everything everywhere. I am actually hoping for that.

  • apollostees

    I think this could be good. I hate apple, but I have to admit they tend to get better apps because of being so popular for so long.

    If anything this will start putting more emphasis on the hardware and quality of the OS, rather than people wanting their favortie app.

    • Jonny

      Apple has one OS and Apple creates it. iOS app developers have an easier time writing apps for iOS. You only have to worry about your app working well on Apple products. Whereas Android is a logistical nightmare. Just read the reviews on Android market from users. Some are happy but most are not because the app that you write may work great on one phone on one version of Android while it sucks on all the rest. That is the primary reason why iOS apps dominate. Popularity is not the reason why iOS gets better apps. iOS apps simply work and work well on Apple products. Reason is obvious why that is.

  • Isaac

    I've used Unity a bit in the course of my job and I must say I've been really impressed with the platform. It's about as easy to use as something like this can be without cutting out serious features and they've been advancing the product at a very quick and steady pace. Even big names like EA have been using it for game development. Consider that a recommendation for anybody looking to make 3D games in android.

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      But how long will Unity last? When Apple or Google changes the underlying infrastructure of how the OS/APIs work, won't Unity be broken until something can be reverse engineered?

      • Isaac

        Google develops their APIs in a highly modular way. Even their own SDK will let you publish applications to newer versions of android using older API configurations. They also maintain strong legacy support. They don't eliminate old APIs they simply add new ones, and only remove old ones if they are found to cause serious problems within the OS. And since android is totally open source, any reverse engineering that needs to take place can be done as easily as possible.

        That being said I don't really get your question because it applies to literally every OS/development platform combination in the world. Open source makes this issue easier to deal with, but it never goes away.

        • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

          That may be true today, but there's no guarantee or tomorrow, which is the point I'm trying to make. As a developer, you can't rely on a third party to uphold their promise, even with a contract. You have to have the mentality of "If it's meant to be, it's up to me."

          My question was, "Unity works now, but will it be guaranteed to work tomorrow?"

        • Isaac

          My point is that nothing is guaranteed to work tomorrow. Google could update the OS to break any applications. Even ones that you made with their own SDK. What you are talking about has nothing to do with Unity. It's a general problem with all software on any OS. The only way around it is to make your own OS and don't bring in any components from anywhere else. Good luck getting to market anytime soon!

  • ari-free

    Android isn't just an OS that you see and use right now. It is a platform that lets OEM's do things that Apple or RIM just won't think about. Android means tegra 2 or xperia play or 3D screens or stylus with a tablet or all sorts of crazy things (imagine something like kinect where you don't even have to touch the screen. TI is actually working on this). So if we can get all these ios games and devs take advantage of these other things that might not be for ios/RIM, Android will be on top.

    • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

      What you just said is "iOS has all the great apps. Because Google hasn't been able to compete directly with Apple, we're going to find a way to steal all of the new games that come out by writing a port engine."

      • Father Phoenix

        That is NOT what he said. I think you need to spend less time praying at your altar to Steve Jobs and more time studying English. To condense what he said down "With all the features Android has that the others don't the addition of iOS apps will be what helps put it on top." The iOS apps are icing on the cake. The features are the cake itself.
        Now before anyone bashes me for my comment to Professor Tom understand we know each other in person and are friends. I say the same thing to him in person. Just how we are. He hates on and trashes Android and I criticize pretty much all things Apple.

        • http://schpydurx.livejournal.com ProfessorTom

          Hey man, good to see you.

          I think I have a valid point here. The claim made both in the post and in the comments was "iOS has the better games. Unity allows developers to write for both platforms at once, bringing the games that are only on iOS to Android as well."

          Since that is the claim, I am vindicated in my assertion of draining iOS from the bottom since Android hasn't been able to scoop from the top. I think this is a brilliant strategy.

          The English comment was over the top. I think we both know I have a strong command of the language.

  • JAy

    IT's great news, means less time coding for iOS platform if you can port over. But as others I also agree and wonder how long that will last before it's replaced by either OS publisher.

  • http://goplus.us/gigabyte gigabyte

    This is awesome, although I'd love to see Unity also able to go the other direction. Android -> iOS. But this is really nothing new. The same thing is being done with platform games. There are several engines that are setup and able to run and/or compile with minor tweaks code for multiple gaming platform. Microsoft has one so developers can develop games for XBox 360 and PC (XNA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_XNA).

    Developers are going to go for the larger target. If they can develop and target both platforms. This is good for the consumer and for the developer.

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