Monday, October 11, 2010

Thoughts on Older Devices

So, lets put some "truthiness" (full credit to Stephen Colbert) down on paper about decisions, or better yet a "strategy" an indie developer has to make. The strategy I'm referring to is of course around supporting older devices. Well what does that mean? Thanks for asking Virginia, let me share my (recent) thoughts.

Most if not all indie developers need to make money. If you are an indie and this does not apply to you then stop reading now. Okay we got that out of the way, so we can openly admit to any and all that:
  1. We need to make money
Now we need to find out, given our target audience, how much users with a 2 or 3 year old iPod Touch or iPhone actually spend on apps in the App Store. Because that's how much the impact will be if we choose to NOT support older devices. But hang-on, if we can admit all this and move forward, guess what... we can actually develop BETTER apps! Yup, there you go, more "truthiness" for you! :-]

Yes, if we don't have to worry about how our app runs on a 2nd Generation iPod Touch running iOS 4.x or even iOS 3.x then our development environment just got a whole lot smaller and more defined. If we draw the line at multitasking devices only then we double the amount of memory (and openGL texture size) for our apps. This is huge. In addition we can also target openGL ES2 instead of 1.1 and we can streamline our code (e.g. just use blocks instead to having to runtime check for support). Yeah, I see your eyes widening... its okay. You should at least consider it and NOT once you're half-way into your project, I mean right from the start.

So this is what my new strategy might look like:
We will fully support iOS 4.x users with devices that support multitasking, including 3rd generation iPod Touch and newer along with iPhone 3GS and newer devices.
Wow, that felt great... now the decent thing to do is to post this new strategy on your web site.

No comments:

Post a Comment