Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Android Cellphones Displays Handhelds The Media United States

Why PBS Won't Do Android 331

Posted by Soulskill
from the it's-a-gateway-operating-system dept.
bogaboga writes "You might be wondering why the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service doesn't have a compelling Android footprint. I was wondering too; until they provided the answer. They say, 'Simply put, it’s too complicated for us to even consider an Android app for the first version; we’ll continue to support those viewers with mobile web. ... As we’re focused on the tablet for this project, we’re only designing for the larger screen sizes. But even there, there are a wide range of sizes and aspect ratios. It’s possible to build flexible sizing for these screen layouts, just as we do for the range of desktop web screen sizes. But the flip side to these wide variations is that in a touch experience, ergonomics plays an important role in the design. Navigational elements need to be within easy reach of the edges of the screens since people often are holding their tablets. If the experience is not fine-tuned to each variation the experience would suffer.' They also cite fragmentation. I'm left wondering whether they didn't find support for various screen sizes on Android developer website. Their budget is undoubtedly limited; are their concerns legit? What companies and organizations have developed Android applications that are good to work with on various screen sizes?"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Why PBS Won't Do Android

Comments Filter:
  • by jedidiah (1196) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:00PM (#44466585) Homepage

    This mentality is not uncommon. Someone will see that there might be a problem somewhere and conclude that because they cannot have their vision of perfection, that they simply won't try at all. Consider this a victory for all of those screetching fanboys. They have achieved their desired result: FUD.

    It doesn't have to be perfect. It needs to be useful.

    • by extra88 (1003) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:09PM (#44466637)

      In that case their mobile web presence has the Android devices covered. It's not perfect but it is useful so why make a native app?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jedidiah (1196)

        It's not just that they are favoring one proprietary platform vendor over everyone else but that they are also repeating their FUD too.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          It's not just that they are favoring one proprietary platform vendor over everyone else but that they are also repeating their FUD too.

          Is it really FUD to say that all the varying screen sizes, etc, make it harder to code a well designed solution? The same issues were raised when the iPhone 5 changed the screen size.

          Not to give MS & Windows any credit they don't deserve, but it is a small miracle to be able to support a clusterfuck of hardware combinations & video resolutions. We've all seen the problems Linux has with getting vendors to supply quality drivers. As the mix of possible hardware components & software versions incr

          • by RCL (891376) <rcl DOT rs DOT vvg AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 03, 2013 @06:34PM (#44467371) Homepage
            People will eventually learn to treat Android devices the same way as PCs. Nobody is voicing concerns regarding variety of PC resolutions (or even number of monitors), nobody suggests testing on thousands of "PC devices" out there. Android is the new PC.
            • by murdocj (543661) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @08:15PM (#44467753)

              But in the case of PCs, the variation is from "plenty big enough" to enormous. You can aim at the lowest common denominator on the PC and it's fine, and if the user has more real estate, great. On phones, you really have to take advantage of the space the machine gives you.

              • by houghi (78078)

                You must be new to the Interwebs. We had this discussion already when people made websites with 'best viewed in 800x600' while many were still using 640x480.

                The problem that exist with websites now is that I have my 1920x1200 screen, but the content is still 640x480. The rest is adds. [ratemyfunnypictures.com]

        • Reality is not FUD (Score:5, Insightful)

          by SuperKendall (25149) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @05:09PM (#44466941)

          they are also repeating their FUD

          No, it's that after actually examining real technical issues they found the FUD was not FUD at all, but a reality based concern where web apps on Android was the only feasible approach given the funds they had.

          I am surprised more companies don't go the web route to support android - responsive design helps address the broad scale with many small increments, and Google has focused a ton on Chrome speed improvements over the ability to update older systems with newer development frameworks.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 03, 2013 @05:14PM (#44466975)

            Personally, I wish more places stayed with websites instead of apps. I don't want to download an app for every place I could just visit on the web.

            • Exactly!

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by RCL (891376)
              Web interfaces always look second-class to me, moreover, it's harder to control their behavior on the device. I can start with a web interface, but if I really like the site and going to frequent it, I want an app for it (preferably with some offline functionality, if applicable - like reading [pre-]cached news).
      • In that case their mobile web presence has the Android devices covered. It's not perfect but it is useful so why make a native app?

        How come that the "mobile web presence" doesn't suffer from the same problem on the same range of devices? So they *can* have a flexible-size layout that's they consider adequate in HTML5, but not in native code? How does that *not* sound like a lame excuse?

        • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @05:11PM (#44466961)

          Because user expectations of native apps are higher than those of web apps.

          Users accept when top level UI elements of a web app scroll. They don't accept that with a native app. When was the last time you saw a native app scroll it's primary menu off the top of the screen for example. Most web apps do.

        • So they *can* have a flexible-size layout that's they consider adequate in HTML5, but not in native code?

          Yes, exactly!! That is exactly true. I don't think you understand how different layout is between a web vs.a native app. Some things that are very easy on the web are much harder in a native app. In fact this causes a lot of headaches for native developers who have clients that expect some things are easy because of web development...

      • Personally, I wish all mobile apps for websites would die horribly. Mobile web works, and works pretty much everywhere.

        • This is probably the single best explanation about why mobile web doesn't work:

          http://sealedabstract.com/rants/why-mobile-web-apps-are-slow/ [sealedabstract.com]
    • by TomGreenhaw (929233) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:36PM (#44466781)
      ...and the 1 star flame review is the enemy of good. We tried android apps and although they worked fine on most devices, we were rewarded with a chorus of whiny complaints and horrible reviews about how the UI wasn't perfect in all orientations and sizes.
    • by 24-bit Voxel (672674) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @07:17PM (#44467525) Journal

      We've been doing some augmented reality games at the studio where I work lately. We build what we need in maya/max and move it to Unity for the build. With iOS, it's about a 10 minute ordeal to build and test it and use Testflight to send it around the office very quickly.

      It was so easy that we decided to give it a shot for Android, I mean... it's like doubling your market right? Well... no. First most of the droid phones need special drivers, and they aren't easy to find. Then you have to build based on which version of the droidOS you are using, which on some phones is a pain to get because they don't list it outright. (Confusion between firmware vs. os version, etc. Keep in mind we are game devs not programmers.)

      Googleusb doesn't always work properly, we spend hours if not days trying to get a build to work properly on various phones. It's a fucking ordeal let me tell you. We dropped Android support for the project and all future projects as a result. Not worth the time and effort until there is a more unifying experience between them. The cost was X to do iphone development, it's X*15 for droid.

      Now this is just one very small segment and one that is not like the environments used by the more elite programmers that visit this site. But if a studio of 20 people who already have it working properly in iOS cannot get it working right on Droid, well.... forget droid.

      Our version of perfection is "working without days of hassle to get the right drivers, firmware, etc for *each* phone we want to test it on." If that is who you are decrying, well...

      As an artist, it DOES have to be perfect. Sorry you feel differently, but that's the reality. It's programmers like yourself who feel that it *doesn't* have to be perfect that make developing for Droid such a giant pain in the ass for us little guys.

      I don't love Apple, but fuck if I want to spend any more late nights and weekends trying to get droid phones to work properly.

      • (Confusion between firmware vs. os version, etc. Keep in mind we are game devs not programmers.)

        The mind boggles, not only that a place developing games for computers has no programmers on staff - but that they fail to see this as a problem. Worse yet, they think that programmers *are* the problem.

      • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        Well... no. First most of the droid phones need special drivers, and they aren't easy to find.

        I'm worried now. I've had both HTC and Samsung phones and when you install their desktop app it installs the drivers too. Google reference devices have the drivers in the SDK. You can also use wifi for development, no drivers required.

        What device were you trying?

        Then you have to build based on which version of the droidOS you are using, which on some phones is a pain to get because they don't list it outright.

        It's clearly displayed on the "about" page of the settings app.

        It's a fucking ordeal let me tell you.

        Strange, we had no issues beyond finding the password for our wifi network. My friend has been working on some Unity based open source game for a while now and did an Android version in

    • by samkass (174571)

      A good comparison is the BBC's iPlayer app. After a year it's just starting to reach parity with the iOS's initial version in features and video quality. The development team is 3x the size of the iOS version. That still doesn't fully take into account the extra support costs they incur from Android users, which they say is significantly more than iOS.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-20754182 [bbc.co.uk]
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/internet/posts/Video-on-Android-Devices-Update [bbc.co.uk]

      And if you're targeting tablets, with

  • by Zumbs (1241138) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:02PM (#44466597) Homepage
    I was under the impression that youtube had a nice app for all Android platforms? Or does PBS do something more than tv?
  • by icebike (68054) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:05PM (#44466611)

    This sounds like they have zero experience in application design, much less for mobile devices, and never learned a thing about hardware abstraction, and are trying to micromanage the interface. Sounds like they even skipped web design, and are coming directly from the printed page mind-set.

    My god, people, go out and hire an app developer, they are a dime a dozen, and every two bit Newspaper, TV station, TV-Network, football team, Grocery Chain, Department store, and gossip site has an app. They can be cookie cutter-ed from existing apps in less than a couple weeks by people who do this for a living. Stop hiring, and write a contract. Apps like these aren't that hard.

    • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:14PM (#44466669)

      This sounds like they have zero experience in application design, much less for mobile devices, and never learned a thing about hardware abstraction, and are trying to micromanage the interface. Sounds like they even skipped web design, and are coming directly from the printed page mind-set.

      Sounds like most of the people for whom I've done web projects. They always try to tell me what it should look like, what drop down menus they think they'll need, etc... but when you try to pin them down on specifics regarding what it actually should do, it turns out they haven't spent much time thinking about that.

    • by formfeed (703859) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:27PM (#44466735)

      This sounds like they have zero experience in application design,
      ... and are trying to micromanage the interface. .

      Most likely:
      no
      and yes

      Sounds to me like designers talking. People who come from graphic design or ad-agencies and now do web design / interface design.

      They usually want to micromanage the rendering. Because it has to look exactly as designed. Not just an interface with four buttons, but four buttons spaced in a perfectly pleasing way, perfect white space to text ratio, and please no substitute font! (Oh no, just the idea of that makes my black turtleneck crinkle.)

    • by cultiv8 (1660093)

      This sounds like they have zero experience in application design, much less for mobile devices....

      I read TFA and it sounds more like an MBA made the decision.

    • Their kids site is almost entirely done in Flash. I assume they're comfortable with doing fixed-layout stuff - kinda like TV, I guess.

    • by BasilBrush (643681) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @05:26PM (#44467037)

      My god, people, go out and hire an app developer

      I'm a mobile app developer of 16 years standing, and programmer for more than 30 years. And I'm with him and not you. You don't know what you are talking about.

      Sure it's easy to make a good desktop app with a arbitrarily resizable interface. And it's easy to make a poor mobile app with a arbitrarily resizable interface.

      But the best mobile apps ARE designed for fixed size screens. That's because the screen size is small compared to the size of the minimum UI element (dictated by the size of a fingertip. Quite simply screen space is at a premium. Not only does the optimum specific arrangement of UI elements vary, the optimum UI hierarchy varies. Screen designs are best when a designer considers the specific sizes. Auto layout is a always a compromise, and one that gets worse the smaller the screens in question,

      They can be cookie cutter-ed from existing apps in less than a couple weeks by people who do this for a living. Apps like these aren't that hard.

      The answer here is that your standards are low. That's why you think auto-layout is good enough. His opinion differs not because he knows less than you, but because his standards are higher.

      • by icebike (68054) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @05:36PM (#44467099)

        How I know you're bullshitting:

        I'm a mobile app developer of 16 years standing,

        Apple IOS Development platform first release: February 2008.
        Android Development Platform first release: August 2008.

        Its 2013. You do the math.

        • by iluvcapra (782887)
          "Mobile apps" have been a thing since the 90s. And a lot of people doing mobile dev now have decades of general development experience....
          • by icebike (68054)

            All that time, and still haven't learned to use the IDEs? No wonder multiple screen sized present such a challenge.

            • It's obvious from this comment that you've never developed on mobile back in the day. I developed on WinCE scanning devices and getting the layout usable was a pain regardless of IDE was used. So we gave two options for our customers: Buy from the list of recommended devices or pay for customization.
              • by icebike (68054)

                so sad.
                That was then, this is now. Its time to step up your game.
                Did you dictate screen size to your desktop customers too?

                • That was then, this is now. Its time to step up your game.

                  You want to pay my salary and front the company money for your experiments go ahead. We are in it to make money. There's very little profit in maintaining a bazillion variations. We don't have unlimited time or manpower.

                  Did you dictate screen size to your desktop customers too?

                  Um, we are talking about mobile devices. Mobile devices which still have a plethora of variations. And yes we dictate hardware requirements all the time for mobile devices. We don't run on ancient hardware for example. Other than making our own hardware, we have to do what is best. D

    • This sounds like they have zero experience in application design, much less for mobile devices, and never learned a thing about hardware abstraction, and are trying to micromanage the interface. Sounds like they even skipped web design, and are coming directly from the printed page mind-set.

      Their ipad app should already use Model View Controller. They just need to rewrite everything in Java, and incorporate a few android specific fixes. Easy!

    • They're a non-profit that has to beg for money every year. If it's so easy I'm sure they'll do it if you volunteer to develop and support it.
      • by icebike (68054)

        They pay their own salaries every year without fail. They have a 291 million dollar budget.

        Non profit [wikipedia.org] means that there should be, and normally is nothing left after covering their costs and salaries, rent, plant, etc. You might want to read up on it.

        It doesn't mean that their vendors don't get paid and everyone who works there works for free.
        Support services make up 21% of their budget [npr.org].

  • No, I'm not. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DanTheManMS (1039636) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:11PM (#44466645)
    "You might be wondering why the U.S. Public Broadcasting Service doesn't have a compelling Android footprint." This... this is a thing people spend their time wondering about? What a pointless thing to start an article with. Guess the editors are running out of good ways to spark another iPhone vs Android debate.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:17PM (#44466683)

    Jesus, give us a break. You can't go to a blog or any other site without being nagged to download their special app, usually via an annoying popup.

  • by Shifty0x88 (1732980) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:17PM (#44466687)

    As an Android and iOS developer, it is tough to support all possible screen sizes, aspect ratios, hardware specs and versions of Android. Sometimes not having a newer version of Android(>= 4.0) you miss a lot of features that people come to expect and your code is riddle with backwards compatibility stuff just to support Gingerbread, or worse(ie: Donut).

    Of course, it doesn't help that Google just made the Action Bar part of the backwards compatibility package, after all of this time not supporting it and saying just use the Sherlock library, which has it's own share of complications and headaches.

    With videos it's even harder, my new phone only records in *.3gp files(for video, Razr Maxx HD), which means you have to have more transcoding on the backend to make it available to others.

    And then you have the Note and Note 2 which are just mini-tablets and not really phone sized anymore. And the lack of support in Android(which iOS has btw) to figure out if you are on a phone or not, really hurts the user experience.

    The cost is great, and the hassle is hard to justify, so with a fixed budget I am not surprised they aren't developing for it just yet.

    And think even with the fragmentation going on the iOS land, they still only have like 5 screen sizes to worry about (in the tablet area), so you can really tweak the user-experience on each version of the iPad/iPad mini to make the most of the real estate and hardware. Plus they all share a common base with most of the features already there, so it makes it easier to program for, and less backwards-compatibility stuff in your code to mess with and support

    • by hsmith (818216) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:30PM (#44466747)
      It is always a hoot to read these type of stories. You have the "zomg it isn't that hard" folk come in and tell us all how easy it is. write once, run everywhere! - it is painfully obvious they haven't written an Android App beyond "Hello World."

      Weren't we all promised that back when Java was up and coming and how well did that work?

      But, those like you that have done both (and myself) realize how much of a fricking pain Android is to develop on. You can even have the same exact phone with different carriers and experience different issues. I don't know why Google doesn't restrict the rights to license the Android name more, to only phones that implement the APIs exactly as they should on the phone.. It is an absolute pain to debug Android issues.

      Writing Android Apps is a breeze, I enjoy it. It is an issue when you go to QA them that you run into issues...
      • How do you develop apps on computers? Those seem to be the ultimate of non-standard display sizes. You can find displays of anything from about 1024x768 up to about 2560x1600 on most modern systems, with anything in between. Lots of aspect ratios too, 4:3, 5:4, 16:9, 16:10, 21:9. Yet somehow lots, and lots and lots of developers seem to be able to make their stuff work. It can deal with the concept of repositioning elements, scaling UI (games in particular are often quite good at this) and relative position

    • With videos it's even harder, my new phone only records in *.3gp files

      Wikipedia says 3GP, 3G2, and MP4 are essentially the same thing as MOV (the ISO base media file format), and video can be ASP or AVC. Did you try just renaming it to .mov or .mp4? Or do you need to transcode because your camera records ASP and browsers expect AVC?

    • by X.25 (255792)

      As an Android and iOS developer, it is tough to support all possible screen sizes, aspect ratios, hardware specs and versions of Android. Sometimes not having a newer version of Android(>= 4.0) you miss a lot of features that people come to expect and your code is riddle with backwards compatibility stuff just to support Gingerbread, or worse(ie: Donut).

      Of course, it doesn't help that Google just made the Action Bar part of the backwards compatibility package, after all of this time not supporting it and saying just use the Sherlock library, which has it's own share of complications and headaches.

      With videos it's even harder, my new phone only records in *.3gp files(for video, Razr Maxx HD), which means you have to have more transcoding on the backend to make it available to others.

      And then you have the Note and Note 2 which are just mini-tablets and not really phone sized anymore. And the lack of support in Android(which iOS has btw) to figure out if you are on a phone or not, really hurts the user experience.

      The cost is great, and the hassle is hard to justify, so with a fixed budget I am not surprised they aren't developing for it just yet.

      And think even with the fragmentation going on the iOS land, they still only have like 5 screen sizes to worry about (in the tablet area), so you can really tweak the user-experience on each version of the iPad/iPad mini to make the most of the real estate and hardware. Plus they all share a common base with most of the features already there, so it makes it easier to program for, and less backwards-compatibility stuff in your code to mess with and support

      And yet, there are plenty of applications that work find on all possible devices.

      There are people who spend most of their work time complaining and thinking why something can not be done, or why it is hard.

      Then there are those who do it.

    • by rhysweatherley (193588) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @06:12PM (#44467281)

      As an Android and iOS developer, it is tough to support all possible screen sizes, aspect ratios, hardware specs and versions of Android. Sometimes not having a newer version of Android(>= 4.0) you miss a lot of features that people come to expect and your code is riddle with backwards compatibility stuff just to support Gingerbread, or worse(ie: Donut).

      And none of this would be a problem if PBS would simply publish the specification for whatever JSON/XML/etc back end they are using to transmit information to the clients about shows and episodes, and use standard RFC-compatible video formats and streaming protocols with no DRM or other nonsense.

      Why would it not be a problem? Because the next day the app stores would be full of "SparkleVideoPlayer now supports PBS!" updates for all of the existing streaming video apps and their loyal users. Or if my screen size, aspect ratio, blah, blah, blah is not supported, I can write my own app!

      I can understand why the commercial TV outfits want to control everything - they think it's the only way to poison the experience with ads. But why are public broadcasters like PBS, BBC, and Australia's ABC doling the same thing? It's idiotic - the solution to "how do I support a million devices" is simple: "publish the spec so that the taxpaying public can write their own apps".

  • Their arguments are legit, but rooted in the old-fashioned way of designing/thinking user interfaces. In todays world professional designers *must* learn to build dynamic interfaces. There's simply no way around it any more. It comes with the trade. To say "we skip this platform cause we don't have fixed pixel measurements to design within" is another way of saying "we have got designers who simply refuse to learn modern design work." In a few years time we need to design interfaces that works both on tabl
  • That by pure volume, there are WAY more Android devices out there than IOS devices. So the PBS arguments are bovine effluent. Look, YouTube works fine on my Android phone. Why not PBS?
    • by sessamoid (165542)

      That by pure volume, there are WAY more Android devices out there than IOS devices. So the PBS arguments are bovine effluent. Look, YouTube works fine on my Android phone. Why not PBS?

      Maybe because Youtube is owned by Google, who also makes Android, so they have a huge vested interest in making it work NO MATTER WHAT. Also, Google makes more in profit in a single quarter than PBS generates in revenue for several years. Google has essentially limitless resources to work with. PBS is always cash-strapped.

      Either you're trolling or you have little experience with the real world to ask that kind of question.

  • by markhahn (122033) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:45PM (#44466821)

    in the apple world, it's normal to tune for particular screen pixel-counts. in all of the rest of the world, mobile and not, from the mists of time forward, people simply treat screen size as a parameter. it's called "responsive", and all it means is that your app adjusts parametrically, so you don't have to customize it for every possible screen pixel dimension.

    in otherwords, BOFH. PBS thinks it has competent computer people, but doesn't.

    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      i know, it's ildiotic, right?
    • and all it means is that your app adjusts parametrically, so you don't have to customize it for every possible screen pixel dimension.

      Yeah with android it just some parameters that you need to adjust and everything works fine. You really don't have any real world experience with Android haven't you ?

      I develop Android Apps as a part of my job (I don't even do the iOS ports) and there doesn't go a day by without being faced with some problems. Fragmentation, low quality dev tools, bugs , ... it all adds
    • in the apple world, it's normal to tune for particular screen pixel-count.

      No, it's not. Auto-layout will use point (not pixel) values as offsets, but that's it. Aside from that, it does relative layout that reacts to screen size changes.

      - An iOS Developer Who Actually Knows What He's Talking About

  • by hduff (570443) <hoytduff AT gmail DOT com> on Saturday August 03, 2013 @04:45PM (#44466829) Homepage Journal

    Hire developers that provide solutions, not excuses.

  • ...due to screen sizing problems. The typical problem is that the font size and touch-sensitive areas are far too small, and don't respond to the "pinch" gesture.

    In almost ALL applications, text entry of more than a word or phrase is close to unusable the text-selection cursors are too small to manipulate accurately; if you don't type it perfectly the first time, seeing and backspacing every error as you type it, your ability to make a correction in the middle of a block of text is close to nil.

    If you read

  • http://xkcd.com/1174/ [xkcd.com]
    Thank you PBS.
  • It's pretty simple. If you target iPad you have two form factors and retina/non-retina, though you can really just do retina and let it downscale if you want. There are only 2-3 CPU/GPU profiles. That covers over half the tablet market, depending on who's numbers you believe.

    On Android, you have to target 20 different devices, maybe more, just to get the majority of Android tablets. If you want 90% then the list gets much longer.

  • by _KiTA_ (241027)

    So if I wanted to make a PBS app for them, would PBS work with me? Give me access to their API? Their video streams? If not... why not? We're helping to pay for it, right?

    They don't have time to make it "perfect" for everyone, but I can guarantee you enough of us nerds grew up on Mr. Rogers that we could find a sufficiently skilled team of volunteers to do it.

  • The web is a flexible, universal and adaptable medium. Why the hell anyone would want an "app" solely to offer content that could just as easily (more easily, actually) be offered through a web browser is just needlessly jumping on the bandwagon.

    I understand the why they might want to offload the graphics and UI to the system to reduce throughput and improve performance, but that's what AJAX and caching are supposed to be for, but they aren't always implemented correctly and almost nobody uses them properl

  • Cocos2d-x (Score:4, Interesting)

    by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Saturday August 03, 2013 @05:24PM (#44467025)
    I use cocos2d-x, and am waiting for QT to mature for iOS and Android, and am always keeping my eyes open for new and better multi-device architectures.

    Using cocos2d-x as an example, I have little trouble programming away in C++ on my desktop at full speed, then checking to make sure that I haven't broken anything on iOS or android. By programming on my desktop I can change screen ratios and whatnot very quickly to make sure everything looks good. My code for iOS and Android has a minimal number of #ifdefs to tweek the very occasional platform specific bits. I love keeping things C++ as it is so wonderfully multi-platform while being able to access the finer bits of the various OSs. Only once have I even run into a tiny bit of trouble with endianness.

    The real trick is to make sure that compiling in iOS and Android is kept as simple as possible. For example I keep the android part all command-line. I run a tiny script that compiles and installs the App while awaiting debug data. This then keeps me out of eclipse. The crazy thing is that if there are any android problems I don't even need to close my desktop IDE; just make the changes there and re-run the script.

    The final deployment isn't that hard either. I don't presently even distribute desktop versions of the apps. Development is desktop based as it is just so much faster.

    So I don't know what exactly the problem is. Personally I was looking into blasting out a Blackberry version of my latest app just to see how easy it would be. My suspicions are that getting any code running on the BB and then uploading it to the BB store will actually be the hardest bits.

    Message me if you have any questions about this setup.
  • But iCrap devices now come in all different screen sizes, aspect ratios, and resolutions, with an array of different versions of iOS amongst them. So clearly someone is either talking out their ass or has taken a large donation from some guy named T. Cook.

  • I'm using FlashBuilder 4.7, and that is how I make my Android Aps. Flash does not give a good way to read the screen resolution in Android(I searched this problem for over a year). I actually wrote a hack in my program where the user basically calibrates the screen size to his device. I put a giant zoom button to the right and a giant zoom button to the bottom. If you press it, the screen gets incrementally bigger until the zoom buttons are no longer on the screen. I save that data to local, and you n
  • Former PBS Developer (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 03, 2013 @11:45PM (#44468181)

    I spent a bit of time developing for PBS before I quit. It was awhile ago, but I had a few run-ins with them after that on a contractor level as well. Their IT department is incredibly dysfunctional and full of itself. Maybe things changed, but when I was there, it was run by English majors and such with no clue, and demoralizing job titles.

    PBS has never really been good at keeping basic things in order, so expecting them to either design a great responsive web app or a native app is not really surprising. I really would not listen to anything they say as technical truth. It's a really ugly, bad culture there in IT and they are in no place to talk about anything as a technical authority.

  • Why is it that only PBS has such terrible trouble?

IF I HAD A MINE SHAFT, I don't think I would just abandon it. There's got to be a better way. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.

Working...