Even Angry Birds Has Problems with Android




Angry Birds is one of those games that is so popular, you cannot really understand it. Sure, it is fun, addictive even but sometimes you would think that it is the only game app on smartphones. With a Halloween edition, extra level add-ons and the generally insane amount of love everyone throws on the game, you would think all would be well. It turns out that isn’t quite the case.

The problem for Rovio Mobile, who makes Angry Birds? Android is not quite as friendly of a development platform as you would think. In fact, the company has announced that is making a second version of the game for Android devices. Why? “Severe performance issues,” is the reason. Not all Android devices are equal after all, which is both the strength and weakness of the Android platform.

From Rovio’s Blog:

“We are currently developing a lighter solution to run Angry Birds on lower end Android devices. This does not mean lighter gameplay or a lesser amount of levels, but a game experience optimized for devices with less processing power.”

Fair enough. As Android starts to edge out the feature phone market, a huge gap is starting to open. Compare the high-end Android phones to the ones you can get for less than $50 with a contract. No comparison. That’s why Rovio is being forced to build a second version of its app.

This could eventually result in a very fragmented app market, especially for games. With so many different processor and graphics card configurations (not to mention RAM discrepancies and differences in screen resolutions), how is a company expected to build a high performance game and sell it? This is exactly why iOS is pulling ahead in the games department and why Steve Jobs is pushing it as a gaming platform.

So what do you think? Will we eventually see high end and low end versions of our favorite games on Android? Should Google force manufacturers to abide by certain minimum specs each year? Android is an excellent operating system that can be adapted to nearly any phone, but it is this very flexibility that could hurt the platform in the long run.

Btw, here’s the list of models that Rovio is not officially supporting for Angry Birds yet on Android:

  • Droid Eris
  • HTC Dream
  • HTC Hero
  • HTC Magic/G2/Sapphire/Mytouch 3G
  • HTC Tattoo
  • HTC Wildfire
  • Huawei Ideos/U8150
  • LG Ally/Aloha/VS740
  • LG GW620/Eve
  • Motorola Backflip/MB300
  • Motorola Cliq/Dext
  • Samsung Acclaim
  • Samsung Moment/M900
  • Samsung Spica/i5700
  • Samsung Transform
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia X10 mini
  • T-Mobile G1
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