We've been quiet on the Android front for X-Plane 10 Mobile but typically around here, quiet is a good thing because it means we're busy!
We've put in a lot of effort and we're at a point now where we're going to begin testing the product. More on that in a minute...
First, I'm excited to say that for the first time, our iOS and our Android products will be the same! In the past, Android came around much later than iOS did and the Android operating system and the devices running it were quite a bit behind Apple's so we had to make our Android product different. This is no longer the case. Google offers all of the same amenities that we're currently using on iOS. We will have leaderboards, achievements and multiplayer. The product itself will be effectively identical. It's the same X-Plane Engine, flight model, scenery packages, aircraft etc. There will be no teaser screenshots because...well....it looks exactly the same as all of the iOS screenshots that we've already been posting.
Our goal, once the Android version is released, is to keep the iOS and Android products simultaneously up to date. If a new feature is added to one platform, it will be available on the other platform almost immediately (store approval times permitting).
We're going to begin testing relatively soon. I have a few odds and ends to tie up before we'll be ready to go but i'd say in the next week or so we'll begin our first round. If you want to be considered to be a tester, you can click on the link and submit a request. There's no guarantee that you'll get in. We can't play favorites.
This testing will be slightly different from the norm. Typically we let users Beta test our products to find some bugs early and help us stabilize. With Android however, our goal is to release an early Alpha version to a small number of users and then slowly increase the size of the test group until we're confident that it's running properly on a wide range of devices. Then we will expand the group even more and begin Beta testing per usual.
Why are we doing things differently? With iOS, we had one operating system version to worry about (iOS 8) and twelve different devices (every supported iPhone and iPad) running one brand of GPU to test against. Between Ben, Tyler and myself, we essentially own one of everything. On Android, we have three (4.1.X, 4.4.X and 5.X) operating system versions, four major GPU manufacturers and (wait for it....) over six thousand different devices. Needless to say, we do not own one of everything! We need to ease into the testing to find driver issues and other device-specific problems early which is why we're doing the Alpha test.
We're mainly focused on testing the Android-specific pieces because 90% of the code is the same as what's running on iOS which has already been thoroughly tested.
When will it be released?!
As soon as it's ready! Awwww (sad face), I know you hate that answer...but it's true. Our goal is to release it as soon as testing shows that it's stable! This will probably be in a number of weeks, not days but also not likely months.