It's been a while since I've written a blog entry because...I've been working in the dungeons, coding for Android, unlike Ben who spends his days at Starbucks sipping lattes and writing blog posts all day. 🙂
Seriously, if you have not yet heard, we've finally released X-Plane 10 for Android. It was a long, arduous process. Maybe I'll write about the experience in a separate blog post if anyone's interested. Anyway, back to the product...It has the same features and pricing model as X-Plane 10 for iPhone/iPad and will remain that way for the foreseeable future. I don't expect Android to lag behind like it has in the past. If anything, it will probably be the first to get updates since there's no painfully slow Apple approval process to sit through.
Where's the iOS Update?
This initial release on Android is identical to the current release 10.1.0 on iOS except for the additional of liveries! This update will be available for iOS as soon as Apple approves it. It's currently sitting in their queue.
What's the Android Plan?
Currently I'm in firefighting mode! As of today, there are 7,654 supported devices so needless to say, there are some device-specific crash bugs...most on devices that I was not able to acquire myself during testing. I'll admit however, there are fewer than I expected. We're currently seeing 90.4% crash-free users. This is low compared to our iOS stability of 99.5% however the industry metric for games is supposedly 97%. I can't remember where I read that, but that's been my pseudo-goal so I plan on releasing frequent patches until we get there.
Aside from hardware-specific OpenGL issues, the biggest source of instability seems to be with Google's In-App Billing service. I've found and fixed some issues in their sample code which will help, but many users cannot even link up with the service! I have not gotten enough data to fully understand that yet.
An update to 10.1.4 has been pushed this morning. It should go live in a couple of hours. That should fix stability issues for some people but I don't expect it to move the needle significantly until the In-App Billing issues have been resolved. Until then, I'll keep at it!
What's next for Mobile?
Android is a top priority at the moment. Until we reach stability there, almost all of my efforts will be focused on doing so. Once Android has settled down a bit, the work that we do will be for both platforms.
I know the map is a source of annoyance for a lot of people. It appears, unsolicited, when trying to operate the throttle. I can look into that.
We do of course have more aircraft and missions coming. I can't talk about the specifics of those yet but our artists are very busy at work making more stunning planes.
But where's the "meat and potatoes" features? Unfortunately, a lot of the feedback that I get is not specific enough for us to use. I see things like "I like Infinite Flight/Aerofly better!" which is fine...that's a matter of preference. But WHY do you like it better? What features are you missing most?
So here's your chance to chime in. What's important to you? What will make the app fit your needs better? Please feel free to comment below. Get your friends to comment too. The more feedback that I get, the more I can make sure our customer's needs are being met.