Is It Time For Android Reskins?


When I wrote my reskinning apps ebook last year, it was based on my experience with IOS and Android. It was pretty conclusively the case that IOS was outperforming Android (in the reskinning apps business) such that it was a no-brainer to just focus on IOS.

But since then I’ve noticed changes in the market place, and I am at the stage of saying its time to start re-looking seriously at Android.

Of course Android users shout from the heavens that they have the market share of devices. And its true, but that very thing that gives them an advantage also is a problem.


There are so many Android devices out there, so many different versions of the Android OS, so many phone/tablet vendors have their own custom versions each with their own unique characteristics.

And then of course, there is so many Android app stores out there.

Google Play, Amazon App store, Barnes and Nobles Nook store, and the Samsung App store to name a few.

Then, for leaderboards (Achievements and High scores) Google Play and Amazon have their own, and in app purchases are different for pretty well all Android app stores.

Bottom line, with all the (sometimes subtle, sometimes not) changes in devices running Android, and all the above, it makes it hard for a developer to fully support Android.

Contrast that to Apple, one vendor (Apple) selling all IOS devices, one app store (well technically there is a different IOS app store for each country, but I think you know what I mean).

In terms of app development Xcode in my opinion is streets ahead of Eclipse (Android development tool) and the other tools Android use.

I was a full time Java developer for 5 years and think Xcode/Objective-C is streets ahead in terms of ease of use and getting things done, but I am sure some Android developers out there will disagree.

But all this as an aside, I think the gap is reducing between Android and IOS in terms of the one important indicator for reskinners. Money! Yes, how much money your app makes.

The reason I mentioned in my ebook (link in top right hand corner of this page if you want to download your free copy) that IOS is a no brainer, is that IOS players spend more on average then Android players. But I am finding this is no longer the case, or rather there is no longer one clear winner.

Its time to re-look at Android again reskinners! The best way to do this is find apps to reskin that work both on IOS and Android. Best of both worlds, right ?

What you really want is source code written in a cross platform way, using a language that works on both IOS and Android like Cocos2dx.

For the uninitiated, Cocos2d is a framework for game programmers, made for IOS and Mac games. Its very popular and many game developers use it.

Cocos2dX (not to be confused with Cocos2d) is a framework that allows games to be developed for both IOS and Android!

Seems like a no brainer, right? Buy a source code developed with cocos2dx and it will work on both?

Well, maybe!

Approach this with caution. I am seeing lots of source code out there developed in Cocos2dx shouting to the world that its a cross platform game.

Not necessarily true! Many developers are writing (or getting written) games in cocos2dx for the Apple app store and saying it will also work on Android.

But when push comes to shove, in many cases, they have not added any functionality for it to work on Android, meaning you have to do the fine tuning.

Writing a game using Cocos2dX does not make the game magically work on Android. The coder still needs to add support for the various Android leaderboards, in app purchases, and the like. Otherwise this functionality will not work in the Android version.

Android also has a different ad setup, so this has to be changed for the Android version of a cocos2dx game.

Now good programmers do all this heavy lifting for you, so everything “just works” in the Android version, but many do not.

So make sure you specifically ask the source code vendor, is this app ready for Android (they will probably say yes).

Ask them does it have all the functionality for leaderboards, ads, and in app purchases to work on Android (this one gets a different reaction from many vendors!).

Watch out for vendors who say no to the above, but that its an “easy fix” to do this yourself. Easy, huh? So why didn’t they do this for you? Answer: Its not easy 🙂

Remember most software sellers on the “source code” websites are sales people first, so they will tell you want you want to hear.

Be sure to read all the comments, get educated and make sure you are only buying source code that is “ready to go” on Android and IOS.

As a developer I can tell you that its far from a trivial process to add the functionality mentioned above to a cocos2dx game if its not already in place. Trust me, I know this stuff.

Can it be done? Absolutely, but probably not by you unless you are a programmer, or have cash to burn on hiring someone to do it.

Why put yourself through all of that? Just make sure the source code you buy is Android and IOS ready to go.

By the way, there are alternatives to Cocos2dx. In the next article I am going to talk about a great alternative that many people do not know about. An environment that is cross compatible, and works well on Android and IOS. For those playing at home, if you do a little research you will find out more about it by researching what I used to publish my first three games!

Its a language perfectly suited to IOS and Android and most reskinners/developers are not using it because its not as “cool” to use as Objective-C. I must admit as a geek I sometimes fall into the trap of using what is coolest, and not what is the best to get the job done.

More on that next time.

Bottom line: Buy source code that works well on IOS and is Android ready, even if you have no current plans for Android, but be sure the source code does not require a lot of work to get working.
If you have some source code you are not sure is ready, post a link in the comments and I’ll do my best to let you know if its marketing spiel, or if it is ready for Android and IOS.

Having completed hundreds of reskins and getting a ton of email from reskinners, chances are I will know off the top of my head whether its truly ready for Android.

Until next time…


Happy reskinning!


About the Author Tim Buchalka

Tim and his team completed over 500 reskins for himself or clients, and is an expert in the field.He has written 3 complete games, and has two complete video courses on Udemy that are about reskinning (as well as an Android development course with over 16,000 students!). You can find out more about Tim’s video courses here. He has also written a 110 page ebook about reskins that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed with reskins which is available on this website. You can get a complimentary copy of this ebook as well as discounts to his video courses by visiting this link. To contact Tim, visit this sites contact page.

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