Reskinning apps is very exciting, and has kept me busy very busy recently. In fact I was shocked to see it has been six weeks since my last post. I am working on something that I think readers of this blog are going to love, and should be able to announce something in the next few weeks, but first I wanted to talk about something else that you may have not thought was possible.
Converting your IOS Games more or less automatically from Apple’s IOS to Android. Now there is some work to be done, but no where near as much work as you may think. I don’t know about you but to me this is extremely exciting.
Because suddenly you have an entire new platform you can use to build your business. In the past unless you chose Unity3D or a product like CoronaSDK it was a tedius job to convert you Objective-C IOS game to Andoid. In some cases it was almost an entire “game re-write”. As a result many game producers have not bothered to do it.
But with the release of new tools (and the upgrades to existing ones) the process is getting easier and easier. Yes IOS apps On Android without re-writing is now starting to become a reality.
And no, this is not some hokey Android IOS emulator, this is the actual native code working on Android. Pretty cool.
From what I can right now these are the major players in producing software to convert Apple IOS games to Android. If you know of another product please let me know and I’ll add it.
One of the best known names is IOS to Apportable. These guys actually took the Objective-C language itself and make it work on Android. So it’s not “converting” your code from Objective-c (the programming language most games are developed in on IOS). The game still runs on Objective-C but a special version of that Objective-C made to run on Android.
Pretty sweet. Now there are issues. The main one seems to be library compatibilities. In some cases a particular library that works fine on IOS does not work well on Android and needs to be modified by the programmer. But a large chunk of stuff seems to work without changes and these guys are working hard on adding new libraries to keep the product up to date.
The second product that offer an “Android” solution for IOS apps is StellaSDK. This one seems to be a Java solution (Java is the language many Android apps are developed in).
It offers a bridge between the objective-C code of IOS and the Java code of Android. Its been out for a while and version 2 has just been released.
The third one that takes my fancy had a major announcement only yesterday. KoboldKit. This one is a little different in that its a free open source project that is taking the new Sprite kit released under IOS 7 and enhancing it and making it work cross platform. The Android functionality required Apportable to work.
This one is completely free. At the moment all of these tools are free (although at least one Apportable has paid options for “pro” or “enterprise” developers).
From a non developer point of view (which was the point of this article) you have a lot to be happy about. In the coming weeks and months you are going to find it easier and easier to get you IOS games ported over to Android opening up a new and exciting monetization funnel!
There is no doubt going to be a rush on learning these tools to enable developers to be able to offer you these services. I am looking at this as an option for our existing reskinning services, but will assess the demand first. We want to make sure that the services we offer are what most of you want.
Now there a lot of debate about IOS and Android. Many people will tell you the “downloads” are with Android and “revenue” with IOS. In my experience I do have to say the bulk of the revenue has been earned on IOS. Running IOS on Android devices (or to be technically correct, running the apps) is fast becoming reality, and as a developer and game producer I say bring it on!
Would love to hear from you. Does this excite you? Do you think you will start converting your apps to Android? Are you using any of these tools at the moment?
Let me know your thoughts please!