[OT] iPhone is for games, Android is for apps.

Bob Sneidar bobs at twft.com
Fri Dec 23 14:17:33 EST 2011

On Dec 23, 2011, at 10:39 AM, Andre Garzia wrote:

> If we had something like that in LiveCode for mobile where we could place
> stuff on an area and LiveCode would calculate any resizing needed to
> display that area in full screen, it would make game writing much easier.
> When dealing with devices that can go from 320x240 to 1024x768, we need
> better tools or we risk having geometry routines that are larger than our
> main app logic.
> end of apology for resolution independence.

Off the top of my head, which is admittedly pointy, any serious attempt at a geometry engine would need a min and max property so that the geometry editor would not try to scale down smaller than the objects on a screen would allow. Apple saw this when they had to provide a way for an iPhone app to be used on an iPad. The solution? Scale to twice the size and wash your hands of the matter. :-) Going the other way is even worse. Who would want to use a well populated iPad app, but scaled down to half the size? At some point, only the developer knows how small the app could get and still be usable. There is no automatic way of determining that. 

It looks for all the world like custom geometry routines are the only way of solving the problem. The iPhone to iPad double scale trick works because the ratio is roughly the same. But to try and take an app laid out for a really wide android screen and fit it into a small square device? mmmm nothing automatic about that. 

In the final analysis, it looks like your original argument that Androids do not lend themselves to certain ways of designing apps, and iPhones are much easier to manage geometry with is spot on. But I think that custom geometry routines are only one way of approaching the problem. 

How about a card for each existing android resolution, one for iPad and one for iPhone, set to the proper size on startup, and each laid out specific to the device? The same thing could be done for an Android app. It will bloat the app for sure, but it's one approach that avoids a geometry manager. 

Another approach might be to download and install the proper form for the app on first launch from an FTP or WEB site. Not sure if that is feasible with i-devices though, and new device resolutions would require a new version. 

You might be able to download positional and size information for the app on first launch based on the size of the device screen. That way a new device would not require a new app. Just update the positional database for the new device and voila! 

That is all off the top of my pointy head though. 


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