Is Android Un-Lutheran?

by byamabe on August 25, 2010

The answer is, of course, no? I won’t bring up the “A” word, but the choice of handset operating system is neither commanded nor prohibited in Scripture. In fact, at the LCMS National Convention I ran into plenty of pastors with Android phones. And, yes, even I, a qualified “Apple Fanboy” have an Android phone (HTC Hero).

So why aren’t Concordia Publishing House (CPH) and others (myself included) writing apps for the Android? I’ve seen plenty of requests on FaceBook and Twitter asking for apps to be written for Android. So there is most certainly a need to be filled. Well, I won’t presume to speak for CPH, but I think I can shed some light on their thought processes as I explain my rationales.

Allocation of Resources

Every developer has a limited number of resources so has to decide what platform(s) to develop for. In the case of iOS vs Android the installed base of iOS devices more than doubles Android devices in the US and is almost 4x the number worldwide (intomobile). In addition to that, amount people spend on iOS apps dwarfs what people spend on Android apps (GigaOm). Based on these simple numbers it’s quite easy to choose what platform to develop for.

Ease of Development

I’ve done some cursory research into Android development and it is not very developer friendly at this point. UI layout is done in XML (text) files. Just think of trying to arrange your living room furniture by writing down the coordinates of your sofa, TV, etc. Also the number of widgets available for free is rather limited. Think wood crate furniture with anything more sophisticated needing to be hand crafted. The current state of Android development is like stuff I was doing 10+ years ago.

Things are Changing

But Android has some positives. It is gaining is popularity and had greater unit shipments than the iPhone in Q2 2010 (ZDNet) and App Inventor and Google’s developer friendliness will surely make the development situation better.

Somethings Won’t

That being said, Google is unlikely to do anything that would improve the market for apps. Why? Because Google isn’t in the business of selling apps, Google is in the business of selling ads. They want apps to embed ads as the mechanism for monetization. Additionally, Google hasn’t been able to address piracy on Android devices (AndroidHeadlines). They actually don’t have any incentives to put much effort in anti-piracy. If piracy is rampant, then the only way for developers to make money is to embed ads.

Like I said, I won’t presume to speak for CPH, but it is quite clear to me that now and into the near future developing for the iOS is the platform to develop for if you have limited resources and want to try to make money by selling your apps.

Triglotta – The Book of Concord

by byamabe on April 2, 2010

My second iPhone app is available on the App Store. “Triglotta – The Book of Concord” is a version of The Book of Concord that is designed for the iPhone and is also optimized to work with the iPad. The idea was suggested by Frank Gillespie on Twitter and I picked it up and built the app. There were a couple of delays due to naming issues and iPad approval delays but if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad (as of tomorrow) go download it, it’s free!

Cwirla goes Worldwide

March 1, 2010

What follows are the download statistics for the first full week that “Cwirla” was available. I have no idea what they mean. I’m just surprised that France and China were 2nd and 3rd in downloads. Title Units Country Code Cwirla 46 US Cwirla 37 FR Cwirla 36 CN Cwirla 22 IT Cwirla 22 BR Cwirla […]

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The Cwirla iPhone App

February 22, 2010

I received approval last Friday evening for my first two iPhone Applications (they work on the iPod Touch and should work on the iPad when it is released). The inspiration for the Apps came from Pastor Todd Wilken when, after discussing the video I made “There’s a Pastor for That“, wished for a “Cwirla App” […]

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The Clock is Ticking

February 18, 2010

My urge to try a new kind of development got to me again and I’ve jumped on the iPhone development bandwagon. The nice thing about iPhone development is that the definition of a proper application is a lot more basic than a web or desktop application. I started my dive into iPhone development last week […]

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Facebook Game with Django on Google App Engine – Setup

September 7, 2009

Now that I’ve decided to write a Facebook app using Django on Google App Engine I plan to document as much of the development process as possible. The first steps were purely administrative. I registered a Google App Engine application called “law-and-gospel” (lawandgospel was taken). I then registered a Facebook application called “LawAndGospel.” Nothing complicated […]

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Interactive Sermons?

May 22, 2009

I have this idea that video games can be used as a tool to spread the Gospel. I really don’t know if it’s possible. The medium of video games lends itself to choice, control, and interaction as opposed to words which convey linearity, specificity, and propositional truth. Looking at these attributes, you can see why […]

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Top 5 Nihilistic Retro-Games

April 8, 2009

Today’s (actually yesterday’s) exercise in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge, is to write a “list post.” So here’s my attempt to comply. Nihilism is a worldview that holds there is no value or meaning in life, it just exists. Here are my top 5 retro-games that exhibit this worldview.5. Defender I’m […]

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Lutheran Inquisition – Episode 1

April 7, 2009

So here’s the game I’ve been working on since the start of the year. It’s a little rough, and I’m no Ed McMahon, but I hope someone finds it enjoyable. If you want to embed it in your site, copy and paste: <embed src=”” width=”600″ height=”400″ />

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Game Development with a Christian Worldview

April 6, 2009

In yet another attempt to kick-start this blog, I’m working through the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Challenge. The first task is to write an elevator pitch. The short pitch is the title of this post. All posts will deal with “Game development with a Christian Worldview.” I think it gives me the […]

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