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  1. jaybertx's Avatar
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       #1  
    This question is really intended for developers or people that truly understand the process of porting games from IOS to WebOS. Just trying to comprehend the reasoning... since the port of Angry Birds and others have reportedly only taken "hours", why would a developer NOT want to port their apps?

    I emailed the developer of one of my very favorite iPhone games inquiring if they had considered porting the app over to WebOS. The response I got was:

    "Zero chance we'd ever do it, but if someone came along and wanted to license it from us to do it themselves we'd be open."

    So... basically I'm really disappointed. I think the words "zero chance" just kind of bummed me out because I simply don't understand how something so "easy" to do is given a zero chance... and if this developer feels that way how many other developers feel that way?
  2. mosdl's Avatar
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    #2  
    The small market share of webOS probably is the main reason, why spend money (getting a webOS phone to test on costs money) on something that may not pay off.
    Apps: MyQ for Netflix (Phone/TouchPad), Giantbomb (Phone), Excavate (Reddit/Digg clients for TouchPad)
  3. #3  
    My guess would be that the "hours" is being greatly exaggerated. Why? Because if it truly is "hours" than there is no reason why anyone would not do it.

    Let's say you have a reasonably successful app on the iPhone. Let's assume that porting in "hours" takes 8 hours to do. I don't know what an average developer for these apps cost, but let's assume $100/hr (I know a lot of enterprises use $80/hr for developer cost so I put a premium in for mobile app developers). That would mean the cost for porting would be $800. Assuming your app costs even $0.99, don't you think you would sell 800 copies of it?

    But, you would also have to include learning time for PDK, testing costs and time to test your app, etc. So the claim of "hours" is most likely exaggerated.

    Saying a little more achievable time might be a week -- 40 hours. That developer cost now goes to $4000, again 4000 should not be that unachievable, but when you throw everything else in who knows that cost could rise to $10K to $20k -- those kinds of numbers you would have more and more downloads which addresses the size of the user base.

    You also have to consider the costs are not just the porting costs. When you update your app (which people who have successful apps do), you have to now update it on two platforms or go through the porting and testing all over again.
  4. jeffmcc's Avatar
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    #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by mosdl View Post
    The small market share of webOS probably is the main reason, why spend money (getting a webOS phone to test on costs money) on something that may not pay off.

    Jason R for the longest time never actually had a pre. he just used the emulator...

    NOT "HP webOS"!!!
  5. #5  
    Wonder how much more difficult it would be to port someone else's code. If the porting operation is fairly straightforward, an enterprising developer with some skills could offer to port the top apps from other platforms for a significant share in the gross. And you'd already have sales figures from the source platform to justify putting in the effort.

    It's great to see the influx of PDK apps, even if they're mostly games. Can't wait to see what hybrid apps and making more functions available via the API will bring in.
  6. #6  
    1) Ultra tiny market share

    2) webOS users not willing to pay for apps (less than 4% of them would spend $$$ - 2-3% more for games)

    3) ROI is low or non-existing

    4) webOS limitations (60% of stuff won\\\'t work)

    5) Bad customers (just read some reviews of free apps and tell me if it\\\'s worth the time and money).

    6) Porting costs money [COLOR=\\\"Red\\\"]and[/COLOR] time (and time is money) + another money for support... And yes - it\\\'s all about money.



    @zParticle
    Nice story, but you\\\'re wrong. No. Actually you\\\'re so wrong you can\\\'t even imagine. I literally laughed for like 10 minutes.


    1st: No one will ever give you their code unless they\\\'re willing to license it (for BIG $$$$). And you would be extremely ******** if you\\\'d pay 1000s of dollars to port for webOS where you\\\'ll make like 2-5k at best.

    \\\"Significant share\\\"? Palm takes 30%. Now your \\\"significant share\\\" - let\\\'s say 50%? So you\\\'re left with 20%?? Wow. That\\\'s like 200 bucks for a top selling app.

    And you really think any company will ever let you port their product for 800 dollars???

    2nd: It takes weeks to port something. So if you\\\'re an \\\"developer with some skills\\\" you\\\'re already making some money. Now you would have to stop for a month or two (let\\\'s say you\\\'re making 5k a month) and you\\\'ll never make that back. Congrats on your business plan, but you failed. The bank took your house, your wife left and your dog hates you.

    PDK is for games. But I agree - hybrid apps look good. With some changes to webOS (2.0) and the new HW...
  7. #7  
    Heh, good stuff jenkow! Of course, it was total speculation on my part based on the original post. Like everyone else here, I'm eager to see more new and interesting apps coming out for our platform like we've seen this month with the PDK.

    P.S. What editor requires \\\ to escape quote delimiters?
  8. acidhax's Avatar
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    #8  
    First off jenkow,
    3) ROI is low or non-existing?
    Let's see here. All of the work has already been completed if you've been developing for the iPhone platform. The ROI is ONLY profit.

    4) webOS limitations (60% of stuff won\\\'t work)
    Again, do you really know what you're talking about? Any games that don't involve a Microphone or Camera will work just fine.

    6) Porting costs money and time (and time is money) + another money for support... And yes - it's all about money.
    ...You're really agitating me at this point. All of the development is already done. Any decent developer could port an application in less than a week.

    I'm not even going to bother with the rest of your nonsense. If you're talking about ROI - The ROI is _ONLY_ return on investment, as the investment is minimal. You're a severe noob with absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

    (Did you know that 67% of people make up statistics on the spot? )
  9. jeffmcc's Avatar
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    #9  
    i have the code for "pocket guitar" and the dev said i could port it. but idk how to use the pdk...

    NOT "HP webOS"!!!
  10. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by acidhax View Post
    First off jenkow,
    3) ROI is low or non-existing?
    Let's see here. All of the work has already been completed if you've been developing for the iPhone platform. The ROI is ONLY profit.

    4) webOS limitations (60% of stuff won\\\'t work)
    Again, do you really know what you're talking about? Any games that don't involve a Microphone or Camera will work just fine.

    6) Porting costs money and time (and time is money) + another money for support... And yes - it's all about money.
    ...You're really agitating me at this point. All of the development is already done. Any decent developer could port an application in less than a week.
    Let's add that some of the stuff being ported over was junk that wouldn't sell in the iPhone world... and won't sell here (and they probably know that going in).

    How much did the Angry Bird people make in Pre-land just a few days? (and this is without access to VZW and ATT customers, not to mention the rest of the world.)

    If your stuff is good, it will sell. If I could pick up from $100,000 to quarter million dollars from the WebOS world for just a week's work (if that much) why wouldn't I? There is no way porting takes anywhere as near as much time as the original writing of the application.
  11. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by jenkow View Post
    1) Ultra tiny market share
    while this is true, making $10,000 dollars and even winning some "competition money" should be and is an incentive.
    2) webOS users not willing to pay for apps (less than 4% of them would spend $$$ - 2-3% more for games)

    3) ROI is low or non-existing
    as has been stated this is simply not true.
    4) webOS limitations (60% of stuff won\\\'t work)
    again simply not true the PDK gives you much more access than the SDK. stating a fact that is baseless is simply stupid.
    5) Bad customers (just read some reviews of free apps and tell me if it\\\'s worth the time and money).
    bad customers are all over while there may be more on webOS it isn't that much more.
    6) Porting costs money [COLOR=\\\"Red\\\"]and[/COLOR] time (and time is money) + another money for support... And yes - it\\\'s all about money.
    Porting actually doesnt cost money its the time spent, which we will get to in a minute.

    @zParticle
    Nice story, but you\\\'re wrong. No. Actually you\\\'re so wrong you can\\\'t even imagine. I literally laughed for like 10 minutes.


    1st: No one will ever give you their code unless they\\\'re willing to license it (for BIG $$$$). And you would be extremely ******** if you\\\'d pay 1000s of dollars to port for webOS where you\\\'ll make like 2-5k at best.

    \\\"Significant share\\\"? Palm takes 30%. Now your \\\"significant share\\\" - let\\\'s say 50%? So you\\\'re left with 20%?? Wow. That\\\'s like 200 bucks for a top selling app.

    And you really think any company will ever let you port their product for 800 dollars???

    2nd: It takes weeks to port something. So if you\\\'re an \\\"developer with some skills\\\" you\\\'re already making some money. Now you would have to stop for a month or two (let\\\'s say you\\\'re making 5k a month) and you\\\'ll never make that back. Congrats on your business plan, but you failed. The bank took your house, your wife left and your dog hates you.

    PDK is for games. But I agree - hybrid apps look good. With some changes to webOS (2.0) and the new HW...
    Now to anser the original question: a dev would say they are not porting to webOS for 2 reasons.
    1.) they are apple ******* OR they dont know how easy it is.

    2.) as any developer will tell you revisiting OLD code is more difficult then porting code you've recently written, so a dev who wrote an app a year ago probably wouldn't be in the MOOD of revisting the code and make the changes needed.

    BUT the fact still remains, it takes almost no time for the original dev to port an app. and the actual developing is free (no need to buy MAC).

    Just as an example, I have been asked to port some of my SDK apps to iphone/android, and even though i would make decent cash, i'm not intrested in revisting my code.
  12. jaybertx's Avatar
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       #13  
    I just want to thank everyone for taking the time to respond. I was trying to understand and it seems from the varied responses that maybe the developer just isn't very aware or educated on the PDK. I also looked for "top iphone games" and couldn't find this one on a single list so maybe the game isn't super popular so maybe it just isn't worth his time -- though I know they just re-worked it for the iPad. Ah well. Thanks again!
  13. #14  
    I think Palm has done a terrible job at managing expectations of what can and cannot be ported using the PDK to non developers. It is true that some apps are easy to port, but that is because they were built using portable libraries with portability in mind. I would guess that a large number of iPhone apps are not built with that kind of consideration. Consider these cases:

    1) An app which uses cocoa. Palm never has and never will aquire the rights from Apple to port cocoa to webOS. The developer will have to rewrite the cocoa parts using a mixture of the SDK and the PDK. That's a rewrite not a port. And a significant rewrite at that.

    2) An app that depends on Objective-C. Do you want one of the many iPhone games ported that are written using the Cocos2D game engine? Realize that the 3rd party game engine needs to be ported too.

    3) An app that relies on API's and features that webOS does not provide. Like the microphone, gyroscope, accelerometer functions that need input more than 30 times per second, and better access to the camera, maps and other services.

    So please keep things like this in mind before crying for the developer's blood because they aren't considering a port to webOS. It's not always going to be as trivial as you may think.

    - Rob
  14. #15  
    Quote Originally Posted by robdor View Post
    So please keep things like this in mind before crying for the developer's blood because they aren't considering a port to webOS. It's not always going to be as trivial as you may think.

    - Rob
    No, but SDL and OpenGL apps are very easy to port. That means the 3D stuff, and some of the 2D games.
    Sprint Palm Pre - WebOS 2.1 > Sprint HTC Arrive
  15. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by TIWizard View Post
    No, but SDL and OpenGL apps are very easy to port. That means the 3D stuff, and some of the 2D games.
    Here's an imaginary example of a sprite class for an iPhone project. I'm not an Objective-C programmer so excuse any syntax errors:

    Code:
    CircleSprite sprite = [CircleSprite initWithImage:@"my_circle.png"];
    [sprite initPhysics:world elasticity:1.0f mass:1.0f friction:0.8f];
    [sprite scale:90];
    [sprite setCoords:cpv(100, 100)];
    [sprite draw];
    Just because the underlying draw method uses OpenGL ES doesn't mean that the sprite class magically transforms itself into something usable by the PDK. There is still a fundamental rewrite of the sprite class that would have to take place, and this is just a small example.

    -Rob
  16. #17  
    wasent it stated that iphone games could be ported to Webos in a matter days or even hours back in march:

    iPhone Games Can be Ported to Palm webOS PDK in “Days”? — The Competition GoIP.com


    it seems to me that if companys like gameloft, glumobile, astraware etc are making games then its not due to possiablilty, or time, but more as if the developer wanted to do it.
  17. #18  
    Honestly, I think another unspoken reason might be fear of Apple's ire. The larger developers might have a little more money to risk being pushed around, but some of the smaller devs can't risk having an app rejected by Apple (since the reasons are never given anyway).

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