17 October 2010

Does AIR runtime's size matter ?

Before I port my game to AIR for Android, I tried to install the runtime on my buggy HTC Desire.
It's always interesting to read comments on this kind of 'important' release.
Unfortunatly, I mainly read comments on something I thought for the beginning : "what ? 16Mo ?!!" or "so big and can't be installed to SD!"

I still can't understand this size, I just can't imagine how long it would take to download and install it OTA...
Now, imagine this :
a gamer download your 200kb game
since it's an AIR game, the game's install process asks the gamer to also install the runtime
what do you think will be the reaction of the gamer when he will need to download a 5Mb file to play your 200kb game ?
and I can't imagine the nightmare if he paid for your game : "I paid for your game but I can't play because I can't/don't want to install an additional 5mb file"
It's EXACTLY what I thought when I downloaded a Polarbit game which asks to install the common lib for all their games

I still think there is a problem there....

It seems there is a trick to install AIR on the SD card but for developers only, not the common gamer!


Anonymous said...

How often do you need to download 16MB? When you upgrade your mobile firmware, how often do you need to upgrade too? Most of us know what software are need to run and since technology make life more easier and interesting with novelty. It shouldn't be a big impact to us.

If we can wait a few months for Android 2.2 to be out. This download merely take less than an hour to install.

Alessandro said...


very good point!
Also imagine if the new AIR runtime build has some issues that prevents the purchase game to work, then what?

William Gregoire said...

I think you only need to download it once.
But you're right, if they update it as often as the desktop version (1 or 2 times a week!), I REALLY hope they'll use some kind of partial download !

A major update of the OS like Froyo can't be compared with a software update. And you can't download 2.2 software from the market unless you have 2.2
Here, you can download AIR app even if you don't have AIR Runtime.

William Gregoire said...

Oh my! I can't imagine if Adobe made some changes on AIR runtime which break you app builds from a previous SDK!
I got it SO many times with the Flash Player update that I saw what it means! Who said 'security sand box'? ;)

But I must say they, at least, made this only on major update (FP9 vs FP10)....

Anonymous said...

@Alessandro, continue from my first comment. Again, you have answered a question that was asked the last decade.

Every applications will break at some point in life. If they feel the importance of your software, they will wait for your update. If your app are insignificant, then it your lack of brand awareness, marketing or features that cannot entice your user to be patience, how else Apple iPhone 4 manage to pull off so well?

In contrast, if your application are too perfect, you sure someone will fork your features and make much better app than yours.

For example, I do not know why Foxit has not been update and it has serve well as a simple pdf viewer. However, compare to full-feature Acrobat reader, it is very much limit. User expectation has evolve every year, we want some features that Foxit can make us more smarter.

"A complexity code will break any stone while a simplicity code improve the market share."

Anonymous said...

@Alessandro, if a paid app don't work, you should refund and keep in touch with your customers and make them feel exclusive being able to wait for your announcement. Providing a Total Customers Experience is a great idea for any business!

William Gregoire said...

@Anonymous so, for you, when a runtime 'evolve', it's not a problem to break apps using it ?
It's evolution.

When I learnt coding, the first thing my teach talked about is "backward compatibility".
And, you, you saying "evolution comes with a cost".

I had to think more about this...
Right there, I'm thinking ... no...sorry, I can't say so much hard word on my blog...

You're thinking with your money, not from the user point of view.
At least, it's what I think....but perhaps I'm too old and 'young' users, like the ones on mobile, are ok with this...pay for "not-sure-to-working" long app/game..

May I ask you who you are so I can try to understand your point of view ? Are you a developper ? a publisher ? a gamer ? an Adobe evangelist ?

See no fight there, I'm really trying to understand