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Year class: A classification system for Android - any thoughts?

Participant ,
Nov 10, 2014

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Facebook posted a few days ago how they no longer look at Android versions but instead look to hardware capabilities when developing their app(s):

Year class: A classification system for Android | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code | Facebook

A significant, and increasing, problem we have experienced over the past two years of deploying to Android isn't the fragmentation of the OS versions, rather the fragmentation of hardware.

Cheap Android devices are often shipping with v6 ARM CPUs but Air only supports V7.

These cheap Android devices can run the latest Android versions though which is hugely difficult to explain to clients.  Clients think that since the latest devices can all run the latest Android version, why can't Air also support those same devices? A logical question to have but, understanding the lower power hardware doesn't always make sense to these clients.

Sure, it's a great marketing move by the hardware manufacturers who use the 'latest Android version' as a headline for shipping cheap old hardware! But, it makes it a nightmare for us Air developers.

I'm an electronics engineering graduate so I acutely understand both the hardware and software complications/implications of this situation but I'm wondering what we're going to do about.

A version of Adobe Air that would run on legacy ARM v6 would be great because a lot of cheap hardware still uses that form factor. Raspberry Pi for instance uses that CPU form and therefore being able to target that device with Adobe Air in the education market would be a HUGE opportunity! Also, the 'internet of things' could be a huge market for Air developers who could adopt such hardware as the Raspberry Pi. I do though, as I hint above, appreciate the development and resource costs for supporting that older CPU core though.

So, I wanted to throw this out there to see what other people think - both developers and Adobe themselves...

Is there a solution out there? Or can we, as a community, create a solution?

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Year class: A classification system for Android - any thoughts?

Participant ,
Nov 10, 2014

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Facebook posted a few days ago how they no longer look at Android versions but instead look to hardware capabilities when developing their app(s):

Year class: A classification system for Android | Engineering Blog | Facebook Code | Facebook

A significant, and increasing, problem we have experienced over the past two years of deploying to Android isn't the fragmentation of the OS versions, rather the fragmentation of hardware.

Cheap Android devices are often shipping with v6 ARM CPUs but Air only supports V7.

These cheap Android devices can run the latest Android versions though which is hugely difficult to explain to clients.  Clients think that since the latest devices can all run the latest Android version, why can't Air also support those same devices? A logical question to have but, understanding the lower power hardware doesn't always make sense to these clients.

Sure, it's a great marketing move by the hardware manufacturers who use the 'latest Android version' as a headline for shipping cheap old hardware! But, it makes it a nightmare for us Air developers.

I'm an electronics engineering graduate so I acutely understand both the hardware and software complications/implications of this situation but I'm wondering what we're going to do about.

A version of Adobe Air that would run on legacy ARM v6 would be great because a lot of cheap hardware still uses that form factor. Raspberry Pi for instance uses that CPU form and therefore being able to target that device with Adobe Air in the education market would be a HUGE opportunity! Also, the 'internet of things' could be a huge market for Air developers who could adopt such hardware as the Raspberry Pi. I do though, as I hint above, appreciate the development and resource costs for supporting that older CPU core though.

So, I wanted to throw this out there to see what other people think - both developers and Adobe themselves...

Is there a solution out there? Or can we, as a community, create a solution?

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Development

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391

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Nov 10, 2014 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 12, 2014

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You'd have to create your own ANE extension to detect hardware specs.

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Nov 12, 2014 0