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  Apple announces new graphics API: Metal  (Read 45912 times)
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Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #90 - Posted 2014-06-17 09:09:52 »

The reason why developers have historically prioritised iOS are: a) it came out first and created the market b) a lot of people made a lot of money at it... in the goldrush years. A goldrush is an appropriate description of the iOS market. and c) iOS is somewhat easier to code for, there being far, far fewer devices to support.

The Android market - just the reasonable phones which use Google Play - now dwarfs the iOS market, and the customers aren't the cheapasses they once were. The little birds tell me that iOS started to fall behind at about iOS 5 and I'm quite prepared to believe their figures. In fact just a few months ago we totally stopped targeting iOS for one of our game ports to concentrate on the Android version because it'll literally make about ten times the money.

Cas Smiley

Okay. If we take what you're saying as a given (even though the available data doesn't support it) why should anybody care about the proprietary nature of iOS? Clearly it's not a platform that anybody's going to want to develop for in a few years time anyway, right?
Offline princec

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« Reply #91 - Posted 2014-06-17 09:47:46 »

Well, indeed. Apple are trying to cling on to developers and making it a little more difficult to put code onto competing platforms to stem the tide but ultimately it's going to go the same way the desktop wars went in the early 90s.

Cas Smiley

Offline Roquen

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« Reply #92 - Posted 2014-06-17 09:55:37 »

Cas:  Why did apple release and open-source all of their LLVM backend for ARM?  That helps all ARM devices include some android (don't know the numbers here).
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Offline princec

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« Reply #93 - Posted 2014-06-17 10:03:49 »

LLVM looks to me to be a very niche pursuit on Android.

Cas Smiley

Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #94 - Posted 2014-06-17 10:25:07 »

Well, indeed. Apple are trying to cling on to developers and making it a little more difficult to put code onto competing platforms to stem the tide but ultimately it's going to go the same way the desktop wars went in the early 90s.

Cas Smiley

This is such a laughable argument. How is Apple "locking" anybody to their platform? It seems to me that, on a Mac, you can develop quite readily for both Android and iOS. It's not as though people with Macs are like "Ugh, the only thing I can do is iOS apps, so I guess that's what I'll do." Both options are more than viable on Mac.

I hate that I even have to say this, because I like Java just fine, but it seems to me that what this boils down to is Java adherents and Android fanboys refusing to deal with shortcomings of their platform. Notwithstanding your POV, which flies in the face of pretty much all the available data, odds are that you'll make more money targeting iOS first. Also, you don't have to deal with all the different hardware specifications, and you know that something like 80% of users will have the latest OS fairly shortly after it comes out (whereas Android is fragmented like nobody's business).

Moreover, it's not as though Apple is marching around trying to pressure third-party handset manufacturers to jump on the iOS bandwagon. They're perfectly fine designing their own phones, using their own OS, and not really trying to propagate the platform beyond that. What is it that people find so wrong about this strategy? I could see if Apple was trying to put iOS anywhere and everywhere, because then developers really would have no choice but to develop only on Macs. But that's absolutely not what Apple is, or ever has been, trying to do. They've got their own thing going. It's a fairly successful thing, so far. But it's not impinging on anybody else's things.

I wish people would stop resting on the easy truisms about big, bad, evil Apple, and start taking a long, hard look at the problems with their chosen platform.
Offline princec

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« Reply #95 - Posted 2014-06-17 10:42:43 »

I think you maybe mistake my motives. I think Apple are a great company and I think what they're doing is right for them. Lock-in is subtle; it's just adding friction and inertia to developers who are already exclusively on iOS and thinking of abandoning it to move to the larger, and yes, more lucrative Android market (depending on what sort of software you're making and the kind of odds you mind taking a punt on).

Personally I'm still annoyed with Android being a bit shit, and still not actually having a useful JVM in it, but there we go.

Cas Smiley

Offline Roquen

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« Reply #96 - Posted 2014-06-17 10:48:14 »

LLVM looks to me to be a very niche pursuit on Android.

Quote
Android NDK, Revision 9d (March 2014)

Important changes:
Added support for the Clang 3.4 compiler. The NDK_TOOLCHAIN_VERSION=clang option now picks Clang 3.4. GCC 4.6 is still the default compiler.
<snip>

My finger are typing words (git it?) because I can't post this since otherwise my text contain's too many quotes.  Yadda yadda yadda...ho hum.  Enough yet?  Yeap!
Offline BurntPizza

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« Reply #97 - Posted 2014-06-17 10:50:23 »

My finger are typing words (git it?) because I can't post this since otherwise my text contain's too many quotes.  Yadda yadda yadda...ho hum.  Enough yet?  Yeap!

Tip: Whitespace counts towards post/quote ratio
Although I guess it's less amusing.
Offline princec

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« Reply #98 - Posted 2014-06-17 11:08:01 »

Yeah, still niche then (not default). And of course rather a lot of ordinary Android devs are entirely happy with Dalvik.

Cas Smiley

Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #99 - Posted 2014-06-17 11:08:44 »

Lock-in is subtle; it's just adding friction and inertia to developers...

The problem is that you're not really adequately explaining how this "lock-in" works. I'll say it again: I can readily develop for both iOS and Android on a Mac. Exactly how does this constitute lock-in? Where is the subtlety here? Seems pretty clear to me.
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Offline Roquen

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« Reply #100 - Posted 2014-06-17 11:10:29 »

Yeah, still niche then (not default). And of course rather a lot of ordinary Android devs are entirely happy with Dalvik.
Yeah but it's our kind of niche.
Offline princec

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« Reply #101 - Posted 2014-06-17 11:27:58 »

Lock-in is subtle; it's just adding friction and inertia to developers...

The problem is that you're not really adequately explaining how this "lock-in" works. I'll say it again: I can readily develop for both iOS and Android on a Mac. Exactly how does this constitute lock-in? Where is the subtlety here? Seems pretty clear to me.
It's subtle because you want to write a bunch of code that performs really well on iOS, so you jump in and start using Metal and Swift. It does well so you think about maybe porting it to Android... and then you decide you can't be bothered because it means rewriting a whole load of code. May as well just make something new for iOS. Or you port it and then discover that the performance you got on iOS is rather better than the performance you get on Android because you were properly taking advantage of Metal so you designed for it with that in mind.

Cas Smiley

Offline princec

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« Reply #102 - Posted 2014-06-17 11:36:39 »

It is probably worth noting that Microsoft pulled the same feat off back in the early 2000s with Direct3D. Rather than build on an open API and get what they had already got running well, they instead created a proprietary rendering API which also conveniently was the only way to draw on the Xbox. The effects of this on the market today are still ongoing with many AAA desktop titles never even making to to Mac let alone Linux. SteamOS may move some way to mitigating this. Then again it may not.

Cas Smiley

Offline Roquen

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« Reply #103 - Posted 2014-06-17 11:47:51 »

How many playstation developers complain about lock-in?  My guess is statistically none.  Likewise for other embedded system.  You want to port from iOS to something else.  Don't use swift.  Don't use it anyway there's no margin in learning a language that's in beta and without a formal specification.  Use metal if you think the extra effort will more than pay for itself, otherwise don't.  What's the problem?

DirectX is the right direction.  Versioned API.  Kill it every few years when hardware's evolved enough and release a new one.  If you make a bad choice in version N then you can kill it off in version N+1.  These are good things.  Backward compat is for end-users...free developers from its burden.

Seriously if  you where the head of XBox development would you spend money on supporting OpenGL or some other "alternate" API for any sub-system?  What's the margin in it?  You wouldn't.  It would be a waste of resources.  If some employee (in their free time) tosses something together you MIGHT release it, but probably not.  Wasting support resources on more than one way to do the same thing.  Again...no margin in it. 

The rule of embedded systems is lean-and-mean, give devs access to anything that isn't going to change across revisions of a specific device.
Offline princec

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« Reply #104 - Posted 2014-06-17 11:52:29 »

Er, quite. Not too many people actually moan about it... they just don't do the port, or wait some time before they do a port. I do know developers who moan about it though. From our perspective it's an unnecessary expense, a barrier to platform agnosticism. For platform holders it's great because it encourages exclusives and increases the exclusivity time somewhat. As head of Xbox, having only Direct3D available on the console was a simply brilliant move. And thusly I think Apple have got it dead right... it's just not so useful to those of us using Java for example as it's just one more point of friction (as if using Java wasn't ironically friction enough these days)

Cas Smiley

Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #105 - Posted 2014-06-17 13:22:15 »

It does well so you think about maybe porting it to Android... and then you decide you can't be bothered because it means rewriting a whole load of code.

Except you were always going to have to rewrite a whole load of code, Metal or not. Also, Swift bridges to Objective-C, so this notion that it represents this clear choke point at which the "old way" gets cut off, is absurd.

...which also conveniently was the only way to draw on the Xbox.

Metal isn't, and won't be, the only way to draw in iOS. It will simply be the preferred way to do low-level graphics on devices with the A7 chip. BTW, most people who develop for iOS never touch OpenGL, and most of them will never touch Metal, either. That's another reason why Metal will not, and cannot really, constitute a choke point for developers. You already have to want to make a graphics-intensive game before using OpenGL or Metal really crosses your mind, and the reality is that most developers aren't making games that require it. Especially not with Apple's SpriteKit and countless third-party engines/APIs on the market.
Offline princec

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« Reply #106 - Posted 2014-06-17 13:39:25 »

If you look back through the thread though we were speculating where Apple might go with Metal. As in slowly deprecating OpenGL and replacing it.

Anyway... it's all speculation. A thought exercise.

Cas Smiley

Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #107 - Posted 2014-06-17 21:37:06 »

Anyway... it's all speculation. A thought exercise.

Not all speculation is created equal. Here are a few tidbits that should (but probably won't) cause you to change your tune.

1. OSX (Cocoa) and iOS (Cocoa Touch) development are tightly interwoven, to the point where you can often port entire pieces of program functionality from one to the other just by changing the prefix on an object type.

2. Metal is only for working with the Apple-designed A7 mobile chip.

3. Apple desktops and laptops use standard components like Intel processors and Nvidia/ATI GPUs.

Knowing these three things, do you honestly believe Apple is poised to deprecate OpenGL? Give it a rest, already. They have their own mobile chip. They claim that OpenGL falls short in terms of allowing developers to harness the full power of the chip. They made an API to help unlock that power. This is all that's going on here. It's not some nefarious plot.
Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #108 - Posted 2014-06-17 22:02:44 »

Anyway... it's all speculation. A thought exercise.

Not all speculation is created equal. Here are a few tidbits that should (but probably won't) cause you to change your tune.

1. OSX (Cocoa) and iOS (Cocoa Touch) development are tightly interwoven, to the point where you can often port entire pieces of program functionality from one to the other just by changing the prefix on an object type.

2. Metal is only for working with the Apple-designed A7 mobile chip.

3. Apple desktops and laptops use standard components like Intel processors and Nvidia/ATI GPUs.

Knowing these three things, do you honestly believe Apple is poised to deprecate OpenGL? Give it a rest, already. They have their own mobile chip. They claim that OpenGL falls short in terms of allowing developers to harness the full power of the chip. They made an API to help unlock that power. This is all that's going on here. It's not some nefarious plot.

You are making it increasingly harder with every post to keep me(us?) from just labeling you as a hardcore Apple fanboy. You're almost venomously attacking every little bad thing said about Apple in this thread, and not seeing our point at all. We know what Metal is about right now. We're talking about the future, and basing our information on solid facts and examples of Apple's past practices.

What metal is right now is not the issue. The speculation is what metal will become. You're right, all speculation is not created equal, but speculation based on hard actual facts backed up back Apple's past history is not "Wild speculation from crazy Apple haters".

Lets face it, Apple is a greedy company who wants to control everything about their platform, they have built up their entire product line on the ideology "If we charge more for it and put it in a pretty shell, uninformed people will assume it must be better". While doing this, they have systematically attempted to control their platforms with an iron fist under the guise of "ease of use quality software" when it actually just means more money for them because they own the rights to everything and lock people into using their products.

Is Metal bad now? No. Will Metal be good in the future? We'll see. Depends on if Apple takes a full 180 degree turn around on their marketing/development strategies.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Now on Steam!
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Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #109 - Posted 2014-06-18 00:02:49 »

You are making it increasingly harder with every post to keep me(us?) from just labeling you as a hardcore Apple fanboy. You're almost venomously attacking every little bad thing said about Apple in this thread, and not seeing our point at all. We know what Metal is about right now. We're talking about the future, and basing our information on solid facts and examples of Apple's past practices.

Well, this is a forum for Java programmers. Did you ever imagine that perhaps I'm so fervent in my defense because I know Apple's not likely to receive much of a defense at all around these parts otherwise? Most of my ire stems from the fact that I can't stand CS sectarianism (i.e. attaching massive, world-changing implications to the most mundane of developments in the world or computers or programming) in any of its forms. It's a major pet peeve of mine.

Quote
What metal is right now is not the issue. The speculation is what metal will become. You're right, all speculation is not created equal, but speculation based on hard actual facts backed up back Apple's past history is not "Wild speculation from crazy Apple haters".

What's more convincing: speculation based on unrelated things Apple has done in the past (actions which, based on our conversation thus far, you've chosen to interpret in incredibly biased ways, I might add), or speculation based on the reality of the world right now? It's a fact that OSX development is a thing, no? It's a fact that Metal is specifically intended for optimization of Apple's own in-house A7 chip, no? Then what in the world would make anybody think that OpenGL is on its way out? There still has to be a graphical layer for OSX development. If OpenGL hangs around for OSX, it's going to hang around for iOS, because both APIs are very much interwoven, with the only major differences being class names much of the time. Do you really find your analysis more convincing? If so, I think that simply reeks of bias.

Quote
Lets face it, Apple is a greedy company who wants to control everything about their platform...

Disagree with the logical connection of the first part, but concur with the latter bit. Yes, Apple wants to control everything about its platform. It always has wanted to do that. But while Apple may be greedy (in the same way that most corporations are greedy), I don't think their greed is what drives them to control the platform. They could release iOS for use on third-party devices if they really wanted to do some damage. I think a lot of the choices they make actually exchange one kind of success (dominate the world! -- which is the Google/Android model, by the way) for another (presenting a consistent, full-package user experience that will hopefully win consumers over organically). Apple, in other words, is playing a long game.

And yet, even as they continue to largely control their ecosystem, they have relented in certain ways. The biggest example was finally ditching the PowerPC platform and moving over to Intel processors several years back. It's interesting how, as a student of history when it comes to Apple, you never saw fit to include that detail in your brilliant calculus.

Quote
they have built up their entire product line on the ideology "If we charge more for it and put it in a pretty shell, uninformed people will assume it must be better". While doing this, they have systematically attempted to control their platforms with an iron fist under the guise of "ease of use quality software" when it actually just means more money for them because they own the rights to everything and lock people into using their products.

Again, more easy, predictable bias. Apple has never had the economy of scale benefits that dedicated PC manufacturers enjoy. That's largely why their machines historically have been more expensive. Moreover, no one has ever had to buy an Apple machine or device. You go right ahead assuming that their entire model is to dupe consumers. Then sit there and call me a fanboy, and I'll keep laughing at you. If I'm a fanboy, you're a rabid hater. You've got all of the hallmarks, from interpreting events in the least charitable, most biased fashion possible, to assuming, nonsensically, that a gigantic tech corporation's entire profit model depends entirely on its customers being unable to tell that the computers they sell are objectively worse than those of competitors. You're playing all the typical anti-Apple cards here.
Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #110 - Posted 2014-06-18 00:29:49 »

Again, more easy, predictable bias. Apple has never had the economy of scale benefits that dedicated PC manufacturers enjoy. That's largely why their machines historically have been more expensive. Moreover, no one has ever had to buy an Apple machine or device. You go right ahead assuming that their entire model is to dupe consumers. Then sit there and call me a fanboy, and I'll keep laughing at you. If I'm a fanboy, you're a rabid hater. You've got all of the hallmarks, from interpreting events in the least charitable, most biased fashion possible, to assuming, nonsensically, that a gigantic tech corporation's entire profit model depends entirely on its customers being unable to tell that the computers they sell are objectively worse than those of competitors. You're playing all the typical anti-Apple cards here.

I'm not going to bother having a flame war with you, but I will end this with; "..and you playing all the typical pro-Apply fanboy cards here." You're just thinly veiling it behind the misinterpretation of the information you have been presented.

.. by the way . . .this is the part where I tell you I own 2 iPads and 2 iPhones, and use them (well, 1 of each) daily. Smiley

G'day sir.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Now on Steam!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.hitbox.tv/rayvolution
Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #111 - Posted 2014-06-18 00:49:13 »

.. by the way . . .this is the part where I tell you I own 2 iPads and 2 iPhones, and use them (well, 1 of each) daily. Smiley

So you're admitting that you've fallen prey to Apple's "If we charge more for it and put it in a pretty shell, uninformed people will assume it must be better" brand ideology? Weren't the other tablet/smartphone options so much better, and far less expensive?
Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #112 - Posted 2014-06-18 00:57:49 »

.. by the way . . .this is the part where I tell you I own 2 iPads and 2 iPhones, and use them (well, 1 of each) daily. Smiley

So you're admitting that you've fallen prey to Apple's "If we charge more for it and put it in a pretty shell, uninformed people will assume it must be better" brand ideology? Weren't the other tablet/smartphone options so much better, and far less expensive?

That's right. Android wasn't an option when I was in South Korea at the time. Wink

Some people actually buy them completely aware they're paying too much. They're not bad, I never said they were. They're just way, way overpriced for what you get. I'm sure the $700-and-something I spent on my iPad could have easily bought a Android tablet twice as powerful, same with the Phones.

But thanks for the attempt to derail my credibility with Ad Hominem.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Now on Steam!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.hitbox.tv/rayvolution
Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #113 - Posted 2014-06-18 01:17:42 »

That's right. Android wasn't an option when I was in South Korea at the time. Wink

Umm, what? How was Android not available? Hell, the iPhone didn't even come out in Korea until like 2009 or something. Are you still using an iPhone 3GS you bought 5 years ago?
Offline Rayvolution

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« Reply #114 - Posted 2014-06-18 01:37:18 »

That's right. Android wasn't an option when I was in South Korea at the time. Wink

Umm, what? How was Android not available? Hell, the iPhone didn't even come out in Korea until like 2009 or something. Are you still using an iPhone 3GS you bought 5 years ago?

iPhone 4, and if you want to split hairs, yes Android existed in Korea at the time. But not with the service provider I was with. Then later, since I already owned an iPhone and a mess of apps I bought a iPad to go with it so I could have all my apps on both devices and not juggle Android and Apple apps. Are you done trying to back me in a corner? You're being kind of a jackass right now trying to pull a Red Herring because you're just angry we don't see your point of view. Get back on topic, and quit acting like a child playing "gotcha" and attacking me personally. My facts still stand regardless that I own Apple products. You're just trying to start a flame war to circumvent the fact a majority of people here disagree with your opinions.

Anyway, I don't want this topic locked, nor do I want anyone sent to the padded room. So this is the last reply to this derail.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Now on Steam!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.hitbox.tv/rayvolution
Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #115 - Posted 2014-06-18 05:04:44 »

So this is the last reply to this derail.

I used reason to form my arguments. You called me a "hardcore fanboy." And I'm the one who derailed the thread? I believe psychologists call this "projection."
Offline HeroesGraveDev

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« Reply #116 - Posted 2014-06-18 05:23:07 »

If you're not a fanboy, you surely must work for Apple.

I stand by my original point:
Quote
If any standard is to work it must be open.

Offline BurntPizza

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« Reply #117 - Posted 2014-06-18 05:30:43 »

I used reason to form my arguments. You called me a "hardcore fanboy." And I'm the one who derailed the thread? I believe psychologists call this "projection."

You're implying he has no other logical points. More projection.
We're done.


While there has been some good discussion here, there is also a lot a back-and-forth-yet-going-nowhere "argument" that almost makes me regret starting this thread.
I don't want anymore bickering or straight up API length measuring contests here or I'll ask for the thread to be locked.

If you're not a fanboy, you surely must work for Apple.

Please no more personal insinuations either.
Offline TifantaWorld

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« Reply #118 - Posted 2014-06-18 06:06:21 »

I stand by my original point:
Quote
If any standard is to work it must be open.

A good point, but I don't think the existence of Metal is inconsistent with that view. From what I can tell--and let me know if there's any information out there that proves me wrong--Metal is not designed to be a standard. Apple isn't saying "This is how graphics will be done on all mobile devices from here on out!" It's only for Apple's A7 chip.
Offline ctomni231

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« Reply #119 - Posted 2014-06-18 06:07:49 »

Heh... facts...

Android Dominates Market Share... Apple Makes the Money

Seriously, this debate went to the garbage when open-source was used as a judgement to uplift Apple's doings.

It is quite sad, because, like a lot of people on this forum, I respect Apple. They have managed to create a user base that is loyal to their brand rivaling Disney and McDonald's. What also is silly is that Metal is not inherently bad either, actually, it is just allowing Apple to take the best advantage of its hardware. There is nothing wrong with a company trying to make the best of its hardware.

What sucks is the "after- shock"...

With Metal, Apple can decide that they just will stop supporting OpenGL and deprecate it overtime. Microsoft did it with DirectX. Google tried doing it when it split Java with Dalvik. This is normal practice for companies, and it has nothing to do with any sort of fandom. It is literally business as usual for these companies...

The fight goes on...

Android is growing, and slowly but surely it is gaining a higher market share. But the real tear in its sails is not the fact of a crappy App store. It is the massive amount of device fragmentation. I mean, look at this...

Android Fragmentation

Targeting the right Android build for users is a nightmare for many people programming for these devices. The build to target is literally all over the map, and you can't guarantee that your app will work for all devices. The features, screen sizes, and default programs vary from phone to phone. Android has to overcome this, and its market value will explode.

The internet has the tendency to speed up actions dramatically, so don't be surprised if this happens in the next 5 years.

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Deployment and Packaging
by philfrei
2018-08-19 23:54:46
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