The iPhone’s day as the all-singing, all-dancing golden boy of the mobile games industry might be limited, as Google’s Android onslaught gathers pace.
The company launched ‘release 1’ of its Android 1.0 SDK two days ago, allowing developers to create applications for Android 1.0-compliant phones such as T-Mobile and HTC’s recently announced G1. "The SDK won’t remain static, of course," said developer advocate Dan Morrill on the Android Developers Blog, "We’ll keep improving the tools by adding features and fixing bugs, but developers can rely on the APIs in the SDK."
Merill also confirms that a beta version of Android Market – Google’s version of App Store – will launch alongside the G1 in late October, and that the open-source release of the Android 1.0 OS will be coming later this year. An earlier post from August on the blog confirms that Android Market’s beta will at the least support the distribution of free apps, with an update for paid content coming shortly after launch. It also sets out Google’s plan to provide developers with "a useful dashboard and analytics to help drive business and ultimately improve offerings," perhaps building on criticisms shared by many of Apple’s initial AppStore developers who complained at less-than-transparent sales data.
At the same time, several mobile developers have pledged their support for the platform, including Gameloft which plans to have at least ten games for Q1 2009 according to Mobile Game FAQs. Glu has pledged an Android exclusive Zumalike called Bonsai Blast, while the Android Market will launch with a version of Pac-Man developed by Namco Bandai which will be free for a limited time.