Mobile Mavens

The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Gaming Mavens on whether Nexus 7 is an Android developer's dream

The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Gaming Mavens on whether Nexus 7 is an Android developer's dream

The PocketGamer.biz Mobile Mavens is our panel of experts drawn from all sectors of the mobile gaming industry.

Little over a week after Microsoft pulled the covers off Surface, Google introduced its own tablet Nexus 7 – albeit manufactured by Asus – sporting higher specs and a lower RRP than the bulk of Android slates already on the market.

And so, we asked the Mavens:

From a developer's perspective, is there anything Nexus 7 brings to the table that other Android tablets haven't delivered already?

What - if anything - will Nexus 7 do for gaming?

Dave Castelnuovo Owner Bolt Creative


Nexus 7 will do absolutely nothing for gaming.

Android is so fragmented that no single device can make a difference.

Brian Baglow Executive Producer Team Rock Games



As Dave says, it's one more Android device. The specs are not the key here - it's all about the integration and back end.

Thanks to Google Play, we've got a far more compelling experience for the consumer, but we've all seen masses of Android devices hit the market.

They come and they go. None of them make a difference because the next one will be along in a minute and the manufacturer - even the big guys - will forget about it, ignore it and quietly phase it out before you've figured out all of the features.

Which leaves you with a device which is obsolete even faster than your mobile, which is saying something.

I've got a Nexus S phone. I love it to bits. But even that - Google's baby - is utterly ignored and lost in the sea of 'me too' products. I didn't expect Google to lavish extra special things on the phone, or give it all the cool secret stuff which is way too cool for the average man in the street, but you know ... something!

Google has fired this out so the market sees that it can 'do tablets' too. There's no evidence that it'll survive to the end of the year. Anyone buy a Chrome book? Those who did are probably feeling a little less than loved right now.

I need a tablet. I do. Last event I was at, I pulled out a MacBook and felt as though I may as well have had a mechanical typewriter. I'm also a huge Android fan. I even think Google Play - and Google Books - is nicer, friendlier and more focused than the App Store.

But, having said all that, despite the low cost, I still think I'd end up with something that's unsupported and redundant in under 12 months.

So why would developers bother?

David Thomson Founder Ludometrics


Well, it brings the latest version of the Android OS to the market, which is more than most other devices have managed.

That in itself a problem, as mentioned, because unless it reaches iPod touch or iPad-esque sales figures, you're still going to need to support a variety of other OS versions and devices that are in the wild.

As a result, there's no way you can use it as a sensible test device.

That said, I have ordered one, more out of curiosity and because it was relatively cheap rather than with any sincere hope that it will make a difference to anything, anywhere, ever.

Oscar Clark Consultant, Co-Founder Fundamentally Games

Oscar Clark has been a pioneer in online, mobile, and console social games services since 1998. He is also author of the book, Games As A Service – How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games.


The growth rate of Android installs is phenomenal and I'm sure it's going to be low cost Android devices that make the global tipping point for smartphones. It's still a feature-phone world out there.

This whole fragmentation argument to me sounds laughable compared to the Java days.

Back then we had odd screen sizes - even non-standard aspect ratio - bogus keyboard layouts and we never knew if an essential JSR (like JSR184 -3d) would be implemented properly on a device without trying it first. All of those problems were solved with tools like Ideaworks, now Marmalade.

Don't get me wrong, I'd like a little more consistency, but let's not pretend we don't have to adjust for legacy iOS devices. Indeed, whether the iPhone 5 will have a larger screen or not it's only a matter of time before they have to go 16:9 in my honest opinion.

I think the Nexus 7 is a firm effort by Google to lay a line in the sand to say that Android tablets are a viable platform compared with iPad.

Personally, this one is not for me - I want a larger not smaller tablet and will probably buy an Asus Transformer, but that's not the point. Google has recognised that it needs a benchmark to set the baseline of what Android tablets should behave like, just as it did for mobiles, and I for one welcome that.

Christopher Kassulke CEO / Owner HandyGames

Nexus 7 is a great tablet and the pricing is really fantastic- it will attract a huge audience. In short, it will bring more consumers to our Android games.


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.

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jon jordan
I guess the point is that if Nexus 7 gets a couple of million users quickly, it will become its own core audience for gaming as Kindle Fire already is.

This makes Android in general more attractive to developers and means you don't have to worry about the legacy devices - i.e. just support Android 4.x
Dave Reed
Got to agree with the fragmentation comments. There's plenty of great Android devices, and here's another one. Nice. But that won't make the shitty ones go away - those with single-touch, no FPU, and ancient OS versions...