Recomendation on tablets

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Recomendation on tablets

Postby zylesea » Mon Mar 07, 2016 11:53 pm

I don't own a tablet yet. But since I want to develop for Android, I guess it'stime to buy one.
Anyone a hint on what to care about (except that it shouldn't have an Atom processor, but an ARM).
I don't wantt to spent much on such a device (better not above 200 EUR) and thought about an Asus Zen 8.0 (most have Atoms, but there are also ARM based ones) - difficult to distinguish as the product numbering seems _not_ to differ.
Or better a Samsung - just to follow the absolute mainstream. I mean the aim of the purchase is to have a very average thing to have a good test device.
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby Bugala » Tue Mar 08, 2016 10:13 am

Dont have much experience about tablets, but depending what you are planning to make for them, I would suggest checking that it is HD (1920x1080) tablet. For although most tablets are HD, even the cheapest ones, some are not.

And another option is to buy cheapers tablet available, since that would give from test point of view indication that if it works on it, then it will work on all the rest too, and it might also give you better idea about the usability on other tablets as well in sense that if your program works such way that it gets heavier during run time (ie. more enemies on screen at once) then the cheap tablet might run out of power to run it properly, and you can determine based upon how much slower it gets if it will work how well with other tablets.

What I mean with this is that suppose you take middle powered tablet, then you run it and it runs at full speed. But because it is running at full speed during first 5 levels of the game, you dont know that the 6th level would actually be the first level when it starts slowing down since there comes that just one more enemy that is one too many. Had you tried it with weaker tablet, you would have noticed already at level 1 that it is not running at full speed, and then you could have compared how much slower level 2 is compared to level 1 to have some idea about how much heavier the game becomes towards end, and based upon that realise that levels 6 - 10 are too heavy for middle powered tablets as well.
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby airsoftsoftwair » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:22 pm

I prefer Nexus devices because they come with a vanilla Android version whereas all the other manufacturers often include lots of bloatware/adware you can't get rid of so easily. Additionally, you'll always have access to the latest updates instantly with a Nexus device. On the downside, they are more expensive of course.
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby zylesea » Wed Mar 16, 2016 10:49 am

Shot a Nexus 7 on ebay now. It's a 1st gen (4 core 1.3 Ghz, 1280*800) with 16 GB for 55 EUR. Am curious on using Hollywood with Android and will soon order the .apk compiler.
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby airsoftsoftwair » Fri Mar 18, 2016 6:12 pm

Btw, if I remember correctly most x86 versions of Android also have some sort of arm emulation so Hollywood could just as well work flawlessly on x86 devices. I just haven't tested it on x86 devices since I don't have one here.
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby zylesea » Sat Mar 19, 2016 12:16 am

Seems to be the case that there is indeed some ARM Emulation inbuild (reads like no ARM JIT but a binary code translator that generates x86 binaries at application lauch time) . Rate of compability is hard to say, some sources say it's weak others claim high rates.
As I was looking to the stores these days there are more and more Atom based devices popping up. Asus seems to jump that waggon full speed, but also some others. I think this is particular funny as many said ARM would kick Intel ito the butt and lay siege on their market and now it looks like Intel would seriously enter some ARM home territory.
Anyway, yet ARM dominates and the Atom based devices seem to be fairly capable to run ARM binaries and if Atom really gets a significant share of the Android marked I am sure a certain one of the hardest working men in code business will add Atom/x86 support for Android into Hollywood.
Still wainting on my Nexus to arrive...
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby airsoftsoftwair » Sat Mar 19, 2016 3:02 pm

Yes, supporting x86 on Android wouldn't be a big deal since Hollywood already runs on x86 anyway but I'll first wait and see just how popular x86 Android devices are going to become.
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby zylesea » Tue Apr 19, 2016 10:45 pm

zylesea wrote:Still wainting on my Nexus to arrive...


Nexus arrived a while ago. Actual programming for tablets is quite a difference to the desktop.
No windows, UI must be touch optimized. But it's really nice to see the selfwritten stuff getting executed at the tablet. Drawing items is indeed surprisingly slow. Hence, I first tried to use double buffers to speed up things (still us it for some things), but then discovered that BeginRefresh() ... Endrefresh() does work for (my) speed up purpose as well. What's the real difference between the two? AFAIK double buffer uses a mem chunk to write all gfx items to and copies that entire mem chunk to gfx ram for next screen refresh, but what does beginrefresh() endrefresh() actually do? I mean it seems pretty potent (at least for Android): pretty fast and you still can use sprites and don't need to take care about "black areas" as with double buffers. Where are the down sides of it?
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Re: Recomendation on tablets

Postby airsoftsoftwair » Thu Apr 21, 2016 4:59 pm

Actually, BeginDoubleBuffer() is really only hardware-accelerated on AmigaOS/MorphOS/AROS and Android. On all other systems it isn't but a plugin is in the works which will allow you to use hardware double-buffering on these platforms as well (it's already possible with GL Galore, by the way). As you've already figured out, BeginRefresh() and EndRefresh() are basically identical to double-buffering on Android but they don't impose the restrictions of double-buffering (no sprites, no layers etc.) so it's a good idea to use BeginRefresh() and EndRefresh() in your case. There is no real downside of using BeginRefresh() and EndRefresh() except that they're currently only supported on Android. So if you plan to use hardware-acceleration on all platforms (e.g. for a fast-paced platform game or shooter) you should use BeginDoubleBuffer() and Flip() instead. Then your script will be easily portable to other platforms. If you're only targetting Android, however, you can just use BeginRefresh() and EndRefresh() since those two are much more flexible than a double-buffer.
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