I was Tweeting with Michael Gartenberg last night about all the great Android games. After all, the Android Marketplace has so many great titles like Civilization Revolution, Canabalt, iShoot, and… oh… wait…
All kidding aside, the reason there is such a dearth of great games has to do with some programming choices in Android itself and it’s a problem that can – and should – be fixed before the Droid comes to market this November.
The real culprit behind the lack of Android apps isn’t lack of developer adoption or a difficult SDK – it’s the ludicrous 256MB limit on app storage for most current Android phones and Android 2.0 itself. The OS also does not support the installation of apps on removable storage like SD cards, further ruining chances for more effusive and expansive titles. Considering most apps are in the 10MB range we’re talking a max of 25 apps on a good day and about 5 on a bad one.
This limitation has existed since Android 1.0 and continues in Android 2.0. As this enlightening post notes, Myst for the iPhone runs 727MB, a little under a gigabyte. That’s right: Droid doesn’t even have enough space to allow you to render the well let alone let you into the rocket.
The Droid has 512MB of memory with half of that available to apps. More internal storage is definitely in order if Android can’t support external storage – an understandable move due to potential data corruption during an unexpected card removal – it definitely needs a bit more space under the hood in future models.