iPhone and Android programming frameworks compared.  This article covers all the information I will use to decide what to program my games and apps in.  Four iOS and Android frameworks will be compared for pros and cons here:

  • Gamesalad.
  • Gideros.
  • Cocoa for iPad.
  • Yoyo games Gamemaker.
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The style of this article is conversational.  It is a place to collect my thoughts on what I found about the different iOS game frameworks.  Although I am very good at programming, I hate it.  So I’m looking for a simple programming system (no C!).  LUA and drag and drop are my options.


Gamesalad requires uploading your game files to their server before you can publish.  The programming language is drag and drop and super easy to use.


Gideros comes with a built in IDE.  The code is LUA.  Free to publish to iOS!

Cocoa for iPad

Cheap and good.  The programming language is easy to use and covers the basics well, but it is very difficult to pull the files out and into a real game.  No documentation on doing some basic things like in-app purchasing and iAds.  Cocoa for iPad could be removed from the app store at any moment, so it is a risky app to build your app on.

Yoyo games Gamemaker

Expensive, but free to try.  I do not know if the price is a yearly subscription or a one time fee.  They do not have a very good support structure and it is difficult to email someone to ask.


General thoughts and brain dump:

Gamesalad is the one I want to use, but you have to upload online to publish.  They might start adding their own tracking to the apps like Corona SDK does.  I don’t want this and would like control of what happens to my app.  They have previously tried to publish the apps under their own name, but people shouted on the forums and they stopped.  I feel Gamesalad is risky for me to build something on because you don’t know what they will do in the future and I don’t like the direction they are trying to go.  But it is so easy to use the software!

Gideros I like because it has an IDE.  But the LUA use and programming methods I just could not get excited about.  I don’t know why.  IOS publishing is free on Gideros, so that is good.  But their is something about using Gideros that I just could not feel comfortable with…maybe it is the style of the IDE or the user experience.  Simple things like you need to double click on a file to open it in the main window, not just single click.  Little things like that make it uncomfortable to use.  Another is once you open an app how do you close it and go back to the main choose a project screen?  it’s just not nice to use unfortunately.

Cocoa for iPad.  Cocoa is new and nice, but is not able to do advanced features like in-app or iads.  Cocoa is also not able to export to Android.  You need to use Cocoa runtime to export your app, and that needs xCode and C programming ability.

Gamemaker by Yoyo games.  I do not know how the pricing structure works for Gamemaker, it is not clear from their website.  If it is a one-time fee, how long before they release a new version?  will I have to buy that again?  are updates free?  What if they release a new gamemaker 1 week after I purchase…troubling questions.  It is expensive too but free to try, but if the fee is one-time then it’s not too bad.  The other main point is the Mac version of Gamemaker is behind the Windows version.  It’s basically Windows only if you want to do serious work.  Gamemaker is drag and drop through and can export to Android and HTML5 and others.  My main computer is a Mac…so this won’t be good.

I am still undecided.

My perfect software would be:

  • Drag and drop programming like Gamesalad.
  • Publish apps my way like anything but Gamesalad!
  • Export to iOS, with possibility of Android if my app is successful.
  • Able to handle in-app purchase and iAds so I can make some money and pay the software fee!
Simple demands…but no one is satisfying all of them…the search continues.

What do you think?  Have I missed anything?  What do you use?  Leave a comment below with your thoughts.


2 Responses to iPhone Android Programming Frameworks Gamesalad Gideros Cocoa Yoyo Gamemaker

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