State of the Township: August 2015

Hello to the 1.8 million players who’ve bought and downloaded Zombies, Run! It’s lovely to see so many new Season 1 fans posting on Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook, and being greeted with open arms by the Season 4 veterans. This post is mostly about our roadmap for the game in the next couple of months, but we never forget how important our community is. It’s your support, free and Pro members alike, that makes the game what it is.

Since our last State of the Township in June, we’ve added almost all of the features we aimed for, and even more beyond that. We’ve improved stability and reduced crashes considerably, but we know there’s more to do:

New on iOS

  • Edit and delete run logs 
  • Autosharing runs on Twitter and Facebook
  • Split time graph in run logs
  • VoiceOver improvements
  • Zombie chase improvements 
  • GPS accuracy improvements 
  • Fix: Crashes on iPhone 5 and 5s devices running iOS 7
  • Added: Run log edit accessibility improvements
  • Added: Mission Clip playback 
  • Added: Customisable Countdown 
  • Added: Related Downloads
  • Added: Full-Screen Annotated run maps
  • Added: Cleaner UI (especially for smaller devices)

New on Android

  • Edit and delete run logs
  • Share run logs
  • Zombie chase and mission clip timing fixes
  • Statistics improvements
  • Airdrop Mode!
  • Fix: Crashes during Race Missions
  • Added: Lollipop-optimised UI
  • Added: Move to external storage (SD card)

New on Zombielink

  • ZR3 to ZR4 user migration
  • Run maps
  • Edit and delete run logs
  • Added: Runkeeper sync
  • Added: Statistics

Next on Zombies, Run!

As ever, this is what we’re aiming for in the next two months. Development is unpredictable, etc.:


  • Auto-download next mission
  • Calorie tracking
  • Virtual Race support
  • ZombieLink syncing improvements
  • Music playback improvements
  • Secret Project!


  • Split time graphs
  • Interval training
  • Android 6.0 compatibility
  • Virtual Race support
  • Codex
  • Mission Clip playback
  • ZombieLink syncing improvements


  • Run map improvements
  • Split time graphs
  • Email updates
  • Codex
  • Virtual Race support

Audio Adverts

We recently began testing short audio adverts in Zombies, Run! We’re doing this so that even free users can help support development of the game, and we’re choosing them carefully so they’ll be a mix of our own ads, and from selected third parties. You’ll only hear them on missions that you have to unlock. So:

If you’re a Pro Member, you won’t hear audio ads from third parties, and we’d only ever play short messages before your run to tell you about really important things. And if you’re a Legacy Member, you’ll only hear third party ads on Season 4 missions.

Android and iOS Development

Ever since our Kickstarter four years ago, when we announced we’d be launching on iOS before Android, we’ve had a lot of questions about the differences between the two platforms. To be plain, a lot of people wonder why features usually come to Android later than iOS.

We know it’s frustrating to see features available to other people before they’re available to you, and we certainly empathise – over half of us here at Six to Start are Android users – so we wanted to explain why.

The most important reason is that development is harder on Android. This isn’t an experience unique to Zombies, Run! or Six to Start – many developers say the same thing, which is why apps and games like Instagram, Hyperlapse, Google Hangouts, Fallout Shelter, 80 Days, The Room, and Monument Valley are launched or updated on iOS first.

Why is development harder on Android? This Savvyapps blog post discusses issues like device fragmentation, maturity of development tools, and OS adoption rates; they estimate Android development takes 2-3 times longer than iOS. Whether or not those numbers are ‘true’, we’ve observed that trend ourselves.

Of course, there are unique benefits in developing for Android, like the rapid speed of deployment (a few hours vs. the 7+ day Apple review period) and the relative openness of the platform. It’s also clear Google is making huge efforts to improve other areas such as OS adoption rates and fragmentation issues (via Google Play Services), and they’ve introduced a support hotline for select Android developers.

The truth is, if Zombies, Run! was a product that could be ‘finished’ and didn’t require any significant maintenance or new features, then feature parity is something we could aim for in the near-future. But we keep on coming up with new ideas and features, and that means the horizon of feature parity keeps slipping away, even as both our iOS and Android apps improve every week and month. 

Overall, development is harder on Android – even with the same number of developers on iOS and Android, even with highly skilled developers who are expert on both platforms. We aren’t choosing to delay Android development because we value the platform less, and we aren’t developing iOS at the expense of Android.