In June 2007, Steve Jobs made an announcement to a packed Macworld convention that would change the world of technology irrevocably. Prior to 2007, mobile phones had been evolving gradually, from phones with colour screens, to ones with high-tech cameras.
Yet Steve Jobs revolutionised the mobile phone industry, introducing the first ever smart phone. An item that could play music, make calls, take pictures, play videos, run various different games and much more. From that moment, Apple had the monopoly on the mobile phone market, with hordes of people queuing up for any new release. If you played a game of word association and said smartphone, 99% of people would have said Apple.
Then Google developed its own operating system – Android – and phones started popping up on the high streets. At first, they weren’t as sleek or as user-friendly as an iPhone, but after time they began to outshine Apple products.
Since then, the two companies have been battling each other for world domination. And both can claim some success in this regard, with Apple the most valuable company in the world, and Android having the largest user base.
The market for mobile gaming apps is massive, with well over a billion people playing such a game each year.
This trend has led some of the world’s best gaming developers getting involved in the mobile market with console emulators and online games becoming more and more prominent.
Android is generally the preferred platform for online gamers across the world – let’s look at why.
1. Availability. As Android has a larger user
base than Apple – there’s a bigger audience for games. Therefore, game
developers are going to dedicate more resources to this platform. Apple also
have strict rules on what games they will accept on their App Store, so gamers’
choice is restricted much more on iPhone.
2. Quality. Take a look at the game ratings across the two platforms. In general, the games on the App Store are rated 4.5 or 5 stars, while on the Android store, 4 star ratings are generally the most generous. So you can be sure that to get a high rating on the Google Play store, your game really needs to be good – as standards are higher.
3. Retro Gaming and Emulators. If you love old school games like Super Mario, Goldeneye and FIFA 98, then Android is the choice for you. IOS devices put a lot of effort into prohibiting the downloading of emulators, so it’s almost impossible to play your favourite retro games. There’s no such problem with Android, which also brings us on to our next point…
4. Storage. If you want to add a game like Oceanhorn to your smartphone collection then you might struggle on iPhone. The Legend of Zelda like game is a pretty big app and requires quite a lot of storage space. Unless you’ve spent big buck on your Apple headset, you’re bound to have a pretty feeble amount of storage. On Android, you can add storage to your device whenever you want, without having to pay an exorbitant amount for a new handset. Almost anyone with a little technical knowhow can upgrade their Android device by installing a custom ROM to improve its speed – making the games faster and more responsive. And when this is done, the device vastly outperform iOS devices, which use much older processors.
5. Engaging gameplay. Because of the potential for Android devices to be played with much faster processors, this opens them up to games that are far more engaging. Take online casinos, for example. With the online gambling market growing at an unstoppable rate, they’re innovating more quickly than ever to bring console-standard games to all kinds of devices. That means today’s casino games are more immersive than ever.
Check out online blackjack and you’ll likely be surprised at quite how engaging it is through your screen. You might also be taken aback by how much you can win if you know how to play. While it might first appear a game of complete chance, you can put yourself on course to scoop a huge jackpot by having a comprehensive knowledge of the blackjack rules and the right approach to the game.
6. Longevity. Android devices last longer – that’s a fact. iPhones run out of power more quickly, making for a hugely inconvenient gaming experience on the move. Apple devices are limited by their small battery sizes. Android devices, on the other hand, have more powerful batteries and can run for longer on a single charge. Who wants their phone to die when they’re minutes away from finishing the final level?
However, the fact many Android devices have a greater lifespan can be seen as a negative. This means there are a lot of players using older, slower, lower-memory devices that produce a low-quality gaming experience.
7. Cost-effective. Log onto the App Store, search for Angry Birds or Cut the Rope and you’ll be asked to pay a small fee to play the game, whereas they’re free on Google Play. The fee you’re paying on the app store is like an Apple tax, but it will all add up eventually and you’ll save money in the long-term on Android.
8. AR and VR. The Android system has been way ahead of Apple for years and years now with Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality games. Google were the first to launch a stand-alone helmet for gamers and even had their own support system developed for AR and VR. The AR and VR games on Android have been much more successful than Apple incarnations, and they have even branched out to make their technology compatible to entertainment apps.
Following the success of last year’s Oreo release, Google are planning to roll out Android P later in 2018. One feature being improved is the navigation and accessibility of the Android system, presumably as a move to mirror the same features on iPhone.
Another interesting feature being mooted is a feature developed to maintain consumer’s digital wellbeing. App timers will be introduced allowing gamers to set a limit on their time playing, or allowing parents to monitor their children’s play time.
Google are also planning to introduce new levels of machine learning to Android P devices in order to save battery life, something which could be very helpful to future gamers.
So when it comes to gaming on a mobile device, Android is the clear winner.