Mobile Gaming – Android vs iOS

As the popularity of smartphones has gone through the roof, the apps battle between the top platforms has been fierce. And for the majority of people, when we say apps, what we mainly mean is games.

Also, where a few years ago we seemed to be gearing up for a five-way battle in terms of smartphone OSs, we very quickly ended up with two in terms of bulk sales: Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS. So which of them currently holds the gaming crown?

Looking at sales of popular apps turns up some interesting, if slightly predictable results. The top 10s for both platforms (in terms of paid apps) are incredibly similar: there are three versions of Angry Birds and a version of Scrabble on each list, while both lists also share touchscreen speed favourite Fruit Ninja, silly tilter Doodle Jump and BAFTA winning strategy game Cut the Rope.

Clearly, all of these games fall into the ‘quick fix’ category, rather than depth and deep strategy or amazing graphics and high level of AI. It’s also worth noting only one of the one or two of the big sellers is priced over $0.99, with none over $2.99 – which together tells you all you need to know about what we mostly want to use our smartphones for.

Android and iOS gaming has become, for all intents and purposes, one in the same. Developers are creating extremely playable, fun yet simple games that easily transfer between mobile platforms. While Apple clearly has the edge in terms of total number of apps, when the numbers are in the millions and the top 10s are almost identical, the numbers are simply arbitrary.

While Android gives you the device choice though, it’s worth noting Apple currently offers the better tablet experience, as well as a significant lead in terms of tablet specific apps. Buying an iOS app could see you playing it on an iPod, iPhone and an iPad. But then, if you’re the kind of Apple junkie who owns those products, this isn’t going to be an argument you’re interested in any way!

While this may seem inconclusive, it’s anything but – it’s actually the greatest of all things, a win-win situation. If you want to pick up a smartphone, there are likely to be several things on your mind: the camera, the price, the provider, screen size, how much data you’ll get. There are so many choices to make – especially with Android, where you’ll find handsets from Samsung, HTC, Motorola and Sony vying for your hard earned cash.

When it comes to gaming though, you can be happy in the knowledge that both offer a fantastic experience that won’t break the bank and that give you plenty of choice. Unless there is a particular game you’re after that is only on one platform, you’ll find both OSs tick the boxes.

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