iPhone vs Android: Which is Better for Gaming?

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You’ve probably seen this debate on gaming forums and Facebook groups. iOS users swear iPhones offer the best mobile gaming experiences. Android users argue they have access to more games and can add ROM memory at will. But which OS is better for mobile gaming?

IOS users get Games First

Many developers release their games on Apple’s app store weeks or months before availing them on the Google Play Store. There are many reasons for this. For one, it is easier to make games for iOS users. The OS versions are few and only two devices: iPhones and iPads.

By contrast, developers have to make games for more than 18,000 phone companies when targeting Android users. Unlike iOS, android users aren’t always quick at installing the latest android versions.  As such, game makers are forced to invest more resources to make games available in a variety of android versions.

In addition to all the reasons above, iPhone users spend more on games than their android counterparts. Money is the major driving force for many developers, which is why they avail their games first on iPhones.

If you care about getting games as soon as they are completed, you’ll want to have an iPhone. They are more expensive for sure, but you’ll have access to games before your android counterparts.

Game Quality

Back in 2016, Apple made a landmark decision to delete all old apps that didn’t meet some of its standards. The decision aimed at promoting quality apps over quantity, leaving its users with mostly good-quality games.

On the other hand, Google is the damping store for all kinds of useless mobile games. While the number of iOS games is on the decline, the number of android games has been growing at a rate of 30% every year. Most of the games are hardly re-playable. They are full of glitches and crash often.

On the bright side, both Google and Apple have premium games that are smooth on iPhones and android mobile devices. Some developers go to great lengths to ensure players can’t differentiate between playing on an iPhone or on an android device.

But as already mentioned, the game quality differs from one game to the other. Sure, there are more quality games if you are an iPhone user but that doesn’t mean all android games are crap. If anything, there are many more games on the Google Play Store, exposing you to a wider variety of quality games.

Gaming Restrictions

Every once in a while, Apple will introduce a new law that sees thousands of apps wiped out of its store. One day you could be enjoying your favorite iPhone app, the next, your game is no longer supported by Apple.

Compared to Apple, Google rarely interferes with mobile games on its apps unless there is a worldwide outcry concerning some of them. Most of the apps banned by Google are almost always not mobile games. So, if you love a specific android game, you can be certain you’ll have access to it until its developer discontinues producing it.

Reliable User Experience

We’ve already mentioned that you can find good games on both Apple and Google Play Stores. But what if you wanted to play the same game on either platform? Would it be more enjoyable to play a game on an iPhone or on Samsung’s S9?

According to research, iPhone users enjoy more seamless gameplay with fewer OS-related errors compared to Android users. The differences are minimal where the games come from top developers like PUBG and Konami’s PES. But for games from smaller developers, the difference is as clear as day and night.

Playing Indie games on iPhones offer a much more improved experience than on Android. The differences can still be impacted by the differences in phone quality but in the end, iPhone users get the better of experiences.

Game Affordability

Five years ago, playing on Android was the obvious choice for players who didn’t want to spend money on games. These days, both iPhone and android games charge their customers. Although iPhone users are believed to spend more money on games than android users, games don’t charge them differently.

To access some of the features in top games, you must pay irrespective of the platforms used. But as already mentioned, there are more games on the Google play store compared to Apple’s app store. So, if you are mainly interested in free games, you’ll find more variety on an android device.

If you are not afraid to spend a few dollars on a good game, you’ll love iPhones. From racing games to adventures, actions to puzzles, there are hundreds of established publishers that only avail their games to iPhone users. Some of the games are superior to what you find on the Google Play store and may not be available on any other store.

Device Costs

If you haven’t bought a device you specifically want to use for mobile gaming, you may want to care about costs. An 8-inch iPad mini costs $399 and holds 128GB internal storage. The iPad released in 2018 cost $329 while the iPad pro costs an overwhelming $799.

In comparison, most android tablets cost $200 or less. A top brand tablet like Samsung’s Tab A cost $229. A few are more expensive and can cost $700 but you don’t have to purchase them.

To Conclude

The debate on whether mobile games are best played on iPhones or on android devices has been going on for a while now. On one side, iPhone owners claim their phone have a better OS with better games. On the other, android user acknowledges Google’s improvement of the android version and that its games are almost at par with iPhone users.

But as seen throughout the review above, it’s almost a tie. Both android and iOS support great games. All the big publishers support games on both devices days. You can find free games on either device and could rely on only one smartphone for all your gaming needs.

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  • Yael November 17, 2019 10:21 am

    By now it would be incredibly useful to update this article with comments on controller support.

    The inclusion of support for XBox One controllers in iOS 13 has made a huge difference, as mobile controllers are usually low quality compared to their price point, frequently sporting analog sticks with the precision of a digital pad. Plus, this change allows using controllers you may already own, essentially giving controller support “for free” to many PC gamers.

    In previous testing I also found, that some games would have controller support on iOS, but not on Android. I’m not clear on the reason, but I am guessing at Apple TV (no touch screen) and better API support due to uniform OS versions.

    Now there’s also “Apple Arcade” vs “Play Pass”.

  • Anonymous April 14, 2020 12:16 am

    U sure? I can’t remember a game ever crashing on my Samsung galaxy s6 (5 years old now). Or maybe I just play simple games.


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