Gamers are a surprisingly tribal bunch, and most of the bickering that happens between them is purely based on which devices they personally own.
This isn’t very helpful for anyone who’s brand-agnostic and just wants to know what the best way to play might be for them.
To sort this out in the mobile space, let’s look at the key differences and similarities between the gaming experience on iPhone and Android, and see if there’s an obvious winner.
Hardware & software cohesion
One of the main selling points of the iPhone from a gaming perspective is that Apple’s closely-controlled ecosystem of hardware and software makes it easier for third-party developers to build experiences that are of consistently high quality across all compatible devices.
Conversely because Android is open-source and any electronics brand that wants to use it can create its own devices to run it, this leads to extensive fragmentation and uncertainty.
In turn, developers have to contend with a broader swathe of gadgets that players might use, leading them to either target the lowest common denominator at the expense of those with modern handsets or ostracize users with older phones altogether.
So whether you want to play the latest triple-A title, or check new online casinos in Canada while out and about, an iPhone will deliver a more cohesive, consistent, and reliable experience.
Access to games
Speaking of the types of titles you can play on iPhone and Android, another advantage that Apple has in this context is that developers tend to prioritize the launch of the iOS edition of their latest projects, which often means they arrive sooner than their Google-focused equivalents.
Furthermore, once games are available, developers also push patches and updates out to iPhone users at a more rapid rate, because this audience spends more money and so it is worth keeping them happy.
The downside is of course that the games themselves can have a slightly higher price tag on iOS, but this is a small sacrifice to make if you don’t want to be prevented from accessing cutting-edge releases as soon as possible.
There are literally millions of games on both iPhone and Android, so the question of variety might not matter much to most players in view of this.
However, as Google is less prescriptive about the types of games that are published to the Play store, and also more liberal in terms of their content, there is arguably more variety within this ecosystem.
Again, it is a close-fought battle, and the majority of mainstream hits will arrive on both iOS and Android. Even so, it’s still worth checking to see what each platform offers if you are on the fence, or looking for a specific type of game.
There are some gaming-specific smartphones made with Android in mind, and ASUS’ lineup of ROG handsets is an obvious example of this. As such, you might assume that a flagship Android device will trounce a less specialized iPhone when it comes to gaming performance.
The reality is that this is rarely the case, and Apple has become incredibly good at optimizing its chipsets to deliver blistering performance, particularly in 3D applications where graphical grunt is important.
Depending on the game, a modern iPhone might wipe the floor with an equivalently priced Android device.
The main caveat to all of this is that Android phones still manage to be more affordable on the whole than the iPhone range, particularly if you want a bigger screen and battery for gaming purposes. So wherever your allegiances lie, make sure to do your own research before settling on a mobile gaming platform.