#1 Posted by FLYmeatwad (154 posts) -

As someone who cares about video games, despite the advantages of the Galaxy and other Android devices, do I basically have to buy an iPhone because it's the lead platform? It seems like cool games like Year Walk and Ridiculous Fishing are only on iOS. I've read about the differences between the S3/4 and the iPhone 4S/5, but it seems like there are certain games that just don't get ported at all.

Not looking to start a flame war or something, just wondering before I commit to buying a phone. I'm leaning toward the Galaxy or the Nexus on a personal level, but I have nothing against Apple either (aside from the non-removable battery, but whatever) and could see myself using one because I do love my iPod classic. I'm just afraid that without an iPhone I am going to be missing out on a bunch of great iOS only games, and with GB shifting toward more mobile coverage (all of them seem to have iPhones and iPads based on what I have gathered in Quick Looks and podcasts) I would like to follow along and pick up some discoveries they turn me on to over the year.

I also have no plans to buy an iPad in the immediate future or anything because I'm saving for a desktop, so any cross buy/games that are better on the iPad don't really concern me anyhow. I just know that, this being my first smartphone after years of resisting, that I'm going to spend money on an app store, and once that starts I'm basically in the system, so it's a pretty large commitment.

#2 Edited by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

The iOS store is still the best app store around when it comes to games or apps, so there's a huge advantage to go with the iPhone. I used to play a lot of games on my iPhone and it was great, but once I got an iPad I shifted all of my mobile gaming to the iPad, it's just a better experience.

I'm pretty sure you can still get the iPhone 4 for free with a 2 yr contract, 4S is $99, and 5 is $199. A new 5 should be coming out soon and rumor is Apple will be releasing a "budget" iPhone possibly this summer, so if you want to wait to see those it might be beneficial for you.

#3 Posted by LeYcH (216 posts) -

The games on the Play Store isn't bad, it's just not as good as the IOS; there are still good games though.
Since the IOS is simpler and more popular they tend to get more games but I'd imagine most of them are not even worth bothering.

I guess it comes down to this, if you're going to be using the smart phone to primarily play games get the iPhone.
If playing games isn't the main thing you're looking for and it's only something to pass the time when you're on the bus etc get an android phone.


If you want an android phone that's reminiscent of the glass-type design of the iPhone 4 check out the Xperia Z. Or if you want a premium looking and gorgeous looking phone check out the HTC One
If you simply don't give a crap about the design, and you care only about functionality Galaxy S4 is the one for you.

#4 Edited by SexyToad (2722 posts) -

I have a iPhone 5, it's great. The App Store has plenty of games to choose from. Although, androids are known to he more customizable, if you're getting an iPhone, you may want to jailbreak it later on. It's simple and fairly easy to do.

While with androids, it's already "open" so you can do tons of more stuff.

#5 Edited by audioBusting (1649 posts) -

I like my iPhone 4 and the exclusive games, but I have to admit that it's hard to not be jealous at Android users.. iOS isn't very reliable and it's missing some pretty major features. I lost all the data in my phone recently because the iOS update failed and my backup (I could only keep one on iTunes) turned out to be corrupt, and from Googling around this doesn't seem to be a rare thing. I still don't know how to export all my contacts to another phone. The amount of control iOS gives its user is ridiculously little... You can Jailbreak it, but I feel like it's just extra hassle on my end.

If money's not an issue, I'd say get an Android smartphone for smartphone stuff and an iPod Touch for the games, etc... There's not that many iOS exclusive games, anyways.

#6 Posted by FLYmeatwad (154 posts) -

Cool, thanks for some of the information. My guess is that I'll get the Galaxy S3 or 4S because I'm still doing the family share thing on Verizon for financial reasons, and they don't have the S4 yet (which is dumb, why won't they have that until May 30th?).

I guess right now it's a toss up between functionality and the games for me. Again, I really care about games and like to get deeper with my experiences with them, which seems like Apple is the way to go for that, but I'm also not sure how great something like Year Walk (realistically the QL for that game got me thinking about upgrading, and I can't talk myself in to an iPad yet) would look/play on a phone screen. But that's kind of the only option I have to play it right now.

Tough choices, definitely appreciate the insight though, thanks!

#7 Posted by mellotronrules (1250 posts) -

I'm just afraid that without an iPhone I am going to be missing out on a bunch of great iOS only games, and with GB shifting toward more mobile coverage (all of them seem to have iPhones and iPads based on what I have gathered in Quick Looks and podcasts)

everything that matters will eventually make it to android- it's too big a slice of the pie to be ignored by devs. however, if you're concerned with being part of the groundswell that surrounds the 'hip-now-flavor-of-the-week,' stick with ios. just know that multiplayer mobile game communities are quite fleeting, and that people have a tendency to move on pretty quickly.

if were up to me, i'd go for one of the newer android handsets (their feature set is unrivaled- between the new galaxy and the htc one).

#8 Posted by audioBusting (1649 posts) -

@flymeatwad: iPhone games like Year Walk, The Room and Sword & Sworcery are surprisingly playable on the small screen, so I wouldn't worry too much about that. I'd say the only problem with iOS gaming is save transfers (there's usually none; you update the phone and you lose all progress).

#9 Posted by FLYmeatwad (154 posts) -

Hmm, perhaps I'll go with a Galaxy and try to pick up an iTouch for the games. Had not considered that, but I guess I could find a decent iTouch for an okay price. I'll have to think things over.

#10 Posted by 49th (2851 posts) -

I enjoy playing games far more on iOS, there's a wider selection and most interesting new games seem to come out there first.

I find that everything on Android feels like it is going to crash at any minute and the touchscreen is never as responsive - although that is probably just the device I am using (HTC Desire).

#11 Edited by Turtlebird95 (2619 posts) -

Because Android has so many different devices and iOS is really just iPod, iPhone, and iPad developers usually get their stuff on iOS first, but if the demand is there they will often get it on Android. It takes awhile but hey better late than never.

#12 Posted by GS_Dan (1397 posts) -

@flymeatwad: I'd personally go for either a Nexus 4 or HTC One if you're going down the Android route. I have an S3 and the stock software is gross, I flashed it within a week. It also feels like a bar of soap.

The Nexus 4 is much cheaper and comes with proper Android, while the HTC one is just gorgeous full stop.

#13 Posted by MedalOfMode (294 posts) -

@sexytoad said:

I have a iPhone 5, it's great. The App Store has plenty of games to choose from. Although, androids are known to he more customizable, if you're getting an iPhone, you may want to jailbreak it later on. It's simple and fairly easy to do.

While with androids, it's already "open" so you can do tons of more stuff.

I got one too. iOS designer is changed. iOS 7 will be more customizable. I have a GS3, Motorola XOOM, iPad 3 and iPhone 5. Before try iOS, I loved android but after, i just tried a few stuff. You won't need customizable homescreen everytime. If you want play games buy iPhone 5.

#14 Edited by MonkeyKing1969 (3050 posts) -

Too be honest I think lead platform development is hard to pin down and is going to dynamically change. Apple is still top smartphone is the US (As of February, Apple ranked as the top phone maker with 38.9 percent share of U.S. smartphone subscribers), but even that is shifting...every non-apple smartphone sold in the US is a loss even as the overall market grows hugely...chip chip chip. Android just IS the best selling OS in smartphones worldwide. Also, keep in mind Sony is certainly wooing indie development and Microsoft will gain ground chipping away at Android and Apple.

If you like Apple's iPhone buy it, but there is no real statistical way to argue it is/will be lead platform for games anymore. It does come down to what ecosystem you want to be in - it comes to subjective choice. I don't know what I would buy right this second. Everyone is putting out great phones with great ecosystems. My only advice is buy what you like, because where games go and what is lead platform can change quickly...will change quickly.

#15 Posted by Cameron (607 posts) -

If getting new games as soon as they come out matters to you, then you should get the iPhone. Most stuff eventually makes it to Android, but it often takes a little while. I have a GS3 and an iPad and I tend to buy the majority of my games for iOS because they are there first.

#16 Edited by JazzyJeff (403 posts) -

Here's my take on it.

Phones are bad at games. There are some gems, but not enough to recommend one platform over the other as a gaming device. That said, iPhone has a larger app selection, and iOS is rock solid in stability. With Android, you have way more hardware options, so you can get a huge screen or whatever neat features the manufacturer includes.

For me personally, I favor the iPhone. I owned an iPhone 5 for two weeks before returning it because Sprint's service was abysmal. I went to T-Mobile and got the Nexus 4, which is a great phone, but I miss the iPhone every time I browse the app store or Chrome decides to crash.

#17 Posted by FLYmeatwad (154 posts) -

Wow, a lot of great information in here to factor in, it's definitely helped clarify a few of my concerns while bringing up some new ones. I knew the GB community was the best place to come for advice, and I want to say thanks to everyone who took the time to post. I'm going to give it a few days before deciding since it is a big decision. Like MonkeyKing says, it seems like the big thing is committing to an ecosystem, and that's where I'm having the most trouble, but it's all personal so I'll have to make a pro and cons list I guess. Thanks again, all!

#18 Edited by OfficeGamer (1086 posts) -

Tens of Android game recommendations on these very forums

Serious and fantastic games, iOS is no leading platform!

#19 Edited by Zekhariah (695 posts) -

@flymeatwad: It seems like there are more games on iOS, and the people some of the programmers I know have mentioned that more premium apps just don't sell on android (so XCOM would not make sense there). But in terms of the smaller scale items, there are enough android games that it is probably not worth sweating the difference to much..

To some extent, I think preferences for device size and features are a big split between the two systems at the moment. Most of the flagship android phones are in the larger category, but the iPhone 5 (even though it is larger than the prior versions) is substantially smaller. For the moment recent premium (and mid range sometimes) devices on android mostly went toward the 5" screen size.

It might be kind of strange, but I would suggest test driving how they feel in your pocket walking around. I'm happy to use a large phone that looks a bit odd to talk on (I didn't buy a Nexus 4 for the phone part), but some of my friends have a decidedly opposite view.

#20 Posted by BigBoss1911 (2543 posts) -

HTC One bro, just get it.

#21 Posted by Anomareh (101 posts) -

Games are pretty nonexistent on Android. I just recently got a Nexus 4 thinking I'd be able to grab all of the mobile games that have been Quick Looked and the only one I found that had made it over was The Room. Android game recommendations are basically a list of the best of the worst excluding a handful.

#22 Posted by Angouri (233 posts) -

@anomareh said:

Games are pretty nonexistent on Android. I just recently got a Nexus 4 thinking I'd be able to grab all of the mobile games that have been Quick Looked and the only one I found that had made it over was The Room. Android game recommendations are basically a list of the best of the worst excluding a handful.

Uh.... the GB crew also quick looked Kingdom Rush, yet another tower defense game, and Devil's Attorney, which was bad. There have been a whole bunch of great Android games (see Humble Android Bundles for a great selection, like Sword and Sworcery, Machinerarium, Eufloria, Splice and Sword & Soldiers, and I enjoyed World of Goo, Dead Space and Rayman Jungle Run on my GNex). There are less games than iOS, and they usually go there first, but my phone is not my gaming platform. It's my phone.

Also, most of the "bigger" iOS games are a better fit for an iPad, anyways. Grab an iPad mini (roughly the same cost as an iPod Touch), and enjoy. Gaming is so much better on a larger screen with a larger battery, that isn't interrupted with text messages and emails.

@flymeatwadI'd wait for the S4. It's going to be updated to a newer version of Android earlier than the S3, and it has a pretty great camera. Also, since the Touchwiz skin is gross (in my eyes at least), try replacing the launcher (Apex or Nova Launcher), or replacing the keyboard (Swype and Swiftkey are pretty good). Samsung's nature sounds also drove me up the wall so I just installed custom sounds to the ringtones folder. But the openness of Android makes some Android apps just so much more powerful than iOS (e.g. sharing between apps, saving documents to dropbox/a real file system, Google Music).

#23 Posted by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

Honest answer is IOS gets most major releases first, but anything really worthwhile comes to Android within a month or two, usually less. You get great things like the Humble Bundles as well. Things like Google Now, and Google voice search are really useful and functional as well. It's actually a bit creepy how good my phone is at telling me things I need to know before I even ask for the information. (I'm on a Galaxy Nexus)

Other benefits of IOS come from having multiple apple devices, if you don't have that or plan on having that, you lose a lot of the functional benefits.

Whichever way you're leaning I'd wait till google IO in a couple weeks to see what they're offering in key lime pie/a new nexus. The S4, Nexus 4 and HTC one are all great phones, but it'd suck to miss out on something by a week or two.

#24 Edited by LiquidPrince (16181 posts) -

@anomareh said:

Games are pretty nonexistent on Android. I just recently got a Nexus 4 thinking I'd be able to grab all of the mobile games that have been Quick Looked and the only one I found that had made it over was The Room. Android game recommendations are basically a list of the best of the worst excluding a handful.

This is a lie. My installed games on my Note 2 almost mirror that on my iPad. Majority of big games see release on both platforms.

#25 Edited by Sinusoidal (1819 posts) -

I recently made the switch from iOS to Android. Android is the way to go. In the past two years, I've been running both OSes: iOS has remained almost exactly the same in that time, and has actually gotten worse in some respects. Android has had a steady stream of improvements. iOS may have the larger install base right now, but I foresee this changing if Apple doesn't step up their game.

With iOS you are also stuck on Apple's hardware release schedule. My LG Optimus G Pro beats the snot out of any iPhone performance wise, and I don't see Apple releasing anything comparable in the near future. iTunes also sucks balls, and it's archaic "syncing" process is hot-garbage that was always inconsistent for me (and made me and my wife having the same phones and only one computer running iTunes a major pain in the ass!) I am running windows exclusively though, I imagine your results will vary if you run a Mac.

#26 Edited by xyzygy (10079 posts) -

I recommend Windows Phone 8. Look into it. It doesn't have as many games as iOS and Android, but you can find a substitute app for 95% of everything that doesn't have an official version on WP. The whole app discussion regarding WP8 is kind of bollocks because there are substitues that work every bit just as good. You're just not getting the brand name. The OS itself is so stable, fast, and reliable that it makes up for it by just being a really amazing and beautiful phone. People ask me all the time what kind of phone I have because it is such an eye catcher.

That said, The Windows Phone Store is growing and already has almost surpassed what WP7 managed to get to in 2.5 ish years. It's off to a good start. WP8 just launched in November.

Buying a phone with a huge interest in gaming on it is a pretty iffy decision, IMO. They drain batteries, have small screens, and are limited to simple motion controls. It shouldn't really be a factor when looking for a phone.

That, and as others have said, iOS is very stagnant. It hasn't changed in years and is a fairly basic OS. I would choose Windows Phone, Android and probably even the new Blackberry over iOS any day. But mostly Windows Phone.

#27 Edited by Anomareh (101 posts) -

@angouri: Sorry, I was under the impression I was allowed to own a phone for different reasons than you. I also forgot that if you dislike a game that means no one else should have any interest in it. I like how you conveniently left out Ridiculous Fishing, Year Walk, and Hundreds, just three off the top of my head.

I agree with you that mobile games are only good on larger screens. I mean the Nexus 4's screen is a whole .3" smaller than the Vita and .18" smaller than the top screen of a 3DS XL. Way too small to enjoy games on.

Lastly, I'm pretty sure I said: "excluding a handful" after which you proceed to name only a handful.

@liquidprince: I don't see how you saying you have the same games installed on your iPhone as your Note 2 has anything to do with anything I said, but ok.

#28 Posted by geirr (2715 posts) -

I like both. Android has emulators for all your favorite consoles, iOS seems to have new (relevant) games first.

#29 Edited by FLYmeatwad (154 posts) -

I really like Kingdom Rush, have ever since playing it a long time ago on my PC. Didn't realize Hundreds wasn't on Android (yet?).

Regardless, thanks for all the advice. I have had friends recommend the Nexus as well, but I didn't realize the screen was so huge. For the most part my walking pants and stuff have deeper pockets and I'm used to dedicating my entire right pocket currently to my Envy 3 anyway so size shouldn't be a major concern I guess. Also didn't realize iPad Minis were so relatively inexpensive (saving for a PC, so won't be getting one soon, but will in the future if I get an Android phone. Android tablets are way cheaper though).

I get people are saying to wait for Google IO in a couple of weeks to see what the next Nexus will be about, but I'm not sure it would actually benefit me. I'm still looking for a full time job post graduation and have only been working as many hours part time as I've been able to find. Either way, money isn't exactly rolling in either way. As such, even if I waited for the newer phones (I'm on Verizon, so they won't be getting the S4 until May 30th for some reason) I'm not really sure I would be willing to drop like $200 or more after contract and rebates for a brand new phone. Best Buy has the S3 for $50 this week after a contract, and while I was figuring I would end up spending about $100 or so on a phone that is even more appealing.

I'll also take a look at the HTC One, because I've had that recommended many times. Thanks again!

#30 Edited by spookytapes (269 posts) -

I currently dual wield my old Galaxy Nexus with a current gen iPod touch. In the instance that a game isn't on android, I just get it on my iPod. I used to have an iPhone and it was alright but after switching to android I don't think I would go back.

As for the phones just coming out, the HTC One is really really nice. I have some reservations about the non-removable battery, but the low light performance of the camera, the screen and the front facing stereo speakers are all very enticing. Also the general look and feel of the UI is a lot more well designed than the rainbow vomit TouchWiz skin that samsung uses. Couple that with the fact that the Cyanogenmod team seems to really like it and you've got one hell of a nice piece of hardware that could be running a flavor of stock android pretty soon.

#31 Edited by Snail (8662 posts) -

If you're going to buy an Android buy an Xperia Z if you have the funds. The Samsung version of the Android OS is effing ugly in comparison to some of the alternatives out there. I'm also not sure how the HTC One is, but the Xperia Z is definitely a much more beautiful device.

In all honesty though, just get an iPhone. You'll have more apps there, you won't have to face the booming spread of Android malware, and iOS is overall a better operating system than Android.

#32 Edited by RobotHamster (4177 posts) -

As someone who still doesn't own a smartphone I still don't see mobile games to be a huge deal. Of course I see some pretty cool games here and there but mobile games still to me seems like small gimmicky casual games that are nice if you already have the phone, they're not something I would choose a phone for. I know I'm in the minority for this but I still don't feel the need for them.

#33 Posted by Zekhariah (695 posts) -

Kind of an aside on phone prices:

My personal preference is to go unsubsidized, because I want to own rather than basically rent the thing. But if you are going contract (which absolutely makes sense with ATT / Verizon / Sprint for the most part), I would avoid the sub-$200 type phones. Those have substantially cheaper actual prices (the stores kind of inflate them) compared to the full on flagship devices at $200 (usually those are $650+ unlocked). If you cannot afford the top end type one on contract, just wait until you can.

Your paying at least $720 dollars for data, and probably more because you must buy a relatively large minute pool and unlimited texting at the same time (your contract is for a couple thousand dollars worth of income to the wireless company). Cheaping out on the front end will lead to you being unable to really extract that much value from the expensive data plan the phone is associated with. Nexus 4 is as low as I would suggest for device performance, because you can get a legitimately equivalent to PC feel using it.

#34 Edited by Bourbon_Warrior (4523 posts) -

Apple is just really boring the past few years well since Jobs died. I find the size of the Galaxys screen to be really great for me, its actually a decent way to play games, watch videos and browse the internet on it, I just find the iPhones screen to small.

#35 Posted by Grilledcheez (3958 posts) -

I had an old Droid X but switched to a Nokia 822 (Windows Phone 8). I really like it, but you won't have the massive selection of games or apps you might have elsewhere. I'm not really much of a gamer on my phone though (and don't really understand those that are), but to each his own!

#36 Edited by MC_Hify (352 posts) -

There are very few games you'd want to play that are not on Android but not on IOS. And those will probably come to Android eventually. With Android you also can get the Humble Android Bundles which will have a lot of great games for cheap. Along with being able to remove the battery, you'll also be able to remove storage on android phones and the microSD cards will be a lot cheaper than buying a iphone that has a lot of storage on it.

I currently have an Iphone 5, my last phone was a HTC Inspire. I prefer the iphone in almost every way, my biggest problem with it so far is not being able to download files more than 50 mb over 4g.

#37 Posted by xyzygy (10079 posts) -

@grilledcheez: So jealous. The next phone I'm getting is a Lumia. They're just beautiful and so insanely sturdy and reliable. My current WP7.8 (HD7) device has never once frozen or locked up on me. It stutters like once a month and that's about it. Such a great platform!

#38 Edited by Grilledcheez (3958 posts) -

@xyzygy: Nice! And I agree, I haven't had any problems and it looks amazing too. If you're on Verizon, an updated version of the 920 (which they're calling the 928) is supposedly coming soon!

#39 Posted by Darson (448 posts) -

I came to this thread thinking the question would be "Why on earth would I need a smartphone?". Though suffice to say I think it's better to ask myself that question instead.

Anyways, I don't really use my cell phone to play games. My RAZR (not a Maxx because I hopped on the wagon before that clusterfuck) has terrible battery life and already has a tendency to heat up my pocket after some moderate use. Regardless, most mobile games don't really appeal to me.

#40 Edited by mrcraggle (1979 posts) -

@xyzygy: I have a Lumia 920 but if you do get one, make sure to check it over carefully. I'm actually on my second. My first got this weird line going down the screen just randomly and had to be sent back. My current one may also need sending back. The screen is oddly rising on one side and sometimes creaks and a lot of dust is gathering under the FFC. I'm sure production issues have been sorted out since then though as I know this is a problem Nokia are aware of. I'd like to point out though that you may be a little disappointed going from WP7 to WP8. I was completely unaware that WP8 no longer synced with Zune which is a program I absolutely love and getting podcasts onto my phone is impossible (I live in the UK where this isn't supported but was was WP7). WP8 also isn't as stable I'd say as WP7 but this is also because apps really need updating. Whatsapp for example is pretty broken on WP8 but an update to fix a lot of these issues has been submitted but not yet passed (it's been like 2 weeks).

On topic, the answer you want to hear is iPhone so just buy an iPhone. I could make all sorts of cases for WP8 (especially the Lumia 920 or the upcoming 928 for Verizon) or even the HTC One running Android or maybe even the HTC First but just get rid of the FB crap. The fact of the matter is, despite Android having the largest marketshare in the world, it's still an afterthought for a lot of devs. Games will eventually come but if you want to be apart of the conversation that's happening around those games, iOS it is. Who's talking about Space Team or Temple Run 2 anymore? Nobody and that's kind of the nature of mobile games. People play them, get hyped and then move on. Windows Phone isn't even apart of the conversation at all. While Android is likely to get a game day in date with iOS or soon after, you just don't know when it comes to WP but at least there's cheevos if you're into that.

#41 Posted by pyrodactyl (2364 posts) -

Best combo: you get an iPhone for the apps and games (android only gets F2P stuff cause of piracy) and you replace safari with chrome, apple maps with google maps and you're set!

#42 Posted by FLYmeatwad (154 posts) -

Saw that iPad Minis aren't as expensive as I thought. Considering, as someone suggested earlier, picking up an iPad Mini for the few iOS games that get hyped up and sticking with the Galaxy S3 or something for my actual phone. The HTC One looks great, but as of now I am having trouble finding one on Verizon, so it may just be a model that Verizon hasn't put out or something. Having the same problem with the Nexus 4, not really seeing it offered through Verizon and don't really want to drop so much off contract when I'm currently saving for a gaming PC. I'm going to keep considering the iPhone, but right now it seems like the S3 is a better piece of hardware despite the appeal that iOS has for me.