The Best Operating System for Gaming

Tia Winter | 19 April 2017

Quick, try to think of a daily activity that isn’t improved by using your mobile phone, or that there isn’t an app for. From producing work documents to teaching skills to children, to monitoring your workouts, budget and everything else, our lives have been forever changed and improved by these pocket-sized supercomputers that we hold, along with the world, in our hands.

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The most exciting thing about mobile technology is that there is still a lot to come and it is always evolving. A glance back to the rapid evolution of the mobile phone shows its unparalleled exponential development, and whatever comes next should be equally astounding. So it’s easy to know that you should own and use a smartphone - that much is a no-brainer. But which one should you choose? And more specifically, for our purposes, which operating system should a gamer go for?

The Big Contenders

There are several handset models and operating systems available on the market, but the 3 main players, at least on the Western World’s playing field, are Windows, iOS and Android. Windows is believed to be better in some areas, such as voice assistants, but it’s hardly got the following that iOS and Android have, and has somewhat failed to capture market share. On the whole, Android phones and tablets or iPhones and iPads are the first recommendations for mobile use. There is tight competition between these two to win over every market sector, serious gamers included. Android has said they activate approximately 200 000 devices per day, whilst Apple’s iOS powered iPhone has sold over 1 billion smartphones since 2007.

A Personal Choice

Most industry experts agree that iOS is ahead of Android in terms of catering to gamers, for a few different reasons. But you shouldn’t think that this rules Android out of the competition. It is able to support games that are of a very high quality, and if you want your device to be able to perform other functions and meet other needs, you may be very happy with that. If you’re basing your decision purely on gaming, however, it does come down to iOS trumping Android. And the overarching reason for this is simple: the brands are backed by very different philosophies. Where Android is all about creativity and is quite laissez-faire, Apple is all about holding the controlling reins in a vice-like grip.

Manifested Differences

The opposing attitudes of Apple and Android are reflected in some very concrete differences between the operating systems. Apple, firstly, is much more seamless because all of its products are part of the same ecosystem. If you’re going to be moving across devices as you play, you’ll definitely want to use iOS to do this.

Apple is also notoriously obsessive about perfection with every app that you can get in the iStore, as they’ve all been thoroughly checked and vetted, and you can be sure they are safe and excellent quality. With Google’s open-source platform this is simply not the case. In the same way, a game will work on every iPhone or iPad you use if it works on one; with so many different Android handsets this is often not what happens. Updates, rolled out so smoothly onto iPhone and iPad, usually take months to reach every Android device.

Differing Profit Margins

And, of course, because Android apps are so often free and may need so many different versions, this is not where the money is. Designers who are trying to turn a profit have always been more likely to create iOS games first, and then release an Android version when they’ve built up some reserves.

All in all, while you’ll have a good time with both operating systems, you’re in for better gaming with Apple’s iOS. If a smooth, seamless and sophisticated gaming experience is your main priority and money is not a concern, then iOS is the way you should go, although you’ll find that there are people who will always tell you otherwise. The Android/iOS debate is a hotly contested one, but when it comes down to it, the iOS specs are simply better suited to providing a premium gaming experience - for now anyways.

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