While it may come as a surprise to some and a shock to others, the court of popular opinion regarding which mobile operating system, Android or iOS, is more popular may be out. The result? Android has overtaken Apple’s iOS mobile platform, at least as far as mobile casino gaming is concerned. Of course, most Android users will not be at all surprised by this latest bit of news, as many have long suspected that this is indeed the case.
We all know that Apple was pretty much the first brand to bring out the first true smartphone with the launch of their iPhone back in 2007. The first iPhone model introduced users to an entirely new universe of possibilities regarding mobile communication. Not only could you communicate with anyone in the world via chat and message services, you could now also send and receive emails effortlessly, surf the web and a host of other features. Android only came out the following year when Google announced its entry into the smartphone arena in 2008.
Compared to today’s standards, both operating systems were still quite primitive and really in their infancy. However, as Apple had beaten Google to the punch, the iPhone was the brand that represented smartphone technology. Even in these early days, the debate started across the web as to which operating system was superior, with two very distinct camps of users, the Apple iPhone camp and the Google Android camp.
In an effort to entrench its position at the top of the smartphone pyramid, Apple was quite quick to launch further iterations of their now popular and successful iOS mobile operating system. Each generation added more features while the look and style shifted in a number of directions, going from smaller handsets, to bigger screens, to lightweight aluminum chassis and so forth. In comparison, Android was an open ecosystem which allowed various brand manufacturers to use the Android operating system to power their designs. This is in stark contrast to Apple’s exclusive, closed-off ecosystem.
Nokia, Sony, HTC, and Samsung were the main players in the Android arena. Samsung would lead the charge for the Android brand of operating system and went head to head with Apple in a number of battles that grabbed multiple headlines in a back and forth war of attrition. Many users around the world began to favor Android’s approach to an open platform which gave users far more variety in price and handset brand to suit a wider range of budgets and needs. This is an area, in many opinions, where Apple’s iOS system fell short.
Apple made a rather dramatic comeback in 2010 with the launch of their very first mobile tablet device known as the iPad. The device changed the mobile communications industry dramatically. Now smartphone users could enjoy a functional device that offered many of the perks of a mobile phone with some of the power and functionality of a desktop computer. A larger screen size (10”) meant that games could be played in an entirely new way. The iPad could send and receive emails, surf the net like a desktop PC, record video, connect to social media and much more.
The sale of all Apple products including iPhones and iPads skyrocketed and it seemed that Apple was set to dominate the mobile device market for good. However, it did not take long for Android-powered brands to respond to Apple’s latest salvo and one of the most popular responses to the mobile tablet device came from Samsung. In late 2010, Samsung introduced their first mobile tablet device, the Samsung Galaxy. By 2013, Android tablet device sales had outstripped those of Apple and Android were on their way to becoming the number one mobile operating system of choice for many users around the world. Apple’s iOS was simply too closed off to be practical for many regions around the world where access to Apple-only products was just impractical, either due to price or availability.
While the debate between the camps is likely never to end, we do know that, at least in terms of mobile casino gaming, Android now has the upper hand. Of course, it really is down to personal preference, some users simply prefer the look and feel and performance of iOS, while others prefer the wider range of choices and options that come with Android. However, this is not the case for serious mobile casino players. It is currently estimated that more than 80% of all smartphone devices currently run on Android. This has quite a dramatic impact on the availability and the range of mobile casino games.
Another very important factor influencing the current increase in Android mobile casino gaming popularity has to do with availability. As mentioned earlier, Android is an open operating system, meaning that manufacturers who are able to produce very cheap devices can power them with the Android operating system. This makes Android the brand of choice for most people living in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Add this to the fact that more and more people are choosing to access casino games via their mobile devices and you have the core reason why Android now finds itself at the top of the mobile casino game.
China is becoming the number one Android mobile device manufacturer with top Chinese smartphone brands such as Huawei, Xiaomi, Meizu and others providing incredibly cheap mobile devices that are able to run at near-flag ship performance. This, in turn, means that more and more users are able to access the best mobile casino games available.
Top online casino software brands such as NetEnt (NetEnt Touch), Microgaming (Microgaming Go) and a number of others are all producing state of the art, 3D High Definition casino games exclusively for the mobile market. The new breed of Chinese smartphones and tablets are now able to run virtually any cutting edge mobile casino game anyone throws at them, which results in more people all over the world being able to enjoy premium casino gaming experiences. This is not really possible with Apple’s iOS which still remains out of the reach of most players around the world. It then becomes much easier to see how the change has occurred and why Android seems to be the mobile operating system of the future.
Another important factor to consider is the introduction of HTML5 in 2014 which in turn influenced the mobile app market and mobile online casino platforms. As more and more online casinos began to recognize the growing popularity of mobile gaming, each began to develop their own app. These apps then became available in the relevant app stores, Google’s Play Store and Apples App Store for example. However, Google, rather famously does not permit real money casino gaming apps to be listed in their Play Store.
This is was an obvious problem for mobile casino gamers looking for real money casino games. This is where HTML5 really changed things for the better. Many top online casinos, particularly the newer generation of online casinos such as LeoVegas, Mr. Green Casino, Casumo Casino and others, use HTML5 mobile web technology to make their websites mobile-friendly. This essentially means that you no longer need to concern yourself with a dedicated app for a particular online casino (at least not from the Google Play Store). You can simply log directly on to the full desktop online casino from your mobile device and enjoy exactly the same quality experience. This is another factor which seems to have swung the pendulum back in Android’s favor.
Of course, popular opinions still holds that Apple still produces more flexible apps (no real issue with real money casino apps for instance). However, the fact that more and more online casinos are using HTML5 mobile browser technology over traditional apps certainly influences things a lot more. For instance, Android is becoming known as the operating system of the common man. This, in turn, will in itself generate more users for the operating system. As more and more Chinese smart device manufacturers join the market, this will only increase. Ultimately, with a sheer number of users alone, Android is set to be the dominant operating system in the mobile casino gaming sphere.
This news also impacts mobile gaming software developers who now design and produce their top casino games for desktop (Flash) use as well as mobile smartphone and tablet use. The cross-platform designs mean that users can enjoy exactly the same experience regardless of which device they choose to play on. In fact, some software developers such as NetEnt are even designing and producing online slots for instance, that are best suited to the landscape nature of tablet devices.
New seven reel slots have been designed to suit the wider aspect ratio and are becoming very popular with mobile casino gamers that prefer to play via their tablets rather than PC or smartphone. Ultimately it is up to you which device you prefer to play on and there is plenty of merit for each to be considered. For sheer convenience and playability, it is becoming tough to beat mobile gaming technology, whether you prefer to play on Apple or Android devices.