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Mobile Phone Game

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By 1997, cell phones were everywhere, and PDA functions were being built into them. They had small LCD screens, similar in resolution and color to the displays of 1970s microcomputers like the Apple ][. So Nokia decided to put a '70s computer gaming classic, Snake, into one of their phones. Thus was born a new platform for video games.

The rise of camera phones a few years later greatly improved the hardware, and thus, at the rise of modern mobile phones, its gaming horsepower were equivalent to 5th or 6th generation consoles such as the Nintendo GameCube, Sega Dreamcast, PlayStation 2, and Xbox and steadily rising as storage space and engine optimization becoming the norm. The iPhone in particular, with its heavily developed "App Store", and its subsequent tablet-lovechild the iPad, has shown itself to be an actual gaming platform, as to a lesser extent (due in part to widely varying hardware) has Google's Android.


Computer Wars Time! Mac vs PC?

Most games start out on iOS. The reason for that is very simple. Apple releases an average of 3 touchscreen devices per year. Android, in comparison, gets something like three thousand new devices per year, all with different screen dimensions, screen resolutions, processors, memory and other hardware concerns... and since it came out in 2008, you can imagine how many permutations have piled up. It's like PC vs. Console, but worse—way worse, actually, since PC manufacturers can alter the hardware but can't really mess with Windows. Android manufacturers can: Android is open-source software, and each phone company can (and does) make alterations to the OS as they see fit. The "Android OS" you experience on an HTC One may be very different than that of a Motorola Moto X, or a Samsung Galaxy, or a Google Pixel (just to name a few flagship phones). With this much "fragmentation" on Android's side, it's no wonder that iOS is, simply, easier to program for. There’s also the fact that iOS is more lucrative: its users spend about four times more money in the App Store than Android users do in Google Play. (Not only is it easier and less confusing, but Apple users tend to be middle-to-upper—they have to be, since Apple hardware is expensive.)


The flipside is that Android is way less restrictive. To program an iOS game, you need to 1) buy a Mac, so that you can 2) download the free-but-Mac-exclusive program Xcode, with which to 3) program your game. Then you need to 4) buy—yes, buy—your "I'm allowed to put experimental software" licenses from Apple (either Development Profiles or the Enterprise program), which allow you to 5) provision to your iOS devices' Keychains before you can 6) upload rough drafts of your game to them. Oh, and just for fun, 7) those licenses run out in a year, so you'll need to buy them again if you plan to keep updating your game post-launch. Android, in comparison, just requires you to 1) download Android Studio, which is free on Mac and PC; and then 2) press a certain button seven times in your phone's settings to enable "developer mode", allowing you to 3) sideload rough drafts of your game.note  The first money that changes hands is when someone pays you for/in your game. To top it all off, while you do need to pay for the privilage of publishing your apps on Google Play, it's only a one-time fee, and after an approval process you're free to publish your apps on the Play Store.


Android also has a much bigger hold on large parts of the world such as China, Russia, India, The Middle East, and South East Asia, due to its open-source nature and competitive, generally cheaper pricing. To use the Faction Calculus trope, Apple is Powerhouse while Android is Subversive, and it shows in the prices: while Apple users spent $650 or more on the iPhone 6, Android users could get their hands on a two-year-older, used Nexus 4—with, as one satirist pointed out, almost identical features—for $250, or a Moto G with slightly inferior hardware for $180. Google is consciously exploiting this fact with its Android One program, rolling out cheap devices in the developing world and seizing a market Apple hasn't touched—a market Apple cannot touch, unless they change their policies drastically. Apple exploits the Cult Classic mentality, so they're unlikely to go out of business any time soon—in affluent places like America, Japan and most of Europe, iPhones have the lead—but the ratio of iPhone users to Android users worldwide is simply not going to swing in Apple's favor unless Apple drastically changes how they make money.