The Hills Are Greener: Are Cross-Platform Releases Improving?

The Hills Are Greener: Are Cross-Platform Releases Improving?

Mar 4, 2013

Usually, when it comes to Android releases, I’m subject to at least a little bit of disappointment that games don’t work as well on Android as they do on iOS, or that the game doesn’t release on time, or whatever issues may pop up. But this doesn’t have to be the case.

One of the biggest things that impressed me about Real Racing 3’s release on Android was both that they managed to push it out at about the same time, and that they got the game working about as fluidly as it does on iOS devices. The game on Nexus 7 doesn’t look as good as the iPhone 5 version, but that’s to be expected based on the ages of the hardware. Still, it’s absolutely and perfectly playable without any of the hitches that sometimes come with major Android releases. I honestly expected something to go wrong, especially since it requires a 1.7 GB download, but no, right at launch it all downloaded and installed properly.

As well, Zen Pinball released Star Wars Pinball as a standalone app for Android recently, and not only does it work very well, but it also boasts the fact that it has actually released where the iOS version has not. While there could be approval issues in play, usually it’s Android versions of games that wind up getting delayed, like Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, or Temple Run 2.

What’s the reason for this? Well, Android is becoming a bigger player in the mobile gaming world just based on its size. There’s too many devices to ignore. And while EA/Firemonkeys and Zen Studios are both big players, what both of these apps show is that there are developers taking things seriously on this OS. More tools are being developed with both iOS and Android in mind. Unity is still huge and its momentum shows no signs of slowing down.

It may even be an on-the-ground perspective that some indie devs might bring to the table. When I was at a Chicago indie developer meeting recently with Julie Uhrman of OUYA, she asked the crowd how many people used Android phones, and how many people used iPhones. There were more hands raised for Android. While developers will try to go where the money is in order to succeed, there’s certainly interest from those who make these devices.

Granted, a lot of work still needs to be done in order to make Android a quality gaming contender. Issues still exist. But they’re definitely shrinking in number, which is miraculous for an OS known to have problems with its releases.

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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