Back when mobile phones were first introduced to the market back in the late 20th century, many models come equipped with pre-installed games. These included Snake and Tetris, and while they were undoubtedly primitive in comparison to today’s mobile games, they were very popular. They were so popular in fact, that earlier this year the Nokia 3310 was relaunched with Snake already pre-installed, all for just £49.99.
Since those early days, mobile gaming has continued to flourish. According to Newzoo’s April edition of the Global Games Market Report, there are approximately 2.2 billion gamers around the world who are expected to generate $108.9 billion in revenue by the end of 2017. The report also goes on to state that mobile gaming is by far the most lucrative gaming sub-sector at this time, having grown by 19% since 2016 to an astonishing $46.1 billion. In fact, mobile gaming claims 42% of the entire gaming market, a percentage that is thought to rise to 50% by 2020.
There is absolutely no doubt in anyone’s mind that mobile gaming will continue to thrive for many years to come. However, this does not mean that there will not be issues along the way. For instance, one problem that is already plaguing the mind of games developers and players alike is whether app-based titles or games found on web-browsers are better. Today, we thought we’d take a look at this conundrum to try and figure it out for ourselves, and for you.
The most obvious advantage to downloading a game in the form of an app is that the programme is made specifically for your smartphone. This means it is much less likely to be clunky, pixelated or difficult to interact with, and even if it is the developers are sure to create an update to fix the issue. Also, the games are very easy to find within their respective app stores, and many of them such as Fallout Shelter and Candy Crush can be played offline.
However, the main issue that smartphone gamers who download a lot of gaming apps face is a lack of storage. Smartphones are always being released with different storage capacities, with some even coming with special adaptions that allow you to add even more storage if you want to. Alas, even many of the larger smartphones cannot compete with just how much storage some gaming apps require. Frequent app users are then faced with irritating ‘Storage Capacity Full’ notifications constantly, leading them to delete other information off of their phones such as older games, photographs and videos.
Another issue is that of battery life. Even now, leading games such as Pokémon Go are criticised for eating up battery life ridiculously quickly to the point where developers are now adding “Low Power Mode” options to their games. Unfortunately, these rarely make a difference as powerful gaming apps require a lot of energy to run properly.
Still, for players who have large storage-addled smartphones who only want to download and play a few games, apps are definitely the best option. You can find what you want quickly, the app will store your progress and you can usually play whenever and wherever you like.
The alternative is to play on a smartphone web browser, many of which come pre-installed on most smartphone devices these days. Of course, not all smartphone web browsers are created equal, and so before you start playing games it’s best to take a look at the browsers on offer. For example, Dolphin Browser, Firefox and Brave Browser may be better for you than the traditional Safari or Google browsers that come with Apple or Android phones.
Once you’ve decided on a web browser, you can use your smartphone to play games much like you would your desktop or tablet. Simply open the browser, find a game you enjoy and play to your heart’s content. After all, there are quite literally thousands of games to choose from on the web, so you shouldn’t ever run out of options. Of course, the main issue with this option is it’s unlikely that a website will save your progress, and so playing longer titles is not recommended while on a browser.
Instead, web browsers should be used to play retro games such as Tetris and Pac-Man, or for iGaming. The latter industry has achieved great success by modifying their desktop platforms to work perfectly on smartphones, enabling players to play games such as slots, poker and roulette whenever they please. For example, while online casino operator Mr Green has an official app that players can download, they have also made sure their website is mobile-friendly so that players have easy access to their games. All of the games, promotions and bonuses are the same, but the company has recognised that some players prefer web browsers over apps.
Ultimately, using a web browser is a far superior option for gamers who prefer shorter, one-off games as opposed to lengthy titles. Not only will they have access to plenty of games, but there will also be far more space on their smartphones to use in other ways. Of course, wi-fi or a large data package is necessary for this method – otherwise, you could find your bills mounting up.
Alternatively, you can stick with apps if you’re more dedicated to the long game, often find yourself without access to wi-fi and aren’t really bothered about storage space. It all comes to down to your needs and preferences. Let us know which you prefer – apps or web-browsers – in the comments below.