Android loses a huge advantage to Apple

Android loses a huge advantage to Apple

The debate between Android and iOS is as old as smartphones themselves. Both operating systems have their pros and cons, but Android has long had one major advantage: the ability to emulate old video game consoles. But that was before.

There are two camps: Android fans and Apple fans. Of course, one could choose Android or iOS as a purely philosophical choice, but there are also more practical reasons why people prefer one or the other.

Choosing between Android and iOS depends not only on personal preferences, but also on the unique features of each system. Android, which is often viewed as more open, allows customizations and freedoms not found in iOS. Whether it's choosing various smartphone designs, the ability to change the user interface or installing apps outside the Play Store, Android has won over users looking for flexibility.

Emulation: An ancient stronghold of Android

For a long time, emulation was Android's exclusive playground. Users can install console emulators, allowing them to play old games. Apple, on the other hand, has always been strict on this point, strictly banning emulators from the App Store. The simulation was on iPhone and iPad, thanks Jailbreakbut it remained a very inaccessible practice.

This ban was based on legal and ethical reasons, as emulators are often associated with practices that violate the rights of game creators.

However, the legality of emulators is complex. Although their use is legal under certain circumstances, Apple has always preferred to avoid this gray area. This strong position gave Android a distinct advantage, attracting fans of retro games and software freedom.

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What exactly is emulation?

Before we go any further, it is important to understand what simulation is. Simply put, emulation is the emulation of the way a video game console works on another device, such as a smartphone or tablet.

This makes it possible to play old games on modern hardware, which is especially popular with nostalgic fans and retro game enthusiasts.

A qualitative shift in Apple

Recently, Apple surprised with a policy change as part of the DMA implementation in Europe.

Now, emulators are allowed in the App Store, opening the door to a series of apps that were previously reserved for Android. Delta, an emulator for Nintendo consoles, was among the first game emulators, followed by Gamma for the original PlayStation, and then PPSSPP for the Sony PSP.

Source: Gamma screenshot

Most notable is the arrival of RetroArch on iOS, iPadOS and Apple TV, a multi-emulator platform that supports consoles such as PSP, DS, PlayStation and Mega Drive.

Source: Retro Arch

RetroArch, an old reference for Android, thus becomes accessible to Apple users, erasing one of the barriers that separate the two ecosystems.

A loss for Android

So Android loses a big element of differentiation with the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Yes, it is not the only one, but it has been one of the arguments in favor of Android for emulator enthusiasts. And for them, this is important.

Same note for cloud gaming, now available on the App Store.

Of course, there are still advantages to choosing Android. But the loss of exclusivity in emulation is a big blow to Android.

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