Getting Started Gaming With Google Android

Does your handset use Google's Android operating system? Find out how to get set up for gaming right here.

Android is the mobile operating system from Google and is part of the Open Handset Alliance.

Android is the mobile phone operating system from the same people who brought you Google, Google Maps, and Google-everything-else. Though it was unveiled in 2007, it has already seen great adoption on a great many different handsets. It is part of the Open Handset Alliance, which is a business alliance that includes a number of handset manufacturers who wish to build "open standards" for mobile operating systems--that is, a set of established requirements and guidelines made available for public use.

Hardware, Accessories, and What to Expect

Android has already been adopted by numerous handset manufacturers.

Exactly what hardware features you'll experience with your Google Android handset will depend, to a great extent, on which handset from which manufacturer on which carrier plan you have. With any luck, Android will continue to be updated to support higher-end gaming experiences, since it includes not only support for VGA color graphics, but also for 3D acceleration by way of OpenGL ES (basically, the mobile version of the OpenGL 3D graphics library). When using your Google Android handset, if you find yourself experiencing less-than-optimal gaming performance, it can be a good idea to cut down on downloads and remove apps that you don't plan on using anymore to free up memory, and you should consider shutting off memory-hungry applications you aren't currently using. Be advised that different handsets may have different input and button layouts that may not be as comfortable for gaming. Take a look at different handsets and try to get a sense of which one works best for you.

For the latest reports on the best handsets for this and other operating systems, visit CNET's regularly updated Best Cell Phones roundup.

Games and Where to Get Them

The Android Market has listings for free and paid apps, including games.

Google Android already has an online application shopping interface known as Android Market, where you can find the latest free and paid apps and games for the operating system. Android has a fistful of arcade-style action games, and its game library should grow larger as Android appears on more new handsets, increasing the need for more apps for all its new users. Fortunately, unlike with other operating systems, development of apps and placement on the Android Market do not require any specific official approvals, so this lower barrier to entry will hopefully lead to greater variety and selection in the future. You should also be able to find additional free Android games on the Web with a little searching.

Pros & Cons

PRO: Android includes support for higher-end graphical experiences and may offer some truly impressive gaming experiences in the future.

PRO: Android's open-standard status makes it available on a variety of handsets regardless of manufacturer and carrier.

CON: The game selection on Android Market could stand to be more robust, though there are homebrew efforts out there.

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5 comments
rando22
rando22

@GAM3BOY You're correct bout the storage space but you can easily go out and get a 4 gig SD card for less than $15.

GAM3BOY
GAM3BOY

I have the Motorola Droid and the problem I see is that you have such limited amount of space to store apps (less than 300 megabites). Because of this, the Droid will never have games that are like those found on the iPhone unless they update the Android system to allow you to save your apps on a memory card, which, ironically, some apps already allow (you can back up your games to the memory card).

Krayak
Krayak

@ LordAndrew, Am I right in guessing that you are navigating the MP from a computer? If you are that is why you are having a problem finding other applications. When you reach the MP website on a computer you only see the top apps. You have to go there with an andriod handset to see the complete MP. - J.C.

TheBlackSpeed
TheBlackSpeed

It's..pretty simple to navigate LordAndrew. = /

LordAndrew
LordAndrew

The Android Marketplace confuses me, and I've been unable to locate anything other than what it lists as the top apps. :(