Android is now 72% of the mobile market, so can we start using “mobile” to refer to apps and games?

One thing that drives me crazy is the insistence that many people have to refer to mobile games as iOS versions of a game. They’ll be talking about Assassin’s Creed or Call of Duty and say, “there’s an iOS companion app for the game as well.” Yeah, there is, but it’s not limited to iOS. Many times the app is available for Android and Windows Phone 7/8 as well. Heck, most times it’s available for at least one other platform than iOS.

The people doing this are being irresponsible. It would be no different than a reporter mentioning that Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 was now available…for Xbox 360. Yes, it is, but it’s also available for PC, PS3, and Wii U. Multiconsole development became a standard quite a while ago. Only when we have an exclusive app do we mention the platform, and mobile development should be no different.

So why is this an issue, exactly? Well, I’m very well informed when it comes to the gaming industry, but often news sources can fail us. It’s impossible to get news from the original source every time, so I rely on podcasters, editors, and even word of mouth from peers. When these people are saying, “out for iOS” by default simply because they own an iPhone, they’re being misleading, even if it is unintentional. As a specific example, I saw many prominent gaming media members discuss the availability of Xbox Smartglass for iOS, and I figured that the Android version must be coming lately. Finally, a few days later I decided to just search for it on the Google Play Store, and there it was.

Call them whatever you want, “mobile apps/games” or “apps for phones and tablets” or whatever you want; but please, use a term that is inclusive, not exclusive. We’ll all be better informed, and we’ll all be doing our job better.

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