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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Gaming Related » Computer Based Board Gaming

Subject: Best tablet for board game apps? rss

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K S
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I'm thinking of picking up a tablet since they're getting cheaper and can be useful for a variety of things, but I figure that it could also be a cheap and convenient way for me to try out boardgames before committing to the full price of a cardboard copy. So, what tablet/platform do you feel is the best for playing board game apps and why? A priori, it looks like iPad may be the way to go because it seems like it might be the more popular format and thus have the larger library of boardgame apps, though maybe I am wrong about that. Lemme know what you think.
 
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Bigger titles tend to be released on iPad first, and some are not ever released on Android, although that is becoming less common.

Discounts can be found on both platforms, although I think Android may be better for this (e.g., Humble Bundle).

VASSAL plans to have an Android implementation, which will be awesome once it finished, but I don't know when that will be. I haven't heard whether or not they plan to have an iOS version.
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John Burt
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A priori, it looks like iPad may be the way to go because it seems like it might be the more popular format and thus have the larger library of boardgame apps, though maybe I am wrong about that.


You're not wrong WRT iOS vs Android or Windows: game app devs strongly prefer iOS. However I personally have a hard time paying that much for a device with limited usefulness beyond games (obviously, millions of other consumers don't agree with me!). Given that, my best solution so far is my workhorse Surface Pro 3 tablet, running an Android emulator, which gives me access to my Windows and my Android apps, which I can display on an attached 24" monitor if I want to.
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Greg
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Yeah, I'm somewhat devoted to Android and am rather entrenched in Google's ecosystem, but even I have to admit that if you are only looking at things from a board game perspective, iPad tends to get it first and sometimes exclusively.

However, iPad has been losing that edge little by little over the past few years. There is still a discrepancy in available board game apps between the two, but it's no where near as large as it used to be.
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Michael Boggs
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I'd say go with a used iPad 2 for under $150. you might be able to get a 32GB one for under $100.

Then a bit of patience and over time most of the games you'd want to try out ought to have had a sale for Free, $0.99, or $2.99 by then.

*****Absolutely get RA and Steam.
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Yeah, it seems like iPad still comes out on top for digital bg, although my loose observations seems to indicate that Android has been more in the loop of lates. Roughly every 6 to 7 out of 10 games also ends up making it onto Android, if not down the road.

For me, the one thing that made me glad to get a Samsung Galaxy s2 (Android) back in 2011 (besides Android being a joy to use overall) was for Androminion. They eventually added more expansions, and it's been my main fix for Dominion. The app keeps stats and has shown I've played about 2,000 games on there.



Rainstar wrote:
Discounts can be found on both platforms, although I think Android may be better for this (e.g., Humble Bundle).


IIRC, there weren't that many digital board games for Android on Humble (Mobile) Bundle.... Settlers Of Catan? Base game + a few expansions for the Making Fun version of Dominion. Perhaps Talisman? FWIW, there's been a good number of video games on there (real vg, as opposed to digital bg).

For iOS, create an account on AppShopper.com, then set notifications. You'll get an email when there's a price drop.



beanieboy007 wrote:
I'd say go with a used iPad 2 for under $150. you might be able to get a 32GB one for under $100.

Then a bit of patience and over time most of the games you'd want to try out ought to have had a sale for Free, $0.99, or $2.99 by then.

*****Absolutely get RA and Steam.


I ended up getting a used Ipad Air (1), 128 GB (no cellular) for $400 a few years ago. Regular price IIRC would've been +$300 for a new.

Ipad 2's are quite cheap, but they're also very old. While it's possible to play bg on them, it may be a lousy experience, as I've heard some say it's OK, but others say things are slow, esp. if they need to update to the latest iOS, which it may not support.

Coming from someone who didn't want to spend no more than $400 for an iPad, I'd consider spending +$100 to see if you can make that an Ipad 3 or Ipad 4. $300 for an Ipad Air.
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K S
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Thanks for all the responses, everybody! It looks like my initial idea to go with an iPad may be the right one for me. Although, I do like the idea of buying an older used one (I'm not too fussy about having the latest gadgets). What are the relevant considerations? How crucial is storage space? I don't plan to store a lot of files on the tablet other than the games, so how large do board game apps tend to be? Would 16GB be enough or would I want more? How about OS? Do apps tend to be backwards-compatible, or will getting an iPad that's too old limit me from playing the newest stuff? Is it possible to upgrade the OS and, if so, is there a price or any other limits? Sorry about all these questions; I've never bought a tablet before.
 
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Alex Nguyen
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Rainstar wrote:
although I think Android may be better for this (e.g., Humble Bundle).


Completely free actually. Thx to Google Rewards I've been buying up all the boardgame apps I can find and still have $50+ worth of credits on my Play account.

(And this is aside from the actually-free Amazon Underground apps.)
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Pelle Nilsson
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Rainstar wrote:

Discounts can be found on both platforms, although I think Android may be better for this (e.g., Humble Bundle).


This is a great thing for me about Android: Being able to (legally) buy games from Humble Bundles and such places. I have Small Wprld and a few more boardgames from them. Because they are drm-free downloads I know I can install them again whenever and wherever I want to, and install the versions I want to play. I have had issues with Android-apps bought from Google Play (not boardgames though) that were "upgraded" to versions that I could not use or that were inferior to older versions, and of course in an app store (also on iOS or Steam) you are stuck with the latest version you have installed. So far no app have been force-deleted for me, but I know that can happen as well if you are unlucky.

It is owning a game, like you can with a physical boardgame, more than just renting it and having no control at all. Unfortunately it has been a long time since I got a boardgame app from Humble Bundle so I have had to buy a few from Amazon or Google Play which makes this a rather weak reason to choose Android over iOS specifically for boardgames.
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ackmondual
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wamsp wrote:
Thanks for all the responses, everybody! It looks like my initial idea to go with an iPad may be the right one for me. Although, I do like the idea of buying an older used one (I'm not too fussy about having the latest gadgets). What are the relevant considerations? How crucial is storage space? I don't plan to store a lot of files on the tablet other than the games, so how large do board game apps tend to be? Would 16GB be enough or would I want more? How about OS? Do apps tend to be backwards-compatible, or will getting an iPad that's too old limit me from playing the newest stuff? Is it possible to upgrade the OS and, if so, is there a price or any other limits? Sorry about all these questions; I've never bought a tablet before.

Get the largest capacity you can afford. 16 GB may be fine for smaller games, but games like Space Hulk eat up 2 GB on their own, with other larger ones eating up 800MB to 1.3 GB apiece. Minimum 32 GB would be much better even if it's just games.

.

For the most part, I've been playing the same apps on ios7, and haven't really bothered to update them. Ipad Air is on ios8. If it broke, don't fix it, especially since some reports say ios8+ run slower or too slow on an iPod Touch 5 (of which this can only go up to ios9 anyways). I'll update them if the few games I have require me to do so.

Apple being aggressive about getting more people than not on the new versions of iOS does mean it's more work for the devs to make sure their apps are up to speed too. For some of them, they were relatively minor work. For others, they've given up and left iOS development. Unfortunately, there are some digi-bg that appear to be abandoned, or taken off the app store, so having the latest ios10 can be a liability. However, this is the exception than the norm. AFAIK, I'd get a device that can support ios8 to ios10
 
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