When smartphones first came on the scene, mobile games existed as a kind of teaching tool. They were a way for phone-makers to show off the technical abilities of their new devices while acclimating new users to a touch-based user interface. For a generation of gamers with entertainment centers full of next generation consoles and high-definition televisions, the first generation of mobile games were mostly a diversion — something to do while taking the train to a friend’s house to play “Grand Theft Auto III.” Well, games have come a long way since then.
Now an entire library of excellent titles is at our fingertips (including a high-def version of “Grand Theft Auto III”) that rivals anything you can experience on consoles. There’s even a whole slew of apps and devices that can help you stream your smartphone games onto that 60-inch flat screen of yours. How’s that for growing up?
Who Blew Up My Screen?
Android and iOS devices both have solid options for streaming video games to TV screens. For iPhone users, Apple’s Airplay interfaces with Apple TV to allow for wireless streaming, Similarly, Chromecast offers a seamless screen mirroring function for Android users. Both are built on proprietary software so it’s hard to argue with the results. However, there are several third party apps like Twonky Beam and Youtube Leanback, that can also stream to TVs and set top boxes that support them. Youtube’s app even lets you stream your games to their website so anyone can watch you play.
Small Phone, Big Sound
Now that you can see your favorite mobile game on the big screen, you’re going to want to hear it, too. The headphone jack might seem like a good option, but you probably don’t want to be tied down with an audio cord when you’re in the heat of battle. Luckily, current generation phones like the iPhone 6 and the Samsung Galaxy S6 have Bluetooth capabilities so you have a lot of options when it comes to improving the auditory experience of your mobile games. By far, your best bet is a soundbar and subwoofer combo with a built-in Bluetooth receiver, like the Samsung 300 Series. The game might look big, but it’s going to sound absolutely huge.
Out Of Control
Maybe mobile games aren’t your thing. No problem. Your phone can still get in on the action with Ideum’s Gestureworks Gameplay. This app is available from iOS and Android-enabled devices and can instantly turn your phone into a keyboard-and-mouse style-controller for your favorite PC games. It’s fully customizable, so you can place the vital input keys exactly where you like them. It also interfaces with Bluetooth so there’s zero when you input a command. Plus, you can save your customized profiles and take them with you, so if there’s an impromptu “Starcraft 2” tournament you won’t be at a disadvantage.
The Second Screen Experience
For console games, your phone can be a great way to add a second screen to your favorite games. Microsoft has been especially supportive of this technology with the Xbox One. Fans of the sci-fi first person shooter “Destiny” are definitely familiar with the smartphone app that lets them track their Guardian’s stats as well as their weapon and item inventories. Nintendo has always been sheepish about smartphone gaming, but that hasn’t stopped third parties from developing useful second screen apps for popular games like “Super Smash Brothers” and “Mario Kart 8.”