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by Dale Shelabarger Updated:
More players are choosing mobile casinos and casino apps than ever before. Gambling Commission figures show that 43% of online gamblers do so on a portable device. Though this still lags behind the 55% who play on their desktop computer, it is growing rapidly. The 43% of mobile gamers represents a 10% increase year on year. The 55% of desktop gamblers represents a 6% drop. If these patterns continue, the mobile online casino will overtake by 2018.
As more players look to migrate from desktop to online mobile casino, they’ll learn they have options for how they engage with their favorite casinos.
The question is not just desktop casino site vs casino on your mobile. Players want to know what to look for in a top slots app. Other, more table game-oriented players may want to know the best online roulette app or online blackjack app. What about iPhone slots compared to android slots? Finally, players want to know if they should use the best casino apps, or the best mobile casinos on browser.
We’ll tee up these prize fights, and offer guidance and information on all these questions.
In this section, we’ll provide some context to the smartphone user’s ultimate choice of casino app or casino on your mobile browser.
To start, which is more popular? The casino app or the browser mobile casino online?
This is a divisive question that splits opinion in certain industries. In the gambling market, the great majority of casinos have an equivalent real money mobile casino. This can be accessed via your browser. However, only a small minority have specially designed native casino apps. Usually, players will find the most famous sites have invested in app development (like Red Spins Casino and 888 casino). In addition, some smaller casino operators with strong mobile credentials, like Nektan, have also produced top slot apps (such the Pyramid Fortune Casino App).
Therefore, in terms of availability, you are far more likely to find mobile casinos on your browser than as a casino app. Will that change in the future? The relationship between the app and the mobile browser is a rocky and, at times, counter-intuitive one.
To begin, it’s important to note that we spend the majority of our “digital minutes,” i.e time spent online, on mobile devices these days. Though the figures vary depending on the country, they are uniformly above 60%.
As the statistics show, people spend the majority of their mobile time on a native app. And it’s not even close. We spend from 80% up to almost 100% of our mobile time on an App.
Surely, then, that tells us that the casino mobile online operators are missing a serious trick. If their players are spending all this time on apps, rather than the mobile browser, why wouldn’t you invest a little extra capital in developing a quality native application?
Firstly, these figures do deceive. If you think about your own mobile phone browsing habits, what are doing? Which apps are you on?
The answer is, that you probably spend the majority of your time on very few apps to which you are very loyal. Facebook, probably. Youtube, perhaps. Email. Spotify or Apple Music. Your favourite games.
However, you’re probably not doing an awful lot of shopping on an app, for example. Research from Morgan Stanley has highlighted the fact that although time spent on mobile is skewed towards apps, the volume of traffic is higher on a mobile browser.
So for casino on mobile, this muddies the waters of the question. Perhaps it depends on how the gamer who plays casino games on mobile views his or her gaming. If they view their real money casino mobile playing as more akin to entertainment, or a lifestyle pastime, then they may be more inclined to play via a mobile browser. If they view their gaming as more akin to playing video games, then they may be disposed to seek top slots apps or the best roulette app out there on the market.
According to the most recent statistics, roughly 20% of mobile gamblers do so through their slot app, or casino app of choice.
The primitive distinction in the industry is that a mobile browser is a tool utilised for more casual purposes. Say, if you were looking to purchase a fancy suit for a friend’s wedding, you are unlikely to download an app just to purchase it. You’ll research via the browser, and make a one-off purchase through there.
On the other hand, the most successful apps inspire a great deal of loyalty and consistent use. Mobile casino users playing for real money tend to be loyal to their casino. So if an operator can develop a compelling and technically intuitive experience, there’s no reason they wouldn’t be able to attract app players.
Players, especially older players, may be apprehensive about the translation of their favorite games to the small screen. Though the images may be a little smaller, the sharpness of graphics and the quality of interface tend to be as good, if not even slicker.
The best slots, mobile or desktop, are the best slots; that tends not to change. NetEnt, for example, are industry leaders when it comes to developing top mobile slots. Having released their first mobile game in 2011, they now place a premium on their mobile slot range. Their mobile slots have a Touch suffix to distinguish them from the desktop versions. These include heavy-hitting titles like Starburst Touch & Gonzo’s Quest Touch.
With the jangling, euphoric synthesizers oscillating in the background, Inside Casino tested NetEnt’s legendary Starburst touch on a casino app vs a mobile browser. The game itself ran identically on both platforms; the interface was smooth and the touch aspect was light, modern and intuitive. Obviously, there is a lot to fit on a much smaller screen. The “spin” button slightly obscures the far right reel, but as soon as you commence a round, it disappears for full visibility, before returning for your next spin.
One of the niftiest aspects of NetEnt mobile slots is that you can play them in both landscape and portrait. The company have been very strong that the option to play in portrait on mobile, is part of the fabric of a mobile gaming future. When playing Starburst Touch, not only does this preclude the obstructive spin button problem, it also caters to those who prefer to lock their screen in the portrait position.
NetEnt recognise that their slots and table games are not just video games on a console. Casino games on mobile, rather, are simply another avenue of a consumer’s phone use.
Some of the other best mobile slots developers haven’t quite cottoned onto this yet. Therefore, they do not offer the flexibility to play portrait. Take Book of Ra, by Novomatic, available on the same top casino app that we found Starburst Touch.
When playing Starburst Touch landscape, there is no discernable difference between playing on a casino app versus casino on mobile. However, when playing the portrait equivalent, it is impossible to shake off the top browser bar. While playing iPhone slots on an iOS casino, this includes the web address bar, the time, mobile operator signal, and how much battery life remains.
This became quite distracting. Or at least, I became distracted by the fact that I couldn’t close or remove it without switching to landscape mode on my mobile phone.
The Answer: In terms of playing the best mobile slots on the best mobile casinos, there’s really not a lot of difference between playing on casino apps or on your mobile browser. Therefore, the correlation of what you choose will depend on what sort of player you are. As discussed, if you are a loyal player, loyal to a particular casino, then you are likely to play the slot in the casino app of your choice. However, if you are a more casual player, who perhaps does not stick to just one casino and rather prefers to flit around, then you may be more likely to play your slots on the your mobile phone browser.
We stress, there isn’t really a definitive correct answer here. Because the quality of playing slots in practically the same, it is up to you to determine your preferences. What type of player are you?
Another face of this particular question is; so, you’ve decided to play on your mobile. We’ve talked about whether you choose the best slot machine app, or play casino mobile games.
Are you looking for mobile casinos for android, or iOS casinos for iPhone slots? What’s the difference? Is one smartphone better for playing the top slot apps than another?
Firstly, players have been able to play casinos on mobile browsers for quite some time on both Android phones and iPhones. This should not make a difference to your online casino mobile experience. The most important factors the determine the quality of your experience will be the same as anything else. How new and powerful is your phone? Is the specific online casino mobile site effective and well designed? How good is your internet connection? Are you connected to wifi or data?
To be frank: the question of whether you prefer mobile casinos for android or iphone can simply be answered by whether you prefer android or iphone.
When it comes to the casino app, there is a slightly more complicated relationship with android. Although players have been able to download a casino android app directly from the operator, it is not until very recently that casino apps became available on google play. In August, the Google Play store opened to floodgates for the best android gambling apps.
Some brands, like 888casino, redeveloped their apps to coincide with this new era. However, it follows that there is less of an established symbiosis between Android and casino apps compared to iOS. Operators, no doubt, understand that bridging this gap is crucial, as brands like 888 have proved.
Like the best mobile slots, casino mobile games like roulette and blackjack do not vary greatly between playing a roulette app versus on browser. In terms of the product that a software developer puts out, there will be no difference in the mechanics or performance of the game. For example, Scientific Gaming’s Keybet Roulette will function the same on a browser as it will an App.
The question that you have to ask when choosing where to play mobile roulette is; which environment do you prefer? And what sort of player are you?
Many of the same considerations for mobile slots players are applicable to table game players. For example, players will find it hard to be able to play a roulette app in portrait mode. Even in NetEnt!
The technology continues to improve, creating ever more immersive, intensive, and satisfying experiences for the players. Live Casino on mobile is the next frontier; sharp, dynamic visuals and 3D multi-camera work on the roulette wheel spins. Developers like Evolution Live Gaming and NetEnt are pioneering technology like this. What’s more, you’ll be able to play live dealer casino on your mobile in portrait!
Here at Inside Casino, we review the best mobile casinos and best casino apps. If you like the sound of the brands or casinos mentioned in this piece, then please follow the links to find out more.
If you have any queries or thoughts on the casino app versus mobile casino browser debate, then don’t hesitate to get in touch via one of our social media channels below.