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Do players really need an app to enjoy the best casino games online?

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These days, there’s an app for this, that, and pretty much anything you can think of.

With most of us owning a smartphone or tablet these days, it goes without saying that the rise of ‘app culture’ was and is unstoppable.

However, a fair question remains: is downloading an app always the better move compared to accessing a site via your mobile browser?

Spoiler alert: there isn’t a definitive, concrete answer to that question. However, by framing it with a look at a specific sector – online casino gaming – we can at least open up the discussion a bit further.

There are new online casinos appearing all the time, and the newer additions tend to be conscious of the need to make an app available. However, it’s not always feasible for them to do so due to increased development costs and specific rules in their jurisdiction, and so some simply offer their main website in resized fashion for mobile users instead.

Does this diminish the player experience? Well, that’s just one angle we have to consider.

Speed king

For the most part, it is generally held true that the app experience is a quicker one when compared to browser usage.

However, of course, this depends upon how well the app has been developed and optimized – even newly released apps can be laggy and frustratingly slow when switching between pages.

The speed of mobile browser sites can be wildly different, with some optimized to run like the wind and others requiring the patience of a saint when navigating between tabs and pages.

With casino games in particular, many are developed these days using HTML5, which can be greedy when it comes to processing capability. This will also have a bearing on whether the browser or the app is the smart way to go, and so the only advice that can be given in this instance is to try both options and see which works the best for you.

 Space invader

Let’s face it – many of us have maybe a dozen or more apps installed on our phones and tablets at any one given time.

From news and social media to fitness, weather, video streaming portals, and much more besides, an online casino is always likely to be jostling for space on your home screen.

Even the latest devices have a limited storage capability, and adding apps continuously to your tech will ultimately affect their performance when used.

In that sense, playing your favourite casino games via a browser is beneficial, because there is no need to take up much-needed storage space with a sizable download.

The updating game

From the end user’s perspective, one of the annoying things about using apps is the seemingly never-ending need to update them to the latest version.

This is a minor concern for some, perhaps, but the truth is that not all gamers have access to super-fast internet – not aided by the slow rollout of 5G. For them, updating is a nuisance at best and a hurdle preventing gaming at worst, and so this has to be considered a factor in the discussion.

There are no such demands placed upon the player when gaming via their mobile browser, and so that is a tick in the box of the ‘old school’ technology.

Video playback

Online casino games are interactive by nature, but some take the action to the next level by incorporating video content that is live streamed to the player’s device.

This is usually a live dealer that accepts bets and then spins the roulette wheel or hands out the cards, and so having a quick, streamlined video platform is essential.

With an app, we can close all of our background programs and ensure that as much processing power as possible is dedicated to our gaming. A browser, however, will use up much more processing space just by being used, and this can impact upon video playback, both in terms of streaming quality and in negating the possibility of buffering and lagging.

Getting personal

One of the perks for an online casino of offering an app is that it can deliver a personalized experience to its players.

The casino could personalize the types of games that are available to players in certain geographies; send details of bonuses and promotions based upon the individual’s gaming habits; and deliver a better, more dedicated product via its app.

With a mobile browser, things are very much more homogenized – a sort of ‘off the shelf’ experience that doesn’t allow the casino to take advantage of its customers’ unique requirements and preferences.

So, that’s very much a tick in the box of casino apps, both from the players’ perspective and that of the casinos themselves.

Rules are rules

In some countries, there’s not even an app vs browser debate to be had, since gambling applications are banned from the outset.

Not only that, but Android users will also note that the Google Play supports very few casino apps due to the tech giant’s stringent rules on betting applications.

Some casino operators have found a workaround in making APK files downloadable, but this adds another layer of ‘action’ that does not exactly smooth out the end user’s process.

To that end, we can say that for a specific kind of player, browser gaming is the only viable option for those wanting to enjoy their favourite slots and table games such as blackjack and roulette.

In conclusion

As expected, this is a debate without a yes or no answer.

There are those who will benefit from playing their favourite casino games via an app and the advantages that this brings, and there are those who will see the most advantage in sticking to browser-powered action.

Ultimately, the decision is down to the individual, and you should take into consideration things such as what device you have, the speed of your internet connection, and how many other apps you already have stored on your device.

In the end, trial and error will determine which road you should take.

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