Ever since Steve Jobs took the stage back in 2007 to officially announce the iPhone, the rise of mobile devices across the world has been unstoppable. It’s also been incredibly good news for online gamblers as they’ve finally been freed from the need to sit at their desks when seized by an urge to hit the virtual tables.
Alongside that initial announcement from Apple, the other biggest shift in the mobile landscape over the last decade was undoubtedly Google’s development and open-sourcing of the Android operating system – a move that opened the floodgates for literally thousands of manufacturers to make a dizzying array of devices on top of it.
In this article we’ll take a good look at using Android devices to power your participation in Android online casinos. We’ll cover what to expect from these casinos, what you need to know about your own Android device, the types of casino games on offer and what makes Android such a great operating system for mobile gambling.
Let’s begin with some pointers on what to look for in general when it comes to Android online casinos.
What To Look For In Your Android Casino?
You very first task is obviously making sure that your online casino of choice properly supports Android devices. This needs to be checked in two ways:
Can you browse and use every aspect of the site in comfort using the browser on your mobile device?
Is there a dedicated Android app available to play the casino games on offer?
Though you may end up spending most of your time in the app environment, it’s very much worth checking both of these points thoroughly before signing up to avoid frustration down the line.
When it comes to the app itself, you should be able to download a free version of it via the Play Store for proper testing. What you’re looking out for here is the quality of the overall interface, ease of play and an absence of bugs. You’ll also want to see evidence that the app is regularly updated to take advantage of successive improvements in the Android operating system itself.
Beyond the narrow confines of the casino software you’re using, you also want to be certain that the casino itself is up to scratch. This is a company you’ll be doing potentially significant business with over the course of many years after all.
Do your research on the casino online, sign up for a test account and check its reputation with other players in places such as casino forums and chat rooms. Ideally you want to see signs of it being an established business with several years trading and a track record of satisfied customers behind it.
A strong set of promotions and bonus offers are further plus points in a casino’s favour, as is a comprehensive range of payment and funding options. Naturally you also want to be sure the casino is operating in accordance with local laws.
Signs to avoid include any kind of hard to explain account fees, poor customer support options and shoddily developed software anywhere along the line. The presence of any of these should be enough to make you turn your attention elsewhere.
Let’s have a quick look now at why online casinos cannot afford to ignore Android.
Why Online Casinos Have To Cater For Android
Mobile penetration has increased dramatically in the last eight years and we’re now at a position where there are more phones than people in the world. As the amount of devices has multiplied and their power and functionality have increased, usage patterns have also altered accordingly.
We are now officially living in a mobile-first world with the number of mobile-only users surpassing that of desktop. With that trend only set to increase, online casinos – in common with most types of business – simply cannot afford to ignore the way the wind is blowing.
Android devices specifically are responsible for over 80% of that market so it’s little wonder that casinos are extremely keen to cater for Android users. By offering compelling Android online casinos, they’re addressing over four-fifths of the potential casino market in one fell swoop.
The online casino itself is also a ferociously competitive one with new providers emerging every day and a constant struggle between the larger companies to attract new players.
So, we’ve established that casinos need to be on their toes to attract Android-based players. Let’s move on to some technical specifics you should bear in mind when selecting your particular Android online casino.
What You Need To Know About Your Android Phone For Online Casinos
The Android market when it comes to hardware is a somewhat bewildering one with thousands of providers out there so it’s difficult to give absolutely definite recommendations as to which make and model is best.
As a general rule, try to stick to models released within the last two years such as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 to get the most bang for your buck. Both products arrive with a well deserved reputation for excellence and can match any of the recent Apple releases.
Due to the fragmented nature of the hardware landscape, software updates by manufacturers on Android are not as consistent as the rates Apple has managed to hit. That said, it’s an open platform so it’s straightforward for you to manage your own upgrades.
Try to stick to within two versions of the current latest release to make sure you’re getting the most out of your machine. At the time of writing, that would mean using either the Lollipop or KitKat versions of the Android OS.
Getting apps on to your phone should be straightforward when you are signing up to your online casino of choice. Ideally, for reasons of security and ease of installation, you want to be downloading the app via the Play store. It’s not quite as tightly monitored as the Apple App Store but is improving every year.
Let’s have a brief look at what makes Android such a suitable fit for online casinos – outside of its incredibly wide install base.
What Makes Android Perfect For Online Casinos?
Set up by Andy Rubin and others in 2003, Android was originally an entirely separate company from Google. The 2005 acquisition by Google saw Android taking its place as the cornerstone of Google’s mobile strategy.
The early decision to open source the underlying technology – along with its basis in already widely adopted technologies such as the Linux stack and Java programming language – made it a natural fit for a huge army of existing programmers and particularly attractive to casinos in terms of being able to easily hire developers.
Though criticised in early releases for the standards of its interface, graphics and sound in relation to the iPhone, the Android platform in 2015 is easily capable of holding its own against anyone else in the market on all three counts.
The range of devices it can be used on makes it a natural fit for casinos and the power it has under the hood means that even the latest range of highly immersive 3D casino titles can be run with ease.
Speaking of which, let’s start finishing up with a quick overview of the type of casino games you can expect to find online for your Android device.
Types Of Games On Offer In Android Casinos
The typical Android online casino should be able to offer you a comprehensive range of classic table games. Unless it’s a dedicated site of some sort – for example poker-only – expect to find all of the following on offer:
Poker: Very much the king of the casino games online, a full range of poker rooms and pot sizes should be available in all Android online casinos. You’ll even have the opportunity to play for free with some providers to get your skills up to par before starting to wager real money.
Blackjack: Blackjack is a perfect game for gamblers on the go and a range of mobile versions of this casino classic have long been available from major software providers such as Betsoft.
Roulette: When it comes to glamour, nothing quite captures the imagination like roulette. This popular casino classic is increasingly as exciting and immersive online as it is offline thanks to a new generation of 3D casino games.
Slots: As all visitors to Vegas know well, you can’t have a casino without having some slots and that’s just as true online as it is offline. A huge array of fun options are available in all Android online casinos including popular classics such Rise of the Dragon.
Other Options For Mobile Gambling
Though it dominates the market worldwide, Android is far from the only mobile option to power your phone. Let’s quickly the review the other two main contenders:
iPhone online casinosiOS: Android wins the overall numbers game but Apple maintains a solid lock on the top end of the market with its iOS ecosystem encompassing iPhones, iPads and – as of early 2015 –the Apple Watch.
windows phone online casinosWindows Phone: Despite their early lead in many aspects of mobile, Microsoft took their eye off the ball at the turn of the century and allowed companies such as Apple, Google and Samsung to roar off into the distance. Their Windows Phone is a solid attempt to get back in the game but takeup so far has been steady rather than spectacular and support at online casinos is limited.
We hope this article has given you a solid overview on how best to use your Android phone in online casinos and how to get the most out of it as you do so. It’s a great platform for online gambling and with the solid support of both Google and the online casino community, it’s set to stay that way for many years to come.
Good luck out there on the tables!