Mobile apps or browsers: which wins out in gaming?

Mobile apps or browsers which wins out in gaming

It can’t have escaped the notice of many gaming fans that mobile is now a big noise. While, in the old days, everything was console or PC-led, the last few years have seen a huge shift in attitudes and approaches.

It’s not just been in the field of pure gaming, either. Another sector that’s gone mad for mobile is the online casino world. So today you’ll find that all the big online casino names don’t just have websites optimized for mobile play. They have state-of-the-art apps as well.

There are plenty of reasons why mobile has become such a popular choice among online gamers and gamblers – and the main one is its sheer convenience of it. It means that wherever they are they can play their favourite games on their phone or another mobile device, just as long as there is an internet connection.

Online casino operators have been quick to capitalize on the popularity of the mobile play. And, to encourage even more players to sign up, they also offer very generous welcome bonuses.

These generally take the form of either casino offering free spins on the ever-popular slot games or the matching of an initial stake paid in by new recruits to their online casino. In a few cases, lucky players might find themselves receiving a free bonus with no need to make a personal deposit at all.

The rise of mobile gaming

This has all taken place against a wider backdrop of the rising popularity of mobile gaming.

The figures behind this are nothing short of startling. For example, in 2020 out of a global total of 218 billion mobile app downloads, 80 billion of them were games, that’s 36% of the total or more than one in three.

Plus, these proved to be big money-spinners for their developers with players spending $100 billion on games, 70% of the total revenue raised through app purchases in the major app stores.

While the finalized figures are yet to be verified for 2021, conservative estimates say that mobile gaming revenue rose by around 20% to reach a total of $120 billion. This makes the sector worth more than the PC and console market combined.

There is also strong evidence e to suggest that gaming fans are spending longer and longer playing mobile games than ever before – an increase of around 35% in terms of hours devoted to the activity.

Why apps win out against browsers

While there will always be the traditionalists who believe a browser’s always best, the use of mobile apps undoubtedly has more going for it as an idea – especially when observed through the lens of the online casino sector.

So here are four distinct ways that the app wins out.

1 – Ease of notification

Once a player has installed an app on their phone or mobile device, it can be simplicity itself for the online casino to contact them. This can be useful in countless ways, from letting them know about new games that are being introduced to publicizing promotions and other offers.

In a world that is all about building good relationships with customers in order to promote loyalty, this can prove to be an invaluable feature.

2 – A more user-friendly experience

There’s the old saying that necessity is the mother of invention – and nowhere has this been more true than in the development of apps for mobile use. Because the screen size is more limited and there isn’t the option of using a mouse or other controller, especially for smartphones, this means that a whole new way of navigating around apps has been invented. Swipes, taps, drags pinches and holds, along with other gestures, can now achieve many desired results, making for a slicker and more intuitive user experience – something that is essential for all mobile apps.

3 – Increased speed

Accessing websites via browsers may mean that you’re able to transfer large amounts of data, but apps are just faster. In fact, they can be up to five times quicker than using a website.

In many cases, apps can do this because they already store preferences and other user data that can be quickly and easily accessed whenever it is needed. 

Then there’s the question of the JavaScript used by websites. Yes, it’s vital, but in terms of speed, it’s never going to be able to compete with an app.

4 – They’re great for branding

It’s not just online casinos that live or die by the strength of their brand. It’s true of most businesses. So anything that can be done to reinforce a name or identity is a good idea.

When a business has an app, alongside this is the icon that represents it on a phone or mobile device screen. In effect, this is like having a mini reminder of that brand always on show. Yes, there may be a few different brands to be seen on many people’s screens. But the fact that they’re there at all will be doing a job for the organizations in question.

Of course, this isn’t to dismiss the usefulness of using browsers as a bridge between gamer and game. But the shift in the way that play is being enjoyed today does put apps at a distinct advantage.

It may change if the big names in PC gaming as well as the console-makers Microsoft and Sony want to fight back. But, as it stands today, it certainly looks like apps are in the ascendant.