Do you remember when the first video cassette recorders came onto the market in the early 1980s and customers were left with a choice: Do they get behind Sony’s Betamax format or opt for the potentially cheaper VHS format from JVC?
In the end, it was the VHS format that won the day. But in those early years, homeowners were often puzzled as to which was the ‘best’ format to pick.
Fast forward to present day and a similar battle is raging in the arena of mobile phone technology. Notwithstanding fringe players in the industry such as BlackBerry or Nokia, there are essentially two choices a person wanting a smartphone or tablet can pick. These are iOS (essentially, all Apple devices) or Android.
In this article, we’re going to focus primarily on the cross-platform service of Android. It’s far and away the most popular operating system in use on mobile devices. Worldwide, 96% of devices reportedly are based on the Android o/s.
Of course, our main area of focus is gambling and betting. Hence, we’re going to review the Android operating system from the point of view of using that device to gamble.
So what are your options as an Android user? What are the benefits and drawbacks of gambling with your device at online casinos, poker or sports betting sites? Are there any security issues you need to consider?
Read on to find out.
Online gambling options for Android users
There’s good news for Android users when it comes to gambling online. Given the popularity of the Android o/s, every top level online sports betting, casino and poker company offers a service for Android users. In general, these services are very easy to access.
In the main, the easiest way to access any site with the intention to gamble is to use a browser. (Chrome or Mozilla Firefox are good places to start.) Search for the site and then log into the Android-compatible site to begin play.
This is the easiest, and only, way to gamble online for Android users. Google Play (Google’s version of the App Store) does not allow any gambling apps to be stocked or downloaded.
It’s important to note that this does not mean that gambling apps are illegal, or won’t work on an Android device. It only means that Google made it company policy not to stock any apps in Google Play that offered any form of gambling.
Although, in September 2015, there seemed to be some movement from the company toward allowing certain kinds of betting apps. Given this fact, whether that ban stays in place forever remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, this can make finding apps for betting, casino and poker companies somewhat difficult. However, there are an increasing number of sites that users can visit and download an Android-compatible app onto their device. Indeed, the majority of sites offering an iOS-based app, now offer a similar and equally functional option for Android customers.
In terms of the gambling apps and/or browser-based sites available for Android, they generally fall into three broad categories:
- Online casino sites (and we will include slots and other game based sites in this broad definition)
- Poker sites
- Sports betting sites
Benefits and drawbacks of playing online casinos on Android
Benefits of a casino app for Android
- Choice: There is an outstanding choice of online casinos featuring a vast range of casino games for Android users to choose from.
- Superb value bonuses: Almost all of the best online casinos offer Android users the exact same generous bonuses as iOS customers. You can received starter bonuses and loyalty bonuses.
- No download play possible: If you are using a shared device, then the great news is that many Android compatible sites require no download for the user to play. The user can play from within the browser without downloading any software.
- Traditional and non-traditional casino games available: In addition to traditional casino games such as blackjack, roulette, video poker, slot machines and craps, a modern Android casino app will often stock many other less traditional casino games. These include progressive jackpot slots, keno, bingo, scratchcard games and many, many more.
Drawbacks to a casino app for Android
- Not all casinos use apps: If you find using an app rather than a browser more convenient, then it is worth noting that not all Android casinos offer an app. Although an increasing number are developing apps to sit alongside their iOS-based app.
- Speed: There can be a marked difference in speed and responsiveness when comparing Android to iOS. However, this is more about the device you are using, rather than the online casino itself. Android can be the slightly more sluggish of the two.
Benefits and drawbacks of playing online poker on Android
Benefits of playing online poker on Android
- Widest choice of poker sites to play: Android users, along with those with an iOS device, have by far the widest choice of top quality online poker sites to pick from. These include all the top names in the online poker industry. With that access comes all the different bonuses, promotions, as well as poker games and competitions run on each site.
- Gameplay: Playing on an online poker site with an Android device is as good, if not better, than playing on any other device, including iOS handsets and tablets.
- Access: Thanks to high quality 3G and 4G services alongside Wifi and a generally a greater number of more affordable entry level devices, getting online to play poker with an Android device can be considerably cheaper and easier to access than with other devices, notably iOS-based devices.
- Choice: There are a huge number of poker sites and different types of poker available to play. You have traditional cash table games, sit & go games, and multi table tournaments. Additionally, you can access newer games developed specifically with mobile devices in mind, such as Speed Poker and Twister Poker.
Drawbacks to Android online poker
- None: If you are seeking to enjoy poker from a mobile device, then Android devices are as good a choice as any other to allow you to enjoy poker online.
Benefits and drawbacks of sports betting on Android
Benefits of betting on sports from Android
- Huge choice of providers: There are a massive number of top quality sports betting sites available that offer a service for Android. In many cases, there’s no need to download an app to access them. You can do it all from within a browser. Those who prefer using an app may find that not all sites offer an Android app. (However, most do offer an iOS app.)
- Access to “In Play” betting: Having an Android or other mobile device makes it easier to enjoy live in play betting wherever you are. You can also bet ‘on the go.’ Some sites even offer a bonus for players who place bets via a mobile device.
Drawbacks to Android mobile sports betting
- None: Betting using an Android device is extremely quick and easy. You have a massive choice of sites. There is a broad range of devices to choose from, and with the connectivity of Android devices, there is arguably no better platform to enjoy mobile sports betting from.
Security concerns to be aware of when gambling on an Android device
Most mobile-malware is targeted at Android. Part of that is because so many people use Android compared to other devices. Android does have rigorous and regular security updates to software, which are regularly sent out, but experts do feel that there are exploits which can be used.
However, there are some practical steps you can take to stop this. Firstly, install a virus checker and anti-malware software on your device. This is always a key first step and will stop the vast majority of issues.
Other simple security procedures to follow are to only make financial transactions on a secure service. (This includes your home, a non-public WiFi service, or via 3G/4G. Never over a public WiFi service as you’d find in a coffee shop or library, for example.) It also goes without saying to not have any of your personal and financial details stored on your device in an easy-to-access place.
Other simple tips include having separate passwords and usernames for different accounts. Ensure your phone is locked and passcode protected. And keep it securely on your person when out and about.
By taking these small steps, you can radically improve the security of your Android device and enjoy trouble-free gambling for many years to come.
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