One of the biggest success stories of the internet revolution has been the boom in online gaming. A huge global industry has grown in the space of one generation.
Previously gamers had to travel to a special venue, a casino, bingo hall or licensed location in order to play even something as casual and quick as slot machines.
Thanks to the amazing spread of the internet and ways of accessing it, players can now have a quick burst of any game they like, wherever they like.
The evolution of apps, Wi-Fi, 4G, and 5G means that access to gaming is offered in all sorts of environments. Players can settle down for a long leisurely session on the sofa at home – or grab the quick buzz of the slots on the way to work or while waiting for an appointment.
Today’s players can access a wide range of games via a wide range of devices.
Some love to use devices like laptops and desk computers to access an online casino or gaming site via an internet browser. Others prefer the click-and-play convenience of using an app on a portable device like a smartphone or a pad.
Sometimes the choice is down to the size of screen, sometimes to the ease of connecting. Or it may simply be down to where the player is and what is available.
A big screen may be shared, unavailable or too public – while playing slots on a small-screen device is definitely more private. Or do you like to share the thrill of a game with others gathered round a bigger screen?
Games offered by new online casino providers and well-established operators have boomed online, with most players opting to play via smartphone or other handheld device, however is it an app or browser that takes the lead on a smartphone?
Using an app that has been downloaded onto a portable device has one major advantage – the security of the payment system.
Any casino app that appears on either Google Play or The App Store will have been carefully checked by those bodies. They wouldn’t want to risk their reputation on a substandard or unreliable product.
The app is likely to be robust, reliable and secure. It is also likely to be linked to the major secure payment systems.
This means players will be able to use systems like Apple Pay, Google Pay, Pay Pal or Samsung Wallet to settle the necessary financial transactions. Note that Australia gamers are now likely to be offered PayID.
Is the game accessible?
Today’s slick software means that reaching an online casino via a browser could be very rapid and smooth. An app may have an advantage in that it is one simple click to open and you may already be logged in.
But either method is likely to be a matter of seconds. Once you have registered and joined, opening the game is simple.
Is the gameplay better?
Both versions of any popular game, like an individual themed slot game, are likely to be smooth and robust. The casino operators employ advanced web-builders, software engineers and game designers.
This means that a slot game will be optimised for both mobile use and big-screen use. Often, the difference between playing slots on a phone and a desktop PC could be hardly noticeable.
Industry experts consider that an app-based game is less likely to crash or freeze.
The benefits of an app
Casino operators often want to encourage players to download their apps. This means the player is less likely to shop around between sites – they will simply open the app when they want a game.
Operators can attract players by adding special bonuses or exclusive content for app users. They may make the app version of a game superior to the browser version simply to encourage more players to download it.
If the player is interested in engaging with the game operator an app may be advantageous too. The online casino may look on the app as a very useful way of keeping in touch with their customers.
The operator is more able to send notifications and gather user data via an app than via a browser. The browser-based communications can often end up in trash or spam.
Playing on an app will almost always mean playing by battery power. A phone or a pad can quickly eat up battery power – especially when using a complex gaming app.
The device may even suspend the game or block it operating if the battery level becomes too low.
Another problem of course is the limited processing power that means certain activities, like receiving a phone call, may interrupt the operation of the game.
No player would welcome a sudden interruption on a high stakes bonus round when all their winnings could be multiplied…
Add a backing track
Browser players usually have access to greater computing power. This means they can use it to add to the gaming experience.
A player may want to mute the standard soundtrack of any game, for example – and listen to their own music collection, podcast or stream something different.
Players may even be working on something completely different in one window on their browser device – while have the slot game open in another window. A computer can easily multi-task – a phone finds it much harder.
App or browser – which are the best slots?
Of course both have their advantages. And both have their problems. Nobody has the absolute answer.
Most industry experts study all the arguments for and against – and decide it’s best to have the option of both!