Remember back to November, 2007. At that time Google was known mostly as a search engine company with some really cool maps and a really high stock price. That month the Mountain View tech company announced two initiatives designed to take the business far beyond the search box.
One was in the hot new industry that promised to be the automobile and computer of the 21st century rolled into one – renewable energy. Google called its new adventure in solar power RE<C, Renewable Energy Less Than Coal. The other was the low-key introduction of an open mobile platform developed with other companies called the Open Handset Alliance that stemmed from a virtually unknown two-year old company that Google had purchased in 2005. Android had been started to create an advanced operating system for digital cameras but had diverted efforts towards a mobile operating system before becoming one of Google’s first acquisitions as a public company. Google kept the Android name and a few of the co-founders as well.
Less than a decade later the hype around solar power has cooled and RE<C has been retired, handed its gold watch along with Google Glass. Android, on the other hand, is now the most popular mobile operating system in the world, running on over one billion devices.
Android is derived from an open-source, Linux-based development platform and can be adapted and customized by any mobile device manufacturer. To emphasize the simple pleasures of using an Android operating system each successive update is given the name of a sweet dessert or candy in alphabetical order: Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, KitKit, Lollipop and so on. Despite a tepid initial response from manufacturers in a market space already filled by such heavyweight and experienced players as Nokia and Microsoft Windows, Android built its market share in the United States above 50% and to a near-monopolistic 90% in Asia where mobile devices were offered at a lower price point.
While the first online casino app was developed for the iPhone it readily became apparent that Android was a mobile operating system of the same magnitude. Operators could not afford to ignore such a powerful presence in the market. App developers scurried to make mobile casinos that were designed to run on the Android software that was installed on virtually every brand of smartphone without an Apple logo. Today, just about every online casino is an Android casino and when new gaming apps launch they are often developed to be optimized for users of both Android and Apples IOS mobile operating systems.
The Google Play store has exceeded one million Android applications, or apps. More than 50 billion apps have been downloaded. Anyone familiar with the ease of use and exceptional graphics of the Apple casino apps will generally find the same quality with Android apps. Like all mobile experiences, however, the quality of the screen presentation will depend on the quality of the device onto which the casino is loaded. With Android apps that installation process is automated with a single click.
Not every Android app will load on every device, no matter how seamless the integration or the careful engineering of the products involved. That is because gambling online for money is illegal in some countries, most notably the United States. Google Play will not allow the download of real money casino apps, for instance, since a large chunk of its market is American users.
To find Android casinos for your mobile device one option is to visit the operator’s website where you can download the app automatically. If you are downloading a real money casino app from an unauthorized location you can go into the Settings app on your smartphone and find “Application Settings.” From here, enable “Unknown Source” apps to be downloaded. Once this is successful go back into Settings and disable the feature once again. Another way to find real money tables is to play Android casinos directly through your browser. On smartphones using the Android platform the installed browser will be Chrome but any browser that is installed on the device will work.
The games available at Android casinos are packaged in suites that contain slots, video slots, video poker and table games like blackjack, baccarat and roulette. These suites are created by software developers which sell the packages to the online casinos. A few casinos will develop their own proprietary software but most use these developers. You will come to recognize the names of the biggest players: Net Entertainment, Microgaming, PlayTech, Betsoft and others. Most of these games have been developed for Android but occasionally games are encountered that are not supported.
Android casinos list which software providers power their games and these relationships can change frequently. Players favoring certain games may chase the software from casino to casino which is one reason casinos employ aggressive bonus, promotion and loyalty programs. It is always easier to keep a player than find a player. Software is getting increasingly sophisticated with some Android casinos offering live dealer gambling and interactive tournament play for on-the-go devices.
The creation of the iPad by Apple created an entirely new category in the mobile device market. Apple invited app developers to specially create programs for the tablet before its introduction. When the product proved a hit rival manufacturers scrambled to get competing devices to converts to the big mobile devices using Android software. But in the rush to battle Apple that software was often not optimized for the larger format and Android tablet adoption was glacial, despite the reputation Google had built with smartphones.
Things began to turn around with the release of the affordable Amazon Kindle Fire and Google followed with its own hardware, the Nexus 7 in 2012. The result is that apps for tablets began reaching the quality of Android smartphone apps and larger devices running the Android platform had passed iPads in sales by 2013. Today players at Android casinos on tablets enjoy the same high-quality experience as smartphones.