Georgina Lott

Business Opportunity Manager

Introduction to Android



With an ethos that “Android is for everyone”, the mobile operating system has been around for over a decade, allowing anyone to access, download, and modify its source code. This model has helped developers create apps and continue to drive affordability across the globe, since manufacturers have been able to cut their development costs, in turn driving down the price of smartphones.

With its latest update, Android 11, launched in 2020, and a shift of great magnitude in recent Google policy changes, a native Android app is a useful tool for lottery and gaming operators to reach a specific player demographic and to extend their service offering across the majority of OS smartphone users.

Market Share

Since its unveiling in 2007 and launch in September 2008, Android has always been a big contender for winning the mobile operator market share. It officially took the title in 2011 as the best-selling OS worldwide on smartphones, and tablets in 2013, holding these positions ever since. In 2020, the market share of Android was significantly higher than that of iOS, with North America skewing this trend:

Android and iOS Market Share


As lockdowns globally have seen more and more people incorporate digital technologies into their daily lives for everything from food shopping, social media and entertainment, there has been a big jump in the number of brand-built app users, with many Android users turning to the 3million+ apps on Google Play store. According to, during the first half of 2020, there were some 71.5 billion first-time app installs, a rise of 26.1% from the previous year. 18.3 billion of these came from the App Store compared to 53.2 billion from Google Play, marking a 22.8% and 27.3% growth for each platform, respectively.

Overall, spending on the App Store and Google Play was up 23.4% to $50.1 billion compared to the same time in 2019 and in-game spending on the App Store was up 22.7% to $22.2 billion while Google Play store revenues reached $14.4 billion, a 19% growth.

Google Play Store

So where does Google come into play? Well, Android is developed by a consortium of developers known as the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) and commercially sponsored by Google. Google has released 24 versions of the Android operating system over the past decade, the latest being Android 11.

Google Play is Google’s platform that offers a variety of digital content, including apps. With audience-reach power comes great responsibility, so any app developer looking to advertise their apps on Google Play must adhere to several strict policies, which is Google’s bid to build “the world's most trusted source for apps and games”.

One of the biggest barriers for operators in the lottery, betting and gaming industry is Google’s “Real-Money Gambling, Games, and Contests” policy, which prohibits real-money gaming apps to be advertised on the Google Play store in certain territories. This policy was adjusted in August 2017, when a select number of countries were exempt from this policy: Ireland, France and the UK, then in 2020, Brazil.

Recently, Google announced a change to this policy which will allow 15 more countries to publish real-money gaming apps on the Google Store from March 1st 2021. This indicates a huge shift for the tech giant and a move in the right direction.

Android 11

Its most recent update, Android 11, released in September 2020, is underpinned by three key themes: People, Controls, and Privacy. Optimised for how consumers use their phones, this update is focused on giving powerful device controls, easier ways to manage conversations, and on bringing privacy to the forefront.

Over the next weeks, and in light of the policy change mentioned above, mkodo will delve deeper into the key features to note from Android 11, in addition to highlighting overlooked features from past Android releases and how best to implement them in the lottery, betting, and gaming sector.