mkodo Team

5 Reasons iGaming Operators Need a Native App  


Firstly, let’s start with what building a ‘native app’ means. Native apps differ from hybrid or wrapped apps since they are exclusively designed for a specific platform like iOS or Android. A native Android app cannot run on Apple’s iOS and vice versa.  

So, how does native benefit iGaming operators?  

Since they write in the programming language specified for the app (iOS in Swift and Android in Java), building a native app gives mkodo’s developers the freedom to craft apps to iGaming operators’ desires with bespoke features and unique user experiences. 

Not only that but in a report outlined by Global News Wire, the online gambling market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10% and is anticipated to reach around $100 billion by 2026. So, if you’re app isn’t up to scratch, you’re missing out on a huge slice of the pie. 

If you’re still on the fence as to whether you need a native app, let’s take a look at a few more reasons going native is the way to go. 

1. Superior player experience    

Without a doubt the most advantageous benefit to native mobile apps is the superior user experience. Native apps adhere to the guidelines that ultimately enhance and align the user experience with the specific operating system.  

As a result of native apps following the guidelines and specific UI standards set by the operating systems, the overall user journey and experience of the app is enhanced. This enhanced journey allows players to better understand the app, such as navigating to favourite games or winning numbers. Adhering to specific guidelines allows users to interact with your app through actions they’re already familiar with.  

Native also means that these apps have access to the systems release yearly updates, which include exciting, new features including augmented player experience tools. For example, mkodo worked was appointed by WCLC to build their new native Lotto Spot! app which went live in July 2020. As a result of going native, WCLC was able to create their app with the following feature. 

° Ticker scanner – all lottery and zing games 
° Find your retailer
Winning numbers – past and present
Upcoming draw details 
° Upcoming jackpost amounts 
Push notifications 
How to play instructions for all WCLC Games  

If an iGaming operator intends to use their app as one of the central tools for interacting with their players, they without question, must deliver an excellent user experience that supports mobile app retention. Even the slightest frustrations, can lead to poor retention rates and increased uninstall rates and this is where non-native apps simply cannot compete. 

2. Unmatched performance 

As mentioned, native apps are created and optimised for a specific platform (iOS / Android), which unsurprisingly, results in an extremely high level of performance. They are much faster, more responsive and more efficient than hybrid or wrapped apps because they are built using the specific platforms core programming language and APIs.  

In a conversation with Gambling Insider, Will Whitehead, Commercial Director at mkodo stated; “When we look to the future, the demand for convenience will be imminent and innovative products that provide a better user experience will be at the forefront.” Not only that, but mobile gambling is set to continue to grow at an incredibly fast rate, with leaders at the 2019 East Coast Gaming Congress predicting that 90% of US sport bets could be mobile in just 5 to 10 years.  

With an ever-growing mobile market and player experience being more important than ever, building a native app allows operators to radically improve the journey for their players and the way in which they interact with their app. As users navigate through a native mobile app, the contents and visual elements are already stored on their phone which means load times are much quicker and the overall experience is enhanced.   

3. Increased security and regulatory compliance 

Web apps rely on different browsers and underlying technologies making them less secure. Developing a native mobile app is a great way to guarantee your users reliable data protection. With a native app you can build in data protection layers, including geolocation services, which in many jurisdictions are now part of regulatory compliance for digital iGaming products.  

mkodo has its own geolocation product exclusively built for the iGaming industry, GeoLocs. The GeoLocs geolocation service allows operators to self-manage their own geo-boarders with a seamless integration, not to mention increases security for players.  

4. Native apps are scalable 

It’s quicker to configure a native app since it’s compatible with just one platform, rather than lots of different versions for different platforms like hybrid apps - thus making native apps more easily scalable. Owing to the fact that native apps have fewer restrictions, they’re easier to scale when needed, than in the case of hybrid and web apps.  

It’s worth noting that the benefits of both native and hybrid solutions can be combined. By starting with a native app, you can eventually scale your product further with smaller modules during later development and maintenance phases. 

This method of combining the two solutions has been adopted by a few tech giants on the market such as Airbnb and Facebook. 

5. Return on investment 

Although the initial cost to build a native app may be higher than with hybrid apps, in the grand scheme of things, you’ll end up saving a lot of time and money. As operators develop and launch new products and services, they need to place their players at the centre of the brand experience. This means considering when, where and how customers want to play, and ensuring they have products in place to meet them wherever they are.  

The improved analytics of a native app, provides this information through detailed insights around how users interact with apps, meaning you can make enhancements to your app to better meet your player’s needs. Which in turn, will provide them with a much more personalised experience, ultimately improving brand loyalty, player retention and app downloads. 

Bonus benefits: 

° Accessible offline 
° Fewer bugs 
Improved stability 
Developer accessibility & control 

From our extensive experience in mobile apps development, we can attest to the fact that going native when building an iGaming app results in superior player experience. However, if you aren’t too concerned about the overall user experience and want to get something to market fast and at a reduced cost, a web app may be the way to go. 

It’s also important to consider how the approach to building your app will impact future costs, for example, if you choose a method that doesn’t allow you use device features, then you’ll likely waste a lot of time and money if / when you decide to add them to your app. 

To help you decide whether a native app is right for you, ask yourself these questions: 

° What is your budget? 
° How important is user experience? 
° Will your app need native features
° Do you want your app to support multiple platforms and devices? 
° Are your competitors apps build natively? 

Bonus question: What is the best app you’ve seen or use? What do you like about it the most? 

Do you need support with your iGaming app or website? Are you looking for an unmatched geolocation service? Or would you simple like advice around digital user experience?  Contact us today for more information around how mkodo can support you with the best-in-class apps, websites and digital UX.