Mobile casinos have been pioneers in mobile gaming ever since the first foundations for mobile playing were built and they have been trying to stay on top of the game with each new technological advance or trend. In the beginning, the web world was ruled by Flash. Any online company that wanted a sleek and impressive website and game had to resort to Flash to attract and preserve customers.

But as time wore on, Flash became incredibly outdated and most companies moved on to other and better solutions. One of the next standards of mobile gaming became native web apps – the custom designed apps that could be installed on smart phones and accessed in an instant. But, as one trend follows another, mobile casinos soon started making their baby steps towards the now massively popular HTML5 language and some dropped their native apps entirely. This was a logical step, as most internet casinos are mobile ready and already use a mobile version to give users who didn’t install the app a smooth experience on their websites.

But any change is bound to raise some complaints or even scare companies from leaping into the unknown, which is why some mobile casinos have postponed a complete transition to HTML 5, uncertain of whether the change will cause a drop in loyal customers.

This leads us to the present situation, where some mobile casinos will have a link to their dedicated app, while others will direct you straight to their web app online. Which is better? Well, the answer is not that simple to explain as both choices have pros and cons for both the company and player. To put things into perspective, let’s take a look at the major differences between HTML5 and native apps.


When online casinos decide to build a dedicated app, they will have to invest more time and finances into building the app than they would on their HTML5 mobile site. Any native app is specifically built to be used on different OS versions (Android, iOS, etc) and those who are for it say that this is what makes the apps perform better as they take advantage of your mobile hardware to the full.  However, this also means that some devices and OS’s will be left out as the apps are designed or updated without keeping them in mind.

On the other hand, HTML5 will work on any device and browser, regardless of the OS version or any other hardware restrictions that might cause frustrations in those with older devices.  HTML5 also makes the building process faster and cheaper, leaving more funds and time for casinos to perfect and tailor their websites to mobile players.

How Both Affect the Player Convenience?

Apart from HTML5 being the more practical solution in terms of cross-device functionality, there are also some other things that both casinos and the player need to keep in mind before deciding on the future steps they take with their mobile casino games.

First of all, HTML5 doesn’t use your device storage and you won’t find yourself continuously downloading slots or checking for available space on your phone. Native apps, on the other hand, will use up a portion of your device’s storage.

Secondly, native apps are mostly downloaded through app stores. This is both a pro and a con for mobile players, depending on their preference. Basically, if you want to find a native app you can easily check your app store and read through the reviews. However, this can also be restrictive, as is the case with Android users where the Play Store doesn’t allow real money casino apps to be listed due to Google’s restrictions.  On the other hand, the process of finding a good mobile casino is much simpler with HTML5, as mobile casinos will appear directly in your Google search.

HTML 5 or Native

The third thing to consider is the updates. All native apps need to be regularly updated with any OS update or change, which basically means that at some point the app might not work anymore with your OS version. With HTML5 though, you can access the site instantaneously, as any changes will be already made by the time you do so.

And finally, native apps are more device friendly, i.e. they can exploit the full extent of the hand gestures and swipes, the displays, and the graphic processor of your device, giving you a smooth gaming experience on that specific device. However, HTML5 is continuously being improved with each day and it is the current trend, which means that one should expect many new updates and efforts to perfect it in the future.

The Bottom Line

Despite the already nostalgic appeal of the native app to most serious players, HTML5 seems to be taking the lead in mobile casinos and will surely replace the native casino app entirely somewhere in the future. For the time being, there is still some choice. The side you take for now will mostly depend on your own personal preferences.