Mobile phones have come a long way in 20 years, and one of the defining moments was the development of the app. The first smartphone was released back in 1994 and was called the IBM Simon. It wasn’t particularly user-friendly and didn’t have any applications, but it quickly evolved. The first mobile app was Snake in 1997, available on the Nokia 6110. This pixelated snake moving around a screen captivated a generation and sparked other kinds of games and apps over the following years.
Then, in 2007, we got our hands on the phone that changed everything – the iPhone. By 2022, the phones in our hands are more potent than some computers and can do almost anything we want. Communication, work, shopping, and even health checkups can all be done via applications on the device. But they have also become integral in entertainment, particularly streaming, games, and gambling- all of which can be accessed via apps or a progressive app from the browser.
The first online gambling sites were launched around the time of the first smartphones, but the technology was not such that they could be combined or included in an application. Online casino games were basic- video slots, card games, and lotto. The idea that you could play bingo games on your mobile, choosing from a range of different themed games with video, streaming, and even social aspects, would have been far beyond our comprehension back then. But this is the norm now, and many sites like Paddy Power offer a range of bingo and other gaming options on mobile. This has quite literally been a game changer for the tech sector, encompassing mobile companies, app developers, and gaming operators.
Over the last couple of years, smartphones have improved significantly. Their graphics are fast and crisp, they can handle big games and various kinds of apps, and they come with great sound cards and easy connection to high-speed internet. This has facilitated a greater interest in gambling and gaming from mobile, as it also offers superior levels of convenience as it can be done on the go.
On the up
Recent reports show that the mobile gambling sector could reach $154 billion by the end of the decade, growing at a CAGR of around 12.10%. A growth rate of this kind is very impressive, giving a boost to all of those currently working in the sector. This growth will be driven by a number of crucial factors, including further accessibility to high-quality smartphones, the 5G rollout, an increased number of payment methods, and better app technology. All of these factors lead to a more streamlined experience when interacting with mobiles, apps, and the services available.
Other drivers will include the mobilisation of new technologies, which will be integrated into the apps we use. For example, liver dealer games are gaining popularity with players as they increasingly seek interactive gambling experiences. These will become more prominent on mobile apps as our devices are more capable of managing live streams and high-quality graphics. Additionally, we can expect to see the integration of technologies such as VR and AR into mobile gambling experiences both in-app and out of the app. This kind of technology is now being applied to mobile games, bringing a whole new dimension to mobile gambling.
We can also expect to see the development of more progressive apps for online gambling, as well as standalone apps that are downloaded from the applicable app store. These, combined with developments in mobile and integrated payments, will make for a truly seamless experience. We may even see more integration with wearables that link to mobiles such as smartwatches and home assistants such as Alexa.
From the days of Snake to a future where live games, social gambling, and VR and AR are the norm, the world of mobile app-based entertainment has undoubtedly come a long way.