The Best UK Mobile Betting Sites and Apps for 2017
In the following review, we’ll be analysing all of the most important features of the different mobile betting apps and online web applications. In many areas, the criteria for judging a good mobile betting service is similar to that of a full desktop sportsbook: good odds levels for pre match and in-play fixtures, a good selection of sports and betting markets, and a good live streaming service are but a few of the important aspects we encourage our readers to consider. However, when placing bets on the move from a mobile device, other issues such as ease of navigation, how many touches it takes to go from the homepage to the bet placement process, and the clarity of arrangement become even more important. For this reason, we’ve gone ahead and laid out some clear guidelines for what we think makes for a good mobile betting experience.
In the table above, we’ve listed the 10 best mobile betting sites in the UK, as well as some extra information regarding the different compatibly requirements for each, and the general functionality. The score ratings out of ten are there to give you a general overview of the overall quality of each app, however for the full report on what to expect with regard to software requirements, the ease of bet placement, the range of the live streams as well as some tips regarding their everyday use, scroll down below to our probing review.
How to Judge the Quality of a Mobile Sports Betting App
In the sections below, you’ll be able to read up on some of the different testing categories and gain insight into which mobile apps and online web applications offer punters the best mobile betting service. We’ll also provide some useful technical information regarding software requirements, how to get the most out of your mobile app by browsing responsibly, and how to distinguish between a mobile betting app and an online web application.
Download or Web Application?
The main clear difference between a native mobile app and a web application is that native apps require the user to download and install the required software onto their device. With an online web application, the sportsbook is powered by the web browser. The reasons for the two types of applications are twofold: firstly, Apple and Android combined hold the largest market share in the mobile sector. For this reason, betting operators often choose to develop fully downloadable apps for these mobile providers, rather than for Windows and Blackberry devices where the global distribution demands are significantly lower. As a result, you’ll often find that betting operators will support fully downloadable, native apps for Apple and or Android, and online web applications for Blackberry and Windows.
The second reason comes mostly down to licensing restrictions. Whereas Apple users are free to download sportsbook apps from the iTunes store just the same as with any other application, real money gambling applications are not officially allowed to be listed on the Google Play store. This again gives betting operators more of an incentive to develop native apps for apple devices, as customers are faced with far fewer restrictions when it comes to actually downloading and using the app. When a full, native app for Android is supported, users are required to install the app directly from the bookmaker’s website rather than from the Google Play store. For Windows devices, users can simply go the Windows store and download the desired sportsbook much the same as with apple devices.
Advantages and Disadvantages
In almost every case, the fully downloadable native app of a given bookmaker will be far more user-friendly than the online web application. This is largely due to the fact that the app would have been specially developed and optimised to work with the corresponding device. With this, the app can be opened with a simple touch of the screen, and the general loading time and data usage will be faster and far more efficient than the online web application. With a web application, you will either have to type in the URL every time you wish to use the sportsbook, or keep it saved as a bookmark in the history of your preferred browser. Furthermore, graphical elements, odds updates and all other required data must be downloaded on every page request, which again can be a considerable strain on your data usage.
Design and Navigation
Perhaps the most important aspect of a mobile betting app is the ease of navigation and functionality. Betting operators are faced with quite a challenge when it comes to developing native applications, as most punters don’t expect to find a mobile version that’s too far removed from the full desktop site. This means that the full range of sports and betting markets (or at least a very close equivalent) have to be transferred onto a much smaller device whilst still allowing for maximum ease of navigation. The very best betting apps will preserve most, if not all of the same features of the full desktop site; the colour scheme, in-play betting opportunities, and the full range of payment methods should remain intact, with the only noticeable difference being that all the great features of the desktop site that users know and love have been replicated, and somewhat simplified as to allow for a much quicker, more convenient gambling experience.
- intuitive navigation
- super-fast in-play betting
- good range of live streams
A good example of an app with superior navigation and ease-of-use can be seen in the Ladbrokes mobile sportsbook. Appearance and layout wise, it’s almost identical to the full desktop version, and as shown in the graph above, the quick bet slip feature allows users to place super-fast bets with just three touches of the screen. Needless to say, this is an extremely handy fixture that could make the difference between just missing out on a winning betting opportunity, and taking home a sizeable profit after a quick, spur of the moment wager. In addition, the drop down menu at the top left hand corner of the screen provides easy one-click-access to the full list of available sports markets, and the three main tabs allow you to navigate seamlessly between some of the most popular bets on the sportsbook, upcoming races, and the in-play platform.
Live Betting and Streaming on Mobile Devices
In an ideal world, the full range of in-play betting markets and live streams available on the desktop site would also be available on mobile devices. For the most part however, bookmakers will only provide a percentage of the full in-play service on mobile. This only really applies to the live betting and live streaming options as most bookmakers will pretty much always offer the same range of sports markets via mobile. However, when it comes to watching live streams and betting on live sports, punters won’t quite get the same experience as when using the full desktop sportsbook.
This said however, the very best apps on the market will do a very good job of replicating the desktop live betting experience. For instance, the Betway mobile app includes over 15,000 pre match and in-play betting markets; not quite as high as the full desktop site, but a more than satisfactory selection to keep the vast majority of punters well entertained. Similarly, bet365 are the only operator that support the same extensive live streaming service as the desktop site. Most of the apps in our review only provide a selection of British horse racing and greyhound streams as well as perhaps one or two other options. With bet365 however, punters can stream a top selection of high level football, basketball and tennis fixtures among several more.
Bonus Offers for Smartphone and Tablet Users
As if there wasn’t already enough of an incentive to make use of mobile betting applications, there are a few operators out there that award special bonuses for placing bets using their app. Although it is true that these are very few and far between, you can find what is undoubtedly one of the best mobile bonuses on the market at bet365.
- £50 mobile bonus
- best live streams
- top functionality
With the special ‘On The Move Bonus’, players are entitled to a generous 100% matched deposit bonus of up to £50, simply by placing a bet of at least £1 using the native app. This is a special offer that is completely separate from the standard welcome bonus for new players; punters can first claim the main sign-up bonus worth up to £200, and then claim this second pretty generous bonus offer by simply placing a bet via mobile or tablet.
Compatibility and Software Requirements
The minimum software requirements required to download mobile apps are solely dependent on the operating system. For players using Apple devices, applications must be sourced from the iTunes store, and normally require the iOS version 6.0 operating software or above in order for the application to be downloaded onto the device. Some apps, such as those developed for William Hill and Betway require the later iOS 7.0 operating system. For Android devices, the minimum required operating software is normally Android 2.3 or 2.3 Gingerbread.
- Extensive market range
- Exclusive mobile offers
- Intuitive navigation
|bet365||Version 2.3 or above||iOS 7.0 Innsbruck or later||Windows 7|
|wh||Version 5.3 or above||iOS 7.0 Innsbruck or later||Version 7|
|betway||Version 4.4.2 Kit Kat or above||iOS 7.0 Innsbruck or later||web app|
|coral||Version 2.3 Gingerbread or above||iOS 6.0 Sundance or later||web app|
|betfair||Version 2.1 or above||iOS 7.0 Innsbruck or later||web app|
|betvictor||Web app only||iOS 7.0 Innsbruck or later||web app|
|888sport||Web app only||iOS 6.0 Sundance or later||web app|
|ladbrokes||Version 3.2.6. Honeycomb or above||iOS 6.0 Sundance or later||Windows 8.1|
|betfred||Version 2.3 or above||iOS 7.0 Innsbruck or later||web app|
|paddy power||Version 2.0 or above||iOS 7.0 Innsbruck or later||web app|
With regard to online web applications, the operating system of the mobile device is irrelevant as the application itself isn’t actually being downloaded and saved. This does mean however that there are minimum browser requirements that must be met in order for players to get the full experience of the mobile betting service. When using web applications on Windows and Blackberry devices, punters should ensure that the chosen browser (whether it be Safari, Chrome, Firefox or any other web browser) supports the new HTML 5 format.
Useful Tips For Mobile Users
In the following sections, users can read up on some useful tips which can considerably optimise the usage of your sportsbook app. These same tips can also be used when using apps for games, online casinos and other online gambling services.
Never Save Passwords on Your Mobile Device
Saving your login details is a sure fire way to enable fast and easy access to the homepage of the native app. At the same time however, you’re putting yourself at great risk if your device were ever to be lost or stolen; anyone that gets hold of your phone would be able to play through any available balance you have left on your device at the time, and may also be able to deposit again using your card details if you too have those saved on your phone in some kind of quick-deposit banking feature. In order to avoid this, it’s best to refrain from saving your login details on your mobile or tablet device: however tempting it may be.
How to Optimise the Battery Life
Despite the fantastic technology available on modern day smartphones, the extensive use of mobile applications with high-speed streaming, sounds and internet usage inevitably means that the battery life will be drained perhaps a little faster than usual. Although there is not a great amount that can be done to avoid this, there are a few small practices you can try that can help keep the power usage to a minimum. Small practices such as turning off Bluetooth, keeping the display brightness and sounds to a minimum, and using a solid Wi-Fi internet connection instead of your mobile data will help preserve some of the battery life.
Pay Attention to the Live Streams on the Data Usage
Although live streams are undoubtedly one of the most attractive features offered by a great number of betting operators, punters should be aware that streaming fixtures from a mobile device without Wi-Fi can be a huge strain on your data. When we consider that streaming a full 90-minute football game using a minimum connection speed of 512kbit /s can use between 300 – 350mb of mobile data, watching three full games would almost completely expend a 1gb monthly data package. Adding to this, the closer you get to the end of the data package, the more you’ll begin to notice a change in the video quality and buffering speed. To get the most out of the live streaming service of your chosen betting operator, make sure that your monthly internet data plan comes with enough data to support your intended usage.
Conclusion: A Few Tips for iPhone and Android Users
After having a good play of all the different mobile apps supported by the betting sites listed in our reviews, we found that the standard was pretty much as high as we first expected. Every operator managed to score at least seven points out of a possible ten, and three managed to rack-up an impressive 9/10 rating. Truth be told, all the apps have been designed to allow for maximimum ease of navigation, and to offer punters a betting experience as close to the full desktop site as possible by including the cash out option, and a good range of payment options. Operators with some of the more outstanding apps are bet365 – whose app comes with an extensive range of high level sports live streams, the Ladbrokes app, which has the best quick bet placement feature allowing you to place bets in well under five touches, and Betway – whose app comes with over 15,000 different sports markets and live chat customer service. For our full review of all the best betting apps for mobile and tablet devices on the market, be sure to continue to our corresponding review pages for each operator.