When I was a lad we used to go and meet girls at the park or maybe at the local nightclub. Now, with powerful smartphones, you simply swipe your finger across the screen. In a way it can be a little disheartening to see everyone communicating via a screen, but it is the future.
In the highstreet you’ll see two types of shops doing well. Charity shops and bookmakers. Traditionally a meeting place for locals, even the local bookmakers has now turned to a quick and modern way of operating.
Now, punters can make bets at half-time from the local pub, from their sofa on a hungover Super Sunday, whilst watching the game with a few beers at their mate’s place, or anywhere else they so desire.
As convenience is the name of the game when attempting to create the “next big thing” in online gambling innovation, companies like Bookee have attempted to streamline the betting experience with standalone, designated applications. Taking cues from the world of online dating, the company are attempting to bring the “swiping” feature that has helped Tinder become a household name to the sports betting industry.
Bookee removes the complexity and simplifies the whole betting process, so you just need to move your finger across the screen, however there are a number of problems..
Is it any good though?
- Yes, it’s simple to operate. There’s a plain, user-friendly layout.
- If you love to bet on a huge number of events, and struggle for inspiration with what to back, you’ll enjoy the seemingly endless suggestions that the application throws at users.
- Good security. If the phone lock screen comes on, users must enter their pin code to regain access to the application.
- Incredibly convoluted setup on Android. You have to side-load it and remove your app security settings.
- The major selling point can be a little gimmicky and will only appeal to a few users.
- Very limited markets that are difficult to find using the application’s flagship feature. Few people are going to want to trawl through endless pages of bets to find the 3:1 to Manchester City bet they were looking for. Whilst it’s possible to get around this, most of Bookee’s major competitors make it much simpler to find the exact market customers want.
The Bookee application is available on Android, and iOS. Like with many new applications, it is not yet available for Windows Phones. There is no desktop version either. Users must use the mobile application. It is possible to use a desktop mobile emulator, like BlueStacks, to trick the program into thinking it’s being used on a phone but with such a wide array of other options to place bets online, there would be little to no point in doing so. One exception would be if an existing Bookee user lost or damaged the device they usually use to access Bookie.
The setup procedure will depend on which operating system you’ll be using. One is incredibly easy (iOS), the other is a bit of a nightmare (Android).
If using an Apple device, users will be pleased to learn that the experience is quick, and easy. It takes just a few clicks to download the application from the Apple Store. Then, it’s just a case of entering registration details.
Unfortunately, this is where things get a little uglier. Being as the application itself isn’t on the Google Play store, setup is a little more complex and slow. In addition, you’ll be required to disable some of your inbuilt security features.
The first step is to download the application from the Bookee website. Android phones won’t be able to open it using their factory settings and default applications so they must first allow the installation of applications from unknown sources. Then, they need to download an additional file manager application. I personally used Astro but I believe there are a number of different programs that will open unknown .apk files.
If you’ve followed these steps correctly, navigate to the downloads area of your phone and try to run the Bookee installer again. It should run smoothly now. You can register for an account by completing the sign-up form.
In terms of features offered by Bookee, the major talking point is the ability to “swipe” through bets. As mentioned, this is an addition borrowed from the hugely successful dating application, Tinder. This is all well and good if you are completely clueless as to what bet you’d like to place. If you know the event you’d like to bet on, or even if you don’t, it could provide inspiration to help you decide.
The problem with it is that most punters aren’t crazed gamblers who need telling where to put their cash. Instead, they’re people who wanted to watch their team, favourite sport, or a huge global event, and fancied backing one of the sides to win, or some other outcome. Based on this, the likelihood of people regularly using the swipe feature seems remote.
Whilst the option to browse through menus to find the event you were looking for is there, there seems no reason why a punter wouldn’t just use an established company’s application? Yes, the Bookee app is simple to use, but almost every other bookie has a more sophisticated version for those who want more options to play with.
Aside from the Android installation issues, there’s not much wrong about the workings of the Bookee application. It’s simple, modern, easy to sign up to, and secure. If you’re a serious gambler, that enjoys placing a lot of bets on a wide variety of sports, and the idea of having punts suggested to you is appealing, you’ll probably enjoy Bookee. That said, being as bookmakers thrive on your losses, there’s something strange about the notion of one suggesting bets to you. Clearly, the site uses a formula for ordering the bets as you swipe through them. I doubt it’s entirely random. Whilst I’m not suggesting it is the case, it would be possible for the programmers to have the application throw lots of dubiously priced selections out at the top of the pile. In addition, it seems that when most people make a bet, they already have a pretty good idea what they want to bet on, making the swipe function obsolete but for a small minority.
Overall, the problem which it is trying to solve has already been done so by several more recognisable companies. There is no shortage of great betting applications out there that allow customers to make bets in seconds on their favourite sports from wherever they are. The unique feature here is at best irrelevant, and at worst being used to push the worst prices on unsuspecting customers to squeeze a little extra revenue.