In order to make its services as accessible as possible, DraftKings offers both a mobile website and a mobile app. With that in mind, we consider the functionality and accessibility of both mobile options.
DraftKings Mobile Site Review
The DraftKings mobile website attempts to recreate the desktop experience on smaller screens, and while it succeeds sometimes, it can be a frustrating experience. We used an older Samsung Plus 7.0 to test both DraftKings and FanDuel, and the experience was night and day. FanDuel was quick and responsive at every phase, but DraftKings pages took much longer to load. The pages often stalled out, and we had to refresh, and it did not help that the site would throw up large ads for the DK app. The developers made it clear that they want us using the app and not the mobile site. Nevertheless, when we actually got to the lobby and drilled down into it, it was reasonably fast but still not as responsive as FanDuel.
The three-bar icon in the left-hand corner accesses the main menu, which includes options such as Contest Lobby, My Contests, Create a Contest, Deposit and My Account. Contest Lobby lets you peruse and choose leagues. The system is nested. The top layer lets you choose the sports league, such as MLB, NFL and MMA. Clicking MLB, for instance, will present you with a dropdown of filters, such as 50/50 and Leagues. Clicking Leagues, for instance, will show you all available leagues, and you can filter them by Start Time, Size and Entry Fee. To view the league in detail and possibly join it, simply press it.
How to Sign Up on the Mobile Site
Using your mobile device of choice, navigate to draftkings.com. The site has a number of on-screen options that will lead you to account creation, but we found the easiest way is to click the orange Login button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. That click will bring you to a new screen where you can click the orange Sign Up button in the top right-hand corner.
DraftKings Mobile App Review
The DraftKings mobile app is a much more sophisticated option than the mobile site. We do not prefer it to the desktop site, but we do prefer it to the FanDuel app. Everything is just clean and well organized. When you log in, it starts you on the homepage. Here you can control your account, make deposits and withdrawals, create contests and communicate with fellow members who you have added as friends. A menu at the bottom of the screen has an option for everything else you are likely to want to do: Lobby, Live, Upcoming, Recent and Home. Everything about transitioning between the various pages is snappy, and the only time we experienced even a small delay is when the app was retrieving data.
Clicking the Lobby button will bring you to the meat of the app, which uses a paged system. The first page contains a list of sport leagues, such as NHL and PGA. Only leagues that are currently active will be available, and we found this list to be even more accurate than the mobile website.
Clicking a sport will present you with a list of times for today. Times can be listed twice or more, which indicates grouping based on factors that are unfortunately not labeled, so it only becomes clear after clicking on them. Click on a time to bring up a list of contests, and click on a contest to join it or add it to your watch list.
How to Download the DraftKings App and Sign Up
DraftKings has a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. There are links to these apps on the website so you can get them from DraftKings directly. For iOS, there is also the option of downloading the app directly from the Apple App Store. This option does not exist for Android because DraftKings does not publish the app through the Play Store.
Once the app is downloaded and started, click on the green Sign Up button at the bottom of the screen. Enter a username, email address and password. Then click the green Create Account button. This process is more streamlined than site-based account creation because acceptance of terms is assumed when you click the button and, we presume, the site collects geographic information automatically.
DraftKings Mobile App vs. Mobile Site
All of the functionality that exists on the desktop site is available on both the mobile site and the mobile app. This includes accessing your account, depositing and withdrawing money, socializing with fellow players, adjusting your lineup and so forth. The difference lies in accessibility. The app is simply more accessible because of how fast and uncluttered it is. The mobile site, on the other hand, really should be streamlined and optimized.
Our overall impression of the app is positive while the mobile site is not that great. DraftKings does not do a great job of recreating the desktop experience, and someone familiar with it is probably going to be disappointed either way. It is worth nothing that the Android app is fully capable. Unlike the FanDuel app, you can create leagues, manipulate lineups and deposit money. This is possible because of the decision not to publish the app on Google Play, which we applaud.
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