Google Play Still Missing Top iOS App Titles, Reports TechCrunch

A recent report from TechCrunch revealed that Google Play is still lacking a large number of both free and paid top apps available in the iOS App Store despite the exponential growth the Android market is currently experiencing.

The information came from Canalys, an independent analytics firm, which mostly conducts studies on the mobile device market.

The TechCrunch report further stated:

“During the first 20 days in May 2013, only 32 of the top 50 free iOS applications were available in the Google Play store, and only 29 of the top 50 paid applications were available in the U.S.”

With these facts in mind, it would also be safe to assume that Google Play still hasn’t raked up the revenue that could rival that of Apple’s apps, despite the common perception that both app markets have gone head-to-head against each other. But why is this so? The problem stems from many issues, and this writer will attempt to dissect each possible reason. It may or may not be completely accurate, but it’s a good place to start for those who want to debunk why Google Play still doesn’t have some of the top iOS app titles.

The lack of potential for revenue

When people start talking about Apple apps, the dollar signs start popping up in their heads. The amount and the scope of paid apps in the Apple App Store are already unimaginable, let alone the total number of free (ad-supported) and premium apps combined. When you count the earnings that these apps generate on a per-download basis, you’ll be scared out of your wits. This general belief that iOS has more potential for revenue draws in more app developers into the equation, and leaves the Android app development landscape paler or more stale in comparison.

The lack of manpower

Because of the high demand for iOS apps, app development companies have started dedicating job positions specifically catered to experts in this particular niche. They start having in-house iOS developers, UI designers, beta testers, and the like to see if the iOS apps they’re trying to make are good to go – companies are mostly taking the Apple route first before anything else. Android app developers on the other hand, aren’t usually regarded as specialists but as general app developers who should be able to function across all platforms.

The lack of control over the app market

If there’s something the Google Play market can learn from the Apple App Store, it should be the stringent measures by which an app gets approved. Since free and open source is at the backbone of Android, it sometimes creates too much freedom among app developers – they begin to release mediocre apps that wouldn’t pass Apple’s standards design and function-wise but may well be a shoo-in for Android users any given day. For instance, an official corporate business app would certainly comply with Apple’s app specifications, but some app from a third party developer might not. Whereas, when you look for some alternatives in the Android market, you’ll find a handful, which are (no offense meant) quite inferior.

The lack of fluidity in Android’s UI

Drilling down into the issue even further reveals that a number of the apps not yet available in the Google Play store but available in the Apple marketplace involves heavy UI usage, say, in the case of Paper by FiftyThree, Tweetbot by Tapbots, or some fresh and popular game title. The app market game is all about aesthetics, and iOS certainly has the clear edge in terms of design. The platform is easier to navigate, resulting in a better user experience compared to some of the top Android devices out there, making it a more lucrative and challenging arena for talented developers.

So before buying a phone, take a closer look not just at the manufacturer but also at the manufacturer’s app market. The app store connected or affiliated to the device you’re planning to get should be able to cater to all your needs, lest you want a shallow experience in terms of overall availability of apps, free or not.

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