The world of mobile devices has two basic app stores. Google Play. Apple’s App Store. Depending upon who does the counting, Google Play’s app collection grew another 30-percent last year to over 3.6-million apps.
What about Apple’s App Store? Well, according to AppFigures, a group which tracks such numbers, it dropped about 5-percent, and has barely half the number of apps on Google Play. What’s going on? Is the iOS platform having problems? Are developer fleeing iOS for the over crowded Google Play Store?
As it turns out, Apple is kicking out apps that don’t meet specific– and changing– standards. Apps that don’t make it to 64-bits get pruned. Apps that become abandonware and don’t receive updates get booted out. For years both Google Play and Apple’s App Store grew neck and neck.
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Clearly, Google’s Android OS is on a roll with nearly double the number of applications as Apple’s customers can find on iPhone and iPad.
What’s going on?
Pruning. Curating. Apple has kicked out a few hundred thousand apps while Google Play keeps adding. Just as notable, there are fewer new apps released each year on the App Store since 2015.
Clearly– and numbers don’t lie– Apple’s app business is getting kicked hard by Google Play and Android. Right?
So, while Google Play apps increase in total number and by new releases each year, Apple’s App Store is going in the other direction. Guess what? It gets worse. Among applications that crossover– go from iOS to Android, and from Android to iOS– the App Store loses again as twice as many iOS apps are also moving to Android.
The rest of the graphs in AppFigures Insights are a worthy look and an increasingly obvious trend.
Interestingly, of the just over 2-million apps for iPhone and iPad, and of the more than 3.6-million apps for Android, less than half a million apps crossover– run on both platforms.
Apple’s new pruning measures are good for the health of the iOS platform. Google doesn’t do much pruning at all, and Android apps account for about 98.9-percent of all mobile device malware, so clearly Google could take a cue from Apple and clean up Google Play.
Why? Are not more apps better for a platform? No.
We maintain a few hundred iOS apps on our family iPhones and iPads. That’s a few hundred compared to more than 2-million available for iOS, and the nearly half a million apps that run on both platforms.
How many freaking apps do we need in the store? Apple, as always, goes for quality over quantity. Google, as always, goes for quantity over quality. It’s just like the feature differentiators between iOS and Android. Quality and usability vs. quantity and complexity.
Pruning is good.