Because Google’s free Android software is available in many shapes, price points and across a variety of carriers and manufacturers, the search giant has relatively easy and early on taken the lead in terms of device activations. But even with its clear lead in terms of unit sales, Android has always lagged behind iOS in terms of quantity of the apps found on its store, dubbed the Google Play Store. Today, Google has announced that its store now carries 700,000 third-party apps, which means that the Play Store has officially matched the App Store in sheer number of apps available…

Brian Womack, reporting for Bloomberg:

By luring software developers to its Android platform, Google is attempting to eliminate a key selling point Apple has used for the iPhone and iPad.

Applications have become a battleground as the two companies look for an edge in the $219.1 billion smartphone market, akin to how Microsoft Corp. dominated the personal-computer business by getting other companies to write programs for its Windows operating system.

The report doesn’t mention the number of tablet-optimized apps on the Android store, though Google executives mentioned at yesterday’s Nexus media event that any application written for an Ice Cream Sandwich-driven seven-inch tablet should scale up nicely to eight, nine and ten-inch tablets and beyond.

Rather than run blown up iPhone apps, Apple prides itself with more than 275,000 apps that have been written specifically for the iPad. Apple’s press release from last week updates us with the latest statistics about its platform:

iPad runs over 700,000 apps available on the App Store, including more than 275,000 apps designed specifically for iPad, from a wide range of categories including books, games, business, news, sports, health, reference and travel. iPad also supports the more than 5,000 newspapers and magazines offered in Newsstand and the more than 1.5 million books available on the iBookstore.

The iTunes Store puts the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store at your fingertips with a catalog of over 26 million songs, over 190,000 TV episodes and over 45,000 films. The new iBooks app for iPad lets users read ebooks in over 40 languages.

Of course, quantity is one thing and quality is an entirely different thing. People more often part with their hard-earned money to buy hardware and software in the Apple ecosystem compared to Android. Contrast this to the ad-supported nature of the Android platform, with users not buying apps as often as their Apple counterparts do.

This has helped Apple pay $6.5 billion to developers since the App Store’s inception in the summer of 2008 – and that’s after Apple’s customary 30 percent cut. Whichever way you look at it, the breadth and quality of apps available on Apple’s App Store still makes Apple’s platform the most lucrative playground for both developers and users out there.

We will see if Google matches to beat Apple on two other important metrics – the quality and breadth of Android apps and its app store’s revenue.

What do you think?

How long until Android becomes a more lucrative ecosystem for developers than Apple’s iOS platform?

  • Apple has 750,000 apps in the app store not 700,000 so they are slightly ahead still. I personally like the App store a lot better than google play

    • Tr1pTr0p

      The “quality” of apps is debateable. However, one thing I love about the Play store is that its unified, unlike Apple’s stores. On iOS, you have to open 5 different apps for their specific stores. Inefficient.

      • It’s always amusing that when you mention something negative about Apple, even though it is 100% true and accurate, you get down voted like crazy.

        App Store, iTunes, iBooks, and iTunes U are the only ones I can think of off of the top of my head. What am I missing? I do love how everything is laid out in the Google Play store, plus having YouTube videos showing off the app is fantastic.

      • This android freak always comments on this site. He never has anything good to say and everyone makes fun of him for his ignorance.

      • Tr1pTr0p

        How can I be an Android freak if the closet I’ve been to an actual Android device was my friend’s Galaxy S3? I think you should read my DISQUS bio, by the way. You bitching about me “not having anything good to say” is your problem, look up the word CRITCISM. And no, Android is not without it’s flaws. Design and application incostinecies bother me a lot. Also, you can say those “we make fun of him” lines to your 3rd grade classmates. I personally couldn’t care less about what you say, let alone will I allow myself to get annoyed by someone like you. I don’t even know why the hell did I reply to this bs… Grow the fuck up!

      • Well this is what happens when you deal with sheep. They cannot stand criticism of their beloved company or product. In their mind Apple can do no wrong. So when you point out that Apple does indeed screw up from time to time, they down vote and automatically label you a Fandroid, Samsung lover or even wonderfully eloquent things like “faggot” all because you said something they secretly they know is true but try to ignore and avoid in hopes of not tarnishing Apples immaculate reputation.

  • 300 000 farting apps 😛

    • Mohammad Ridwan

      so does Apple

    • Probably like 20,000 flash light apps as well.

  • I hope one of those added apps oh exuses me apk was zombieville 2 lol

  • The thing for all app stores is the thousands of crap apps, clean tem up and most likely each store has 100k good ones. Still prefer iOS as the apps are design for one device work on all devices. Google has an app for this phone and the same app for another and that fragmentation I a pain in the ass for developers. Sure they are all trying to cater to all devices and google has the biggest market share but where are the profits?

    • Not anymore. They have to support various resolutions due to the the iPhone 3GS, then the 4 and 4S, then the 5… then iPad with multiple resolutions with the 1 and 2, then the 3 and 4 and now with the iPad Mini. This is why you have to buy certain apps twice… one for iPhone, one for iPad.

      Granted, that is still not as fragmented as Android, but that code once and be done with it no longer really applies to Apple anymore. Especially if they ever open up the Nano to apps.

      • Actually, there are 5 resolutions. 320×480, 1024×768, 960×640, 2048×1536, and now 1136×640. Most of these also happen to be extensions or doubles of the other ones, so although developers need to account for new resolutions, they don’t REALLY need to.

        Of course, that’s still more resolutions than Windows Phone…

  • sambuzzlight

    why is this fag “R” below spamming every post? Cant’ the mods ban him or something?

  • Falk M.

    The amount of spam and trolls is a direct result of Disqus I think.

    This site needs its own and better moderated posting system.

    Posters below 20 posts need to be moderated, past that, free posting, still bannable on offense though.

    • Idk, I really like this comment system. Making their own could result in a terrible comment system like the one on Gawkers websites like Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Kotaku etc.. Just awful comment systems.

      • Falk M.

        I like Disqus, too, however two problems:
        a) Disqus is slow as hell… I hate it, it’s so badly coded it’s not even funny or defendable anymore – especially as it used to be less slow
        b) iDownload Blog’s comments need to not just be retroactively moderated, but make it unattractive for spammers and trolls to even start their shady business. Disqus is pretty much not customizable there…

      • That’s true. So far my favorite comment system was the one on Gawker sites before they were changed completely it worked just fine, it was fast, and there was no spam. But then they f*cked it up

  • Techpm

    Google lets all and every piece of rubbish into the store, that’s why they have 700.000 apps. Apple is a lot more selective, especially lately.

    Just a search for “shit” in Google Play returns “more than 1000” apps. “Crap” is another “over 1000”, “Fuck” 1000 more… You get the picture.

    • Techpm

      Oh forgot this one:

      “Malware”: yep, over 1000 apps

      • While it’s no where near as massive… Apple has had a few malware apps slip through it’s walled garden.

        That is the downside to open source and letting anyone code and upload apps.

  • iamnotfan

    what a two amazing company’s
    they even have fans

    wish i can build something like it

  • This was expected. But like your article suggests, one thing is quantity and another is quality. And this is where Apple shines.

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