Assessing App Stores
In the mobile industry, access to an “app store” has become the hallmark of any modern smartphone; however I’ve never understood how one can assess the quality of one app store over another by sheer volume. Apple’s App Store has well over 100,000 apps (with over two billion downloads), yet many of them are redundant (after all, how many flashlight applications do you need?) or unused all together. Google’s Android App Store has reached the 10,000 app milestone, yet it’s also beginning to show the redundancy highlighted by Apple’s store. And need I elaborate on app stores from BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, or Nokia?
Sure, it’s great to have the variety and allow developers to innovate, but how can companies like AT&T use the fact that the iPhone has access to 100,000+ apps as a legitimate selling point? When push comes to shove, it’s more about how an end user can actually utilize those applications – the main reason why I’m with Verizon (superior 3G network compared to AT&T) and have a Motorola Droid (multi-tasking, open-source, and highly integrated apps). Plus, the iPhone’s SDK has been around much longer than Android’s… explains the discrepancy in the volume of apps.
I’m not saying any of the app stores out there are bad. They all have their pros/cons for end users and developers. I just can’t comprehend how the media thinks that volume alone equates to superiority.
On another note, I wrote this at almost 2 AM because I was playing around on the Android Market. 😀