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Android Market Hits 10 Billion Downloads, Games Dominate

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the bored-begets-big-numbers dept.

Android 178

New submitter sandeepabhat tips news that Android Market recently saw its 10 billionth app download, reaching the milestone less than a year after the App Store accomplished the same feat. New downloads through Android Market are proceeding at a rate of roughly 1 billion per month. Google has now created an infographic to break down the information further. Games outpace any other type of app, accounting for more than a quarter of all downloads. The top five countries in downloads-per-capita are South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.S., and Singapore.

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178 comments

Paid Vs. Free? (5, Interesting)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314342)

How about a breakout of paid versus free and some idea of who's making money developing for the Andriod platform?

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (5, Insightful)

NoNonAlphaCharsHere (2201864) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314378)

Google. Period.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (3, Insightful)

EvilBudMan (588716) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315722)

Nobody mentions Amazon's AppStore? If you can sideload it works just like Google's Market except they have more stuff that you can pay for to get rid of the adds so a developer is not tied down completely to the Android Market.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (5, Informative)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314410)

Android apps and games are mostly free, and ad-supported. Mobile developers quickly learned that piracy on Android is much larger problem than on iPhone and that they couldn't just sell their software. That was the reason they started offering games for free and getting the revenue from advertisements. It goes well along the lines with Google too, who also recently bought the largest mobile advertising house AdMob [admob.com].

This also means that people of course download way more apps too.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314460)

Also, you make much more money on ads. Instead of getting a one-time payment of 99, they get continuous flow of money for much longer.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (3, Informative)

salesgeek (263995) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314468)

Um... you were doing great until you hit the piracy part. That isn't why apps are less expensive on Android. The issue is that Android's market (small m market) are competitive because there are multiple ways consumers can buy (Google, Amazon, etc)

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (-1, Flamebait)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314572)

It's not that either. It's that Android users have much more resistance to paying for things. Either because they are on a budget and that's why they bought a cheap Android in the first place, or because they share the OSS ethos that software should be free in both meanings of the word.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (2)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314682)

that's why they bought a cheap Android in the first place.

If they were richer they would have bought The Real Thing...?

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (3, Insightful)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314766)

Umm. My android tablet cost more than the iPad with the same amount of disk. It was not 'a cheap Android'. I got it because it had features few others had.

Mind you, at the time I thought the iPads were still more expensive, but even had I known I could have gotten an iPad for $50 less, I'd still stick with the Android I have for the features it has, that the iPad lacks.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1, Interesting)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314912)

I didn't say all Androids were cheaper. Just that there are many people on a budget, and those people can more easily afford a cheap Android than an iOS device. And when they've done so, they are less likely to be prepared to pay for apps.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315010)

If one doesn't mind dealing with a two year contract, AT&T has an 8 GB 3GS for one penny. That is as cheap as it gets unless one hits eBay.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315082)

sure, and it's only, what, two years out of date? You can get a Galaxy S for "free* with contract" too, and it's a significantly better phone.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315024)

It still sounds like broad speculation (ie: flame bait) to me... unless, of course, you can provide a link to a study.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1, Informative)

dzfoo (772245) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315790)

OK, how about this [androidcommunity.com], or this this [mobilemark...gazine.com].

From that last one,

iPhone users continue to download more paid applications, however, with 50% of users buying at least one paid application a month, compared to 21% of Android users. The survey also included consumers on webOS devices, and found that while they were active, they downloaded fewer paid and free applications.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315464)

Sorry you got ripped off :(

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314834)

O.o

How do you back this up? I know plenty iPhone users who haven't installed a single paid app on their phone. I know some android users who haven't either. Myself, I've spent around ~$75 in the market going back to July 2010, I've probably spent more than the average user, of either iOS or Android, but I don't know that the idea that android users are more resistant to paying for things is accurate at this point, or ever has been.

Most users of Android phones today wouldn't know what OSS even means, just like most iOS users don't. Both are consumer devices, and when you remove the fanatics on both sides you have very similar demographics.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315022)

Isn't the iPhone 3GS less than a dollar?

Wasn't that one of the complaints about the 4G? That it looked a lot like the 3GS from a distance, so bystanders wouldn't know the buyer just paid a lot of money for a new iThing instead of less than a dollar?

Either way, you're clearly off base with your claim.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315534)

Um... My epic 4g is still better than the latest iphone in everything that matters except battery life.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (2)

varmittang (849469) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314634)

Huh? The price for a app doesn't vary from market to market for a single app. Its not like Google or Amazon sets the price the dev does. Its more like people on Android phones don't want to buy, they want free. They are buying a cheaper phone compared to others, they are not looking to pay much for apps either. Piracy is easier on the Android since you can load your own apps not in the market.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314824)

It's called common sense. You get apps for a large price that you find on the iphone as well, then you find some apps that do the exact same thing cheaper, and you can find again other apps that do the very same thing but for free, sponsored by ads or something else. Why would I buy some app when I can get it for free, or so cheap I can buy dozens more instead of just a very expensive one.
The fact that there are so many price ranges, business models and markets, speaks in Android's favour. That's competition for you, the user wins.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (3, Insightful)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314878)

why would you pay for something that you know is available for free and took some guy couple of weeks of spare time to create? a _LOT_ of apps fall into this category. for example the "enable/disable wifi-hotspot"-widget that i'm using. it's such a basic thing, really, it should come with the os itself. even if you made a paid version of it, how are you going to differentiate to justify anyone paying for it?

you should rephrase it that piracy is easier on android since you don't have to pay the os provider to enable sideloading, as is with other some other platforms(ios, wp7, bb..).

"cheaper" implies there's something more expensive out there though. wp7's are in the same price brackets, you don't really pay much for the os there either. apple sells iphones that are not of the latest generation too if you want "cheap" and high end androids cost about the same as the most fresh iphone at any given day anyhow(about 750-800 bucks).

and a lot of the cool stuff that's worth warezing is based on stolen gpl code anyways!

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314506)

Mobile developers quickly learned that piracy on Android is much larger problem than on iPhone and that they couldn't just sell their software.

This certainly isn't true for me. I used to pirate all kinds of apps for Windows Mobile and for PC, but with Android it's easier to pay 99 cents for an app and get perpetual updates than to bother trying to pirate an app and keep it updated. Kind of like STEAM. I've bought a lot of apps already and I plan to buy almost all of the apps that are going on sale for 10 cents this week.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314582)

Mobile developers quickly learned that piracy on Android is much larger problem than on iPhone

Yup, as usual, people who use and love Apple products are simply better people in general. Apple users have a higher level of moral behavior and are better able to think critically about technology and its place in the world. This may have to do with the fact that Apple users are more well educated and tend to have extremely creative minds.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1)

InsightIn140Bytes (2522112) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314630)

Where did I say Apple users are better people in general? It's just observation I've made, and I've studied the issue too. I don't even use iPhone or Android myself, I use old Windows Mobile.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315090)

Microsoft hasn't given you a new Windows Phone for all your shilling/trolling InsightIn140Bytes (aka: CmdrPony, ...)?

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314596)

With this fact and the fragmentation issue on Android making app writing far harder due to having so many different, incompatible phones to choose from, with one mistake resulting in one star, "forces closes on open" reviews, I'm amazed why anyone writes for this platform, when iOS writing is far more lucrative. Between Android's security issues mentioned often on /., the fact that the Dalvik VM requires overhead (which is why Android devices have to have far faster CPUs than Apple's products), and fragmentation, there does not seem to be much reason to write for Android.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (2)

PriyanPhoenix (900509) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314454)

As others have mentioned, being free doesn't mean not monetised. For example, I remember Rovio a while back announcing that it was making more money through ad revenue from the free versions of its games on Android than the paid versions on iPhone.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314742)

As others have mentioned, being free doesn't mean not monetised. For example, I remember Rovio a while back announcing that it was making more money through ad revenue from the free versions of its games on Android than the paid versions on iPhone.

Yes, they were making about as much money from new sales on iOS as they did from people playing their already downloaded ad supported apps on Android.

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1)

Hotweed Music (2017854) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315130)

If you want some idea, you could go look at "Top Grossing" in the market. Or you can keep asking rhetorical questions ;D

Re:Paid Vs. Free? (1)

stating_the_obvious (1340413) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315504)

Snarky...I like snarky... Hopefully there will be a new comment modifier so we can distinguish humor from snark...

I found it funny that of all the available data Google has on the Android Market, they chose to ignore the one that a lot of people track. Voting with dollars is a good way to see which apps/developers are producing quality; and it tends to signal whether the market is sustainable since developers, like everyone else, have rent to pay and at least one mouth to feed.

10 cent downloads for 10 days (5, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314396)

Just in case anyone hasn't noticed, Google are celebrating by making selected apps are available for 10 cents for the next few days (it started a few days ago so there's something like 7 days to go).

The selection changes each day so it's worth having a look. I picked up Toki Tori today.

Re:10 cent downloads for 10 days (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315012)

is google paying the difference to the devs, or is this similar to amazon's daily free app thing? (in which the store just gives stuff free, devs get nothing)

Re:10 cent downloads for 10 days (2)

CaptainOblivion (1254006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315328)

I would assume it's like the steam sales, where the dev agrees to sell their app for crazy cheap (because a download doesn't cost them any money) and the number of sales explodes so they end up making more money.

Re:10 cent downloads for 10 days (1)

gblfxt (931709) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315026)

boa charged me $1 per 10c app, to bad google doesnt have a basket of some sort instead of charging individually

Re:10 cent downloads for 10 days (1)

jkcity (577735) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315674)

now this may be different to usa but I live in uk and had this issue alot instead I'd get charged £1 and it got charged on most apps since most don't charge in my local currency so often would end up paying more to the bank than to the actual game developer, this is soemthing i truely believe google needs to fix as ios does not do this but anyway what i did was get myself a pre paid master card and that does not charge the £1 fee I think only a 2% transaction charge or something which is hardly anything certainly alot better than £1 an app. It also has the added beenfit of being limited so worst case scenario you lose your phone/tablet no one can just go buy crazy loads of apps on you, I know on soem phoens the app store can be password protected but its not on android 3.0 tablets and it also stops you accidently clicking one fo them stupid in app purchases for £50.

Festivus Pole Dildo (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314438)

festivus pole dildo, expands in water, don't feed after midnight, chimes every hour, has deployable tongue which extends 5 feet.

Android Mkt Hits 10 Billion DLs, Spyware Dominates (-1, Flamebait)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314470)

Fixed that for ya.

Re:Android Mkt Hits 10 Billion DLs, Spyware Domina (1)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314566)

I guess for certain, atypical definitions of "spyware," and vague definitions of "dominates." I mean, you could define most free Android apps as spyware if you take the broad view that anything that calls home or displays targeted ads is "spyware." I personally have trouble buying that definition when using the app is strictly opt-in and you're told what the app can do when you opt in.

What exactly do you mean and have you the evidence to support it? Sorry, my impression is that you're just trolling/flamebaiting here.

Re:Android Mkt Hits 10 Billion DLs, Spyware Domina (3, Funny)

wzinc (612701) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315548)

No no, the spyware is already on the phones; you don't have to get it from the store.

iPhone vs Android (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314478)

The other day in another thread someone touted the "obvious" superiority of iPhone over Android. I called him on it, asking what would make the iPhone wrth its higher asking price. The only answer he could come up with was "app availability." (note, I was in a Sprint store yesterday triying to get my phone fixes, and it appeared some Androids cost more than iPhones, but that may have been part of the cantract, with the iPhone subsidized)

It looks like he was trolling. But I am curious, guys, wht with this thread and all, which one has more apps? More important, which one has more apps that are actually useful? If iPhone has 2 million apps and Android has 1.5 million apps, but 1.5 million iPhone apps are all Angry Birds clones, the "iPhone has more apps" would be a red herring; they're not all useful.

Note that these numbers aren't real, they're only illustrations. I'd really like to know which platform is better, iPhone or Android? How well are each built (and I realize that Android's quality is probably all over the board, since there are many different manufacturers).

And does the difference between phone company crippling make the question of Apple vs Android moot?

Re:iPhone vs Android (4, Interesting)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314532)

At some point, app count becomes irrelevant.

First, most good apps are on both platforms, right? But more importantly, how many thousand apps can you run on your phone? And specifically, how many thousand barcode readers do you need, for example? Quantity of apps seems quite irrelevant, especially when there is so much redundancy.

From my experience, the distinction between the iPhone and Android is about interface. Maybe it is just because I am more used to the iPhone, but when using an Android, I find the experience to be downright hostile. It is as if I have to fight the interface to get it to do what I want.

With the iPhone, I feel like it is working with me. There is no doubt that sometimes the iPhone tries to be "too smart" and do stuff for me that I'd rather it not do. But on the balance, I find everything about its interface to be smoother, more elegant, and a much more pleasant/productive experience.

Given that both systems have basically the same feature set and basically the same apps, interface and industrial design are the major distinguishing factors.

Price seems like a rather minor factor. At least in the US, price of the phone is nothing compared to the price of the service.

Some apps are system sellers (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314862)

But more importantly, how many thousand apps can you run on your phone?

Some apps are system sellers. To take an example from another market, if you want Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it doesn't matter how many games the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, and PC can run; you need a Wii. I don't own an iPhone and am therefore not familiar with the apps considered system sellers on that platform, but I imagine that they exist.

And specifically, how many thousand barcode readers do you need, for example?

If the device that you already own or can afford has a fixed focus lens, then barcode readers that require an autofocus lens won't work. For example, Google's barcode scanner needs autofocus for UPC, Code 128, and other 1D barcodes. If a given app is the only one that can image 1D barcodes even with fixed focus, then you need that app.

At least in the US, price of the phone is nothing compared to the price of the service.

This has a lot to do with the fact that the Samsung Galaxy Player took so damn long to get here, and Google was unwilling to license the Android Market app to Archos, giving the iPod touch a huge head start.

Re:Some apps are system sellers (2)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315754)

Some apps are system sellers. To take an example from another market, if you want Super Smash Bros. Brawl, it doesn't matter how many games the Xbox 360, PLAYSTATION 3, and PC can run; you need a Wii. I don't own an iPhone and am therefore not familiar with the apps considered system sellers on that platform, but I imagine that they exist.

I don't think the platform killer-game analogy works with iOS versus Android. Nearly everything is developed for both platforms, and in the rare case that one is not available on the other, there are hundreds of alternatives.

Re:iPhone vs Android (2)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315342)

But more importantly, how many thousand apps can you run on your phone?

That's an excellent question; how many apps can fit on each phone? And I also wondered why both platforms need apps when a computer can just use the web site for most things (radio stations are the first to come to mind). Why do you need (for instance) a Google Maps app when all you should have to do is surf to Google?

Maybe it is just because I am more used to the iPhone, but when using an Android, I find the experience to be downright hostile.

I have friends with one or the other platform, and only played with the Android interface for a few minutes, but I, too found it frustrating. It was almost like using Windows; nothing was anywhere I would have expected it in either Linux or Windows... and these ARE computers. I'm not buying a tablet until I can get one with wifi, no phone company, several USB ports, and touch-enabled KDE ofr that exact reason.

It's almost like they were purposely designing the interface to frustrate. Somehow I expect the iPhone interface to be just as bad, especially since you said "sometimes the iPhone tries to be "too smart" and do stuff for me that I'd rather it not do", that's one of my biggest gripes about Microsoft software.

At least in the US, price of the phone is nothing compared to the price of the service.

So true. I broke my phone earlier in the week, and am trying to repair/replace it. I was surprised to find Android at the Boost store, and probably would have bought one (interface sucks, but it sucks less than my Motorola) but they won't let you use one on the pay as you go plan.

Re:iPhone vs Android (3, Interesting)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315770)

Why do you need (for instance) a Google Maps app when all you should have to do is surf to Google?

I find most embedded apps to be better than their web counterpart on any smartphone/tablet device.

Re:iPhone vs Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315854)

Why do you need (for instance) a Google Maps app when all you should have to do is surf to Google?

This is actually one of the big sources of 'apps,' bad web development. Go to a web site, try changing the resolution. Far too many pages have massive banner images or other awkward formatting constraints. Next, try turning off some of your scripting, many pages will be unusable. The auto-forwarding to mobile variants of pages is rarely impemented, and even less often implemented well. The mobile pages rarely have the information of the real page (even if all the information fits in one thin column between ads on the real page).
So when companies came to Apple saying "we can't use our page on your phone," instead of responding, "clean up your page a bit or write a coherent mobile page," Apple said, "here's our SDK, make an app that displays your page and sell it for $2."

Re:iPhone vs Android (3, Insightful)

CaptainOblivion (1254006) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315476)

My experience with interface is the reverse; I struggle to get iOS to do what I want, while Android makes perfect sense to me and operates smooth as a whistle (smoother, since whistles have little holes in them to make the sounds). This leads me to believe that as far as the interface of the two goes, it really is just personal preference and what you're used to, rather than a clear-cut "one is definitively better than the other" situation.

Re:iPhone vs Android (1)

danbob999 (2490674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315736)

Price seems like a rather minor factor. At least in the US, price of the phone is nothing compared to the price of the service.

I don't like this argument.
It's like saying that your $500 laptop is nothing compared to the price of your internet connection over its 5 year lifetime.

Just because the phone and the service are bundled together and sold from the same company doesn't make it any more acceptable.

Re:iPhone vs Android (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314846)

If "app availability" was all he could come up with then he wasn't thinking hard enough, although ultimately the choice between iOS and Android is largely one of personal preference assuming you get a decent Android phone, although Apple closed the gap a little on the cheap Android handsets by keeping the 3GS around and discounting it.

I personally prefer the iOS app market, but it suits my needs just fine. YMMV.

One platform is no better than the other - I think iOS is slightly more polished, but it's mainly down to the vertical integration.

Re:iPhone vs Android (1)

krouic (460022) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314850)

Remembering a few years ago, in the PC vs Mac debate, that PC fans argued that their platform was superior because there was much more software available. To what Mac fans replied that it was quality, not quantity that mattered, and that it was better, for a given application type, to have one good program rather than ten mediocre ones. Funny how the same arguments are reused when the tables have turned.

Re:iPhone vs Android (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314882)

Remember when the Apple haters claimed that the Mac had too little software and the iPhone too much? And that quality doesn't matter, only numbers?

Re:iPhone vs Android (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314998)

Remembering a few years ago, in the PC vs Mac debate, that PC fans argued that their platform was superior because there was much more software available.

And they were right. That is the primary selling point of Windows, and in that regard, Windows is superior.

To what Mac fans replied that it was quality, not quantity that mattered, and that it was better, for a given application type, to have one good program rather than ten mediocre ones.

And they were right too. Provided the particular app category was served by a Mac app developer, then the app on Mac was probably better than any of the apps on Windows. In that way Mac was superior.

The difference here is that iOS has both the app quantity AND quality. It's superior in both ways.

Re:iPhone vs Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315744)

The difference here is that iOS has both the app quantity AND quality. It's superior in both ways.

Ah, but superior to what? Today's Android.

To see how silly it is to think that way, compare iOS to the Mac itself. The Mac utterly crushes iOS. Windows crushes iOS. Even Ubuntu crushes iOS.

Android has no bounds to its growth, so it will grow to, and exceed, the Mac. iOS never will.

By the time "superior quality" applications on mobile devices reaches the same level as "embarrassingly low quality garbage" on desktops, iOS' marketshare will be the single digits, lower than the Mac's share was in the Scully years. It's not hard to guess where most of the users, the money, and the developers will be.

BTW, Windows didn't have a "primary selling point." It had a "primary reality point" which was that it came preloaded on most computers, so that it was what everyone had, who didn't make deliberate choices. That is what iOS is up against, with Android. It's the 1990s all over again, except this time further extremified by Apple's app store. So if you want application X, iOS might be unserved not because developers didn't see a demand for X, but because Apple doesn't want its users to have X.

Six months out of date much? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314904)

And does the difference between phone company crippling make the question of Apple vs Android moot?

For one thing, all phones with Android Market have Android Debug Bridge, letting the user sideload over USB. For another, half a year ago, AT&T relented and reenabled "Unknown sources" due to overwhelming customer demand for Amazon Appstore.

Re:Six months out of date much? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315732)

For one thing, all phones with Android Market have Android Debug Bridge, letting the user sideload over USB.

Interesting, can you sideload over bluetooth or wifi as well? That would be a big selling point for me, I bought bluetooth dongles for both my computers (the cat lost the dongle for the notebook, it was on a table and when I got home the stuff was on the floor, dongle missing, damned cat must have used it for a toy) to transfer photos, recorded sound, movies, etc from my dumb qwerty phone.

Re:Six months out of date much? (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315806)

Android Debug Bridge over Bluetooth was not supported as of July [stackoverflow.com]. But if you have "Unknown sources", and pretty much all carriers' phones do by now, you can copy APKs to your phone over Bluetooth and install them from a file manager.

Re:iPhone vs Android (2)

Nanosphere (1867972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315014)

The other day in another thread someone touted the "obvious" superiority of iPhone over Android. I called him on it, asking what would make the iPhone wrth its higher asking price. The only answer he could come up with was "app availability." (note, I was in a Sprint store yesterday triying to get my phone fixes, and it appeared some Androids cost more than iPhones, but that may have been part of the cantract, with the iPhone subsidized)

No, many of the latest Android phones cost the same as the latest iPhone. As for older models they may be cheaper, but they don't receive OS upgrades as often if at all.

It looks like he was trolling. But I am curious, guys, wht with this thread and all, which one has more apps? More important, which one has more apps that are actually useful? If iPhone has 2 million apps and Android has 1.5 million apps, but 1.5 million iPhone apps are all Angry Birds clones, the "iPhone has more apps" would be a red herring; they're not all useful.

Note that these numbers aren't real, they're only illustrations. I'd really like to know which platform is better, iPhone or Android? How well are each built (and I realize that Android's quality is probably all over the board, since there are many different manufacturers).

And does the difference between phone company crippling make the question of Apple vs Android moot?

I would say Apple probably has more higher quality apps but that's also because Apple has more pay-for apps. Android has more free apps that are ad supported or games that are free to play but try to sell you in game upgrades. I have noticed recently some of the bigger name mobile developers that were previously iOS only have started porting some of their products over to Android, probably as market share of Android slowly catches up.

Re:iPhone vs Android (1)

pjr.cc (760528) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315410)

Personal opinion, but i believe the difference is moot. I find that (as a hacker type) apps I want on my phone (android) are available on the android market. For example an SSH daemon (which i dont think there is one on the apple market) that can access the root of my phone's filesystem. Some may think me crazy for running such a thing, but I am a little crazy. But it is apps like that you'll find quite a few of (apps designed to support rooted phones) that you'll never see on the apple market and they do appeal very much to me in alot of cases.

The problem with that particular example is that im the 1-2% of the android market who are looking for those type of things.

The general populace want games, some lifestyle apps, some social apps and maybe some business apps. In general, i believe there are more then enough of these available on both platforms and markets. On the whole, i'd say its a line-ball call. You'll find what you need for all those in both markets and in some cases they'll even be the same app ported from one platform to the other (angry birds is a good example). You'll also get alot of pure entertainment from both that'll fill just about any taste. These days i've yet to find something I wanted to do I cant find on the android market (which wasn't always the case).

One thing I do believe is true, if you sat down and decided "i want to do this, this and this with my phone that it doesnt do right now", the cost of adding that functionality tends to be lower on the android platform them the iphone side however, you'll probably have to live with advertising on the android device to do so. What I also mean with this is that you'll find what you want is probably available on both platforms these days.

Re:iPhone vs Android (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315420)

If you're just living in the moment, it's possibly an interesting question, but as soon as you start thinking about the future, whichever one happens to have leapfrogged most recently becomes irrelevant. Both of these platforms seem to still be very primitive and immature compared to what you take for granted every day on your desktop, but both are also still developing and getting better, and it's happening quickly.

Once you see it that way, and try to project what's going to happen, a few things leap out at you. One is that IOS is disadvantaged by lack of development tool diversity. Xcode has a decent rep (I'll admit I've never tried it, but everyone I've talked to speaks of it pleasantly, and most seem to like it more than say, Eclipse) but it's just One Thing, and can only be used on one type of workstation, which most developers don't have and aren't interested in getting. That is necessarily going to limit the number of developers that exist. IOS is again disadvantaged by The One Store, which anyone would have to admit, is just plain infamous for its limitations, whether you think they're arbitrary, malicious, or benevolently justified. That further limits the number of developers, and also (regardless of developers) what users are able to easily get.

To put into perspective how overwhelming that is, look at the hardware capabilities of a typical game console (Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo -- it doesn't matter) and look at the incredibly narrow selection of things an end user can actually do with it, compared to a desktop PC. Almost all the software for these boxes is limited to games, and even if you put on elephant-sized blinders and just look at them in terms of games, what you can actually get is just plain insignificant compared to what you've got on the desktop. I'm not saying this means it's no fun to play games on a console, just that your favorite games probably aren't on consoles, because the fraction of games developers who target consoles is tiny. Most of the good ideas will tend to show up somewhere else.

Android's nudging people toward a particular store is similarly threatening, but the lack of lock-in is a huge deal. Unlike IOS, it has the capacity to eventually boom. Whether it'll ever achieve anything great, I've no idea, but IOS just can't ever become more than a niche toy, ever. If Android ever progresses beyond niche toy, then IOS' limitations will cause it's best-case scenario upper limit to marketshare, to be less than desktop MacOS ever achieved. And MacOS is a very capable and uncrippled platform.

Re:iPhone vs Android (2)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315726)

Who cares which one has more apps? This is the same argument as the mid-90s "Windows is better than Mac because there's more software" argument. Exactly how many word processors do we need again?

Top 5 countries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314500)

"The top five countries in downloads-per-capita are South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the U.S., and Singapore."

Is Hong Kong a country?

Re:Top 5 countries (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315150)

I'm not sure how true it is, but I was told that Hong Kong is fairly independent even though it's part of China. It's considered by some to be a separate entity under different laws/rules.

Knew it (0)

ArchieBunker (132337) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314504)

People ask me why I don't have a smart phone. Its because the majority of people just use them to play games or pass the time. Its more toy than a useful appliance. I make an occasional call or text with my old flip phone. Maybe a camera would be nice on occasion but I can count that number of times on one hand.

One comedian whose name escapes me had a great comment about the way people observe things now. They don't see things for themselves. They see things through the miniature screen on the phone instead of their own eyes.

Will I upgrade to a smart phone? Maybe eventually, but I'd rather have $200 in my pocket than a game system with poor phone capabilities.

Re:Knew it (2)

beowolfschaefer (2451564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314650)

Just because people buy more games doesn't mean that they spend more time playing games. I may want a trivia game and a sports game and a card game but I only need one camera program to take a photo. That doesn't mean that I spend more time playing games than taking photos. Personally I think the photo, web and multimedia capabilities are the real killer app for smart phones, not games. I use the camera all the time for work just to record details or show damage of a product to a client. It's insanely fast and easy to just click share and have those photos ready in a web album on picasa. I also listen to podcasts, streaming music and talk radio all day from my phone. I think you'll also find that even for those people who spend a lot of time gaming on their phones they probably buy a lot more games than they actually play. With so many free and discount offers on Android markets it's really easy to fall into a habit of collecting all these games even if you don't often play them. I know I do this even though I hardly ever game on my phone.

Re:Knew it (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314676)

Breakdown of my iPhone usage (I was a holdout until 18 months ago):

25% Googling for things I'm wondering about when chatting with friends / to resolve a disagreement / to make sure I'm not telling my daughter untruths
25% Facebook/Sickipedia when I've got 5 minutes to kill; general surfing
15% Calculator/Wolfram Alpha when reading, accounting, doing bills, etc.
15% Dilbert, xkcd, news with the morning smoke
10% Texting, emails
5% Taking photos/vidoes when out and about
4% Miscellanous (Shazam, DSL diagnostics, route calculation, local "what's on")
1% Games

My computer is now exclusively for doing long emails and coding, and possibly a bit of Amazon or reading a long online piece. My games console is for gaming. My "phone" is for everything else, because I always have it with me and it can "always" connect to the internet.

Get one. You won't miss your flip phone.

Re:Knew it (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314972)

25% Facebook/Sickipedia when I've got 5 minutes to kill

Some smartphone owners put gaming into this 25%.

My games console is for gaming. My "phone" is for everything else

Let me guess: no games from indie developers too small for Nintendo's developer program interest you.

Re:Knew it (2)

Calos (2281322) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314678)

I used to say that. Then I got a smartphone.

They're extremely useful in all kinds of situations; for example, I needed to buy an odd-sized battery recently, and couldn't find anything that matched the markings at the store. Pulled out the phone, Googled it quick, found out exactly what the lettering and numbering means, and could choose a battery. I don't game on mine, other than cards occasionally. And it functions better as a phone than any dumbphone I've had.

Back when the first iPhones came out, I really didn't like the idea of an all-touchscreen phone, and while the phone was impressive, in many ways I didn't think it was good enough at anything to make it worth it. I ended up getting an original Droid, the slide-out keyboard helped ease me into smartphone land, and I've never looked back.

In short - spend some time seriously using one, and your view might change.

Hundreds of dollars a year (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315006)

[A smartphone is] extremely useful in all kinds of situations

But is it useful enough to be worth hundreds of dollars a year? I pay 7 USD per month for dumbphone service because any call that isn't about arranging a ride can wait for an unmetered land line. The same carrier's smartphone plans go for 35 USD per month, in part because they include more minutes in a month than I use in a year. Let me know when there are smartphone plans for less than that per month.

Re:Knew it (1)

bryan1945 (301828) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314806)

The only reason I have yet to upgrade is that I don't want an additional charge for data. I haven't looked around recently, but can you get a smartphone that does not require a data package? Or, I guess the more appropriate question would be a carrier that does not require a data package with a smartphone.

Re:Knew it (1)

davidbrit2 (775091) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314866)

Different strokes. I use mine on a fairly regular basis to perform administrative tasks using VPN, ssh, Remote Desktop, etc. It's not a laptop replacement, but when you're in the middle of nowhere, and suddenly have a database or web server spitting out errors, it can be a life-saver.

Granted, I've got plenty of games on there as well.

Re:Knew it (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315206)

On-The-Go web searches are awesome. Especially when you are in Best Buy and you want to see if you can get that item cheaper from Amazon or you want to find the closest Italian restaurant.

Navigation is a huge bonus. You don't need a dedicated navigation unit or have to pay the extra $2000 for the "option" in most cars as well.

Weather information at your fingertips...

I use mine as a streaming audio player/mp3 player while docked on my desk at work. (granted, I am grandfathered into Verizon's unlimited data)

Even though I intended to use mine for gaming as well, I only have two games installed and I haven't opened either in weeks.

Re:Knew it (2)

Nanosphere (1867972) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315200)

People ask me why I don't have a smart phone. Its because the majority of people just use them to play games or pass the time. Its more toy than a useful appliance. I make an occasional call or text with my old flip phone. Maybe a camera would be nice on occasion but I can count that number of times on one hand.

One comedian whose name escapes me had a great comment about the way people observe things now. They don't see things for themselves. They see things through the miniature screen on the phone instead of their own eyes.

Will I upgrade to a smart phone? Maybe eventually, but I'd rather have $200 in my pocket than a game system with poor phone capabilities.

Believe me I was the same way, up until a couple years ago all I used for a disposable phone that I loaded with prepay cards. Then I upgraded to a more expensive "semi-smart" phone that had a camera, web browser and google maps. It could only run java based apps so it was very limited in "apps". It was still extremely useful when my girlfriend and I went on vacation. It replaced our normal gps for navigation, It replaced my digital camera and took equally good photos. The web browser was useful for finding cheaper gas on gasbuddy,com and I could check my webmail.

I have an android phone now which has the same high usefulness and yes I loaded it with more games even though I hardly spend time on them. The only thing I would warn about is the 2 year contract, go over it very carefully, they can get you with an expensive plan and useless extra fees.

So I would say before going all out with an Android or iPhone try one of the $50-$75 prepaid phones that has a camera, web browser and maps application and see how much use you get out of it.

10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314510)

...if it were not for the fragmentation that has reared its head in Android land.

After dismissing this issue, Google, I thought, appeared to be creating a solution with ICS 4.0. It seems I am under some kind of delusion. How can Google expect to be a force of change if Android devices are as numerous as OEMs in both hardware and software? It defeats my understanding.

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (4, Interesting)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314722)

Perhaps it would be easier to keep all the phones up to date if the Microsoft Patent Licensing deal didn't involve renegotiation for each new Android version that you want to install on the phone...

Oh hey, guess what? MS charges LESS for a full install of WP7 than their bogus Android license fees. This is the same sort of behavior that got them in anti-competitive trouble LAST TIME. Funny how immediately after their DOJ anti-trust oversight expires, the ramp up the anti-competitive practices.

I hope B & N tears them a new one. [groklaw.net]

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (1)

schnikies79 (788746) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314812)

It wouldn't be easier or harder because the fees are not the reason. The reason is the manufactures don't want you to upgrade the OS, they want you to upgrade the phone. It's planned obsolescence.

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315850)

He presented a formal accusation of B&N in a court of law and you are presenting hypothesis. I think his explanation has way more ground than "those old greedy manufacturers are depriving the people of their updates". I think manufacturers know that too. That's why they prefer pushing android devices over wp7. Besides wp7 being shittier than android, they don't have to deal with "I can't compete without lawyers" microsoft.

Seriously, Microsoft's management has to step down if they want to rival Google.

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314728)

The fragmentation argument is so tired. According to very recent market share surveys, Android 2.2 (Froyo) and 2.3 (Gingerbread) account for 95% of the Android user base.

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (2)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314938)

what fragmentation?

just make your app for 2.2 - test that it works with high dpi tablets, maybe make a different layout for them if you feel like it. and bam, you're there. less fragmentation than on ios by now. if your app is targeted at doing some device specific shenigans by running things in the linux-side, I guess there's more fragmentation. for most kind of apps there's not really that much fragmentation to talk about, unless you count varying resolution as fragmentation.

(granted, you can make things speedier with less coding if you do 3.1-> only but that can wait for a year or two in your plans)

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315080)

Paid apps tend to be games, and for those, varying OpenGL capability is fragmentation.

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (1)

nschubach (922175) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315566)

Do you also complain about PC fragmentation?

Re:10 Billion would be 100 Billion... (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315760)

Major video game developers have in fact complained about PC fragmentation. A retail game is expected to run acceptably on an Intel GMA yet take advantage of the latest and greatest AMD or NVIDIA card.

Version options? (1)

AdamJS (2466928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314558)

Have they given a way to use an old version of the Marketplace yet? Trying to do so normally just results in the app auto-updating itself.
The current application is so slow and unresponsive that it is virtually unusable on an N1 with more than, say, 8 apps installed.
It's been like this for the past two or three revisions.

Pretty old news for being Slashdot (1)

qrwe (625937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314590)

This campaign has been ongoing for days. Slashdot used to be quicker than this.

Re:Pretty old news for being Slashdot (3, Funny)

VortexCortex (1117377) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314660)

Pretty old news for being Slahdot

Heh, you must be new here...

Slashdot used to be quicker than this.

Oh, never mind, you must be really old here.

Preffered App Metric (2)

ZombieBraintrust (1685608) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314608)

I like this metric better than the old "number of apps" metric. I'm sure all the wallpapers, quizes, and sound boards don't add up to many downloads.

and Cydia? (1)

sociocapitalist (2471722) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314710)

Is comparing android market vs. the apple store applicable for an idea of how popular the phone OS is without taking cydia downloads into account?

Re:and Cydia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38314870)

Yes. Cydia is on, what, 0.5% of iPhones, at most? Amazon Appstore for Android has a bigger marketshare than that, and Amazon Appstore is a pile of shit.

Re:and Cydia? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314986)

cydia is just a drop in the bucket.

you would need to start counting ziio-store etc downloads to android then too.

Re:and Cydia? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315304)

Cydia would be an excellent ecosystem if Apple didn't focus on stomping it out. The problem is that because JB apps are not able to use standard APIs and use a different install mechanism as apps from the store, it doesn't take much from Apple to completely break things. For example, the addition of ASLR in a recent 4.x version of iOS broke the Mobile Substrate for a while. The Cydia marketplace is still trying to get in gear for iOS 5.0.1, with a number of apps just not working.

Google, on the other hand, doesn't care. Some of the best selling apps like DroidWall, ROM Manager, or Titanium Backup require root. Since there is nothing illegal about a rooted phone, and unlike iOS, root provides zero loss of security [1][2] on the device.

[1]: Well, unless the user decides to be a dummy-head, but if a user is smart enough to pull up ADB and root a phone, or at least type in "fastboot oem unlock", they will know enough not to hand any unknown app that asks for it the "#" prompt. But, I could be wrong.

[2]: Once an iPhone is jailbroken, apps can write outside their memory space. This in theory would allow an app that behaves well normally to scrozzle up a jailbroken phone easily, and it would be difficult to impossible to find the app if its corruption was subtle enough. Contrast that to Android's security mechanism where if an app is denied access to su by the user, it will operate as its UID exactly as an app on a non-rooted device.

And only 5 months (1)

CheerfulMacFanboy (1900788) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314794)

after Apple announced 50% more downloads. And likely a few days before Apple hits 20M.

Re:And only 5 months (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315100)

In a few days, or maybe already. They were on 18 billion in October, and increasing at about a billion a month.

i.e. iIn the last year there have been as many iOS app downloads as in the entire life of Android.

Market(s) (1)

bobstreo (1320787) | more than 2 years ago | (#38314910)

I hardly bother looking for stuff on the android market anymore, the splash page when you hit it is a giant
"OMG DON'T CLICK AND BUY ACCIDENTLY"

I just try to menu to updates and (after checking comments) update.

Amazon's app of the day has been actually pretty cool.

I like having choices for which market(s) I use.

If you add in amazon, and other markets, I think probably more downloads than apple...

Re:Market(s) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315280)

You, uh, do realize that clicking one of the splash images does not, in fact, instantly buy the app, right?

Forward this link to Steve Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315028)

Forward this link to Steve Ballmer

http://android-developers.blogspot.com/2011/12/closer-look-at-10-billion-downloads.html

He sure must be made aware of this success for Microsoft.

*countries*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315218)

Since when did Hong Kong and Taiwan become "countries"?

Re:*countries*? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315734)

Since when did Hong Kong and Taiwan become "countries"?

Hong Kong, arguably, isn't. However, the only people that think Taiwan isn't a country are the Chinese, but they mostly just whine about that at the UN. For all practical purposes, Taiwan is a country.

Google, please take my money. Pretty please... (1)

bornagainpenguin (1209106) | more than 2 years ago | (#38315336)

I have an android phone, so I've been enjoying this since I first heard about it. Was sad that I missed the first day, but what can you do? The biggest gripe I'm having now though is that Google will not even let me buy some of the apps on sale here today or yesterday. Keeps on saying my current phone is not compatible with the app.

So? Does Google think that I will never upgrade my phone? Or that just because I do not currently have an Android tablet I will never get one?

Please just let me buy the app already! Just take my money Google, don't taunt me with great apps and great games but refuse to let me install them!

--bornagainpenguin

Re:Google, please take my money. Pretty please... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38315666)

So? Does Google think that I will never upgrade my phone? Or that just because I do not currently have an Android tablet I will never get one?

Yes, they do.

No, seriously. Just imagine the complaints they'd have to put up with if the marketplace simply allowed users (the "in general" sort of users) to waste money on something that won't run at all on their phone without so much as a second glance. Most people still using old smartphones WON'T be upgrading their phones/tablets right away, and they would be enraged if they learned they couldn't run the app on which they just spent their hard-earned money* wouldn't work on their already-expensive smartphone from a couple years back.

And besides, what're you doing trying to limp along a pre-Gingerbread phone and complaining that you can't install new apps? Owing to the fiasco where they didn't release the Honeycomb source and thus it was never ported to phones before ICS was completed, there's effectively no popular apps in the marketplace (certainly none that would fall under the 10c sale) for Honeycomb only. So the only real reason popular apps wouldn't be installable is if you've still got, say, a stock firmware G1 you insist on using forever.

*: They might throw in a couple instances of "American" or "patriotic" too, as well as a "freedom" or "independence" just to make sure they make the news when they complain about it.

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