Apps Comparison: Apps for Droid vs iPhone App

Apps Comparison: Apps for Droid vs iPhone App

Apps, Apps, Apps…

Apps, it seems like everything is all about apps these days, and there is a reason why… It’s the newest most exciting market for developers and consumers alike. It’s a pipedream for startup and beginning developers as well as expert developers. Just about anyone can submit an app and within a few days be exposed to a global marketplace. From a consumer standpoint, most of these apps are available for free or at minimal costs and can be downloaded on the fly just about anywhere you are. (There are some obvious limitations to this.) App stores have revolutionized the way companies are doing business, how users are being entertained, and just about anything you can think of…”There’s an app for that.” For that very reason, the app offerings for a mobile device are arguably the most important facet of the decision in whether to buy an iPhone or a DROID, and thus our apps comparison.

Apps Comparison: Why Big Numbers Don’t Mean Better AppiPhone App Count vs Droid App Counts

Currently the iPhone is by far the dominant force in the app industry because Apple was the first to market. They introduced the app store through iTunes on July 10, 2008. This advantage has provided them with now over 170,000 apps. The Android Marketplace on the other hand was not launched until October 22, 2008. While the Android Marketplace has seen a huge influx of new applications they are still only at around 38,000 apps as of Q1, 2010 according to Google’s “official” report.

Now, obviously it would appear that iPhone would be the best choice if you are in the market for the most apps, however don’t get caught up in the numbers just yet. One big thing to consider is the manner in which these apps are actually approved. Currently Apple has made it extremely easy for just about anyone to write and upload an app to the App Store via their proprietary, mature, and well polished set of tools; Xcode with the Cocoa Touch development environment and the iPhone SDK. For this reason a lot of the 170,000 apps that they have may not be exactly what most people would call “high quality.” On the other hand, the Android Marketplace is not much better as they have no moderation whatsoever for their developers. Apple took the approach of moderation before approval, whereas Google took the approach moderation by the user community. If a number of users complain about a given app, they will investigate. This opens the Android Marketplace up to a lot of scrutiny but then again has been very successful in making significant strides towards providing an ever increasing number of quality apps as well.

Apps Comparison: Operating Systems

Another key feature that could be the make or break decision regarding the apps is how those apps are actually handled by their respective operating systems. As mentioned in our software overview, the DROID and Android OS allow for multitasking and simultaneous apps to be run at the same time while Apple has taken a little different approach and only allows for one app to be run at a time (unless it’s a native and proprietary app such as Safari, iPod, or Mail). This key difference really could be the decision maker for most people. While the iPhone and App Store have almost 6 times as many apps, if you plan on trying to multitask on your iPhone and listen to Pandora for instance, it simply isn’t possible. However if you are using apps for DROID, you can listen to Pandora while surfing the web and updating your calendar and checking your mail if you want (as long as you aren’t using your phone. See our software article for more information on this).

So, to conclude our apps comparison, as you can see each platform offers their own respective advantages whether it be the largest number of apps available or the ability to multitask the apps that you have downloaded. As always the decision is going to come down to user preference and what makes the most sense to you.

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