Android apps overtake iOS in downloads, claims study

If you have have an Android-based smartphone and downloaded an app today from its Marketplace, you are not alone. According to a new study from ABI Research, downloads of Android apps have now overtaken those from Apple's iOS platform. The study claims that Android's app market share is now at 44 percent compared to 31 percent from Apple.

It's not hard to see why this has happened. Apple may have led the way in introducing a central app store back in 2008. But Google's Android operating system, with its open source themed, has been embraced by a ton of smartphone makers. This increase has now allowed app makers to be forced to consider making products from both Android and iOS platforms.

But it's not totally black and white on this front. ABI Research's Dan Shey says in the press release, "Despite leading in total mobile application downloads, Android's app downloads per user still lag behind Apple's by 2-to-1."

How could this be? One of the big reasons is that the Android Marketplace, the central location to download apps for the platform, didn't really have a good user interface to grab apps. This thankfully changed a few months ago with a redesigned UI that is more intuitive and easier to use. It still isn't quite as good as the iOS App Store but it's getting there.

In the end, having two viable mobile operating systems with big audiences is a huge opportunity for app makers to expand their reach. Apple may have started the app trend but Android's rise created an all new venue for software developers. Ultimately that means a bigger overall market for app developers to sell their creations.

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"This thankfully changed a few months ago with a redesigned UI that is more intuitive and easier to use. It still isn't quite as good as the iOS App Store but it's getting there."

How is the app store better? Educate me please.
How is it better in aspects like closing when pressing install? What if you want to continue reading about the app while it's downloading and installing? Things like that makes the Market App better IMO.

Karanlos said,
"This thankfully changed a few months ago with a redesigned UI that is more intuitive and easier to use. It still isn't quite as good as the iOS App Store but it's getting there."

How is the app store better? Educate me please.
How is it better in aspects like closing when pressing install? What if you want to continue reading about the app while it's downloading and installing? Things like that makes the Market App better IMO.

The app store is better because it never used to charge me three times when I had an iPhone!!

I tried to buy a theme earlier (like £1.13 or something), it completed the "authorising purchase...." but and then got stuck on "starting download...", so I eventually backed out and cancelled the download, then tried to go back in and install it. As it had the cost button again, I assumed the payment hadn't gone through, so clicked it again... same thing happened, so I tried once more.

That didn't work either, so I rebooted my phone and the app downloaded and installed automatically and I got three confirmation of purchase emails - so I assume it has charged me three times!

Luckily it was only £1.xx and not something more expensive like a navigation app.

You assume...? Have you tried investigating?

If it has billed you 3 times you can get your money back you know, it's a matter of contacting google or even the developer who can refund your purchase if problems arise.

Edited by Karanlos, Oct 25 2011, 10:20pm :

Karanlos said,
You assume...? Have you tried investigating?

If it has billed you 3 times you can get your money back you know, it's a matter of contacting google or even the developer who can refund your purchase if problems arise.

I investigated insofar as i checked my bank balance and saw that my balance has gone down for the value of five purchases, not two. I emailed Google who assure me the funds have been "watermarked" as going out of my account but won't actually be taken...it just means i have to wait a few days for their billing system and my bank to cancel the payments.

So not as bad as i thought, but I'm still a bit confused as to how it happened in the first place..once the purchase has authorised, even if the download itself was unsuccessful i shouldn't be given the option to buy the application again surely?

Well there are two options there. Use the refund Button or follow the helpsection where they got some things to try and if that doesn't help a link for contacting them. **** happens sometimes and I guess they really trying to fix them. I myself haven't had any issues.

Quantity doesn't beat quality.

I hardly download any apps from Android Market. I guess maybe cause I spend far too much time juggling space on the little 512MB the Desire has.

SK[ said,]Quantity doesn't beat quality.

I hardly download any apps from Android Market. I guess maybe cause I spend far too much time juggling space on the little 512MB the Desire has.

So buy a bigger SDcard and make an sd-ext/apps2sd partition. There's plenty of guides on Google if you're unsure.

bjoswald said,

So buy a bigger SDcard and make an sd-ext/apps2sd partition. There's plenty of guides on Google if you're unsure.

Most of the apps2sd implementations aren't that great.. they seem to stop working after a while.

This has happened on both my old desire and the mrs' phone..

bjoswald said,

So buy a bigger SDcard and make an sd-ext/apps2sd partition. There's plenty of guides on Google if you're unsure.

I just got a new Samsung Galaxy S 2 about two weeks ago, and rooted it last week. I have a 32GB SD card in it, and have moved most of my apps to the card. Is there still a need to create this partition on the SD cards with newer phones? I'm still learning about Android so I'm not sure about some of this stuff.

IceBreakerG said,

I just got a new Samsung Galaxy S 2 about two weeks ago, and rooted it last week. I have a 32GB SD card in it, and have moved most of my apps to the card. Is there still a need to create this partition on the SD cards with newer phones? I'm still learning about Android so I'm not sure about some of this stuff.

Galaxy S2 has 16GB of storage built in, 2GB for apps, so you're unlikely to need to move any to the SD card unless you install literally hundreds of apps

Hardcore Til I Die said,

Galaxy S2 has 16GB of storage built in, 2GB for apps, so you're unlikely to need to move any to the SD card unless you install literally hundreds of apps

So is it not recommended to move apps to the SD card? I keep reading different things, so I'm not sure lol. I see some people move all of their apps to teh SD card, then others don't move any, so yeah, I don't know. I do have close to 100 apps though, but most of them are games

are you running out of space on your Apps storage space which is 2GB that you need to put stuff on the SD? Most older phones had 110MB of space so that's why moving to SD came about. You don't even need apps2sd anymore since it's already built into the OS anyways. If you've managed to fill the 2GB of space of apps then you probably have too many apps on your phone.

IceBreakerG said,

So is it not recommended to move apps to the SD card? I keep reading different things, so I'm not sure lol. I see some people move all of their apps to teh SD card, then others don't move any, so yeah, I don't know. I do have close to 100 apps though, but most of them are games

I wouldn't bother moving to SD unless you're running out of internal memory.

Go to Menu > Settings > Storage > where it says "Device memory" at the bottom, that is how much room you have left to install apps.

I have 1.44gb remaining and have 71 apps installed.. I don't think I could fill all of that space if I wanted to!

The internal storage tends to be faster than the SD card, so if you leave apps on the internal memory they should load faster than if they're on SD. In other words I wouldn't bother moving apps to SD unless you're starting to run out of space.

Tager said,
I still don't have the redesigned UI on my marketplace. No matter though, I only purchase the free apps.

Have you tried deleting Market cache/data?

"This increase has now allowed app makers to be forced to consider making products from both Android and iOS platforms."

Pretty fuzzy logic here... why does this explain downloads?

osm0sis said,
"This increase has now allowed app makers to be forced to consider making products from both Android and iOS platforms."

Pretty fuzzy logic here... why does this explain downloads?


It doesnt... its just a statement saying that the android app catalog is increasing due to the increase in popularity of android....

Not surprising. As marketshare goes up, developer's interest goes up and more apps are available that strike more people's fancy.

I've always heard people say that but I don't think that's the case (well in my case anyways). On iOS you can use your credit/debit card as well as on Android, but the people buying up tons of little apps are the kids. Since they don't have credit cards they use iTunes cards! Those little prepaid cards that you can at 7-Eleven, Cumberland, CVS, Ride-Aid, Supermarkets, ANYWHERE! You can't buy things on the App Store without a credit/debit card! Few of my friend's kids have iPod Touchs and some even lucky to get left over iPads. They wont put their credit cards on their, they use it as incentive however to reward the kid with a $15 iTunes card if they are good and/or get good grades in school.

NOTE - You can use those prepaid debit cards but they suck! Charging fees and crap even when you don't use them.

Edited by Roger H., Oct 25 2011, 1:36pm :

SHoTTa35 said,
I've always heard people say that but I don't think that's the case (well in my case anyways). On iOS you can use your credit/debit card as well as on Android, but the people buying up tons of little apps are the kids. Since they don't have credit cards they use iTunes cards! Those little prepaid cards that you can at 7-Eleven, Cumberland, CVS, Ride-Aid, Supermarkets, ANYWHERE! You can't buy things on the App Store without a credit/debit card! Few of my friend's kids have iPod Touchs and some even lucky to get left over iPads. They wont put their credit cards on their, they use it as incentive however to reward the kid with a $15 iTunes card if they are good and/or get good grades in school.

NOTE - You can use those prepaid cards but they suck!


Fine....so everyone is cheap except gullible kids....and they're all using iOS....so I'll keep selling games to them

Hehe, not saying they are the ONLY ones buying of-course, tons of people do random buying to check out stuff knowing it's only 99 cents for the app. I can also imagine people in X country without that type of card can just get a friend to buy them a iTunes card from the US and email it to them and buy apps that way too.

Rudy said,
It's too bad the majority of Android users are not willing to PAY for apps though

one more point in addition to shottas35 is majority of android apps are free compared to ios app. So obviously less purchase

SHoTTa35 said,
Hehe, not saying they are the ONLY ones buying of-course, tons of people do random buying to check out stuff knowing it's only 99 cents for the app. I can also imagine people in X country without that type of card can just get a friend to buy them a iTunes card from the US and email it to them and buy apps that way too.

i don't think that happens so often... would you buy a $20+ iTunes card for you pen pal in X country because he doesn't have a credit card, btw who is he going to pay you back, I'm guessing he's not going to send the money via mail ? )

and if they don't have credit cards, i'm guessing that they don't have Apple products as well. I'm saying this because Apple products are premium, so they aren't that cheap, and you have to have a monthly paycheck (and that is usually money going into a bank account)
I might be wrong though... who knows how life is in Uzbekistan-like countries, not to say some African countries.

Also I'm really interested what is the percentage of paid/free apps on the both stores.

SHoTTa35 said,
Those little prepaid cards that you can at 7-Eleven, Cumberland, CVS, Ride-Aid, Supermarkets, ANYWHERE!

You totally the verb!

Marius F said,

i don't think that happens so often... would you buy a $20+ iTunes card for you pen pal in X country because he doesn't have a credit card, btw who is he going to pay you back, I'm guessing he's not going to send the money via mail ? )

My buddy wouldn't have to pay me back cuz he's my buddy but I wont be shelling out $200/year or doing that for all my "friends" (good I don't have much abroad). A $20 iTunes gift card for my buddy or my neice and nephew to go on their iPod Touchs for their birthday isn't bad either. My nephew gets to buy that game or those in-app purchases and my neice buys who knows!

Haha, wolftail you got me on that one. Dunno wtf happened there

Marius F said,

i don't think that happens so often... would you buy a $20+ iTunes card for you pen pal in X country because he doesn't have a credit card, btw who is he going to pay you back, I'm guessing he's not going to send the money via mail ? )

and if they don't have credit cards, i'm guessing that they don't have Apple products as well. I'm saying this because Apple products are premium, so they aren't that cheap, and you have to have a monthly paycheck (and that is usually money going into a bank account)
I might be wrong though... who knows how life is in Uzbekistan-like countries, not to say some African countries.

Also I'm really interested what is the percentage of paid/free apps on the both stores.


2010:
Android 60% free app
IOS 27% free app..
free android app % would have went up in 2011 but couldnt find a source.

also as mentioned itunes card do make a difference.... only 11 countries can buy from android market but with itunes card the whole world can buy from IOS app store...imagine the difference it makes.