As reported by the blog appFigures, it seems that for the first time, Google Play has beaten Apple in terms of the number of new mobile apps in 2014. Not only that, Google Play's developer community has also surpassed Apple's in terms of growth. Google's community now consists of 388,000 developers releasing and distributing apps through Google Play. Interestingly, much of that growth transpired in the later part of 2014. For comparison, Apple's total number of developers in 2014 is 282,000, and a distant third is Amazon, whose developers number 48,000.
According to appFigures, app development overall is growing, with all three apps stores (Google Play, iOS App Store, and Amazon Appstore) experiencing growth by at least 50 percent in 2014.
But among the three, Google Play is really rocketing up. Apart from having the most developers in its fold, Google Play also hosts more mobile apps than Apple. It now has 1.43 million apps in its arsenal, compared with Apple's 1.21 million. Although Amazon has made really great strides in 2014 (its catalog has expanded by 90 percent), it still has only 293,000 apps to date.
Google's advantage in app numbers may have something to do with how it runs its mobile app store. Google usually lets developers publish the apps they created directly into the app store, only intervening when there violations to the Terms of Service or if there are any mobile malware involved. As for Apple, it normally lets its developers' apps undergo a more extensive review process.
Also, appFigures sheds light on the differences between Google and Apple in terms of their respective best-selling apps. On Google Play, the top five categories are Games, Photography, Music, Business, and Entertainment. On the iOS App Store, the top categories include Business, Food & Drink, Lifestyle, Social Networking, and Catalogs.
If we talk about app development growth from new developers, it turns out that on Apple's iTunes, most developers were publishing business apps, then followed by Lifestyle apps, then Games apps. On Google Play, it is a different story. Games apps were the most popular apps published by developers, followed by Business apps, then Entertainment apps.
Now, even though Google has exceeded Apple in terms of growth, it does not mean that developers prefer to publish at Google first before Apple. On the contrary, many developers still try launching at iOS first before building an Android version of their apps. Add the fact that lately, Apple is where developers are making the most money. Google's growth may just be an indication that developers now are becoming less and less exclusive, which means they no longer just stick to iOS, but also try creating apps for Android, too.
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