Posted January 4, 2012 7:14 am by with 10 comments

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I am torn on passing along information like this. It seems to be important for a split second to me but the data is quickly followed by a “So what?” moment that is just as strong. Maybe hearing your comments on this kind of “news” would be helpful but let’s get back to the original intent.

According to Distimo, a Netherlands company who claims expertise in app stores (whatever that actually means you can figure out on your own), reports that the Android app market has reached a milestone of 400,000 apps. They made a picture to “prove” it.

So is this number important? To show the scale of the Android market yes. Otherwise, not really. I have an Android device. On some days I convince myself that I will remain with the Android platform because of my Google centric life. After all, Google’s integration, especially in Ice Cream Sandwich devices (which I do not own), is supposed to be great.

Here’s the trouble though. My Android device can feel very clunky compared to the time I spend on an iPod Touch (the phoneless iPhone). It frustrates the heck out of me how seamless everything seems in the Apple environment compared to Android. In fact, lately it feels like I have an old Blackberry device because I need to soft reset the darn thing almost every day. More importantly, however, I am willing to try new apps more readily in the Apple world because it simply feels safer. I am not naive enough to think that it is completely safe because nothing online is but I literally get concerned in the Android market with downloading apps that are not from a very recognizable brand. It’s a matter of trust.

In fact, I have pretty much restricted any Android app downloads to those exclusively through Amazon’s Android market since there is an added layer of protection they offer. I could care less if there are 400,000 apps in the Android market when I am going to be suspect of 399,500 or so of them.

So I have given up on caring about how many apps there are. What I would be impressed with is if the Android market felt less like a flea market and more like shopping on 5th Avenue which is really the best way to describe the differences in the two experiences. Quantity is irrelevant. Quality and safety are paramount.

Your thoughts?

  • This was a strange non committal article. I have a samsung galaxy S 2. I really dont have ANY complains against it maybe battery life but that is about it.

    • I am non-committal because there are things I do like about the Android world but others are just not real well done.

      It depends on my mood as to what I am willing to tolerate. Since I am not a developer I have none of the concerns about the Apple walled garden that ticks many off. As an end user I like that aspect. In the Android space it feels like every app wants you to give over information to some guy half way around the world that is just waiting for another sucker to offer up contacts and passwords on their devices.

      Plain and simple Apple is as advertised, more elegant and more user friendly but Android offers more freedom as well.

      Oh well!

      • John

        “In the Android space it feels like every app wants you to give over information to some guy half way around the world”

        The apps in the appstore request the same permissions to fork your data, the only difference is that in the market it informs you prior to downloading it vs nothing at all in the appstore

        no warnigs gives you the impression of security but I would much preffer knowing rather than not knowing what the app has acces too

        • Point taken. One thing I do love is the passion that is stirred up by the Android v Apple camps. It’s actually good to see rather than the usual passive acceptance of “what is …. is”.

  • Ash

    Well just switch to iPhone, its your choice…while we enjoy the freedom and ‘5th Avenue’ user experience with the latest dual core Androids 🙂

  • rob

    I agree go ahead and move to apple, Android will be none the worse for wear having lost a sheep maskarading as a free thinker. I have undoubtedly had more Android devices than you and I have had no malware. With the new holo theme being enforced by google the quality of the apps which can sometimes be a bit rougher will improve and surpass apple. Andoid has already surpassed apple in capability, and the areas where it doesn’t beat apple it soon will, apple on the other hand feels it’s already perfect and ao will not improve. So go ahead and switch and feel cool with the rest of the sheeple while every other platform progresses right past you.

  • Frank I have to agree that the number is irrelevant. I mean there are all kinds of pointless apps and copycats. Average user really uses a handful of apps anyways.

    But its interesting that you have potentially begun a flame war :p

    I personally would never go with Apple because they control what gets in. There is no freedom and freedom is everything.

    I don’t feel there is anything great about iphone or clunky about android. They both perform just as well.

    In android you are trading potential harm for freedom. I actively would chose freedom 🙂

  • iPhone user here. For an online marketer, I’m a late adopter and droids still seem a little too early/potentially hard to figure out for me.

    Before I decide if I care about 400,000 apps, I would like to have some other data – how many apps does the Apple store offer, for example? Or – of those 400,000 apps, how many of them are actually in use? (You could define “in use” as having been downloaded once or as being actively used, depending on what information is available.)

  • AlmightyBamm

    This publisher is purely bias, regardless of how bias he claims that he isn’t. It is obvious that Android allows more freedom while Apple rules its side with an iron fist. That is the primary reason that Android holds 53% of the smartphone market share, as compared to Apple’s 29%. Numbers don’t lie. Android started out rocky, with rocky movement, blah, blah, blah…When they launched Gingerbread, they opened a whole new side of Android with smoother function and drastically reduced battery consumption. App integration is outstanding, while Apple only offers integration with social networks,…BLAH! Android upgrades consistent, and for free (without erasing all of your data), and Apple upgrades occasionally, it costs, and you lose unclouded information. If your battery tears up, you have to send your phone off, or drive to a major city, and you are phoneless for a while. Imagine the business that is lost because of someone’s usual contact number not being available. With Android, you can go anywhere and purchase a battery, as well as additional memory, unlike the iPhone. I could go on for days about the Android vs. Apple topic, but I don’t have time to. I am a PROUD ANDROID USER. If you wanted stats and not pure bias, you should have let me write this article. Obviously, you haven’t done your research. Too much time on my hands? No, I just stumbled across this while researching the finishing touch on my iOS vs. Android OS essay for my finals. Research before you talk. #averagestreetgangstazcanthinktoo

  • The Android apps for download are really some of the best out there. They match or even surpass apps developed for ios or windows phone. The great thing about android apps is that it is open for anyone to tweak. Once they are created they then could be placed on the android market for download.

    Android fans should download as much cheap android downloads as they can.