Thursday, April 22, 2010

Android Claims 38,000 Apps But What of Quality?

Google's Android Market is getting crowded, with 38,000 apps in total according to the company's latest earnings call

Considering that Android gained roughly 8000 apps since last month, the mobile OS is on pace to top 100,000 apps by the end of the year. But like any app store, the Android Market has a quantity vs. quality issue, and it's getting harder to ignore as Google beats its chest over app counts.

Wallpapers, ringtones, and glorified RSS feeds all boost the Android Market's numbers, but offer little value compared to, say, a great utility app such as Locale. As with the iPhone, which hit the 100,000 app mark last November, it's worth questioning how many Android apps are actually useful.

Android's situation differs from the iPhone because Apple restricts developers, but Google does not. So while Apple cuts down on apps built from templates that merely pull content from the Web and purges "overtly sexual apps," the Android Market can grow in any way it pleases, for better or worse. That's not to say the iPhone doesn't have its share of junk, and with OS 4 adding wallpaper support this summer, you're bound to see worthless wallpaper apps spring up in droves, as they have for the iPad.


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