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Are Android Apps Really Not As Good As Their iOS Counterparts?

Steven Blum
2

Android is exploding across the developed and developing world, leading to near ubiquity, and yet even with more than 10 billion downloaded apps, Android Market, we are told over and over again, is a backwater, filled with crappy, malware-infested apps that aren't making developers any money at all. Everyone complains that Android apps aren't as good as their iOS counterparts, even big name writers at Tech Crunch, and that Android Market doesn't have enough quality control, and that malware-infested apps are ruining all the fun. 

According to the research firm Flurry, developers would much rather create apps for iOS. Yeah, that's right: the closed ecosystem of Apple actually seems to be more attractive for most devs, simply because they can make more off in-app purchases. Oh, those poor Android geeks: who will make apps for them?

It seems that everyone is arguing that while Android nerds claim to be in posession of the fastest, most easily-modable and sleekest new handsets, these are not the phones with the best apps to show off said processing power. It's disconcerting to think that all of this incredible technology is being wasted on apps that are complete rubbish. 

Or is it this argument that is complete rubbish? Gameloft games, as well as those developed for exclusive use with Nvidia chips, sport impressive graphics and immersive 3D environments. There were plenty of great puzzlers out there this year, including "Where's My Water?" and "Cut the Rope." Obviously, Angry Birds, GTA 3 and Modern Combat all have posted big numbers as well.

In fact, of the top 25 games on iOS, Android has nearly all of them. 

Now of course the Android platform may not be the first to receive a new game. But the conventional wisdom that iOS has better apps than Android may not be based on fact.

To prove that Android apps can hold up to their iOS counterparts, we here at AndroidPIT will be posting comparison videos between the iPhone 4S and the Galaxy S2 of top apps in the App Store and Android Market. Are there any apps you'd recommend we compare? Let us know below!

Over the coming days, we hope to completely dispel the rumor that Android apps don't perform as well as their iOS counterparts, or simply begin a discussion as to why Android apps aren't up to snuff. We'll keep you posted...

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Comments

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  • Maeve D. Jan 3, 2012 Link

    I'm a happy Android user for 2 years now and love my Galaxy S 2. Hence, I W
    would still buy an Android phone. However, I recently bought an iPad 2 for my son. And, wow, If I were to buy a tablet, it would have to be from Apple.

    The apps are generally far far superior in many genres. But let's look at just one for the moment: Music/Audio (i.e. composing/recording/synthesis/ performing/effects etc.)
    I won't go into details as this link explains it all far better than I can:
    http://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=3434
    Basically as a result, creative apps for music and audio on the android market are simply light years behind Apple's app store as a result. Look at GarageBand, Nanostudio, Korg's excellent range of apps - and that's just for starters... Android apps like Caustic and Nanoloop simply don't match up!!
    Then add to this all the hardware accessories for iPad - iRig, Alesis audio I/O dock - - then Android is totally left in the dust, possibly forever. How would manufacturers deal with the different connections and form factors on Android devices even if the latency issues were finally addressed? (which won't be for a very long time, if ever.)

    There is one area where apple devices suffer, however, and that is how to share files with other apps/people etc. The lack of access to the file system is pathetic, and having to connect the device to a computer in order to do this is just wrong and deeply sad. Plus, the iPad 2 and iPhone 4S appear to not be jailbroken yet...perhaps all upcoming Apple devices will also be virtually impossible to jailbreak...

    But anyway, I wouldn't use a phone for composing/performing. Tablets, on the other hand, are dream devices for this kind of thing.

    As for other apps, the app store leads in gaming (e.g. infinity blade I and II), science (great apps for kids and students e.g. xperica), astronomy (star walk), visual arts (123D Sculpt), nature (iBird - which has more versions available for apple, plus others), photography (endless photo manipulation apps - however photoshop for android appears to be more advanced...at the moment). I could go on...

    So just to re-iterate, my next phone will certainly be an Android device, but my next tablet will almost certainly be the iPad 3.

    Happy new year!

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    Christopher Silva Jan 4, 2012 Link

    I have to agree with Maeved.

    The Apple AppStore has had more time and there are certainly more polished apps than there are in the Android Market. But, the AM is moving forward and getting better monthly. Will we catch up with Apple? The answer lies with Google. Sadly this is all driven by profit from apps and currently iOS devs make a bit more money and focus on iOS first. Google can change this by tightening up their payment procedures and bringing more tranperecne to their approach.

    So for me the solution lies with Google. What do you think?

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