kn1ghtmare

Why does iOS get more apps than Android?

Why do lots of apps and games only get released for iOS when Android is more popular?

Most Useful Answer corgi74  Jan. 24, 2012 at 15:26

@corgi74
Agreed with iOS users spending more money on apps and developers simply looking for quicker return on investment, instead of making quality product.


I don't think quicker return instead of quality product is a factor and it's probably a bit insulting to developers if that is you opinion on why they target iOS.
More accurately Android owners think they have a god given right to get stuff for free. I doubt many of the hackers who did the retaliation attacks when Megaupload was closed are iPhone owners.
I personally have an iPad and I have no problem paying for stuff on it but I wont pay for an app on my Galaxy Nexus. Usually because googling the name plus APK can get it for me for free in less than a minute.

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25 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 24, 2012 at 09:51

Well, actually Android is catching up fast in terms of quantity, which, logic dictates, means there are more Android apps coming out currently than iOS apps.
Maybe you're under the wrong impresion because iOS apps get more attention in the media? Or, as I like to say: because there really aren't many good Android apps. Just many.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 24, 2012 at 09:54

Distimo shows that Android’s beginning was a slow one. It took the Android Market a total of 31 months to reach the milestone of 200K apps, compared to Apple’s 22 months. However, after the resurgence of the Android operating system across the mobile market, it only took 4 months for the Android Market to go from 200K to 300K compared to Apple’s 8 months. That growth carried on from 300K to 400K with Android taking only 4 months compared to Apple’s 7. At this rate, it appears Google’s Android Market will have more active apps by the end of this year.

More details about Android apps figures via CultOfAndroid

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:00

That is not true, both ecosystems have same amount of apps and 99% of them are rubbish.
iPhone has very higher selling margin and generates a lot of money for service providers. Any provider would rather sell iPhone than any other phone as price plans for them are ridiculous. Just take a look how much more expensive iPhone compared to any other phone price plan. Since iPhone brings most money you will see lots of advertisements about how good it is.

Most useful apps - banking, email, ticket booking, social networking, messaging, etc. are the same on both ecosystems and free.

New apps will come out to iPhone first, because it's easier to develop for iOS than for Android. Other than that I'm not aware of any apps exclusive for iOS (no game examples - it's a phone not a gaming system).

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:08

I totally totally disagree, ctpahhik.
I agree that 99% are "rubbish" in that they are probably useless duplicates. Or just useless.
But show me an Android app like SnapSeed or Garageband, Or FLStudio, or, for that matter iBooks or Stanza or Kobo -those that exist on Android are utterly inferior.
Compare multiplatform twitter clients, and show me an instance where the Android version is superior!

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:11

And don't get me wrong - for various reasons I do prefer Android, but 3rd party apps development isn't one of them :p

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:24

SnapSeed and FruityLoops are coming to Android - they have not been released yet.
SnapSeed is not that great compared to Adobe, which still only available for PCs/MACs. Have not tried FL Studio, but with FruityLoops PC version you can connect mixing tables, so I'm not exactly sure what is the advantage of using it on iPad.

Have not used iBooks, but Stanza and Kobo are not good. Stanza had problems with opening files that have not been bought through it, so I went with eReader and never looked back. eReader allowed me to upload my library online and sync to phone.
Aldiko, Kindle and ezPDF Reader are excellent for Android. Neither Stanza, nor Kobo can reflow PDF files to adjust to screen size and most books are on Kindle. If Kindle would support epub files I would get rid of Aldiko. Kindle allows you to upload your own books to Amazon and share with everyone.

MDrX  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:28

it's a phone not a gaming system
Watch the failure of the 3DS and the upcoming PS Vita. Marvel how they lose their parent companies millions because of one simple thing; iOS. Dedicated handheld games machines are dead.

Whether you think it is a gaming system or not, they are the biggest selling apps on any platform. There's a lot of money to be had so it'd make sense if they're designed for Android won't it?

Except that Android owners are the tightest of the lot and won't spend a penny. Plus the vast majority of Android devices out there in the wild don't have the specs of the top end 'Universe X Super Plus Sensation II'. It's the Wildfire and the Desire. Crap like that.

So why no Android games? There is no market for them.

iOS gets TinyWings; Android gets that crap game about chasing the dragon.. dodgy.
iOS gets Final Fantasy, Scribblenauts, Project Outbreak; Android gets task killers. With ads.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:41

@MDrX

iOS gets Final Fantasy, Scribblenauts, Project Outbreak; Android gets task killers. With ads.


Hahahahaha Brilliantly observed :p

@CTPAHHIK...

I don't know - you seem to be talking entirely about your own preferences. Which is perfectly okay, but I think you're off the mark in terms of how the wider user base feels. But hey... opinions, eh ;)

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:47


SnapSeed is not that great compared to Adobe, which still only available for PCs/MACs. Have not tried FL Studio, but with FruityLoops PC version you can connect mixing tables, so I'm not exactly sure what is the advantage of using it on iPad.

Have not used iBooks, but Stanza and Kobo are not good. Stanza had problems with opening files that have not been bought through it, so I went with eReader and never looked back. eReader allowed me to upload my library online and sync to phone.
Aldiko, Kindle and ezPDF Reader are excellent for Android. Neither Stanza, nor Kobo can reflow PDF files to adjust to screen size and most books are on Kindle. If Kindle would support epub files I would get rid of Aldiko. Kindle allows you to upload your own books to Amazon and share with everyone.


Sorry, but why on earth would you compare a quickie photo editor for a mobile device with Photoshop for PC/Mac? That makes no sense unless the purpose is TO distract, really... It's like comparing TV dinners, and then pointing out that they all suck compared to a 4Star restaurant near the base of the matterhorn that you can only reach by chopper and with the help of sherpas :p

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 10:49

3DS and Vita will fail not due to iOS or Android. This is same claim as PC gaming is dead due to piracy or consoles. If continue to make unplayable sh*t your platform will die. There are some games that are exclusive to PC - strategy platform, other can only be played on PC - Modern Warfare (still laugh at anyone trying it on XBOX). This is a matter of content. If there will be games that play great on Vita only it will survive.

I'm assuming you are using iPhone because you want to play Final Fantasy, TinyWings, etc. I know that Infinity Blade is not showing up on Android and it's a damn good game. Been playing it for hours on borrowed iPad. How many people will buy iOS device to play Infinity Blade?
There are some apps that are exclusive to iOS and others to Android. Neither one has advantage and neither has an app that will make you buy a phone due to exclusivity of that app.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 11:12


SnapSeed is not that great compared to Adobe, which still only available for PCs/MACs. Have not tried FL Studio, but with FruityLoops PC version you can connect mixing tables, so I'm not exactly sure what is the advantage of using it on iPad.

Have not used iBooks, but Stanza and Kobo are not good. Stanza had problems with opening files that have not been bought through it, so I went with eReader and never looked back. eReader allowed me to upload my library online and sync to phone.
Aldiko, Kindle and ezPDF Reader are excellent for Android. Neither Stanza, nor Kobo can reflow PDF files to adjust to screen size and most books are on Kindle. If Kindle would support epub files I would get rid of Aldiko. Kindle allows you to upload your own books to Amazon and share with everyone.


Sorry, but why on earth would you compare a quickie photo editor for a mobile device with Photoshop for PC/Mac? That makes no sense unless the purpose is TO distract, really... It's like comparing TV dinners, and then pointing out that they all suck compared to a 4Star restaurant near the base of the matterhorn that you can only reach by chopper and with the help of sherpas :p


For quickie photo editor you can use PicSay on Android. As soon as Adobe integrates their Android/iOS products with PC/MAC everyone would jump back to using Adobe due to easiness of sharing between all available platforms. I'm sure there is Adobe cloud in the works. Since, Apple does not play with anything besides Apple, Google is somewhat in the middle, Adobe has a very good chance for managing online photo libraries.

Gazzie  Jan. 24, 2012 at 14:12

I'd say that iPhone users typically have more money (or more money then sense). These people are willing to spend more money on apps, so developers primarily target IOS.

I've also heard that IOS is easier to develop for than Android - even though the costs associated with Android development is lower.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 14:22

I agree with iPhone users being more willing to spend money (not necessarily have more), but that does not explain free apps.
Skyscanner, Banking apps, Barclays Bikes and many others showed up first for iPhone. While it understandable that Facebook, Skype, etc. apps were first for iOS as Android did not exist/was not widespread yet; newer free apps still show up first for iOS, followed by Android.

blizzard7  Jan. 24, 2012 at 14:28

@CTPAHHIK
Yup, true if there are good games for Vita it should survive. But then again, lots of people are going to look at it and say do I want to spend £200 on a system, then £150 for a couple of games and the memory card. Or spend £100 on iOS apps for a device you'd have anyway?

I'm also not sure about what they're pushing with the Vita. Sure Uncharted is nice, but is the value really there for a £30 game, when I can get a much better experience on a TV? Considering the Vita is too big to carry around in a pocket, I'm not exactly going to play it on my sofa when I've got a huge TV and sound system staring back at me, so there's not going to be much opportunity to play it unless you've got luggage or err... a man bag. To me, they need to go for the XBLA/ PSN type games like Braid, Bastion, Geometry Wars etc. rather than cut-down versions of console games that cost £30.

tmj2007  Jan. 24, 2012 at 14:46

I have it on good authority from a couple of app developer friends that the simple answer is one of sales - iOS users tend to buy more apps than android users, so iOS gets the bulk of the development money.

corgi74  Jan. 24, 2012 at 14:53

I think people are using there own prejudices to overcomplicate what is actually very simple.
If you write it for iOS people are more likely to pay for it, if you write it for Android people are more likely to copy it as a monkey can sideload an APK on an Android device.
So if you have spent time and effort writing an app and you would like to be rewarded for it then it iOS is the more likely source of revenue.
Android may have more users but for whatever reason they don't like paying for apps so what is available on iOS will come out eventually but usually in a free ad supported version about 1 year later.
I personally think this is why WP7 is doomed. From my personal experience WP7 apps are too expensive compared to the equivalent on other OSs. Angry Birds for £2.29 on WP7, 79p on iOS or Android with ads for free.
Anybody migrating from iOS or Android will look at those prices and proably stick with their current OS.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 14:59

@blizzard7
Don't know much about Vita and do not want to speculate on it's success. Can provide similar analogy in terms of iPad. Regulars of this forum agree that tablets are useless (in their current form) - not a phone and not good enough to compete with even netbook. I personally view any tablet as a toy and I cannot justify (but can afford) £500 on a toy. Vita is just another toy. My definition of toy is something I want, but don't need (if I need something I go and get it). There are buyers for iPad and there will be buyers for Vita as long as there is stream of content for it and it keeps its "child" entertained.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 15:10

@corgi74
Agreed with iOS users spending more money on apps and developers simply looking for quicker return on investment, instead of making quality product.

@At everyone else in general
Please drop this notion that Android is easier to pirate. I used Astra and Titanium backup to restore apps on newly imaged phone just to find out that they do not work. There was a check performed to verify that app was actually purchased. Logging into market with my account fixed this problem. I think it's much easier to pirate iOS apps as there is no check being performed.

corgi74  Jan. 24, 2012 at 15:26

@corgi74
Agreed with iOS users spending more money on apps and developers simply looking for quicker return on investment, instead of making quality product.


I don't think quicker return instead of quality product is a factor and it's probably a bit insulting to developers if that is you opinion on why they target iOS.
More accurately Android owners think they have a god given right to get stuff for free. I doubt many of the hackers who did the retaliation attacks when Megaupload was closed are iPhone owners.
I personally have an iPad and I have no problem paying for stuff on it but I wont pay for an app on my Galaxy Nexus. Usually because googling the name plus APK can get it for me for free in less than a minute.

corgi74  Jan. 24, 2012 at 15:35

I think it's much easier to pirate iOS apps as there is no check being performed.

After you have connected it to a computer, jailbroken the device, installed cydia and then installed ins******s or connected to a computer, jailbroken the device, downloaded the file connected to iTunes, dragged the file and synced the device.

Or tick the box for allow third party apps and search from the browser on your Android for ap******, selecting the first hit in google and letting the apk autodownload and install.

Checks are irrelevant. It's how easy it is to get the stuff on your device.

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 16:04

@corgi74
Agreed with iOS users spending more money on apps and developers simply looking for quicker return on investment, instead of making quality product.


I don't think quicker return instead of quality product is a factor and it's probably a bit insulting to developers if that is you opinion on why they target iOS.
More accurately Android owners think they have a god given right to get stuff for free. I doubt many of the hackers who did the retaliation attacks when Megaupload was closed are iPhone owners.
I personally have an iPad and I have no problem paying for stuff on it but I wont pay for an app on my Galaxy Nexus. Usually because googling the name plus APK can get it for me for free in less than a minute.


iOS is targeted for same reason XBOX is targeted over PC. You get your app working on iPhone and it will work on all of them. You get app working on Sensation and it will force close on Galaxy.

Which iPad do you have? 2nd? There is jailbreak for it now. Let's see how many more apps you will buy now? I'm sure you can just as easily google for IPA files. Market check is new feature for Android - give it some time and you will need experienced hacker to get APK working everywhere.

Android users are used to getting everything for free or with ads. Make a demo version to try and charge for full apps and your revenue will come. I'm very unhappy about iOS in regards to paying for something just to find out I don't like it. Give me a demo with limited functionality or time trial with full functionality and I will buy, if I like it.

As an example take GTA3. There is a demo on Android, is there one on iOS? I did not like the game and ended up not buying it. On iOS I would buy, not play it, and not bother for a refund over mere £3. Angry birds - $0.99, tried on Android - did not like, not paying for it. iOS - pay $0.99, don't like - too lazy to get a refund. Don't know what developers opinion on this, but mine would be along the lines of "price it just good enough, so that end users will not bother to ask for refund".

corgi74  Jan. 24, 2012 at 16:18

My iPad is a MK1 and I bought it discounted when the 2 came out because it could be jailbroken. I jailbroke it and did the whole Cydia thing but put the stock OS back on as there was no need to have it jailbroken. There are plenty of very good free apps and with the free app of the day offers or discounts I could get a lot of great stuff legally for free or for very little.
With my Nexus even when there is a world of 'free' apps, unless you like Bejewelled clones then even when they are dubiously free there still isn't much worth downloading.
Market check is irrelevant. The culture of android is 'something for nothing' which is confused with 'open' it will be nothing more than a minor nuisance for a short period of time. The experienced hacker you mention will crack the app and upload the APK which is what happens now and has happened on every platform since the year dot.
The openess of Android is its blessing but also its curse.

corgi74  Jan. 24, 2012 at 16:23


Android users are used to getting everything for free or with ads. Make a demo version to try and charge for full apps and your revenue will come. I'm very unhappy about iOS in regards to paying for something just to find out I don't like it. Give me a demo with limited functionality or time trial with full functionality and I will buy, if I like it.

As an example take GTA3. There is a demo on Android, is there one on iOS? I did not like the game and ended up not buying it. On iOS I would buy, not play it, and not bother for a refund over mere £3. Angry birds - $0.99, tried on Android - did not like, not paying for it. iOS - pay $0.99, don't like - too lazy to get a refund. Don't know what developers opinion on this, but mine would be along the lines of "price it just good enough, so that end users will not bother to ask for refund".


Really? Although I don't necessarily disagree with the benefit of demos it does seem that you are now scraping the bottom of the reason barrel as the refund window is only 15 minutes. Some people wouldn't even downloaded the files for GTA3 in that time.
The refund on Android is for 'downloaded it, not compatible with device'. If you buy it and don't like it then tough. A real shop has no legal obligation to refund you if you don't like an item you've purchased. They do however have to if it is not fit for purpose or doesn't work. That's why the Marketplace has to have a refund policy. They can't guarantee compatibility so they have to offer refunds. The developer choses whether to release an demo. Not Google or Apple so how is it Apple's fault? The Appstore is full of lite versions of apps for free and full versions that cost money.
I, like most people , will look at the type of game, consider whether I like that type of game, see what rating it has, read a few reviews and then if I am happy to do so I will purchase the game. If after that I don't like the game then that's my problem and not part of an evil Apple/developer conspiracy. Caveat Emptor
Also Angry Birds has a free version on iOS and GTA3 is 10 years old and a GTA game so if you've downloaded it then you've probably got a good idea of what you're getting.

Update - There is no GTA demo on my Marketplace

corgi74  Jan. 24, 2012 at 16:56

CTPAHHIK  Jan. 24, 2012 at 17:56

Grr, you right about GTA. I bought it, was thinking I got a trial to see how it works on Xperia Play.

Good read that you posted. Did not read all links in that article, as I'm sure they are even better than article itself.

You can look at much as you like at screenshot and read reviews, they are nothing compared to playing a first few levels of the game or using an app for a day or two. Get me a DEMO version as I will not buy anything I cannot try first. I'm sure a lot of people feel the same. GTA is old and not a good example as you point out, but I would not buy any of my Gameloft games, if I did not try them first.

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