iPad app downloads hit 3bn, nearly seven times as much as all Android tablets combined

iPad app downloads hit 3bn, nearly seven times as much as all Android tablets combined

There are always plenty of stats knocking about the place, and some are more reliable than others.

But some have less to do with the specifics than with the general point, and here's a perfect example: according to ABI Research, iPad owners – both of the original and of the iPad 2 – have downloaded three billion apps in total to date, compared to just 440 million from all Android tablets combined.

That's nearly seven to one, to save you doing the maths, which is a pretty serious statement considering you're comparing precisely two devices versus... well, who the hell really knows any more?

More on Android in a minute, but there's another snippet of info to mull over here too, and that's that if true it means roughly one in five iOS app downloads have been to the iPad.

If nothing else, that makes a pretty massive statement about just how successful the iPad has been, and more specifically just how true it is that an iOS app is (almost) equally at home on the iPad and the iPhone.

Looking closer at the figures, though, ABI says the Android figure excludes figures from titles specifically intended for smartphones – though that's just the flipside of the same point, really.

Either way it shows just how badly Android needs to move on from the Gingerbread/Honeycomb era, which stopped a huge quantity of existing apps from working properly on tablets.

“Many Android tablets in the market are still using older versions of Android,” ABI Research associate Lim Shiyang says, “which disadvantages users from enjoying the better effects of apps produced from more advanced software development kits.”

Once again it shows just how big a deal Ice Cream Sandwich is for Android's long-term chances as a real alternative to the Apple way when it comes to tablets.

Read more about: AndroidiOSApple iPadApple iPad 2

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10 comments

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 18:53

In fairness: one would need to analyse how many of those iPad apps are there to offer workarounds to limitations that Android devices don't need to worry about:
How many download managers, "file transfer" apps (to make up for the lack of a mass storage mode), "Flash" browsers (to make up for the absence of Flash) etc etc

Lack of mass storage mode and the file system access in iOS also make it desirable to perform other tasks ON the pad rather than on the PC/Mac. An Android device is just another drive while connected to a computer - photo manipulation, and other editing tasks can quickly be done that way - with the iPad it's sync and bulky iTunes and so on. So it's more tempting to get a good app that performs those duties ON the iPad... At least that is my opinion, and that of a few people I know.

Lastly: there are great iPad apps. Really great ones. iPad apps that make you wanna buy a Mac... I used 8 or so Android tablets over the last 12 months. And - some games aside - not one app of the dozens and dozens I tried on Android tabs made me wanna keep the tablet.
Either the apps were bad / made no use of the screen estate; or they were no better than the phone versions.

Oh, and if you're daring and check certain torrent sites you will notice that for every cracked iPad app there are 20 Android cracks.

Etc etc...

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 19:03

YAY! A Jan rant :p! We've not had one for ages, even Lewis said something about your lack of ranting the other day, I'm glad you've still got it in you ;)!

On topic; I agree with you on pretty much everything you said. Even I'm not going to pretend Android tablets aren't all absolutely crap when it comes to App support, bar a few high end games, as you said. The only thing I disagree with is iPad Apps making you want to buy a Mac...I' rather not waste 1000s of pounds on a PC with an awkward OS and a pretty body ;).

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 19:14

Agree about the price... But you got the gist ;)
If you're into music, e.g., Garageband on the iPad is a serious kick. And you just know, Magix and Sony or not, there is nothing like it for Windows that actually works :p there is nothing like it for Linux, either...

But, yep - I'd rather buy 2 Acers for the price of a Mac, dual boot with Ubuntu or some other flavour.

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 19:29

I made a Hackintosh once. It took me ages to get the damn thing running properly, I used it for about a week then decided enough was enough and went back to Windows 7.

My Acer laptop will easily outperform an equivalently priced MacBook, mainly because an equivalently priced MacBook would be an Apple branded pad of paper (and a pen if you were lucky).

Admittedly, Macs are good if you work in the music industry, that's about it. Sony Vegas is as good as Final Cut for video and that's the only other thing that Macs even come close to Windows at doing. I can tell you from using the developer preview of Windows 8, that's going to be amazing. It's about 25% faster than W7 running on the same machine and all the Metro UI crap can be turned off very easily (one registry edit, changing a "1" to a "0"), then you get the proper start menu etc back.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 19:36

Oh, to stay offtopic (sorry, Emma) - matt, do you know anything about win 8's bootloaders? Have you tried to install another OS alongside 8? there are rumours it breaks every other loader - so no dualboot with Linux flavours. That's be a real dealbreaker for me. MS claim it'll be up to hardware makers, but the open sourcE community reckon it's a prob with Windows 8 itself...

matt101101 / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 19:49

I have W8 dual booting with W7 Ultimate Edition, but I've not tried it with any Linux based OS'. So, yes W8 will boot with another OS, it changes the look of the dual booting screen to a mouse controlled Metro style GUI rather than a keyboard controlled text based UI as it was with W7.

That's on an Acer 5741 laptop, or it might be a 5742...I took the sticker off and now I can never remember haha :P, forgetfulness...

It's a fantastic OS though, all the best bits of W7 with a speed boost. I was considering a new laptop around the time the W8 dev. preview came out but now I needn't bother due to the extra speed W8 has given me. Even in dev. preview form it's totally stable, I'm looking forward to the Beta in February, I'll definitely be pre-ordering a final retail copy.

JanSt / MOD  Jan. 5, 2012 at 19:56

I might check it out in Ubuntu's VirtuaBox :D Thanks

jmarcelino  Jan. 6, 2012 at 10:25

Umm it's by easy to get something just like mass storage mode for iOS using tools like the free iExplorer http://www.macroplant.com/iexplorer/

Incidentally Android ICS - and Honeycomb - also doesn't support mass storage mode on devices without a SD card like the Galaxy Nexus or without split memory like the Nexus S.

In those cases Android uses MTP mode which, being an old Microsoft "standard", doesn't work very well outside of Windows.

This is the only way to have unified storage for apps and data, like iOS has had since the start.

Stelph  Jan. 6, 2012 at 10:45

[quote]Lastly: there are great iPad apps. Really great ones. iPad apps that make you wanna buy a Mac... I used 8 or so Android tablets over the last 12 months. And - some games aside - not one app of the dozens and dozens I tried on Android tabs made me wanna keep the tablet.
Either the apps were bad / made no use of the screen estate; or they were no better than the phone versions.
quote]

Although I mostly agree with you there JanSt, I have to say there are "some" great apps out there for an Android tablet, for example the Youtube app is quite possibly the best youtube app of any device ever:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=amLCxSVzleE

Plus movie studio (which is free) is pretty good
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUVS837Q0dQ

Plus Archos seem to be onto quite a gorgeous looking video app on their newest G9 tablets
http://youtu.be/u2yupa-lF4I?t=21s

However do I agree, the iPad has a far higher quality of app available, and really Google HAS to get involved and start creating its own apps to bundle with ICS (Movie studio and Youtube are a great start but they need to start pushing other apps as well!)

Stelph  Jan. 6, 2012 at 10:45

Double post, not sure how I did that!

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