While the iPhone app scene seems to get all of the attention and love, there is no mistaking that the Google Android Market is coming up strong and fast. The only problem is that while the number of apps is certainly growing faster and faster each month, it is becoming more and more like that old question of, “which matters more, quantity or quality?”
There is no denying that there are a lot of quality apps available for the Android phones, but there are also seems to be an astound amount of garbage. And looking at the latest growth numbers for the Android Market from AndroLib.com kind of paints what part of the problem might be.
As you can see it is gaining more and more speed with each passing month, and the jump between Feb. and March of this year is just insane, with April appearing to be shaping up to be just as bad as last month.
The problem is that it appears without the safeguards of an Apple type approval process, a lot of not so good software is also getting into the Marketplace. While there are many critics of Apple’s approval process, and rightfully so, it does seem to keep a lot of problems out of the App Store.
I am a very recent convert to the world of Android having just picked up an HTC Hero, and as I browsed through the Market those first few days, I was amazed by the number of reviews about apps causing force closures so they never ran properly. I do understand that there are numerous different versions of Android at this point, and the fracturing of the OS landscape has not helped things, but don’t you think you would want to test things a bit more before releasing them into the Market?
While I am sure most app developers try their hardest to make a quality product, there are also quite a few out there that feel like they were built to do nothing more than to deliver an ad on to your phone. Yes, there have been some like this on my iPod Touch also, but even Apple is trying to clean that up now saying the apps have to do a bit more to stay in the store.
Many people are crowing about the growth of the Android Market, and I agree it is nice to see a store that is not so rigidly controlled, but it almost makes you wonder if there shouldn’t be at least some sort of pre-release checking for at least comparability. It’s one thing to say, “We are denying your app for a reason we won’t specify”, but a totally different beast compared to, “Hey, did you know your app force closes on Hero, but not the Droid? Might want to fix that before it goes out.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that the iPhone App Store is perfection, far from it, I just feel that having played with both, the quality of the apps that get into the App Store have a higher percentage of quality. It isn’t that one store is better than the other, I just think Google would benefit from at least a computability check before release if nothing else.
Either way, check or no checking, the Droid Market is picking up a lot of speed, and while it is still less than a third the size of the Apple App Store, it sure is making up some of that ground rapidly. Now if there was just as sharp an increase in the quality.