Battle of the Mobile OSs Part 1: Apps
Modern technology markets move at the speed of sound, and mobile smartphones are no exception. In the war of the mobile platforms, it is always a trick to what’s best for you. It’s difficult to decide which operating system is truly superior, as they all seem to have their advantages and downsides. Android, for example, has a huge variety of free apps, along with an enormous ROM and hacking community, but often sacrifices other things, like software efficiency, or iOS, which though it has the greatest app store around limits hardware options and software customizations. And whether it’s iOS, Android, Blackberry, Windows Phone, the apps for your smartphone are an important aspect to consider.
Here are the stats on apps:
iOS: Over 500,000
Android: Over 340,000
Windows Phone: About 60,000
Blackberry: Over 43,000 (as of December 2011, according to bgr.com)
Each marketplace does, however, have its problems and caveats.
Android, for instance, has a large percentage of low-quality apps, according to AppBrain. Though the app growth is considerable, there is much fragmentation between Android marketplaces to specific manufacturers and even apps which may include risks to the user identity and integrity of the software.
iOS may be the biggest, but it still lacks the streamlining, or perfection if you will, of demos, and upgrading to a paid version. Along with this, some argue that an app selection that is too large makes it difficult to weed out what you want.
Windows Phone, though growing, still has a lack of some major app titles. The Windows Phone Marketplace did notably grow from an estimated 50,000 apps to 60,000 in about 25 days, so the platform could see some very rapid progression in the future. It does also have the support of many independent developers, dedicated individually to their apps, and therefore responsive to users.
As for Blackberry, there has been little to no data released by RIM on the actual numbers of apps in Blackberry’s App World, though some other figures, such as an alleged 2 billion total app download were officially announced at CES 2012. It may also be noted that a substantial number of ‘apps’ in the App World may also be eBooks, though the same may apply to any app store.
This covers the four major mobile operating systems, but there are more out there. For WebOS, MeeGo, Symbian and whoever more, the app selection is rarely substantial. Also, look out for future posts on the ever-raging battle of the operating systems, for the showdown of other features (or the lack thereof).
Continue reading: Battle of the Mobile OSs Part 2: Ecosystems and Extras.