Google Play Store vs. Apple App Store: Big Fight Continues

Mar 31, 2017
Ever since the mobile app development revolution started in 2008, entire developer community has been split into two different camps: Android and iOS. Whether it is revenue, download or discoverability of apps, each and every aspect is closely monitored. The two leading mobile device operating systems have been competing with each other and many people still want to know what works well for them. Whether you opt for iOS App Development or Android App Development, this is a crucial question. We will help you solve the perennial problem and make the right choice.Here is quick glance into some important factors

Number of apps available in leading app stores as of March 2017:

According to number of apps available for download in leading app stores as of March 2017 shows that Android users were able to choose between 2.8 million apps. Apple's App Store remained the second-largest app store with 2.2 million available apps. In late 2016, Apple announced that 140 billion apps had been downloaded from its App Store. 


Projected Google Play revenue from 2014 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars) According to a projection of the Google Play revenue from 2014 to 2019, experts estimate Google's digital content and app platform to generate 7.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenues.


Here are few reasons why Google Play Store has an edge over Apple’s App Store:

Google Play Store offers better discoverability

With more than 2 million apps, getting your app noticed is undoubtedly a herculean task facing the mobile app development industry. This is one of the major factors that give an edge to Android apps. The Google Play Store runs your search queries through all the content available on an app’s page such as keywords, phrase and Play Store descriptions of apps to help you find apps that most closely resemble your query.On the other hand, the Apple App Store searches your query against keywords that developers enter into a keyword section, which exists specifically for this purpose. Google Play Store offers better search capabilities. After all it is Google, the king of search.

Google Play Store is More Developer Friendly

Apple is extremely rigid when it comes to the types of apps that will be allowed on the Apple App Store. The main reason behind being extremely selective is ensuring quality and safety for iOS users. However there is a flipside to this extreme vetting process. There is always a high risk of app being rejected for inclusion on Apple’s App Store ruining thousands of man-hours in terms of development.While there is no dearth of apps for iOS and Android, you are more likely to find wide variety of interesting and creative Android apps, as well as a vibrant development community. A caveat: Google Play has some well-defined guidelines that need to be followed. If you don’t follow these guidelines, you are definitely in for trouble and unnecessary delays.

Google Play Store gives information about App before downloading

Well, if it is a highly popular app, there is no problem in downloading. However in most cases prior to downloading, users rely a lot on information provided in the app’s description page. In the Google Play Store information is provided in just one column with videos and screenshots. Google Play Store also takes into account several social factors such as app’s cumulative ratings, recommendations from friends or comments by user’s with same device or most recent version of the app. In effect, choosing Android apps is a more social experience.

Android rules emerging markets

While developers in U.S. and Europe prefer iOS, the momentum is in favor of Android in the emerging markets such as India and Mexico. In emerging markets they are more likely to build for Android first. This means developers will look at different ways of making money in future.

Android handsets tend to be more cost-effective compared to highly expensive iOS devices. This has resulted in growing Android install base in emerging markets. As a result, Android is narrowing the app revenue gap with iOS. The rapidly growing demand of Android devices poses serious threat to iOS.

The Battle Shifts to Wearables

There's also one new technology development that may affect the apps market: wearables. This could shift the war of the ecosystems to the next level.

Android Wear devices have been on sale for some time now, while the Apple Watch made a debut few years back. These are companion devices rather than standalone devices. As a result, wearables could potentially offer a big boost to the app ecosystem, be it Android or iOS. Many developers have taken a plunge in wearables app development and are already making changes to their apps to make use of the additional screen offered by smartwatches.

The app ecosystem isn't the only thing that consumers and businesses consider when buying a smartphone: hardware quality, device price and mobile operators' coverage weigh heavily too. But as hardware innovation faces slowdown, app ecosystems could determine the growth. At this point, Android looks poised for growth. However, in such a dynamic and volatile market, it's hard to predict very far ahead....

An Overview on Android Instant Apps and its Features

Jun 16, 2016
Need to explore an Android app? No need to download it, use the instant version of it to explore the app. This is the basic idea behind the concept of ‘Android Instant Apps’. This year in Google I/O meeting, Google came up with this new concept on instant apps. Read on to know what do instant apps mean and how can we use it.As the name suggests, instant apps are aimed to give instant access to users, without the need of installing the app. Though this version of the app won’t have all the features as the downloadable one, but you can surely get a glimpse of how the app works and its user interface. The size and features that the instant version can support is still not determined.Where can you find Android instant app?

You can find it anywhere and everywhere. Suppose you search for a particular information in your phone browser, you get the link of the instant app right there. This means, along with displaying web pages results related to your search query, you get suggestions of Android full featured apps and also instant apps.Follow the link of instant app to try it. This new concept of instant apps saves the users from annoyance of first downloading the app and then determining its usability. With the option of an instant app, users have the flexibility to install only those apps that fulfill user’s expectations and needs.In addition to that, mobile users do not even need to install the full featured app if the preview of instant app fulfills their purpose. The best part about instant apps is that it loads as fast as a web page would and delivers the experience of using an app. Fast loading and easy accessibility are the main attractions of instant apps.NFC support of instant Android app

Yes, you read it right. These instant apps will support NFC for ease of usability. Let’s take the same example that Kirkpatrick used to explain the usage of NFC feature in Google I/O meeting 2016. Suppose you are at an internet connected parking plot that requires you to pay the toll online through an app.Now, you as a visitor, would obviously not wish to keep that app in your mobile phone that occupies unnecessary space. In such a situation, instant app that supports NFC comes in handy. Simply tap your phone on the NFC-featured parking meter, use the instant app to pay the toll and move out conveniently without any hassle. With this example, one can get an idea of how and when are instant Android apps used.From the developer’s point of view

According to Google, it will be fairly simple for Android developers to get an instant app version of their already existing apps. It may take a day or even less for experienced developers to come up with an instant app. This time frame may not hold true for all the apps. It majorly depends on the size and complexity of the app.
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Google’s Eddystone: Cross Platform Beacon Technology

Jul 31, 2015
Google Eddystone
Google recently launched Eddystone, an open source and cross-platform Bluetooth LE beacon standard, changing the mechanics of the Internet of Things (IoT). This technology is named after a historically famous lighthouse in English coast in the county of Cornwall.What is the connection between beacons and lighthouse?Think about it in real-world beacons guide users in the same way lighthouses guide ships and captains in the night. Beacons are transmitters that send information about a specific point of interest. This information is picked up by a smartphone or tablet in range of the transmitter.But what is new about this technology? We have already got iBeacon, Apple's iBeacon standard launched two years back. At the face, Google’s Eddystone looks like Apple’s iBeacon. However, Apple’s proprietary iBeacon technology works only for iPhones and other iOS devices in the same BLE space. On the other hand, Eddystone is open source and cross-platform capable of providing support to Android, iOS or any platform that supports BLE beacons. It’s available on GitHub under the open-source Apache v2.0 license for anyone to use and improve.The open nature of Eddystone makes it a technology with the potential of being a game-changer.Eddystone: Openness and FlexibilityWell, it is not just the open nature; Eddystone supports multiple frame types for different use cases, making it easy to introduce new functionality easily. Historically, Bluetooth beacons signify one-way communications with the primary goal of sending a notification capable of displaying or transferring information upon a tap. Due to support of multiple frameworks, vendors will be able to use Eddystone for different functionality or purpose.It can broadcast three signal types: UUID (similar to the iBeacon standard), URL (a successor to the UriBeacon standard) and TLM (a new telemetry signal).Universally Unique Identifier (UUID): This is a 128-bit value that can separately identify every specific beacon in the world, which an app can listen and perform actions for. For instance, you can walk in WalMart, your favorite retail store. WalMart could deploy beacons in its store. The Walmart app could be programmed to listen for specific beacons and send special coupons or such information.  The downside to UUIDs is that you need the appropriate app do anything with the information. This brings us to the second frame type.URLs: With this capability, users don’t need to download app. The store can send a URL to the user’s phone and the consumer can look up the coupon or relevant information on a web browser. URL instead of UUID looks like a feasible option with universal appeal.  It works best for small businesses without a dedicated app.Ephemeral Identifiers (EIDs): Privacy and security are the center point of this new technology. With Ephemeral Identifiers (EIDs), you can allow only authorized clients to decode them. While the technical specification of this feature will be released soon, we can be rest assured that this feature will allow users to do tasks in a secure manner.Telemetry Data: This frame type would allow organization to manage their vast fleets of beacons. Beacons are battery driven and need batteries changed or fixed frequently. Telemetry frame type in sync with Proximity Beacon API can help deployers monitor beacons’ battery health and displacement.Eddystone and Hardware ScenarioDue to extensible frame formats, Beacon hardware manufacturers can support multiple mobile platforms and applications with single hardware. Just with a simple hardware update, an existing BLE beacon can be converted into Eddystone compliant beacon. Eddystone is not just open, flexible and extensible, but also interoperable.  While there are several Eddystone-compliant beacon manufacturers, Google is also working on an Eddystone certification process.Eddystone, Google, and APIsGet ready for some highly contextual information from Google’s own products and services with beacons. Google Maps will use beacon-based transit notifications to provide faster access to real-time transit schedules for specific stations. Google Now will provide contextual information to prioritize the most relevant cards, like showing you flight times when you’re at an airport.Now coming to APIs, Google will be launching a new cloud API called the Proximity Beacon API. This API allows you to manage and update the information associated with each beacon even after the beacons are deployed. This API also includes a diagnostics component to monitor beacon fleet and identify beacons.Nearby API: This allows finding and seamlessly communicating with nearby devices and beacons. It uses BLE, Wi-Fi and even inaudible sound to establish proximity.Eddystone and iOT revolutionEddystone seems to align with Google’s emerging iOT ecosystem.Weave - IoT protocol designed for the house. Uses Bluetooth LE or Wi-Fi for direct or cloud-based communication.Thread - IP-based wireless communication protocol.The Physical Web - Open Web specification for a beacon-delivered URL to interact with a nearby device in a Web browser.Brillo - Android-based operating system for IoT devices.Eddystone certainly is the step in the right direction from Google. Finally, an open-source and cross platform beacon technology. Let’s hope that companies and manufacturers invest in the hardware to generate value....