Mobile Apps, Part 1

A mobile application/app can be described as a software application that is developed to run on tablet computers, smartphones and other types of mobile devices. They can be accessed through application distribution platforms, which are generally run by owners of mobile operating systems like Google Play (with over 675,000 apps), App Store (with over 700,000 apps from which 250,000 are specifically for iPad), BlackBerrry App World and Windows Phone Marketplace.


Some applications are free of charge while others have a price on their name. Normally one has to download them from the platforms they target such as Android phones and iPhones, but it is also possible to download them on laptops and desktop computers. Smartphone apps are forecasted to generate more than $29 billion by 2015 (source: Forrester Research). Currently there are more than 46 million app downloads daily on the iTunes App Store. The split between free and paid apps is 25% free vs. 75% paid on the iPhone and 57% free vs. 43% paid on the Android. This shows that iPhone users are more willing to pay for apps than Android owners. Many of the paid apps in the App Store are free or ad supported in Google Play. ‘Try-before you buy’ is the biggest driver in mobile apps downloads.

Both Apple and Android made recently a statement on the success of their app stores. The similarities and differences between the two platforms are:

  • Apple’s App Store provides better search results but Google Play provides a more compelling user interface
  • Apple App Store has a stricter app submission policy
  • Google Play has a 15 minutes refund policy
  • It costs $99/year with Apple to register as an app developer and there is only a $25 one-time fee with Google Play
  • The apps coding language are SDK for Google Play and Xcode for Apple Store
  • Both platforms provide cloud services so you can sync your apps across multiple devices

STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW: Recently IDC ran a survey called ‘The Future Of Your Business Is Mobile’, where more than 5,500 app developers were interviewed. Developers believe that a mobile-first social start-up could overtake Facebook. These developers also stated that they like to build apps for iPhone and iPads and forecasted that by 2015 they will be building apps for Television and Connected Cars.

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