A new report by appFigures, an analytics service that monitors data from the thousands of apps that use its platform, claims that Google’s Play store grew by more than 50% last year, beating out the iOS app store for the first time as it did so.
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The report looked at Google Play, the iOS App Store and Amazon’s app store and reported that all three had major growth but Google Play’s was the most significant. Google Play ended the year with more than 1.43 million apps compared with 1.21 million on iOS. Amazon, although a distant third, grew its catalog by nearly 90% to 293 000 apps.
“What’s interesting is that although Apple continues to grow strongly, it’s really Google Play that’s growing,” the company wrote. “In 2014, the number of apps distributed through Google Play has doubled.”
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Google Play, according to appFigures, currently has nearly 300 000 more apps than the iOS App Store — a difference of about 17%. The growth for Android can be attributed to the fact that it has an overall larger market-share than iOS globally. These numbers and the fact that its screening of developers of apps is not as stringent as Apple’s make it more attractive to app developers. In fact, the report notes that Google Play’s developer base has been growing more than that of the iOS app store for the past three years. It currently distributes apps from nearly 400 000 different developers.
In 2014 alone, Google Play reached 338 thousand developers, making it record more developer growth than Apple and Amazon combined. Apple reached 282 000 developers and Amazon 48 000.
The fastest growing Google Play categories that grew the most in 2014 were in order games, photography, music, business and entertainment. The game category fast growth is directly proportional to the fact that it also had the fastest growing number of developers.
The iOS app store, in comparison, experienced the biggest growth in the business category, followed by the lifestyle and games categories.