The war between Apple and Android wages on, and now the battlefield is the online app market. Google Play, the marketplace for Android devices, has always trailed the App Store in number of offerings, even though it launched just three months after the Apple resource. The App Store has 700,000 products up for sale, according to Apple's iPhone 5 presentation on September 12. But Google Play is nearing that total with 675,000 apps available. The platform also passed 25 billion downloads yesterday and held a major sale in honor of the milestone, with several top apps still available for just 25 cents.
While the number of available apps for each operating system is drawing even, there are still major differences in how each store works. Apple requires an approval process before an app can go up for sale on iTunes, but Google Play has no such vetting procedure. There's an up and a down side to that. It means that Apple went without any spam appearing on its store for five years, and the first malware app popped up on the system just this summer. So although there have been complaints that Apple is inconsistent and overly conservative in the content it approves, you're all but guaranteed a safe app when using Apple.
Google Play has a lot more opportunity for developers, but does require a little more effort for shoppers. If you own an Android device, you'll want to research an app's safety and usability before buying. We have a comprehensive guide that can help you track down great Android apps that will best fit your needs.
[Image credit: LAI Ryanne]
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