October 24, 2014

MISSING: Thousands of Android Apps

The Android Market should be teeming with applications by now, but it isn’t.  Granted, the platform is in its infancy and is really only available on one handset right now.  That’s still no excuse for there only being 500 apps hanging out in the market.  By now, there ought to be at least three times as many apps.

What happened to the 1,788 applications that were turned into the first Android Developers Challenge?  Allegedly there were a lot of high quality apps that didn’t make the cut into the top 50.  How many of those have shown up in the Android Market?

Heck, while we’re on the subject… where are the rest of the top 50 apps?  Please don’t tell me that everyone else is looking to sell their app.  I’d have a hard time believing that, especially when some of those folks already received over $125,000 for their work.

Not all Android apps released so far are high quality.  In fact, not many of the applications in the market truly are.  It’s being stocked daily with half baked ideas and buggy games.

I delete most of what I download within a day or so just because I don’t need them wasting my precious space.  Until we get the ability to install apps and run them from the SD card, I will be very discerning when it comes to my memory.  What upsets me is that I still don’t have a problem with the space, as there just aren’t enough good apps to choose from.  You’re telling me that there are no better RSS readers out there?

Comparisons to the Apple App Store, and even Palm’s store, aren’t fair.  In one case, the phone was out for over a year before the SDK was released, creating lots of buzz.  In the other, we’re dealing with a platform that’s over 10 years old now, on hundreds of products.  Still, it’s nearly impossible to bet that there will be 10,000 apps available for Android after only 5 months.

…By the time the official iPhone SDK was released by Apple, there was already an inspired community of experienced developers ready to start cranking out brilliant apps. T-Mobile has a much smaller subscriber base than AT&T, and handsets were not readily available to test applications on until late October of this year. – Rana Sobhany, Medialets/Venturebeat

One reason for all of this is that developers know exactly what comes in an iPhone.  The hardware never differs. With Android, developers have to contend with whether or not the device has an accelerometer, GPS,  touch screen, etc.  Who wants to write common denominator stuff when they are capable of putting out killer apps?

On the flip side, why write for touch screen phones if the next couple of Android devices are not touch capable?  How about the accelerometer that’s become all the rage?  The new Kogan Agora won’t have one.  For now, it’s a wait and see approach to learn what kind of hardware is going to be Android ready.

It will take time to get Android apps into the thousands.  It could even take a couple of years before we see thousands of quality apps available.

Who knows – maybe there are hundreds of developers with apps ready to unload on us consumers in 2009, once the market allows for payment.  Somehow I doubt it.