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back to article Android Market tops 400,000 apps, climbing fast

Google's Android Market now has over 400,000 apps, and the pace of new code additions is accelerating. News of this milestone was announced by the mobile-app marketplace watchers at Distimo, in Utrecht, The Netherlands, which says that the 400,000 line – which counts only currently active apps – was crossed this past weekend. …

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Anonymous Coward

Why only fart?

"Fart" apps on Android hide under various names.

My favourite so far is searching for "fuck you" on the Android Market (with Safesearch off): At least 1000 results

None on Apple's app store.

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What a stupid statistic.

What we really need to compare on is how many apps are statistically significant, downloaded by a certain % of the install base, how many have been user-rated at 4/5 stars etc. The vast majority of apps in all markets are utter crap you'd not even download if the developer paidd you to.

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Anonymous Coward

The most telling statistic is how many apps get ongoing usage. The last numbers I saw showed 85%+ of apps are not used after the first day. By the end of the first week that number is well over 90%.

Basically most apps are disposable crap or of such limited utility that people can't be bothered to use them.

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Anonymous Coward

And evidently the rest

spy on you on an ongoing basis. Lose/lose.

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Anonymous Coward

Ahh yes, 4 star ratings

http://xkcd.com/937/

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Even download numbers, install numbers doesn't matter

Some real crap are downloaded but not even being opened to give 1 star and "heads up" warnings to uneducated mass. Only way to review is downloading it.

There is also "15 minute window" trial system on android which will also add to download counter.

Not like Nokia statistics are perfect too. Tired, lame numbers game Apple started.

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Holmes

So, a bit like websites you mean?

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Haha! Nice One!

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Mushroom

having to download it to review it sucks

there's a large number of dodgy fake Angry Birds apps on the Appslib store and I flat out refuse to download them to be able to comment on them with a warning. One apparently reputable app I downloaded is now spamming me via my notifications tab with free iPads and other items if I click through their web page... when I find out exactly which app started up that rogue process I'll get very upset with them...

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Pint

Thanks for putting in the bit about having to sift through a bunch of crap to find the actual useful apps. This is main reason that I've never been very impressed with the whole "We have millions of apps, so our platform is better!" claims.

Well, that and the fart app count

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It's not just fart apps...

There's malware and spyware, wallpaper "apps"; stolen re-branded "apps", stolen re-branded "apps" that are really wallpaper and stolen re-branded "apps" that are really malware in the Android Market.

The "gem-to-turd" ratio there is atrocious compared to Apple's store or it was last year when I used froyo for a couple of long, painful months.

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Anonymous Coward

I wonder what the ratio of apps containing malware is between the Apple 'app' store and the Android Market - it's not even worth answering and it will probably be Android's undoing.

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User rating manipulation is the next big thing

I downloaded a game the other day as the user rating was so high. I played it a few times and it was ok, then it hit me with a message offering me a free power up in exchange for a positive review on market, it even gave me a button to click to go straight there and it suddenly became clear why there were so many 5* reviews.

I've never used the Apple app store, but the problem with any distribution channel which contains so much content is always going to be finding an effective way of sorting the wheat from the chaff. Good job El Reg do app of the week I say :)

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The flip side to this is rating manipulation by what someone called "1 star dummies" recently on a google android dev group, which is a fitting description. It can be quite annoying when your free app gets a 1 star rating because it only does what the description says and not everything under the sun. It can also be annoying when people don't read instructions and claim it doesn't do what it actually does.

I'm not talking about 1 star ratings because people simply don't like it either (which is fair enough if that's their opinion, although even these can be a bit harsh sometimes for a free app). Some of these 1 star ratings are unnecessarily offensive, and there's no way to even write a reply at the moment (like you can for example on ebay feedback). They're not technically spam so can't be reported, they seem to be the product of bored teenagers most of the time.

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h3
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I hate the Android Market.

Tapatalk is about the only genuinely useful paid app that is worth having. (I got it from getjar if I could buy it from Amazon UK I would).

I don't really like the idea of Google with its non existent customer service having my card details attached to my phone.

I would prefer to have a phone with less apps (Only FOSS or really high quality commercial apps).

I paid $129 for my Xserver don't mind paying for stuff if its none trivial and significantly better than the FOSS alternative but I hate adware (Never buy an app that had anything to do with adware).

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Holmes

Needles/Haystacks

Only one genuinely useful app?

As a bit of a techie I have:

SSH client

RDP client

Wi-Fi tether

File Manager

Password Manager

SIP client

GPRS/3G data counter

Wordpress admin client

etc

As a human being I have:

TV guide

Kindle

Hotukdeals

Wapapedia

Google Navigation

Google Tasks

etc

Each of the above adds real helpful functionality to my phone. Most of these apps are good, the rest do what is needed. Other people's needs are different but I would be surprised if there isn't a wide selection of good useful apps to fit most of them.

Finding these gems amongst the grot is another matter. But they are there. Lifehacker, El Reg and other review sites are often the best way of choosing rather than diving straight into the Market.

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Imagine the shock I lived

Being victim of Elop and his burning symbian, moved to android just to end up using the exact same apps from same software houses on my new, latest version, supported OS. It's like 5 apps total.

If you are satisfied with your setup, don't get impressed with these numbers.

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I think the big difference is when I bought Symian software (pre Ovi-store) I was paying £4-8 to find out it was rubbish and full of bugs. Now I can do that for 99p (and get a refund in the first 15 mins if it really blows).

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This post has been deleted by its author

Moving to Android from Symbian... a big mistake! Stick with Anna or Belle and continue enjoying the power and functionality, or, god help us, move to iPhone or WP7. Android is massively overrated

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Meh

Markets

After 3 months with a Droid tab I have found precisely one app that has impressed (Opera & Swype excluded as std on any device for me).... TuneIn radio fwiw, all others I have come across are just buggy, generally superfluous & as mentioned above, the big G know enough without having my bank details too.

Symbian on the other hand... All good from a years experience and I have spent money, it may not have the headline numbers but maybe that makes it easier to find the good ones?

Some of the shit people download tho (regardless of OS choice)... Baffling, then again if there are nuggets that will pay £4.50 a week sub for a screensaver on their phone, an app that farts for a quid seems like a bargain.

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Meh, who cares?

There's only one free usenet reader and it is buggy. There are some useful niche apps (NHK World schedules app). But most? The search sucks and life is too short to wade through all that rubbish.

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WTF?

Symbian?

Are you guys comparing with the OVI market? That thing was absolute crap! The last time I used it, when I was still saddled with a crappy, reboot prone, N96, the search didn't work, most stuff was for pay only and expensive, and had a very limited selection. At least on the android market there are choices, you're informed on what permissions the app wants (and with some ROMs/add-ons you can block those on a per-app basis), there are lots of free and FOSS software, and the search has always worked for me.

As for the market promising "at least 1000" but only showing 480, maybe the others aren't available for your region/country? That is what I hate most about the market, but I understand why it was implemented.

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Yeah, the Symbian after market app industry was pretty much non-existent, so comparing them is a bit daft. Besides even Symbian apps that worked ok, still had the usability of a Symbian app.

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98% of app store content is utter shite.

I never look at anything other than what's in the top 50 under games and apps on the Andy store. Alright some crap still gets through occasionally, a quick look at the reviews soon reveals what is and is not shite. At least most of the stuff has climbed up to the top 50 due to some interest and usefulness.

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FAIL

Problems

I own both Apple and Android devices. The Android market has a long way to come yet. I find myself downloading buggy apps to my Android tablet and that shouldnt be happening.

Apple may be evil but the user experience on the app store is far better. I love my Samsung tablet but I really want more good quality bug free apps. Oh and an OS update!

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Some good apps on Android Market

I got my daughter a Samsung Tablet for Xmas and have been pleasantly surprised by the quality of some of the free apps.

Have only upgraded one, a "Kids Shape Puzzle" which she really likes, to the paid for version.

Upgrading to the prenium app proved rather more difficult than expected but I received excellent e-mail support from the folks at Intellijoy. Far better support for this sub £2 app than I would have expected.

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Anonymous Coward

Android market = malware-a-go-go

I would not trust employees to use an Android device for both personal and business use as you just can't trust the apps and what they may be reporting back.

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FAIL

LOL

Look at all the idiots that believe there aren't crappy apps on Apple Marketplace.

They both have crud, and you have to wade through crap to find gems. That's inevitable when you have so many apps.

The only difference is on Android, much of the crap is free, on iOS, you have to pay for the crap.

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Anonymous Coward

re: LOL

"Look at all the idiots that believe there aren't crappy apps on Apple Marketplace."

Which posters were you, for want of a better word, thinking about? So far, not one person has said "there aren't crappy apps" in Apple's App Store.

I will give you that two people gave an opinion that the Apple App Store was superior to the Android Market Place, based on their experiences of using both, but that doesn't exactly count as fanboy ranting.

"The only difference is on Android, much of the crap is free, on iOS, you have to pay for the crap."

Oh, yeah? What about music production software - good luck find something worth using on Android Marketplace.

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Anonymous Coward

I'm sick of Android - malware, buggy apps - was going to buy a Samsung Note and it can't even run the latest version of Android. Yes you will say 'yet' but it's just p1$$ poor. Think I will hold out for an iPhone / iPad instead - my wife has an old 3GS and she still gets the latest updates and it's a much nicer user experience.

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Anonymous Coward

"Look at all the idiots that believe there aren't crappy apps on Apple Marketplace."

Of course there is crap - but IMHO there is much more buggy crap and malware infected crap on Android.

Can't believe people actually whinge about paying £0.69 for an app - I generally steer away from free apps (other than stuff like the Kindle app) as in this world you get what you pay for.

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Anonymous Coward

"I got my daughter a Samsung Tablet for Xmas"

If you really loved you you would have got her an iPad <lol>

I have used both Samsung and Apple tablets - they are both good - they both have plenty of free and paid-for apps (although more / better apps for most people with the Apple iPad). Sure - if you want root access and to re-rom it buy the Android - but if you try them both - most people would keep the Apple - it's simply a bit 'better' and the whole setup and use it easier / more polished. It's no wonder Apple have 70% of the market.

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jai
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maths

Doesn't it worry anyone else that Google, the world's search engine, estimates that 480 search results is the same at "at least 1000"?

That's quite a massive incorrect calculation, and yet the whole world still puts their faith in them.

No wonder the world is going up the creek, and Google are standing on the shore holding the paddle behind their back!

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Anonymous Coward

point of irrelevance

Ok, so now we have enough crappy titles to go around.

I've found the Apple App Store has a better selection of better games and better music apps.

Android Market has a better selection of useful utilities and location based apps, as well as better sync'ing stuff (PIMs, file sync's, managers). Also has a variety of alternate browsers, e-mail programs etc, most of which is unavailable for iOS due to Apple imposed limitations.

So what's new?

You can find almost anything you want for iOS or Android. For iOS, some limitations may apply, such as user-inaccessible file system related lack of file transfer stuff etc.

Even WP7 (or 7.5) has -almost- everything you might need with its comparatively puny selection (and higher prices).

So, these numbers are pretty academic, and not too relevant when it comes to choosing a smartphone OS. Each has their strengths, and weaknesses.

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Actually got a Galaxy Tab for daughter and iPad for son

So dad can play with both :)

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Anonymous Coward

100 useful apps and games, 399,900 clock widgets and malware apps...

Had a Magic, then Desire for well over a year - and although there are/were plenty of apps, the quality was piss poor on Android.

Even now, the decent games only run on top end phones, so my les than 2 year old Desire is unable to run most of them.

Furthermore, the ammount of buggy, process tealing, battery draining crapware was staggering.

Android Market apps include everything from wallpapers (live or otherwise), widgets (which 90% of which are useless or covered by the phone OEM's built in bloatware) or system utilities to get your Android running smoothly again!

Yes, I downloaded loads - then had to remove it all because of the phones limitations.

By contrast, I've found far more consistently great IOS apps. Yes, there is crap - crashing apps that require reboots, apps that are full of ads, but by and large, I've been much happier.

Games come to iOS first, they perform better on my devices, the curation of the Apps store also helps weed out the wheat from the chaff.

Google need to employ a full time team on their Market to really get it upto scratch, which will mean they need to reject lots of apps. Unfortunately that'll cost them money, and they are just after ad click throughs - which is the whole purpose of Android afterall!

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Holmes

Buying ratings on the app store

One of the problems with the IOS store is that the crap gets highly rated while decent apps get drowned out in the noise.

I'd always wondered why the fart apps etc could do so well and then I found out via the veteran 8 bit developers, the Pickford Brothers (Zub, Feud, etc).

They released their first IOS game, Magnetic Billiards (get it, it's brilliant!). Just after release they were surprised to be contacted by a company who offered to sell them high scoring reviews on the app store.

Turns out that people are making money by selling reviews scores. So anything can end up with a high rating providing you have the cash.

They were quite shocked and naturally declined, but the answer as to why crap can get so highly rated is right there.

Apple have the power to stop this as surely they can check if an account has actually downloaded the app. But it's not really in their interests is it? They get the sale regardless.

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Anonymous Coward

@ Mr C Hill

Which crap did you have in mind? And which fart apps also, I've never seen these in the Top 25 list, for instance.

Were the company that contacted the Pickford Brothers able to do as they said, or was it a scam? Did they contact Apple about it?

"Apple have the power to stop this as surely they can check if an account has actually downloaded the app. But it's not really in their interests is it? They get the sale regardless."

Erm, in order to review or rate an app you have had to download it - if you haven't, you'll get a message saying you have to download/buy it first with your Apple ID before you can review it.

The same method is in force for the OS X app store - if you've obtained the sofware from another source (e.g. retail box of from the developer's site), you can not review it on the Apple App Store.

That isn’t to say that people don’t true to rig the App Store ratings, but Apple has taken action in the past about people (e.g. developers) suspected of doing.

As for it not being in Apple’s interests to do anything, how do you work that one out? If the Store is filled is rubbish apps that get high ratings, do you not think that punters will notice or get fed up?

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Even worse I've seen sites which advertise a "bad review" service for money. They give your competitors bad reviews on the Android market. This is presumably a bit easier as you can do multiple competitors with the same account.

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Holmes

@ Anon Coward

I had a dig around on the Pickfords site and here's what they had to say about it at the time:

http://www.zee-3.com/pickfordbros/blog/view.php?post=554

In short they were offered 100 App Store Ratings and 20 written reviews of their game for $100.

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