Jan 13, 2015 10:01 PM EST
Apple has long enjoyed a lead in the number of apps available for their iPhones and iPads compared to the other mobile leaders, Android and Amazon. However, times are changing and according to a new report from appFigures, the Google Play mobile market has surpassed Apple in two key areas - developer community growth and number of apps.
Google Play is now distributing apps from 388,000 different developers, giving Android a comfortable lead over their main mobile competitor, Apple with only a total of 282,000 developers.
Currently, app development is on the rise with all the app stores growing by at least fifty percent in 2014. But Google Play's store is growing much faster than the competition, showing over two hundred percent growth in the last year alone.
Google Play also hosts more apps than Apple, with 1.43 million apps in its library compared to 1.21 million for Apple. Amazon comes in at a distant third with just 293,000 apps, despite growing its catalog by ninety percent.
When it comes to app growth from new developers, publishers were releasing mostly business apps followed by Lifestyle apps, and then games on Apple's iTunes. Things were a little different over on the Google Play store, however, with games ranking as the most popular apps among new developers followed by Business and then Entertainment apps.
It is important to remember that just because Google has grown larger than Apple, doesn't mean it is the preferred platform for developers, however. Most developers launch first on iOS and then port their newly created app to the Android platform. Apple's platform is still the top money maker for developers as well, which is the most likely reason most developers release their apps for Apple devices first.
Apple's App Store has been around much longer than Google Play and it is showing its maturity compared to the other app stores. While it is still growing, much of the growth has slowed in comparison to previous years. At the same time, many developers that have found success on Apple's store are now finally beginning to branch out to Google Play and other platforms in an attempt to find additional revenue streams, and expand the reach of their app across a wide variety of platforms.
As the international market continues to open up, with countries like China adopting smartphones such as Apple's latest iPhone, these numbers could begin to change. For now, at least, Google can enjoy their reign at the top while Apple's App Store continues to steadily grow, and offer many more revenue opportunities for developers.
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