How the Google Play Store won over the Apple App Store


This month, Google was fined $5 billion in the EU for choosing to compete unfairly with Android. Reason to take a closer look at Android's underlying success. It is the most successful OS in the world and the Google Play Store plays a vital role in that. In this blog we look at how Google trumps Apple and the smart use of Google Play credits.

I recently bought my very first app in Google Play: the game Aliens VS Predator: Evolution. And since I had entered my credit card details, other apps soon followed. Exactly as Apple's App Store created sales from the start. Android started out as a challenger from Apple, initially intended for stubborn people who would rather try out free beta versions than the beautifully designed apps from Apple. The approach of Google Play Store changed this attitude.

Google Play: not a fort but an open market


Apple's approach is closed and focused on branding. For many Apple fans, the brand is enough to buy a product or service. That is why Apple protects its brand and products as much as possible. In a closed system, you have full control over the quality. New apps for the Apple App Store will always be checked manually and can be rejected for a variety of reasons. That is why there is almost no malware in the App Store. It also gives Apple the option to reject apps for economic or competitive reasons. For example, Apple decided in April to ban all 32-bit apps. Very annoying for developers, but Apple remains a company focused on sales.

Google's approach is completely different. Google allows almost everyone to its Play Store. Like real IT nerds, Google uses automation, AI and machine learning to review as many automatic new apps as possible. That means more malware, but also more certainty for developers that their apps and games are allowed. And that AI is getting smarter. Google Play is an open market, in which there is no single authority, but there are rules to guarantee quality.

new apps released by year google vs apple

The research agency appfigures compared the Google Play Store with the Apple App Store. Year after year more apps are released for Android.

Quality vs. quantity

Because developers can rely more on Google Play, Android is chosen earlier. Android users therefore have much more choice in apps than iPhone users. With all kinds of top Android apps lists, editorial recommendations and of course the efforts of brands and companies themselves, the best apps are filtered in Google Play Store. While in Apple's App Store there is less choice and you have to pay for an app much more often.

Google Play Credit

So how does Google Play make revenue? True quality requires a price. Android users notice that free versions often contain all sorts of advertisements, such as mandatory videos to move forward in a game. The really good apps often don't even have a free version. Gradually Android users learn to pay for quality, just like I did in the end. In addition to apps and games, Google Play also contains music, concerts, films, books and magazines. More digital products that can be purchased.

Apple only started making iDEAL payments in June 2018 - by far the most popular online payment method in the Netherlands. Google Play Store already offered iDEAL in December 2017 directly via the site and via Google Play credit. These gift cards have been available since October 2015, first through stores such as Primera and now also via web shops. They support all payment options (credit card, PayPal, iDEAL) and immediately give you the code for the Google Play Store. Please note that a Google Play credit has an expiration date can to have.

The future of App Stores

In the digital age it is very difficult to remain the market leader. Apple broke open the app market, but eventually lost it. Similarly, Google Play Store will not have eternal life. Newcomer Amazon, for example, offers developers more options to use keywords in product descriptions, and customers can earn Amazon Coins. Amazon, Apple and Google are all working hard to perfect digital assistants. You can control this with your voice, which creates a whole new playing field. For the purchase of apps, but also for services such as Uber or ordering a bouquet.



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