The New York Times recently covered the iPhone App Store, discussing the App Store's raging success and Apple's 'necessary evil' of a rejection process. Our good friend Rene over at the iPhone Blog calls the App Store an out and out success (which we agree with) but still calls out Apple for fleeing to the New York Times to deliver its message regarding the controversies (which we also agree with).

As we know, Android and Google have decided on an entirely different method of the application process, as in there isn't one. Developers make the app for Android. Developers submit the app to Android Market. The app for Android is available. There's also the added benefit of being able to deliver applications to multiple handsets on multiple carriers. Here's Eric Chu discussing Android Market:

“We’re doing everything we can to open the device to both developers and consumers,” says Eric Chu, group manager of the Android platform at Google. “That is a critical part of what we think makes Android unique: applications are no longer limited to a single device.”

Mr. Chu said the growing number of Android-powered phones available on multiple wireless carriers increases the financial opportunity for developers. “Last year at this time, we only had one device,” he says. “The volume is going up at a tremendous pace, and the developer ecosystem is seeing that.”

Obviously, with different handsets means different screen resolutions and form factors which app developers will have to account for. It's not all peachy when it comes to Android but we'd rather have the problem be solved by developers than a problem created by the company.

What do you guys think?



Reader comments

Google Discusses The iPhone App Store, Expresses Confidence In Android


I think Google needs to re-evaluate their position on not reviewing apps in Market. There are multiple apps that are little better than malware (YaHoo Business is one, it is not associated with Yahoo!). These apps appear to be associated with a service or website but only provide ads and a link to what you really thought you were downloading.

Fortunately, before downloading any app you can read user comments and reviews which help you steer clear of the malware. And of course there are some really great apps as well.

However, as Android gains traction I worry this problem will only get worse.

The app store is a success because it's the only way to get apps on an iPhone without jailbreaking it. As a former iPhone user I know 1st hand that most of the apps are beyond useless. If people had an option for loading apps onto their phones without being tied to the app store I bet the app store would cease to be the "success" that everyone claims it to be.

I think that the Android market just needs a makeover. With that, it should also just have a section for users to use, that has the apps that are only compatible with whatever version of Android is running. 1.5, 1.6 2.0 etc... That way, people can just go to the section and developers can choose if they want it to be compatible and do what they want. and it will make user searching easier.

Agree with above the apple app store wouldn't be so sucessfull, if there were other ways for people to get their apps. it's a monopoly and since it's the only way, it is obviously has to be sucessfull

I don't want or need a device manufacturer telling me where and how I can purchase apps for MY device, or denying me access to certain apps under the guise of protecting me from potential harm or confusion.

Claiming the app store is a success is like claiming Verizon's Get it Now is a success - give users a choice and you'll see how quickly they disappear. And while Apple's rejection process may in fact be protecting the iPhone sheeple from the dark side, or from the potential confusion that might result from having more than one way to do something, there are plenty of people out here who are entirely capable of protecting and themselves, and even... making decisions.

It didn't. The people (who can make decisions) I was referring to are NOT the iPhone sheeple. WE (those same decision-capable people) are happily living free, without the watchful eye and protection of Apple.

Right now it looks like the developers cannot solve the problems because they do not have the resources. When a new OS is released many of my apps either stop working or are too buggy to use, for about a week. And since the introduction of new phones, I have noticed some of my apps never do get serious bug fixes because the developer is chasing bugs on other phones (eg, Droid) with other Android OSs (eg, 2.0). I have a G1 with Android 1.6 on it & have apps with serious issues since the intro of 1.6. That's a long time. And I expect it will only get worse as more phones enter the market.

Contrast that to my iPod Touch (Ver. 1) & Apple's app store. My iPod is older than my G1, I have many more apps on it, & I have upgraded its OS twice. I have yet to have a problem.

From my experience, for serious work, where I have to have a reliable mobile platform, I would go with Apple's iPhone. Assuming, that is, they start using a reliable network provider.

Who makes these comments? Two very successful companies with two different business models. While Apple is very strict with their approval process Google is quite the opposite. I definitely prefer the Google way of doing things. Also, the fact that you are not tied to a poorly designed app is a brilliant idea. I feel that Apple began a revolution in the way people look a cell phones but they can end up suffering like most other companies do in its position, the way the iPod made people forget that Sony made music devices. I have an iPhone and have used the Droid for about and hour. Being a bit of a geek I am more fascinated with the Android platform because its more customizable. Given the option of the 3Gs and the Droid I would choose the Droid based on what is on paper. However...
The iPhone is not only about the numbers. The app store by far blows away anything Android and Google has (so far). Also, the is a tactile nature of the iPhone that I find hard to replicate with other devices. Its as I always tell people that when they purchase a computer the most important things are not the hard drive, the cpu and the memory, instead its the monitor, keyboard and the mouse. Its what we will use each time the device is turned on.
In the future I feel Google's way of design will surpass what Apple is currently doing unless they make significant changes. However, right now I think the iPhone and its established app store is the device of choice even if its ruled by an iron fist.

I don't know. After having owned a 3g for a year, I don't believe Apple's iron fist is very effective. I say this because I've been a victim of one too many 'duds' or poorly written programs from their App store that crashed to point of being almost useless. I'm also with those above who believe their app store is 'successful' mostly because it's a monopoly.

My main issue with the Android Market is the organization, this is about the only place I see Apple's offering being superior. All too often I have to search several times to find the App I KNOW is in the Market. I expect this will improve with time.

I question the motives of Apple and Microsoft at this point regarding their opinion of the Android Market. I can smell success, and brother it is in the air! Multiple phones, low pay apps, and tons of freebies. Sounds a lot a lot like the kingpin Apple does it not?

Great job Google, and all you want to be software writers out there, keep up the good work.
Merry Christmas, and Happy New year.