Chris J Powell

Apps Apps Everywhere

On nearly every device there is the option and opportunity to access, use and download a plethora of Applications.  I remember my early days of computing turning to Tucows, Download.com and many more “shareware” sites.  They offered the trial and full versions of free software, an avenue for budding developers and seasoned veterans alike to peddle their wares (or warez if you lived on the darkside of downloading).

The move to be more mobile and focus on the feeding frenzy of applications that will provide you with instant access to a plethora of Apple, Android, Blackberry and other mobile applications for you phone or tablet this became both a nightmare and a godsend for users around the globe. And with revenues generated from these little .99 cent apps soon to reach $9 BILLION per year it is not something that anyone can take for granted anymore!

Apple App Store
On the iTunes site it states that there are more than 350,000 Apps (65,000 for the iPad) available for download.  With my iPad I have surfed through a great deal of those but have come no where close to seeing everything that is available and have relied on “Top 20 iPad App” reviews to narrow my focus and get the most out of the experience of the iconic Tablet.  I personally find the navigation through the store to be incredibly cumbersome and not easy to find anything that I want (even the search feature is not the greatest) but the shear volume of choice made apple more than $2.25 Billion in revenue and tallied over 9,000,000,000 downloads since its inception…not bad for what could really be considered as the “Buck or Two Store” of the software world.

Android Market
If apps stores were music then the Android Market would be Rock & Roll.  Coming onto the scene in early 2009 with just 2,300 apps available for their fledgling OS, the Google Marketing Engine kicked into high gear.  The simple interface on the device that quickly lets you narrow your focus and streamline the search through more than 200,000 Official Apps (unofficially the number is estimated at 350,000).  Again the majority of the Apps available are in the .99 cent range has seen the revenues increase from $11 Million in 2009 to more than $100 Million in 2010 and with the explosive growth of Android devices while the increase may not be as dramatic, this substantial lead that Apple has will begin to dwindle.

But with an Android you are not limited to accessing the Android Market.  In fact many device makers do not include access to the Google Money Maker so you can also use AppBrain, SlideME, GetJar, MobiHand, Appsfire, or Aproov.

Blackberry App World
With around 20,000 Apps on the App World there one may think that it is slim pickings for what is available to all the CrackBerry users out there.  From having a look around the store and the fact that the revenue per app is about $3000 higher than the other two major vendors, I would say that there is just not as much garbage that surrounds the goodness at the App World.  When RIM changed the world of Enterprise Mobility and enabled us to access our email from a phone they really did upset the “Apple Cart” but I fear that my beloved Canadian Brothers and Sisters are living on borrowed time but I will hold off to pass official judgement.

WebOS (Palm App Catalog)
The Venerable Productivity King Palm was recently bought out by HP and there is a small revolution going on behind the scenes in the development of the App Catalog.  This summer the TouchPad will hit the store shelves and from what an IT Analyst friend has told me about this device it could be a game changer! The WebOS catalog is not that large with just over 4000 Apps to choose from but with the weight of HP supporting it and now 5 or 6 devices available I would suspect that there is a strong future for WebOS and HP’s entry into the App world.

Windows Phone Marketplace
The entry into the heated battle space by the king of all things software was inevitable.  Microsoft has a new Phone OS and although there is only around 3000 apps available this is bound to grow over the next few months.  A couple of months ago I went into a Telus Store and played around with one of the early release Windows Phone 7 hand sets…I got completely confused by the interface as it seemed to me to be laid out by a strung out Meth Head on an eight day bender and from what I could see the store is not much better.  Although the sorting and finding of apps was not too hard using the embedded Bing Search engine…I think that the Windows Phone and it Apps were released too early…wait for 2nd or 3rd Gen before jumping on board.

New to the Field…AMAZON App Store
Never sitting still it was recently announced that Amazon.com would now be selling Apps.  Right now this is in the US only but this could be a huge threat to Google and it attempt to carve out a home for the Android Marketplace and generate a solid revenue stream.  The two Cloud Giants are positioned to go to battle and the real question is who will benefit the most?

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