When we look at the two dominant forces in mobile computing (and in this space I mean Tablets and Smart Phones) I think that it is safe to say that at this point…if you need or want something…there’s an App for that. The challenge may be in finding anything relevant…and when you do…that actually works.
I figured I would do a side by side comparison of the two app stores on some things that I want across the two platforms (Android Smart Phone – and my Apple iPad). I put the App Stores to the test on 4 apps that I was hoping to find a solid cross platform option in the Android Market Place (AMP) and the Apple App Store (APS).
Office Application (Doc and Spreadsheet reader and/or writer)
AMP – 7 Results (6 Free and 1 Paid) 6 actually relevant to the search itself (the 7th result was for an Office Calculator)
AAS – 528 Results (222 Free) This search result includes games, fitness demos, Canadian National Film Board Videos
Presentation (PowerPoint alternative)
AMP – 900 Results (types of apps…presentation timers, training and assistance, Remote Control for Bluetooth or WiFi and a smattering of actual Presentation Viewers) however in scanning the list…only about 15 were relevant to what I was looking for
AAS – 273 Results (93 Free) A fair mix of relevant to irrelevant but a much higher move towards including relevant information in the first few pages
AMP – 77 Results including the port of the amazing X-Plane…overall about 75-80% relevant to what I was looking for
AAS – 19 (only 1 Free) Now I LOVE flight sims and the iPad would be a perfect platform and have found a few that satiate my need…my need for speed but not with this search term
AMP – 1766 results the vast majority for FREE and include some solid alternatives to the default player like WINAMP (still kicking strong out there) and many others
AAS – 53 (17 free) but really…with iPod functionality built in and no access to the Root File System…do you need a 3rd party app to listen to music
The big issue that I have had with both App Stores is finding anything relevant in my initial searches. I am pretty good at finding things using Google (just ask one of my co-workers who has been trying to wrap his head around the many subsidiaries for a large Publicly Traded company that he has been trying to “radiate and penetrate” into…4 minutes later he has a full interactive spread sheet that lets him drill down and look at the 800+ subsidiaries around the Globe!).
Now in fairness AMP does have an advantage over the AAS because daddy is well…Google…the Search King but I only wish wading through the 500,000 + apps was not so bloody painful. Even finding some relevancy in the 40,000+ apps for the iPad is a pain in the tushie!
Was there a clear winner…not at all. Both search functions really kind of suck. I have heard great things about the Amazon Market Place but being Canadian I can’t get into it yet. I can only hope that with some tweaks and upcoming changes to both platforms (iOS 5 and Android 4.0) that we will see a decided improvement in how we can find out if there really is…An APP for that!
Well it is Friday. The final days of summer are upon us. The last long weekend is just a few hours away and more importantly I can say good bye to my Frankenputer and hello Beast from the East.
Have a great day,
Chris J Powell