In just 4 short years Google has grown the Android Market from a humble listing of a few dozen apps into what is now the Google Play Store; a multimedia hub that now packs over 1 million apps. The announcement was made today during Google's conference by Hugo Barra, Google's VP of Android Product Development, and explains that Google has reached that magic "1 million apps available" milestone quicker than anyone else out there, including Apple's own Appstore. He continued on to say that revenue per user has increased by two and a half times what it used to be, meaning more developers are seeing money land in their pockets than ever before. Google has also surpassed the 50 billion downloads milestone, tying the Google Play Store with Apple's Appstore in terms of sheer number of apps downloaded. This is great news for both developers and consumers, as more downloads means more money for developers and in turn more apps for consumers.
Google launched its app store as the Android Market on October 23rd, 2008, which was only a month or so after the public release of the first Android device, the HTC Dream (or T-Mobile G1 if you prefer). Compare this with Apple's Appstore which launched 4 months earlier on July 10th, 2008, and only has 900,000 apps available as of the yesterday's quarterly earnings call. Mr. Barra went on to say that Google will be adding a new tablet-optimized apps section in the Google Play top lists. Google added a tablet section for some parts of the Google Play Store in one of the more recent updates, but it has traditionally lagged behind Apple in terms of sheer number of tablet-optimized apps available. Google's new Nexus 7 is showing the company's commitment to tablets and building a better tablet experience, and it looks like these tablet-optimized app sections will only further that stance. Android tablet sales have increased significantly because of moves like this from Google, and now Android tablets represent 1 in 2 tablets sold.