Apple App Store vs Google Play Store

November 12, 2013 - Written By Chris Yackulic

What came first, the chicken or the egg? That’s one age-old question. Now here’s another. Which is better, the App Store or Google Play. It’s likely this question will go on just as long, and whilst it can’t be scuppered outside in the car park, the pair have been battling it out for the last five years.Both opening in 2008, Google Play then known as Android Market, they appear to be going from strength to strength, eclipsing Nintendo and Sony’s efforts to stamp their authority in the portable gaming market, with the App Store recently surpassing 50 billion downloads.

But put the two head to head and it makes interesting reading. Google dominate the market in terms of downloads and have a 75 percent ownership of all app downloads on the market, with Apple only owning 18 percent of the app universe.In the last quarter alone, Google Play had 25 percent more downloads than Apple’s efforts, yet revenue certainly flies the other way. According to analytics company App Annie, despite the 25 percent more, Apple’s revenue came in at 50 percent higher in the last quarter.

Still both have continued to improve on their previous quarters, with iOS downloads driven by strong growth in China and Russia, whilst Google Play have seen a sharp rise in South America, shifting Brazil to number four in their download rankings behind the United States, South Korea and India.And it’s games that are still dominating both stores. Able to see off the Sony PlayStation Vita, 70 percent of App Store revenue comes from gaming, whilst 80 percent of Google Play’s comes from the likes of FIFA 2014, Real Racing 3 and the best Android casino apps.

But is revenue the correct way to define which is better? Probably not. With more and more people on the hunt for high quality, free games, it certainly looks as though Google Play might be the way to go with over one million apps and games on the market, at generally a cheaper cost to that of the App Store.And the games are often just as high quality. With the likes of Dead Trigger 2, Reaper and Sonic And Sega All-Stars Racing all entering the Play store for under £1.60 in recent months, the Play store certainly offers the best value. But with Android devices themselves fluctuating in different qualities, it’s important to pick up the best device to take full advantage of Google Play’s array of great gaming apps.