Google Plans Further Improvements To Their App Ecosystem

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Apps that are designed for iOS and shoddily ported over to Android, or even fail to make it over entirely, is a huge pain point for just about any Android fan. Creative Android diehards may rue their inability to use Garageband without having an iDevice around, while gamers may regret getting exceedingly late region-locked ports of Resident Evil 4 Mobile and Devil May Cry 4 Refrain, or may still pine for infamous holdout Infinity Blade, which inspired an entire genre of hyper-visceral swipe combat games. While there are a number of reasons for this, such as piracy, or not having to deal with fragmentation, but the bottom line is quite simple; Google needs happy developers and a more compelling dev ecosystem.

In 2015, 65 billion apps were installed on Android devices worldwide, while spending related to those apps went up about 30 percent year on year. This means that developing for Android can not only prove lucrative, but it can expose you and your app to an insanely huge audience. Between Firebase and Google's Developer Console, developing for Android and maintaining the apps you create is far from a daunting task for most developers. Joel McDonald, the man who quit his job to develop the wildly popular Prune for iOS, argues in favor of Android and Play. Three months after creating his app, he ported it to Android. Pleased, he later reported that the app would have been plenty sustainable and profitable even if he had only released it on Android.

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Google Play director Purnima Kochikar told our source, Recode, that content engagement and spending are both increasing. Despite this, most developers are still sticking to Apple and even seeing higher revenues on iOS when they do bring their app across platforms. The app boom of this decade has also, of course, created tons of jobs, but iOS still holds the majority of them. Accounting for overlap, 70 percent of those surveyed in a report by Progressive Policy Institute developed for Android, while iOS laid claim to 87 percent of the developers surveyed for the study. While those numbers are fairly good, the Play Store still plays second banana to the iOS App Store despite Android being the top mobile OS in the world.