60 essential apps for mobile: Android has finally closed the app gap with iOS
Let’s first take a quick look at the numbers. Lastly, Apple disclosed it has 650,000 apps in its App Store, and most recently Google’s Android had 600,000 apps on Google Play, only 50,000 short of iOS.
Sure, the numbers have almost evened out and we expect Android to overtake Apple in terms of number of applications in the near future. But heck, out of those apps there are a couple hundred apps that most people will download and a huge pile of specialized apps suited only for some, along with tons of junk. Let’s cut all of this and bring the game back to the very essentials - apps most of you would not only want but need and games that would make you drool and consider switching to another platform.
We’ve got 60 of them - games and applications, and we’ve included Windows Phones for its ambitions to become the third ecosystem. Microsoft's platform is still a long way from being there as you can see in the list below, but it’s also moving in the right direction.
We’ll leave the conclusions to you in the comments below, but right now, here’s our 60 essential apps list - it’s not perfect, but it should cover most basics. We’ve used top app ratings from all around to come up with it, but feel free to suggest adding or removing applications - it’s really up to you. So what do you think - is there still a valid reason to say that iOS has the edge in apps? The tricky part might be the iPad and tablet apps where Apple is still very, very strong unlike Android, but that’s a whole different topic. We’ll look at it soon, as Windows 8 approaches so stay tuned.
1. wendygarett (unregistered)
I always bring android phone to work to tour to eat and to sleep
But when it comes to apps... I always prefer iPhone and iPad no matter what... Because o trust ios more than android :)
29. AppleWho (banned) (Posts: 57; Member since: 06 Aug 2012)
seriously...how about them 400000+ apps on the appstore that never get downloaded....
32. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
now there might be even more android apps that never get downloaded, we should talk about it only after they provide android's analytics in the 4th quarter,because apple users buy apps more often than android users........its not that the apps are bad, many apps don't get downloaded because its impossible to search for them in the crowded store so people are just attracted towards the most downloaded apps which appear in the beginning....apple's new redesigned app search in the ios 6 will change it and google should do something like that as well, numbers just got too big for these stores
41. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
Yeah, I agree.
The search feature is really messed up in both stores.
If I search for an unpopular app WORD FOR WORD that contains "birds" "camera" "photo" "sms" and so on, it will just show the most popular apps, not the actual one I typed in.
Really stinks knowing that google is a company based around search.
46. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
i think the apple one will be better with ios 6-- hopefully they integrated chomp which was really useful for finding relevant searches… i am not sure if they have integrated it yet though
and part of the problem with this article is that yes, they both have big name apps, but of the other apps the ones on ios are normally of higher quality and more available…
for example i read dvice every day, but there is not an app for android while there is one for ios
47. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)
I've never heard of dvice.
And yeah, android apps are lacking, expecially on tablets (compared to the iPad)
48. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)
its just a tech site about like upcoming technologies being created-- like what the people at Cal tech are doing
its just a small app that is easy to create for ios, but not worth it to create for android
59. tahnik (Posts: 133; Member since: 17 Jul 2011)
This is the difference between geeks and fans....Fans just don't understand that every OS have their pros and cons...Android is best at it's customization and everything else,but when it comes to app iOS is still far ahead...
66. hwaism (Posts: 10; Member since: 11 Oct 2011)
agree. i have both android and iOS. Android customization is great, but nice apps are just not as much as iOS.
62. anywherehome (Posts: 971; Member since: 13 Dec 2011)
why do you trust Apple:
goo [dot] gl/jpnTr
are you sure?
with Android if you install just play market good apps you are safe and you see all the permissions but wit iOS you DO NOT KNOW anything when installing :)
that is why 40 % of popular iOS apps brake your privacy ;)
63. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3700; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)
20 people thumbed that down because it's true.
2. sid07desai (Posts: 262; Member since: 03 May 2012)
Developers hesitated to make apps for Android as it is open source and there are ways to get paid apps of free and the iOS market was more profitable. But now, as Android is dominating the smartphone market, there might be a rise. Maybe even more than iOS.
15. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
ios has got that number after apple has rejected hundreds of thousands of junk apps and useless apps.......google should do the same thing as well, even if hundreds of thousands have to be removed from the play store, numbers are not as important as quality and security
17. maryaaadil (Posts: 146; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)
but still there are 400000 apps that not have been downloaded yet.
22. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
Which i think the consumers will, or wont download?
27. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
maybe they will, but the problem is that everyone talks about the most downloaded apps, no one cares about the alternative apps, as you can see in this article itself, everyone cares about the apps that were downloaded more number of times, maybe there are much better apps in those 400,000 than the ones listed in this article but its very difficult to look at all the 650,000 apps
24. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
thats exactly what i want to say, number is not as important as quality.....ios apps have around 11 billion more downloads than google apps, so google has atleast 450,000 apps that aren't downloaded.....numbers don't matter anymore.....popular app releases, quicker releases, quality and security matters the most, we don't need numbers because we won't download even download 1% of those apps
3. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
google should start removing junk apps, useless apps and malware from the google play store.........and i hope that google also reduces fragmentation and get all the latest releases as quick as apple....all these things are easier said than done,developers will always prefer apple,apple's xcode can make apps that are more beautiful and polished....... apple rejected hundreds of thousands of apps already for quality and security.................i am just thinking of microsoft, how will they fill this dent? microsoft will find it very difficult to get some marketshare from google's android..........
10. dok2005 (Posts: 55; Member since: 18 Apr 2012)
the fragmentation isnt that bad. android is open source people choose what they want to do with it. If you really want to keep super on top then you should root and add new rom to your phone. you not missing out on many apps trust me. you say apple xcode makes things more beautiful and polish thats not true. it all depends on how the developer design the game, the resolution/ppi of your device, the processor, and the size of your screen.
14. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
no, fragmentation is bad, for us and also for the developers.........my cousin is a developer, he says that xcode can make more beautiful apps, its also easy to make apple apps, they are safe and make 4 times more money than android......my galaxy nexus is already rooted....anyways, what do you think about wp8?
19. jordanetodd (Posts: 6; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
my cousin is a fire fighter, does that make me an expert on fighting fires? No. It doesn't.
I have a new android phone every month, and I'm constantly roming and modding them, from the minute I get them. As more people upgrade to newer phones with better processors, the fragmentation problems start to dwindle into the past, you have to format your apps to work with different screen sizes, which is soon to be the case on iOS as well, with the new bigger iphone.
26. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
my brother tells me everything about developing apps, i see him doing things and i have observed and experienced how things are done...let me tell you that screen size doesn't matter, its the resolution that creates fragmentation, apple has only 2 different resolutions in tablets and 3 different resolutions in phones after the new iphone is released.........no one complained of fragmentation when the iphone 4 was released, there aren't any problems of fragmentation in the ipad apps even though apple released the new ipad with 4X better resolution few months back........there is no problem as long as you have 2 or 3 resolutions, especially when all the devices run on apple processors.......in android there are thousands of different resolutions and processors of different brands, even the developers don't know how many different types of android phones and tablets are there........now there is a reason why developers prefer apple.
40. dok2005 (Posts: 55; Member since: 18 Apr 2012)
ok for developer point of view again fragmentation isnt that bad. you act like theirs 50 million version, but its not. if it was then no developer would even try. not only that but just like almost every developer being doing. make the application usable on all basic formats. if you look in google play app selection now alot of them would say android 2.2/2.3 or higher. which covers the majority of phone from low range to top tier. the only phones it wouldn't cover is phones before that time. which mean somebody is still carrying around an htc dream/ g1. and thats no different from someone still carrying around the original iphone. they reached their EOL. Again I explain what makes the app looks like it look. you got an galaxy nexus you should know. yes iphone makes more money because the only way to get an app is through the app store unless you jailbreak it. then the app has to be cracked to use and then you got to find it. Android phones dont have to be rooted to do that. So paid apps become free. if you can find them.
windows as a company is playing catch up way to late. honestly if you compared the possibilities of what the original iphone vs windows phone of that time. The software really still had leaps and bounds over ios at the time. except windows didnt improve and let ios become the power house it is. So, it has alot to prove. Honestly it might be the real third ecosystem. Since so far if you been keeping up they really having the phone companies making the wp8 verison of the android phone. (Samsung Galaxy S3 vs Samsung Odyssey) Also have to keep in mind that alot of people use to be Blackberry fans. I think they might tie with them with the BB10 software. Only time will tell though.
42. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
when you compare android with ios, the developer would prefer ios.......its not only the resolution, processors and gpus that are different for android devices, most of the people use os thats 2 generations old......now developers have to concentrate more on android 2.3 than on android 4 and 4.1 respectively.....some of them don't optimize the apps for android 4 or later and some are forced to just for the few percentage of people using it......plus developers are also being forced to make two versions of android games these days, one for the nvidia tegra 3 and the other for the rest, thats a tiresome job...in that way every processor might require its own version but the developers can't provide that..even google developed the latest google search app for ios before android 2.3, 3 and 4.......and after all this an average developer earns 4 times more on ios, so ios is an obvious choice for apps.....
microsoft has been careful, they are trying to avoid fragmentation as much as possible, even though they might not be as clean as apple ios, if they set up such limitations, they can have good quality apps, the only thing that they need now is some marketshare, android will have more marketshare for years but wp os needs some marketshare.
4. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)
you know, all the apps yoi need is in android. just not everything is quality... I wanted infinity blade so bad...
and also, keeping my mind open, most of the apps and all in Android might be launcher themes and wallpapers and all. some we don't even bother checking. Android has a long way to go in terms of quality. I'm hoping Android's design team fixes it.
43. E.N. (Posts: 2336; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)
Dude you're definitely right, you hit a lot of points that the author completely didn't even think about.
1. Android has a ton of downloadable widgets, which is good and bad. First, these widgets are included in the total app count (which is fine), and secondly, there are a lot of repeat widgets with repeated functions i.e. the hundreds of weather widgets some of which look/work exactly the same. Also keep in mind that a single live wallpaper is considered an app in the play store....and there are hundreds if not thousands of them. Again this isn't a bad thing, but when the author says Android is only "50,000 short of iOS" its important to keep the numbers in perspective.
2. The apps listed above are the most popular and some of the most basic applications so of course Android is going to have those. there's nothing exceptional about offering applications like Google+, Pandora, Angry Birds, Cut the Rope, etc. If you go to the App Store right now, skip the top 25, and go to the featured what's new and what's hot categories, a lot/most of those applications are not available on Android. Also, the wait time for Android to get some of these applications was not even addressed. Yes its great that some great applications are available on both platforms, but the 2.5 years I had to wait to get applications like 2Do on Android was no walk in the park.
3. Also, just because an app is available in the play store doesn't mean its going to work [well] with your device, regardless of how new or up to date it is. Going through the Android market, you read reviews about frustrated customers i.e. Doesn't work on the Evo 3D, always crashes on the SGII, or won't even load on my device. The App Store has its fair share of compatibility issues, but nowhere to the extent of what is found in the Play Store.
The graphics are a lot better on a lot of the applications as well. Some apps look completely terrible on those 4.8 screens with big words and pixelized icons. Graphics in games are also much more crisp and better looking. Even a simple game like cut the rope has noticeable difference across iOS and Android. On the SGIII, the colors were saturated and although saying it was pixel-ized would be a lie, it wasn't as crisp as the iOS version.
Victor definitely jumped the gun on this one.
5. ph00ny (Posts: 606; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Why would you list iApps? Of course they're not going to be available from playstore.
iPhoto yes no no
iMovie yes no no
GarageBand yes no no
I guess you should list
8. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
google maps is screwed with by nokia maps...
13. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
why? whats so awesome about nokia maps?
30. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
google's offline navigation will work in 29 countries and nokia's maps work in 110 countries
Nokia currently offers Nokia Maps and Transport and Nokia Drive on their Lumia handsets, and has provided regular updates with new and improved functionality.......but the problem is that now these maps are not confined to nokia phones, even the other wp8 devices will get these maps
35. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
so Google maps is only short in country number? Google updates its map application to include trains and other transportation options, has recorded hundreds of Local places information(address numbers) along with consumer reviews, 360 view for buildings inside and outside, and now o 4.1 it even recommends places for you to try out and gives accurate and live transit status....
38. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
Yes, that's what I want to say...... I don't say that google maps are bad.....google has features that can be completely used only in 29 countries and Nokia has offline maps for 110 countries which means that Nokia maps are the best maps in at least 81 out of 110 countries...... Google maps are good but limited to only a few countries
65. protozeloz (Posts: 5378; Member since: 16 Sep 2010)
well the country number could be increased..... I agree with that.
21. Aeires (unregistered)
Only if you decide to buy a Windows phone, so I disagree, Google Maps isn't screwed.
9. CharlieAtInfinity (Posts: 253; Member since: 10 Apr 2012)
They are probably NEVER going to be available on play store or on Windows Phone :)
18. maryaaadil (Posts: 146; Member since: 07 Apr 2012)
what about Live wallpapers, launchers, keyboards etc.....
45. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
google maps is available in the app store, apple is just removing the default app for the new apple maps, so apple users will have both apple maps with siri integration and the google maps.........youtube app will also come to the app store as soon as its removed from ios.......all the google apps are available and will always be available in ios
6. ph00ny (Posts: 606; Member since: 26 May 2011)
Why would you list iApps? Of course they're not going to be available from playstore.
7. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
wow.. good comparison...
but unlike blackberry os, some of these apps and games has an alternative unlike WP(not hating, i love WP) instagram blackberry has molome, temple run BB has tomb escape, cut the rope BB has feed the chicken... so i think bb deserve to be there...
54. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
but on smartphone? im talking about smartphone... PB is different on BB smartphone!!
55. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
and BlackBerry App World has 86,000 set of apps... and thats pretty decent...
11. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
but android and iOS app catalog are competely different.. android has a lot of angry birds clone... and there are apps that isnt available to android and iOS... i really wonder why devs are loo lazy to make there apps available to android, wp, blackberry? most of the devs are all on the iOS.. and they are really lazy... it took years to make the instagram available to android.. and it might took another year to make it available to wp and bb... same goes to temple run...
so i guess this is what html5 wants to do.. to make apps compatible to all platform.. but then again.. it will only work to mobile phone who is always connected to the internet... and its not ready for primetime...
51. downphoenix (Posts: 2357; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)
Some HTML5 apps can be made to work offline. And yes, I am in full support of HTML5 making it big. And yes, some devs are lazy.
53. pikapowerize (banned) (Posts: 1869; Member since: 03 May 2012)
yeah.. but thats the point only some... while atleast on API most of them... html5 might not boom in some country like philippines coz, yes html5 might be good but most people dont go postpaid.. and most of us are in prepaid.. we dont have wifi everywhere, not to mention no LTE, and 3G still not everywhere and that just sucks... average still go to internet cafes coz cant afford a loptop or pay the internet connection..
but html5 might be the solution.. but android pushing people to html5 isnt really good... for me i still prefer flash... coz html5 apps just loads like snail... so slow in my type of connection ( i bought the broadband stick that offers 7.5mbps, but on prepaid... all people here say that our carriers value prepaid users than postpaid, but i didnt get what i pay for, only gives me like 150-200kbps..it sucks that 3G isnt fast here) thats why i prefer flash...
33. AppleWho (banned) (Posts: 57; Member since: 06 Aug 2012)
that is located in the play store magazine section.
20. jordanetodd (Posts: 6; Member since: 10 Aug 2012)
neck and neck.
Also why are you including iOS proprietary apps? That seems redundant... There's apps similar to iMovie and Garageband for android, but those apps will never be ported. Not if apple has anything to say about it.
25. TROLL (banned) (Posts: 4851; Member since: 13 Apr 2012)
I wonder why? Is it exclusive just for ios?
31. primarchlion (Posts: 5; Member since: 22 Dec 2011)
They are first party apps developed by Apple. Apple doesn't port their apps to other mobile OS's.
28. Savage (unregistered)
So the app gap has finally been reduced to zero. That is terrific news. Now we can finally throw out the argument of App Store having more apps than Play Store.
Now what remains to be rectified is malware caused by SOME apps and piracy of apps on Android. Malware isn't that high on Play Store plus there are tons of Anti-virus apps, that will do. Although, I'd like Google to screen apps that are published. Speaking of app piracy, which makes developers turn away from Android, I expect this will greatly reduce once the Play Store Gift Cards are made available everywhere.
34. AppleWho (banned) (Posts: 57; Member since: 06 Aug 2012)
Android is ahead just because it has a bunch of apps to customize specific launcher, wallpapers, live papers, fonts, etc. - things not on the app store...and, it has many useful apps for rooted users.
36. remixfa (Posts: 13936; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
looks like you took an iOS app list and then tried to compare everyone else to it. A little disingenuous is it not? You could easily do the same with Android or heck even WP7.
60. Victor.H (Posts: 443; Member since: 27 May 2011)
Remixfa, I've run through a couple of popular app lists to come up with this, both for Android and iOS. I don't find the presence of some iOS apps disingenuous since Apple led the space for a while with some great titles. I guess you're not happy to see GarageBand or iPhoto, or some of the others here. Let's make it clear, those are there because they are good apps that might make you stay on iOS and I don't know of similar apps on Android or Windows Phone. Feel free to add suggestions if you do.
37. Whateverman (Posts: 3225; Member since: 17 May 2009)
Funny, people are saying Android is only catching up because of all the live wallpapers and themes, suggesting that theses are not real apps. But how about all the proprietary apps in ios? All the time card and schedule checking apps that are only used by employees of a particular company. If these can be added to iOS's talley, than customization in Android shouldn't be such a big deal
And Victor is even saying the quality of Android apps are their as well, but there are still a few of you not willing to admit developers are making high quality apps for Android as well. Yet there is no difference in any of the games mentioned shared by Android, iOS, and WP7.
It's times to let it go guys...they're all pretty now.
39. rd_nest (Posts: 770; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)
When did iPhoto/iMovie/GarageBand become essential apps?? Someone though forgot about Google maps :P
People should check the app called Tasker. I would consider something like Tasker, DSLR Controller as excellent apps.
44. thebest (Posts: 231; Member since: 08 Jul 2012)
google maps is available in the app store, when ios 6 comes, the ios users can have both apple and google maps......only the default app is being removed, it was not as good as the google maps app available in the app store which is quite good and apple also wanted to integrate it with siri so.......google isn't going out of the app store,even youtube app will come to the app store as soon as its removed from os, so no one will miss any google apps
there are much better apps in the app store as well,even some good apps and games like urban crime and action movie fx etc etc.....anyways, i will try both the apps that you have mentioned over here so thanks....... phonearena, here is taking only the apps that are very essential and popular, its impossible to compare all the apps from these two stores, both the stores are too big to be compared....
49. Peter98 (Posts: 119; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)
I can just say iOS is way better. They have great graphics that suit iDevice. Overall, it is more systematic.