Downloads vs installs: how Apple and Google count app numbers

Downloads vs installs: how Apple and Google count app numbers
Yesterday was a big day of news, more for Google than Apple, but Apple did get in one interesting piece of information. Just a few hours after Google had announced that the Google Play Store had reached 48 billion app downloads, Apple announced that its iTunes App Store had reached the 50 billion app marker. At the time, we noted that it was unclear how each company counts app installs, so we weren't totally sure how to compare the numbers, but now we have that answer.

It turns out that both companies count app installs the exact same way. Both Apple and Google count only unique downloads of apps per user account. This means that if an app is universal, it is only counted once, no matter how many different devices you may install it on, as long as all of the devices are using the same account. Neither company counts pre-installed apps, so Google Maps, Talk, etc don't count, but iBooks does count because that is an optional install. 

When we first reported Apple's announcement yesterday, we noted that the iTunes App Store had a 4 month headstart on the then Android Market (now Google Play), not to mention the lag in time between when Android actually had enough user support to really be a factor in app installs. According to the counting method, we should also add in a caveat because iOS tends to have fewer universal apps, and more apps that are specific for iPhone or iPad, which would count as two downloads if the same user downloaded both. Although, that may not add up to much.

Either way, it's clear that Google Play is growing faster than the iTunes App Store, and based on Google's own numbers, it should pass the 50 billion app mark in less than one month. But Play still has a bit longer to go before catching up to the App Store in terms of revenue.

source: The Next Web



1. papss unregistered

Another area that play blows is in its tablet apps.. They really need to work on that

3. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Apps on my Nexus 7 don't look that bad, but some really need to be re-designed for tablets.

4. dashax10

Posts: 15; Member since: May 06, 2013

google play need more hd apps for tablets

5. papss unregistered

No I agree that most aren't bad but they need to cater to the tablet crowd more than they do now. I'd imagine it will continue to grow though

6. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Dude that was crazy last night smurf.

8. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

Lol I was confused. Glad to see you're back to normal haha.

9. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

PA stepped in and banned the account


Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Banned who Darkā„¢ Funnyguy2?

13. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Yes he got banned and who ever created that wifeofdarkkjedii got banned too. I can't believe funny guy used the "P" word so blatantly. Not a good idea

15. darac

Posts: 2156; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

I wont have any problem with my future Galaxy Note 3..700 000 tablet optimized apps, haha

16. Stuntman

Posts: 843; Member since: Aug 01, 2011

Good luck using some of those apps in landscape. I have a Transformer with a keyboard dock. It's always in landscape when docked. Some apps have no landscape mode which make them pretty much useless. I complaned about my banking app and the developer responded by telling me I should use the mobile web site instead.

12. icyrock1

Posts: 307; Member since: Mar 25, 2013

With the rise of "phablets" I wonder if that's a problem that will solve itself or not (i.e., has phones get bigger apps will design themselves around the bigger phones and, via an unintended effect, those apps will run good on smaller tablets.).

2. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

I personally like the apps on the App Store a tad bit more than on Android BUT some of the same apps offered on both OS are free on GPS and Apple charges $0.99 or more, which makes no sense.

11. kozza3

Posts: 778; Member since: Oct 17, 2012

haven't you heard!? according to tons of research, apple users spend more money then android users! :P why wouldn't devs asks apple users to pick up the slack that android creates... o_0

7. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Apple is jealous for not getting the attention they think they deserve. And they rolling all over GOOGLE I\O

14. darkkjedii

Posts: 31529; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

And who told you this Tim Cook, or Larry Paige? Oh and before you say it...I know I know, I hate google glass.

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