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Apple App Store vs. Google Play: A Full Comparison

Apple App Store – The Apple App Store and Google Play are the two largest and most popular platforms for distributing and downloading mobile apps. Both platforms offer millions of apps across various categories, such as games, entertainment, education, productivity, social media, and more.

There are also some significant differences between the two platforms in terms of their history, features, policies, and revenue models. In this article, we will compare and contrast the Apple App Store and Google Play, and highlight some of the advantages and disadvantages of each platform for both developers and users.

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Apple App Store vs. Google Play: History

The Apple App Store was launched in July 2008 as part of the iPhone OS 2.0 update. It was the first platform to allow users to download and install third-party apps on their smartphones, and it revolutionized the mobile app industry. The App Store started with only 500 apps, but it quickly grew to over 10,000 apps by the end of 2008.

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Since then, the App Store has expanded to support other Apple devices, such as the iPad, the iPod Touch, the Apple Watch, the Apple TV, and the Mac. As of June 2021, the App Store has over 1.8 million apps available worldwide.

Google Play was launched in October 2008 as Android Market, a platform for distributing apps for Android devices. It was initially a competitor to the App Store, but it also offered other types of digital content, such as music, books, movies, and magazines.

In March 2012, Android Market was rebranded as Google Play, a unified platform that integrated all of Google’s digital services. Google Play also supports other devices that run on Android or Chrome OS, such as tablets, smartwatches, smart TVs, laptops, and desktops. As of June 2021, Google Play has over 3.5 million apps available worldwide.

Apple App Store vs. Google Play: Features

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play offer similar features for users to discover, download, and manage apps on their devices. Some of these features include:

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  • Search and browse: Users can search for apps by keywords or browse by categories, genres, ratings, reviews, popularity, etc.
  • Recommendations: Users can get personalized recommendations based on their interests, preferences, usage history, etc.
  • Updates: Users can update their apps automatically or manually to get the latest features and bug fixes.
  • Ratings and reviews: Users can rate and review apps based on their experience and feedback.
  • Family sharing: Users can share their purchased apps with their family members across multiple devices.
  • Subscriptions: Users can subscribe to apps that offer recurring services or content for a monthly or annual fee.
  • Refunds: Users can request refunds for apps that they are not satisfied with or that do not work as expected.

However, there are also some unique features that each platform offers to differentiate itself from the other. Some of these features include:

  • Apple Arcade: A subscription service that gives users access to over 100 exclusive games with no ads or in-app purchases.
  • Google Play Instant: A feature that allows users to try out apps without downloading them.
  • App Clips: A feature that allows users to access a small part of an app for a specific task without downloading the full app.
  • Google Play Pass: A subscription service that gives users access to hundreds of premium apps and games with no ads or in-app purchases.
  • Widgets: A feature that allows users to add small app icons to their home screen that display useful information or shortcuts.
  • Google Play Points: A loyalty program that rewards users with points for every purchase or action they make on Google Play.

Apple App Store vs. Google Play: Policies

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play have their own policies and guidelines that developers have to follow in order to publish their apps on their platforms. These policies cover various aspects of app development and distribution, such as:

  • Content: The type of content that is allowed or prohibited on the platform.
  • Quality: The technical and design standards that the app has to meet.
  • Privacy: The data collection and usage practices that the app has to disclose and respect.
  • Security: The measures that the app has to take to protect user data and device functionality.
  • Monetization: The methods and rules that the app can use to generate revenue from users.

However, there are also some notable differences between the two platforms in terms of how they enforce their policies and how they handle violations. Some of these differences include:

Approval process

The Apple App Store has a more strict and rigorous approval process than Google Play. Every app submitted to the App Store has to be reviewed by human experts before it is published. This process can take from a few hours to several days depending on various factors. Google Play, on the other hand, has a more automated and faster approval process.

Removal process

The Apple App Store has a more strict and consistent removal process than Google Play. If an app violates the App Store policies, Apple can remove it from the platform and notify the developer of the reason and the steps to appeal. Apple can also revoke the developer’s account and ban them from publishing any apps on the platform in the future.

Google Play, on the other hand, has a more flexible and variable removal process. If an app violates the Google Play policies, Google can remove it from the platform and notify the developer of the reason and the steps to appeal. However, Google can also choose to suspend or limit the app’s visibility, functionality, or monetization instead of removing it completely. Google can also reinstate or restore the app if the developer fixes the issue or provides a valid explanation.

Revenue models

Both the Apple App Store and Google Play allow developers to monetize their apps in various ways, such as:

  • Paid apps: Developers can charge users a one-time fee to download and install their apps.
  • In-app purchases: Developers can offer users additional content or features within their apps for a fee.
  • In-app subscriptions: Developers can offer users recurring services or content within their apps for a monthly or annual fee.
  • In-app advertising: Developers can display ads from third-party networks within their apps and earn revenue from user impressions or clicks.

However, there are also some significant differences between the two platforms in terms of how they share revenue with developers and how they handle taxes and fees. Some of these differences include:

Commission rate

The Apple App Store charges developers a 30% commission on all revenue generated from paid apps, in-app purchases, and in-app subscriptions. However, Apple also offers a reduced commission rate of 15% for developers who earn less than $1 million per year. Google Play also charges developers a 30% commission on all revenue generated from paid apps, in-app purchases, and in-app subscriptions. However, Google also offers a reduced commission rate of 15% for the first $1 million of revenue per year.

Payment methods

The Apple App Store supports various payment methods for users to purchase apps and make in-app transactions, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Apple Pay, gift cards, etc. However, Apple does not allow developers to use any other payment methods or platforms within their apps. Google Play also supports various payment methods for users to purchase apps and make in-app transactions, such as credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Google Pay, gift cards, etc. However, Google does allow developers to use other payment methods or platforms within their apps as long as they comply with Google’s policies.

Taxation

The Apple App Store handles all tax-related issues for developers who sell their apps on the platform. Apple collects and remits taxes from users based on their location and applicable laws. Developers do not have to worry about tax compliance or reporting for their app sales. Google Play also handles some tax-related issues for developers who sell their apps on the platform. Google collects and remits taxes from users based on their location and applicable laws in some countries. However, developers are responsible for tax compliance and reporting for their app sales in other countries where Google does not collect or remit taxes.

Definition of App

Apple App Store

An app is a short-term application, which is a type of software that can be installed and run on a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic devices. An app usually refers to a mobile application or a piece of software that is designed for a specific purpose. For example, there are apps for games, entertainment, education, productivity, social media, and more. You can download apps from various platforms, such as the Apple App Store or Google Play.

Some apps are paid, which means you have to pay a fee to download and use them. Some apps are free, which means you can download and use them without paying anything. Some apps are freemium, which means you can download and use them for free, but you have to pay for additional features or content within the app. Some apps are ad-supported, which means you can download and use them for free, but you have to see ads within the app.

Apps can have different features and functions depending on their purpose and design. Some apps can access your device’s camera, microphone, GPS, contacts, or other data. Some apps can connect to the internet and sync with other devices or services. Some apps can send you notifications or alerts. Some apps can update automatically or manually.

Apps can also have different policies and guidelines that you have to follow in order to use them. These policies cover various aspects of app development and distribution, such as content, quality, privacy, security, monetization, etc. You can find these policies on the app’s description page or within the app itself.

Apps are an important part of our daily lives and activities. They can help us learn new things, communicate with others, entertain ourselves, organize our tasks, and more. However, they can also pose some risks or challenges if we are not careful or responsible when using them. Therefore, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each app before choosing one over another.

In conclusion, The Apple App Store and Google Play are both powerful and popular platforms for distributing and downloading mobile apps. Both platforms offer millions of apps across various categories, as well as similar features for users and developers.

However, there are also some notable differences between the two platforms in terms of their history, policies, revenue models, and more. These differences can have significant implications for both developers and users who want to publish or use apps on either platform. Therefore, it is important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of each platform before choosing one over the other.

Apple App Store: Frequently Asked Questions (F&Qs)

What is the simple definition of app?

An “app”, short for “application”, is a type of software that can be installed and run on a computer, tablet, smartphone, or other electronic devices. It most frequently refers to a mobile application or a piece of software that is installed and used on a computer. It’s designed for a specific purpose, such as learning a language or booking cinema tickets.

How do I access Apple App Store?

To access the Apple App Store on your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Open the App Store app on your iPhone.
  2. In the App Store, you can discover new apps, featured stories, tips and tricks, and in-app events.
  3. You can find apps by tapping any of the following:
    • Today: Browse featured stories, apps, and in-app events.
    • Games: Find your next game across dozens of categories.
    • Apps: Explore new releases, see the top charts, or browse by category.
    • Arcade: Enjoy the curated collection of premium games from Apple Arcade (subscription required) without ads or in-app purchases.
    • Search: Enter what you’re looking for, then tap Search on the keyboard1.

If you want to buy and download an app:

  • Tap the price. If the app is free, tap Get.
  • If you see instead of a price, you already purchased the app, and you can download it again for free.
  • If required, authenticate with Face ID, Touch ID, or your passcode to complete your purchase.

If you want to sign in with your Apple ID:

  • Open the Settings app.
  • Tap Sign in to your [device].
  • Enter your Apple ID and password. If prompted, enter the six-digit verification code sent to your trusted device or phone number and complete the sign-in.
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