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.
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:
- 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:
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.
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.