20,000 Android Applications

Five months ago the Android Market had 10,000 applications. Today, as reported by AndroidLib, Android Market has doubled in size since then and hit the 20k app market. Pretty astounding, but still miniscule in comparison to Apple’s iPhone App Store.


But the key in this case is about momentum and NOT competition. According to IDC Research (via GigaOM), Android Market growth will outpace that of Apple’s iPhone App Store in 2010. But that doesn’t really matter… one of these operating systems is never going to “beat” the other. They’re both destined to sit on top of the mobile kingdom, each wearing a different type of crown and reigning over a different land with different rules and different values.

The important factor is that each operating system fuels growth and innovation, but also manages that growth appropriately. With 100k+ apps in the iPhone App Store it is nearly impossible for users to find what it is they are looking for or to find things they might enjoy. Unfortunately for Android users, despite having to sift through far fewer apps, the task is even harder as no great system of browsing the possibilities as been put in place.

It is nice to note that more than 60% of Android Applications are free. That’s at least 12,000 free applications or games. And while sometimes the “you get what you pay for” cliche rings true, there are a LOT of great downloads that’ll cost you absolutely nothing.

Like Google, I’m sure many of these devs offering up free software hope that mobile advertising is the next big growth area and if they’ve already got a large mass of users, profiting will come naturally.

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  • ari-free

    20k apps, 100k apps, 1 million apps…it all doesn’t really matter to me unless I am able to
    1) see practically any website the way it appears on the desktop, with Adobe Flash
    2) view/edit MS docs on the phone. Again, they should look like on the desktop and not dumbed down versions.

  • Maj

    The large number of free apps might be the nature of the open source the Android has and not to forget no fees to register as a developer.
    But i think these numbers are quite disappointing and makes any dedicated developer thinks twice before developing for the Android. We developers are humans too and need to make money to pay the bills.

  • http://dziadowiec.pl MD

    Shame I can’t download any payware for Android in Poland :(

  • Maj

    why are you dying for flash ? i use the web almost daily and rarely need to use a flash, not to forget that flash is CPU B*tch and going to kill the battery. I think most people are dying for the flash just to be able to view porn movies and nothing more.

  • http://joshuadobbs.com Josh

    @maj it does cost to register as a developer but it’s only $25.

  • TF

    He needs Flash so he can take his cupcakes out of the oven in YoVille all day long… duh.


  • G8D

    Thats pretty fast..

  • G

    I am happy Android has hit the 20k mark, would like to see market browsing improvement.
    Canada does not have payed apps yet along with many other countrys. Still no non-rooted 20k here. Also everywhere there are android 1.5 devices who don’t have the better market, why not have a market 1.6 app??

    @Maj I am also a flash fan, sadly to many sites i use have flash now a days. Most/all web games are flash, also i wanted to test my phones up/down with broadband “http://www.speedtest.net/” extra… IMHO Porn on a cell phone is stupid but “to each their own”.

  • ari-free

    maj, there’s more to the web than just slashdot and porn.

  • 513

    There are some app editor, for exemple one called Androidz, making a lot of shitty apps with stupid functionalities like “Megan Fox Wallpapers”.

  • Li

    I started creating apps for the android as soon as I got my
    Droid and so far I have five apps on the market. I love android and developing for it is a pleasure BUT android market sucks canal water!! It pisses me off to no end that people can download the app, use it for 23 hours and return it. It is really frustrating as a developer to see people taking advantage of your work due to stupid market place return policy. Google really need to reduce the return period to something reasonable otherwise developer would not have any incentive to create quality applications

  • Jouten


    If it is a ‘quality application’, then people wouldn’t be returning it at all…

  • snupples

    Once app stores/markets get into the tens of thousands of apps, you absolutely cannot compare them by sheer number of apps.

    How many apps in the iphone app store are stupid fart apps (or similar in usefulness)? Not to mention all the “Blah Blah Mobile Web” type spam apps in the Android Market (looking at you Monseta and M STAR LLC).

  • 513

    An appreciated option in the market would be to ban or filter certain developers. For exemple just a button to ignore the results from spam applications.

  • Maj

    yes im aware of the $25, google made you pay for that just to avoid non-real developers or scammers. I should have called it “almost-free registration”

  • ari-free

    24 hours is just one day. Most PC apps let you try for 7 days or even 30 days.

  • zacas

    Sure, 20000 apps, but how many of them actually do something useful?

    My guess is that about 1000 of those apps let you “view some pictures when you’re finished making a call”.

  • Wing

    I wonder how many are from Monseta and similar spammers?


    About time Goggle charges a nominal (per) posting fee for apps, fully refundable on exceeding minimum # of user downloads so real app developers are not penalized.

  • Z-liberator

    I have an HTC Hero and can get plenty of porn in crystal clarity maybe its the phone not the software.

  • SK

    To expand on what other have mentioned:

    Disclaimer: I haven’t ever owned an iPhone/iPod and own a G1. I’m an Android fan, so don’t start flaming me saying that I hate Android.

    So, I’m curious to know what percentage of the iPhone apps are spam. Although fart apps are mostly useless, they are at least a bit of fun for some people.

    That’s much better than the brain dead apps in the Android Market that show random photos at the end of a call, open a mobile website in the browser, etc. No fucking idiot would want those apps.

    Does the iPhone approval process reject such brain-dead apps? If so, then comparing the no. of apps in the Android Market with the iPhone market is comparing apples to oranges — with Android losing out (even if the count is the same).

    I wish Google at least allows us to ignore certain Devs (name, website, or email since some devs changes the names but leave the website the same) or apps with certain words in their names. And at best, Google should ban devs from the market if they get too many “Spam” votes.

    As a tip, try the My Market app. When it works it’s good. But lately it keeps failing most of the time with “Android Market is not responding” (which I’m sure is not the case).

  • Z-liberator

    Android is a phone for those techi’s and customizers, Iphones are for “normal people”. An Android can be whatever you want while an Iphone is just an “Iphone”

  • ari-free

    “And at best, Google should ban devs from the market if they get too many “Spam” votes.”

    yes, google should let the Market itself be the approval process at least after the fact for crap apps and against bad devs from releasing more apps in the future. That way, google wouldn’t bogged down with approvals, no ‘fascism’ and less crap. Power to the people! :)

  • Mensahwatts

    Well I’m starting to see Androids everywhere And so I think the app store will get better and better. Seems like there’s noway it wont get better….looking at the good phones coming out

  • Mensahwatts

    One other thiing, some of yous guys have stated how google needs to get better apps…well look at the Nexius one invirment/digital apps they are making…u just ant beat such a creation….apple doesn’t have a app for that…give google a brake and watch…watch them change the game like apple can’t.

  • Li


    You missed the point completely. You don’t need 24 hours to figure out if the app is crappy or useless, you figure that out in 5 minutes after you install the app. What some people are doing is that they buy the app, use the app, especially games, for 24 hours and return it. This is hurting developer and therefore this loophole should be plugged by reducing the the time available to return the app

  • ari-free

    but who wants to buy a game you can finish in one day? I only buy games that I can play for months and I’m not going to be happy if I only get a couple minutes to see if it’s another joke game or not

  • snupples

    For the record I have been an iPhone (unlocked) user since almost day one. But I’m a 100% Android convert. Not going to get into the pros and cons here though.

    The iphone app store is FILLED with useless apps that duplicate each other’s functionality, or lack thereof. It also does have its own obvious spam problem, but Apple has been known to ban certain spammer/developers. I’ve never heard of Google banning anyone.

  • lina bryse

    Well the data is getting inaccurate now, it should be 16k apps only. But who cares? As long as the apps being created are in for quality, then user won’t mind about the numbers. Well except for people who likes to count ‘insignificantly” point of view about the issue: http://bit.ly/android-apps-exagerated-apps

  • Jim Davis

    @G There is a speedtest app in the marketplace. It works very much like speedtest.net (it’s by the same people, I believe).

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  • sbd

    I’m looking into getting my 1st smartphone. I’m debating btwn the Motorola Droid and an iPhone. I don’t really like AT&T, so am looking at the Droid as a good alternative, but I am concerned about the apps. When I look online, I can only view about 30 apps- games,etc. I am looking for medically related apps. Is there a place to browse the various apps without being on a Droid? Where?

  • http://www.cognation.net dean collins

    The domain http://www.MobileAppStore.com is now for auction.

    What do you think about the current bid?