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Our smartphones are made of apps – a lot of apps. My iPhone has 61 apps in total, the most I’ve ever had on any phone at one time. It might seem like a lot because honestly - who uses 61 apps that often? Not me, but that doesn’t stop me from downloading something that looks interesting anyway. 61 apps from Apple’s App Store holds no light when compared to the 700,000+ apps available in their market, and I don’t even use all of them that much. So compared to app stores that have less apps in terms of numbers, is the number of apps in a store really a big deal?

In October of this year, the Google Play Store for Android officially hit 700,000 apps. This puts it almost on par with the Apple App Store, which hit 700,000 apps just a month earlier in September. Apple still currently has the lead with the most apps in the market. Following quite a long shot behind them both is the Windows Phone Store with 125,000 apps as of October, and even more so behind both of them is the BlackBerry App World with “just” 105,000 apps as of September. Honestly, 105,000 apps sounds like plenty to me considering I don’t really use that many, yet it also sounds so little when compared to Android and Apple’s gargantuan markets. It’s strange to think that we were once content with much smaller markets to choose from.

Naturally app stores with a bigger selection of applications are going to be able to offer you more choices. Say you’re looking for a navigation app because you don’t like your native GPS. You’ll certainly find more alternatives in the App Store for iOS vs a smaller selection from the Windows Phone Store – but which one has the app that works the best? The main issue is figuring out which store has better quality apps, rather than simply throwing a bunch of apps with the same idea into a market just to build numbers. Not to say the bigger market doesn’t have the best app in this case, but we can’t assume that it does, either. Seeing as I’ve only ever owned one of the two platforms, I can’t say whether one has better selections over the other.

I will say that I’ve never been a big fan of BlackBerry’s market, but their numbers had nothing to do with it. It seemed that it was definitely targeted for a more business oriented crowd rather than the angsty teenage crowd I was a part of at the time, but I’m hoping with the release of BlackBerry 10 that they can reinvent their app store to be able to cater to multiple crowds. Even if they won’t get up to 700,000 apps, just adding in a few mainstream apps, I feel, could really boost their ratings.

Regardless of what platform you choose to use, when we’re talking about applications it all comes down to quality over quantity. A big number looks good on paper, but if you have an entire app store filled to the brim with terrible apps you’re not going to get anywhere. Likewise, you can have an app store with just a handful of great apps that are both popular and essential to the smartphone world, plus a few extras, and your app store would be good to go.

Readers, I want to know what’s important to you in an app store: the amount of choices you have, or the amount of apps that are proven to work and perform well? Let me know what you think in the comments!

 


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62 Reactions to this post

"How many apps do you have on your phone?"


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Sebastian Gomes I think I have about 80 apps downloaded from the play store
Arvind Katiyar Not many phone starts crashing because too many running in the background,it also reduces battery life.
Jorge Lopez 134 very useful downloaded apps including 9 games, plus whatever apps came with my t989. I used to have around 200 but then found out I didn't need a bunch of them.
Anthony Bailey Exactly 260 on my Galaxy Note II.
Michael Walsh i have +-20 apps on windows phone, im still here? What am i missing then people????
Krzysiek Lewandowski Around 40 and NO size of the store doesn't matter but quality of apps and Windows Phone 8 has it.
Mark Belkowski i dunno like 50-60 on my note 2.
Vijay Anand 90 apps in android Jb sgs3
Tony Abiama 109 apps
Randy Walker Sr. It doesn't matter to me how many apps are available at the app store it depends on if they are valuable and usable. I have 105 apps on my phone.
Humza Ahmed 68 Apps, 97 including system apps - HTC Desire HD
Christopher Manic Johnson Btw, just a side note, Android does have a lot of crap apps, but there is a huge number of quality apps. Same goes for iOS. Windows Phone 8 and BlackBerry has the problem of not having enough quality of core apps. I was seriously thinking of switching to the Lumia 920, because I loved the camera tech Nokia works on, but Windows Phone has hardly any of the apps I use on a regular basis, and the fact I couldn't find a Google specific app killed it for me. You can say I'm locked into an ecosystem, but at least with Android, you have the choice to be in or out of that ecosystem. Sorry to say, apps are what's going to make or kill WP8 and BB10...hopefully developers start flocking--I really want a Lumia device
Gary Brown 85 to be exact.
Juwon Donte Every app I download I use every single day android has some really Good/useful apps if you take time to look
Christopher Manic Johnson I have about 90 the apps. Some are games, some are system monitoring apps so I can make sure my device is running efficiently, and if it's not, I'll be able to figure out why. I have sketching apps, Catch Dropbox and Google Drive for syncing ideas and photos, Any.Do for syncing quick reminders and ideas. I have three music apps, mainly for aesthetic reasons, but partly because Google Music is the only one that streams my library, um, and I have Currents, The Verge, Flipboard, and Engadget apps for media and information. All apps on my phone has to have a use, otherwise I'm deleting them and freeing up memory and space.
Kerri Kershaw How many fart soundboards do you really need? Why are trial versions of full apps counted as individual apps? And on Android, why are themes counted as apps? Those should count as themes FOR apps. Talk about inflating the numbers! I think Windows Phone definitely has a much bigger proportion of quality vs. sheer quantity. The numbers will grow as time goes on but hopefully not with junk. I have over 70 on my HTC Windows Phone 8x. :)
Andy Huynh Without counting I got about 30. Some were preinstalled and I can't remove them
Vicente Reyes 230 atrix 2, but half are games. The other are tools
Lashun Manning 22 apps for me
Jannis Anderson 6 not counting preinstalled
Zach Cline Exactly , Why does anyone need 300 freaking apps ?
Juwon Donte 45 apps on my android 50 on iPhone
Jacky On Enough.
Michael Walsh about 20 - 25, who needs more seriously? And what for?
Marvin Oubre 66 (downloaded apps) People with Android, how can you just guess at the number if apps. Simply go to Play Store>menu>my apps to get exact amount.
Anne Brooks Somewhere round the 300 mark.
Herbert Salamánca Ramos Maybe less than 20 & maybe half of them are rarely used, not really into apps :p and since Lumia 920 got a number of Nokia's exclusive apps i already got what i really need. :)
Romi Max seriously, the number of apps is nothing. When I tried to find some nice apps on the WP7 on the other hand, every 5th or so app was a porn. The quality is the thing. And in quality they stand in the same order - Apple -> Google -> Windows. However, quality of apple app store is by far much better than that of Google.
Ayo Q Sipho Never counted but maybe around 40+ and 10 I use
Leo Alexandrov but apple doesn't have the app store advantage anymore. play store has all the popular developers coming over from app store to port their popular games to android. some apps are becoming native for android such as facebook and espn score center.
Michael Anthony Maxey Jr. I have over 50 apps on my BlackBerry Bold 9930. It's about the quality of apps! There may be a million apps in the app store, but who uses that many.. Quality>quantity..
Leo Alexandrov at one point i had 80+ on my htc one s. then i flashed CM10 without backing up. I immediately reinstalled 15 apps that i needed.
Jose Be Julme 380 on Android 4.11 Galaxy S3.
Jomar Lee Streeter I currently have 19 apps on my HTC VIVID some games,banking,spotify, you know the essentials lol.
Steve Johns Yes android is getting there :) I have about 50 or 60
Pirarre Miller I got 215 on my 64GB iPhone 5
Gibby Garcia no. the number of USEFUL apps matter to me...
Eric Morante I only got 5, on the iphone 5 lmao. Just need the essentials and stability, that's all -_-
Johnny Ezell Jr. I have 132 apps. That includes built-in apps and games.
Luis Robles Figueroa 84 apps plus size matter to me at least.
Bryan Miller The fact is the majority of apps are made for ios and only come to see android or Windows Phone if they get popular enough
Adrian Marius I don't know. Around 40 or so. I have enough on my 8X
Tyler Saddington I prefer the quality of the apps over the quantity...
Liam Spurr 35 tops
Chris Kilts 44 apps as of now. The IOS App Store continues to add great new apps all the time. Been playi g the heck out if Ski Safari and listening to Spotify lately
Yasir Sohail Got 92 Apps, but I enjoy gaming on my iPhone and iPad.
Anil Sardiwal 163. Including built-in ones
Ravijot Brar 50.around.
Mark Fisher Jr. 77 and I barely use less than half of them.
Jan Michael Cruz 70 useful apps games included
Tyler Brewer how is a less than 30mb app huge? sounds like you need a new phone
Darren Penix 95 apps
Curtis M. Cook About 100.
Erik Fernandez Not enough, not enough available space, oovoo is a huge app, so is fb
Michael Scott H 162 on my Samsung Galaxy Note 2




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