Canalys: Half of top iPad apps unavailable or not optimized for Android

Canalys: Half of top iPad apps unavailable or not optimized for Android

Summary: Canalys researchers highlight a potentially major gap in the Android ecosystem.


Android continues to claim more of the mobile operating system market share for both the domestic and international markets, but there could still be a major problem holding the ecosystem back.

According to a new report from Canalys on Wednesday, roughly half of the top apps designed for the iPad were found to be either unavailable or not optimized on Android.

Specifically, analysts found that 30 percent of the top 50 paid and free iPad apps in Apple's U.S. App Store were entirely absent from Google Play by the end of the first half of 2013.

There are a few exceptions (especially in the top 15) that can be excused -- namely because they were developed by Apple, such as Pages and Keynote.

But there were even a number of apps made by larger players known to have more resources available, like Disney and Electronic Arts, that were found not to have build native versions at all for Android users.

Another 18 percent were available for Android, but not optimized for tablet screens. The unfortunate result here is a poor user experience.

Canalys senior analyst Tim Shepherd lamented what could be the obvious argument still: Android still isn't a priority for many mobile developers yet.

Shepherd suggested that the burden here is on Google, rather than the ecosystem of OEM partners, to better build a sense of trust and reliability with developers and consumers alike:

To take the Play ecosystem to the next level, Google needs more than just a large addressable base of devices. App developers need to see clear potential to build robust and sustainable business models around apps built for the platform, so increasing monetization potential must be a priority. And for tablet apps in particular, Google should go further with changes to the Play store to ensure more rigorously managed, high-quality, optimized experiences are highlighted, to the benefit of consumers, and to reward those developers who invest the time and resources in building them with improved discoverability.

To check out the top 50 paid tablet apps, according to Canalys, as of August 15, scroll through the document below:

Canalys: Half of top iPad apps unavailable or not optimized for Android

Topics: Mobility, Android, iOS, iPad, Tablets

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  • Users Attract Developers To A Platform, Not The Other Way Round

    This lack of apps hasn't stopped Android from dominating the tablet market, just like it did with smartphones. This just reinforces what I've said before: it's users first, developers second.

    Which leads to the conclusion that Microsoft's obsession with attracting developers and apps to to Windows Phone and Windows RT (not to mention Windows 8) is totally misguided. It should be concentrating on improving the user experience as the top priority.
    • Android dominates in the third world

      Nothing wrong with that, but i'd guess that's where the App market is too.
      • Android dominates almost everywhere

        Apple is just a match in the US.
        Calling Germany, Luxembourg, Norway, Japan, Singapore, ... 3rd world is probably an exaggeration :-P
        • Not on the web

          On my site, the ratio of iOS to Android hits is 30:1. I mentioned this before and someone said they set their Android to emulate an iOS device but they never said how this is done. I suspect it is a feature that very few know about or do. So yeah, what ever all these Androids are doing, it is not accessing the web. Of course if it is sitting in a store shelf somewhere being counted as a sale when it is only a shipment, I can understand.
          • It's a smartphone not a device to access web only

    • Amazing

      When it's any other company that has a huge amount of sales, people point out that it isn't indicative of a good product... unless it's a product they like, then it means that it's great.
      Michael Alan Goff
    • LoL

      Your lack of intelligence or sheer fanboism blinding you or you may be paid to post Google funded drivel here, who knows.

      Android share raised because of cheap devices that have limited capabilities of play store or no play store at all like the phones that are replacing $0, sub $0 devices where you get buy one and get $50 in the bill are being replaced by $0 or sub $0 Android devices which have no play store or limited play store capabilities.
      Ram U
      • Prove it

        More 'blog factoids' with no factual backing.
        • He can't prove it.

          Samsung's flagship phones cost as much or more than the iPhone and yet they outsold it.

          As for Tablets? Most people felt the iPad was too expensive and from surveys the majority still prefer a laptop to an iPad or other tablet so, the cost of a tablet vs the cost of laptop weighs heavily.
          • Vote +1

            Yep. But just like when laptop owners walked with an 'aire bout 'em around PC owners, Tablet owners will do the same to laptop owners.

            Ain't fashion great!
            The Danger is Microsoft
      • And ....

        So What ?
        Are others who can't afford a higher tier smartphone to be tossed aside as Garbage? Those who aren't rich and can't afford a Galaxy S4, HTC One, iPhone, Moto X, etc. have Every Right to a less expensive smartphone. Android is not alone in this area any more as Mr. Job's successor at Apple is about to offer a cheaper iPhone (yes, I said "cheap" and IPhone in the same sentence, lol) in addition to their flagship 5. These new cheaper iPhones also won't be able to access as much of the IOS infrastructure in IOS7 but that doesn't mean there's not a market for them. Fanbois (on both platforms) need to get off their high horses and remember that there's a whole other world besides the U.S. and that Everyone has the right to be able to access the internet or apps with the phones of their choice and price. Androids aren't the only ones at Zero $$$'s - older iPhones can be had in the same manner including the 2 year contract or unsubsidized at full price.
        OK, please don't hate on me for pointing out the obvious but I'm just sick and tired of people in America believing they are the only ones entitled to join the digital revolution. The iPhone is good for some. The Androids are good for others (and apparently it's good enough for the Vast Majority as well).
        Yes, I'll get spammed but this argument Must be closed.
        • I can only presume

          We can't count the 4's & 4S' that are given away free.

          Oh wait, they're still premium phones, it's just they aren't charged for so they count okay.

          You also need to take a step back, if apple do release a cheaper iphone, we'll have to wait for the itard argument to be updated with the reasons why cheap phones do actually count.
          Little Old Man
      • Most hypocritical comment of the day?

        "You talk BS and here's some totally made up facts to prove it."

        Yeah, you really sold us on that one.
        Little Old Man
    • It is truer to say both attract both

      Nintendo built their audience, way back in the day, by having that enormous gaming ecosystem, which drew users, which drew new developers.

      It is like ice ages and what geologists call "the albedo effect", where reflective surfaces drive down temperatures, creating more reflective surfaces (snow), creating more dives in temperatures.

      Developers, good ones, attract users, whose main attraction to computing problems is the variety of things you can do with the device. More users, attract more developers, who seek out an audience for their wares. It creates a self-driven inertia.
    • That's funny that you use "Microsoft" and "obsession" in the same sentence

      Since you seem to be the one that obsesses over MS at every chance.

      I really had to laugh as this isn't about MS at all - no, this was all about the FACT that Android has far, far less of the better apps then Apple does.

      Yet your obsession with MS compelled you to try to side track the FACT that iOS has all the best apps, not Android, or so the story is saying.
      William Farrel
      • Hold on

        The article didn't address the 50 'best's apps, or the 50 most popular apps.

        It only addresses the top 50 iOS apps.

        Has anybody checked to see if the top Android apps are on iOS?

        Oh, and that 'tablet optimised' used to be called fragmentation, before Apple started doing it. Almost all of the Android apps I use scale fine for tabs. I guess it's only when they come from iOS that they have to be re-fotmatted for tabs.
        • I'll give you that, still, my point was not really about the apps

          but that ldo17 is overly obsessed with MS, and in his hatred of them, tend to overlook small things like the fact that this was never about MS.

          He loves his Google a little (ok - way) too much, and we call him out on it alot.
          William Farrel
  • Not an impressive list

    That's not a terribly impressive list, I must say. Pretty much all the productivity apps are Apple products, so you wouldn't expect them to show up in the Play store. Many of the others seem to be kiddie games produced by companies like Disney.
    • Just another Zdnet Apple scam

      Apple cannot carry the load without their PR Dogs.

      How many Emulators do you have on that platform? Guess that means Android has thousands of games not available for Apple huh?

      What about IDEs? Hmm, interesting that there are very few of those as well huh?

      Oh I know, File Management, Bit torrent, file vault, Custom Launchers, Custom Keyboards, and Game Controller configuration apps? Not many of them either huh?

      I would say this study is useless because each platform has its strengths and it isn't in the top 50 lists of one platform that you find superiority. It has been my experience that Android users buy different apps and their lists tend to be as much different as they are alike.
      • Going further

        Google makes real money because their OS is open to customization and Apple does their best to lock you down. This is why Keyboards, Launchers, Widgets, Fonts, and other such mods are actually higher on the Play list for profit than most of these weak games on this list.