100,000 Android Apps: Does it matter?

The apps numbers game isn't much of a differentiating factor for iOS and Android. What we really need is to advance the state of the mobile browser (which is pretty darned advanced already).
Written by Christopher Dawson, Contributor on

Google News (not surprisingly) was all abuzz Monday (really, no pun intended) over Android's 100,000th app. Great. On one hand, this is good news about my mobile platform of choice. Android, in my opinion, is an incredibly viable competitor to iOS and often competes well with desktop operating systems for the eyes and hands of many users. On the other hand, who cares? Apps are all well and good, but I spend far more time in my mobile browser than I do using whatever clever little apps I happen to download.

I came across on app tonight as I was downloading Adobe Air for Android (OK, so there's a few apps that excite me, but that's not the point). It was called "I <3 AIR" and the description read:

An Android love letter to Adobe

This is just a test to see how easy it is to get an app to Market :(

While many would see this as a failing of the Android Market to be more stringent in its approval process, it echoes sentiments in Androinica:

Of course, a 100,000 app Android Market is 999,950 apps more than you’ll probably need. There’s plenty of crap in the market – as there are in every OS app store or any place where products are sold – that people will never care to download...

How many do you use? Angry Birds? Solitaire? A web browser? An email client? The Kindle app? My son happens to be an App fiend, downloading as many as his iPod Touch will hold. I would argue that the browser is the only one that really matters. This is where countless ads are surfaced, this is where we look up everything we need to know, where we answer questions, and read news. Modern mobile browsers, in fact, make very few compromises over their desktop brethren and it's in our browsers that we spend most of our desktop time.

Can you really tell me that those 300,000 apps in the Apple store are high-quality apps that millions of people use every day? Nope. There's just Angry Birds.

I'm being facetious, of course, but apps (even Angry Birds) come and go. They rise and fall in popularity and new apps take their place as the fad of the day, whether you're using an Android or an iOS device (or even a RIM or WP7 device, I suppose). The Web browser, though? How often do you pull out that smartphone and hit the Web? I'll bet it's a lot. Maybe not as much as you open your Gmail app or another mail or messaging client, but it's probably more than just about any other app.

100,000 Apps to download in the Market 100,000 Apps to download Download one, use it awhile and then forget about it 99,999 Apps to download.

You can have 95% of my apps. Just give me Skyfire, Google Maps, and an e-book reader or two and I probably won't notice.

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