Since the launch of Android operating system as an open competitor to closed Android iPhone environment, there was a heavy battle between the 2 giants to attract software developers to build apps for their software. For many years Apple was leading this battle. Developers were attracted to Apple AppStore because iPhone and iPad users were more likely to buy paid apps, unlike Android users who were more likely to use free ones. This is because Apple devices are expensive and their users have more money while Android users are expected to buy cheaper phones. According to Fortune the average price for an iPhone in first quarter of 2016 was $691, while the average price for an Android phone was only $215. That’s almost 3 times cheaper.
Among other causes why developers prefer iOS environment over Android, is the occurrence of piracy in the latter. Android phones allow unofficial versions of the operating system to be installed, allowing users to install pirated apps. While iOS can also be rooted, the main goal is not to install pirated apps, but to install apps otherwise officially unsupported.
Despite the advantages in building iPhone apps over Android apps, the trend changed in last years. According to Statista, in the Apple appstore were 2,7 million apps, while on the Android market there are 2,6 million. Soruces here and here.
According to bgr.com, despite the number of total Android app downloads are double than iOS, the average iOS app tends to generate four times more revenue that the average app in Android.
The number of applications available for download don’t mean that you will find better applications. In this area, Apple iOS ecosystem is considered to have better apps on average. This might be due to the fact that developers of big apps are focusing more on the iOS version because they earn more from it. It is known that Google Play does not allow gambling apps that use real money, while Apple allows real money casino apps to be hosted in the Appstore, so you can enjoy apps like Platinum Play Casino Online.
Another difference between iOS and Android apps is the development environment. iOS apps are created in C++, while Android apps are built in Java. According to PYPL project on github, Popularity of programming language, Java is the most popular programming language with a share of 22.7%. Most websites who provide programming language popularity information put Java on the first spot, with different values in popularity share.
The costs to have an application hosted in Apple appstore is $99. To host an application in Google Play you have to pay a one time fee for the developer account in amount of $25. That’s quite a difference, but it is fun that the same difference can be seen in expected revenues ( 4 times more for iOS ).
Also, it is known that in Appstore there are more paid apps than free compared to Android Google Play. As we can see, there are many factors that influence the number of apps present in appstore respectively google play store. The main factor might seem operating system popularity, but it is not the only one. Also, the number of apps is not in direct relation with the quality of the apps available and with the revenues generated by app developers.