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iTunes App Store vs Android Market

By AaronSamp - Monday, July 02, 2012

Nerds will argue over which smartphone is best until the end of time. However, I think many people who are trying to find the next great device for themselves are really missing the big picture. It is important that you like the device you have, after all you are going to pay a premium price for any of the latest versions of smartphones or other mobile device on the market. The problem is, much like making a choice of a game console.  It is not always about which one has a faster processor, more memory and a video card that can play fifty videos at a time. It is should be more of a decision about what the product does.

Simply put, many people can’t see the forest because the trees. If you are buying a console, “what games can I play on it?”, should be the type of question you are asking yourself. The same line of thinking holds true when considering which phone to buy. Android enabled phones and iPhones both come jam packed with rich features, but which one offers the add-ons that will make it continue to be a useful and and bring a lot of “cool factor” to the owner. Apps make the phone, so why use any other metric to compare?

iTunes App Store

The iTunes App store is still the largest and most popular, but this is only due to Android other players arriving at the game late. Many speculate this store will soon be surpassed by other online app vendors. The iTunes store offers a huge amount of apps and they have always had more than the Android Market but this gap has been closing in recent years. The ability to use your apps across many different devices makes this store seem great, but with the growing popularity of android enabled devices this does not have the same “shock and awe” factor that it had in the past.

There is no trial period for apps on iTunes and this has led to many people asking for refunds, which from what I hear, is pretty hard to get. So you should do your homework before buying here. Another problem to many consumers with this store, is the fact that you cannot really purchase without using your phone or needing to install the iTunes application. Being stuck with syncing from your PC is no fun either. Again not a knock at Apple, but many apps that are free on the Android Market are paid apps on the iTunes app store. This is not only frustrating but can become expensive. The trade off for this is the fact that most apps, especially new ones land on the iTunes store first. This exclusivity comes at a price, but is worth it to millions of buyers.

Android Market

This online app store has a lot to offer besides apps. Much like the iTunes store the Android Market (Google Play) now offers music, movies, TV shows, games and of course apps. One of the biggest differences is the fact that this app store does not really filter through the incoming apps. Instead they wait until there are complaints and simply remove them. Google has a very weak vetting system for new apps and this does make many new releases seem unstable and in some cases not safe. In the past few years there has been a big change that makes this market seem much more appealing to many existing iPhone users if they were to switch.

Android apps can all be tried before you buy. You simply download them and you have 24 hours to make your final decision. This is great for app hungry consumers who like to try before they buy. The buying experience on the Android store seems to have much more focus on the consumer, allowing them to buy where and how they want. You can purchase apps from other markets and even buy apps directly from the creators in many cases. If you are looking around online, just point your android at the screen to scan the apps QR code and you are downloading it to your phone. You will find many apps are free here and not to Apple users, but you may have to wait a little longer before the same apps are available. The time between releases on these app stores is closing, but still noticeable if you are waiting for something specific to come out.

So Which One Is Right For Me?

You will have to do some investigation on your own to really answer this. If you do not have a smartphone at all right now, it may be a good idea to play with your friends devices and see which one feels right to you. It is also a good idea to take a look at their favorite apps and have them see which ones are available that you know you want if they don’t have them installed already. If you are familiar with apps you want already it may worth checking prices on both app stores. Have fun making your decision and we look forward to your feedback on which app store you prefer to use and why you like it best.




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