Google’s Android Market reached the 100,000 application milestone today, a number reached nearly two years after the Android Market opened for business.
An estimate by AndroLib, a site that aggregates Android applications, put the number at 50,000 in April of this year.
While the Android Market has made tremendous progress, it still lags behind Apple, which had a good head start. People using iDevices have 280,000 apps to choose from, according to a report by Cnet.
The Android Market still has some wrinkles to iron out, and without addressing the issues successfully I don’t think they’ll ever come close to catching Apple. First of all, it’s somewhat difficult for developers to make a lot of money on Android. To facilitate transactions, Google uses Google Checkout, an online payment system that many people are unfamiliar with. As such, they’re less likely to pay for apps. It shuts down a lot of impulsive buys.
The other problem that makes the Android Market somewhat clunky is the open source policy Google is so proud of. Since Google puts very little regulation on app developers, some apps that aren’t of the best quality make it onto the platform. Also, since the software is available to several different manufacturers, you get variations in phone size. Where Apple apps need to target iPads and uniformly-sized iPhones, Android phones come in many shapes, sizes, resolutions and the like. This makes the phones prone to glitches, that the developers have to take care to work around.