As you consider which device is going to find its way in to your pocket next, too many people now look to the available Apps to help them choose. The Apple store has 500,000 titles, Android 300,000, Windows Phone just cleared its first major milestone and is slowly climbing into the six figure ranks and RIM gets the short end of the stick because nobody considers alternate sources legit anymore. Why is the number of Apps so important? Shouldn’t people care more about the quality of those programs?
With a recent glance through the App stores for the two leaders, it quickly became apparent why they have so many Apps in them. They have 50,000 Apps and 10 variations of each one. A quick example of this is the classic Tower Defense game. The Amazon Appstore has featured no less than six different versions of the game in their App of the Day program. That means that they have at least six versions of the same game with a different skin loaded on it. Split hairs and say that Zombie Defense and Cartoon Defense are different games than Hex Defense if you want to try, but they really aren’t.
The Android stores have home replacement Apps, but the thousands of skins that go on each of those are the Apps that bring the total up. They don’t even run on a device without purchasing the “real program” first.
When you start to toss the concept behind Windows Phone into this mix, youbsee the other side. Microsoft tried to build everything into the OS so you won’t need to download Facebook, Tweetcaster and a better Camera program. Apple has done much of the same in iOS 4 & 5. Video editing is native, there are great sharing options but even Apple hasn’t included everything that the Windows based devices have on board now.
Perhaps everyone shopping for a device today needs to make a list of what that device is supposed to do for them. If the base OS doesn’t meet at least 80% of what you need it to, it might be worth while to check out some different options.