App Store and Google Play: Battle of 2017

While there are other mobile app publishing platforms like Nokia Ovi, Blackberry, Amazon or Asia Pacific stores but is a known fact is that Apple and Google are the absolute champions of the Marketplaces Ring. Why is that? Well, there is no place for the argument that iOS and Android are the dominant OS for mobile products across the world.

And when the development process is completed here is your other dilemma – where exactly to promote the product and how to earn money from it. When you’re still a newbie it could be a nerve-racking process to get published in either App Store or Google Play Market. ‘Cuz the competition is so high and the requirements are so strict that your app has to be an absolute perfection to catch that train.

As each platform has its pros and cons, the same goes for marketplaces. So, today we’ll try to explore what do these two major platforms offer when it comes to app submission, and what can every mobile app development company expect from them.

Quick Analysis of the App Store vs. Google Play.
Which one is more attractive for the App Developers?

We won’t be digging through the history of these two giants, instead, let’s see how they’re different and what principles should you take into consideration. For starters, we need to establish common aspects that are used worldwide for comparison of stores’ success.

Here they are:

  • Number of published apps
  • Number of downloads
  • Average app revenue

As it said in App Annie’s research of 2016, Google Market outnumbers Apple in the first two parameters, while it significantly loses in the most important category for application developers — app’s revenue.

For years, iOS has been an unbeaten king in this field but that time has passed when Android platform began a major war for customers’ base. Now, if we’re talking about the knockout, according to the current predictions, by the year 2020 Google Play downloads are expected to triple.

While Android market is steadily growing and expanding, iOS is considered much more mature and has less 2big countries as their purchasers, not to mention compatibility only with Apple devices. So, comparing to Google, Apple is on the edge of loosing a nice part of their revenue. Right now there are over 2.2 million apps in the App Store and approximately 2.8 million in the Google Market.

However, as an entrepreneur, you have to decide for yourself whether you need users’ attention to spread the word about your product/service or their money to boost your revenue?

On this decision depends your whole future course because Apple Store is still being the best choice in terms of profit. iOS users are rich and ready to pay an extra dollar for a good product, while most of the Google Market apps are free with limited options for their creators to make a huge amount of money.

App Store vs Google Play Downloads & Revenue

Apple App Store and Google Play Market – Comparing the Giants


App Store

Google Play

Registration fee and account package

Prepare annual $99 fee to be able to design and distribute your products. This means you have to register as a member of the Apple Developer Program.

Other requirement is that an app has to be submitted through iTunes Connect. There also would be a need of certificates for Distribution, Push Notification, Mobile provisioning.

One time paid fee here is only $25 (much more affordable for most developers). Then you’ll get to register a Publisher Account which comes along with a Google Play Developer Console.

That easy-to-use tool helps to publish apps, and manage product pages, in-app purchases, subscriptions, distribution, and promotion.

After-publishing support

The company provides a strong guidance for developers. However, from the day one after your app has been launched all customers’ complains and problems with your product are handled by Apple.

You’ll only receive an email if something isn’t okay and you need to fix some bugs.

And here we have a direct line of users – developers communication.

There is a freedom of editorial content offered by Google, but one has to be careful to avoid over-creativity or it could end up with the bane from a store.

App approval process

They have superior but tedious quality control process, so even if your application complies with all their requirements Apple would tear your product upside down up to five days to test it.

But thankfully to skilled app review team, even if your product has been rejected you’ll get a clear understanding why did it happen.

Along with much quicker app release process, Google also has an internal team of reviewers who test all apps before the launch.

There is also a pre-launch report provided by Developer Console that shows all bugs and crashes of your app before you release it.

Discoverability on the market

The competition is high and stays on top is a difficult task that could be achieved only with the help of App Store Optimization tactic (ASO).

In addition to ASO strategy, there is a tool called AdWords campaigns. It helps to promote your product across all Google’s services.

Guidelines for Developers

Follow App Store marketing guidelines

There are Google Play guidelines and their technical checklist for you.

Downloads vs Revenue

Apple gives you higher market visibility than any other store. After publishing the app could be promoted by multiple company channels.

Still, there is revenue generation wins over a number of downloads.

Most of the Play Market apps are free. Therefore, in terms of downloads, the winner is obvious as Google has 60% more downloads than the iTunes. But when it comes to revenue…here is still a trouble for developers to get a big profit.

Selling returns

Both stores charge 30% and 70% of the app’s selling are yours.

Product’s Quality

Highest quality level you can look for

Many malicious and low-level apps


Be careful with the age ratings and the content you’re about to publish:

  • No pornography or realistic violence allowed by both stores.
  • Same goes for Privacy Policy – keep it clean with copyright and intellectual property rights.
  • And don’t even try to get around the payment systems – it’s forbidden by both.


So, to sum it all up, while the quality of iOS apps is high-level a purchasing price is also a matter of concern and sometimes it does scare off a part of customers. Opposite to this, Google provides more freedom for developers and most of the applications are free to download. However, quality isn’t so pleasant here... On the other hand, Google Play is considered being more developer-friendly, but Apple is a money bag when it comes to generating a revenue.

Both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Market come with their advantages and disadvantages. And any mobile app developer should, first of all, analyze each platform and think about where he/she sees the product in half a year after its launch day.

If you’re questioning yourself which is a better choice right now, then define some key points before you make a decision:

  1.  Who’s your target audience?
  2.  Which countries do you plan to win over with your app?
  3.  Do you want steady payments or a promotion through a high number of downloads?

All in all, these days developers, actually, have a perfect opportunity to submit their products for both stores at the same time and see how it goes, what to fix in the apps or how to improve them to keep up with marketplaces’ standards.

We really hope you’ll make a suitable choice and become a successful developer one day!

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