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Summary:

With a number of Google’s Android OS-based smartphones on the horizon, developers are devoting significant resources to the mobile platform, which will result in a boom in Android apps, according to reports  from two Silicon Valley startups, Flurry and AdMob. Flurry, a San Francisco-based mobile metrics […]

With a number of Google’s Android OS-based smartphones on the horizon, developers are devoting significant resources to the mobile platform, which will result in a boom in Android apps, according to reports  from two Silicon Valley startups, Flurry and AdMob. Flurry, a San Francisco-based mobile metrics company, today said that it had seen an unprecedented 94 percent increase in the number of projects started by Android developers between September and October. 

androidprojectsFlurry collects data from more than two-thirds of all Android-powered devices, and nearly 500 developers have embedded Flurry Analytics across more than 1,500 applications, tracking more than 100 million end user sessions to date.  Of the estimated 3 million Android handsets deployed, more than 2.1 million include applications integrated with Flurry Analytics, the company says.

AdMob, which serves advertising inside mobile apps, recently noted that Android OS accounted for 17 percent of all smartphone traffic in its network in September, up from 13 percent in August.

“With 12 Android phones already available through 32 carriers in 26 countries, the international impact of Android may be greater than it is in the U.S.,” AdMob said on its official blog. About 10,000 apps are available for the Android platform vs. 85,000 for Apple’s iPhone OS. More than 2 billions apps have been downloaded from Apple’s iTunes App Store.

Last week, Douglas MacMillan of BusinessWeek profiled iPhone app developers who had made over a million dollars by selling their applications (or games). In comparison, many Android app developers have been frustrated with the Android stores and lack of sales.

That might change soon, as AdMob folks point out on their blog:

There is also huge marketing muscle behind Android now. Verizon, who has been aching for a handset to combat the iPhone, launched the much discussed Droid campaign this past weekend. Motorola is betting the house on Android and investing significantly in the Cliq and MotoBlur functionality. Enter a T-Mobile store and the myTouch is promoted everywhere, from the devices to the signage to the accessory wall. No doubt that this will be a huge holiday season for Android devices in the U.S.

mobileappstorecomparison

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Last week, Sebastian pointed out that Android needs more than just marketing to succeed against the RIM and Apple juggernauts. More than 75 million Android handsets will ship in 2012, according to Gartner Research, making Google’s mobile operating system the second most popular smartphone OS behind Symbian. The problems Android faces are fragmentation of the user experience and the existence of multiple app stores.

Google will have to step up to the plate with exceptional marketing and promotion to get the all-important dollars into the pockets of already-enthusiastic developers.

  1. Allow me to voice my dissenting opinion, that has precedent…

    Google is the world’s biggest anti-local app advocate there is, so “no” there will not be an Android app boom.

    It was Google that brought you Gmail and Google Docs, *web apps* that usurp locally installed Outlook and Office. Short of the creation and mandatory local install of “AdSense for Android”, Google does not benefit from the return to last decades ( bad ) habit of everyone installing their own closed version of an application.

    Evidence of the Android app marketplace being a mere stall tactic until the HTML5 spec is finished;

    1 – Using your Android phone, open Gmail using Android’s browser ( Chrome ). Notice it is much more functional than the locally installed app. The mobile web app version of Gmail supports both HTML5 and Gears, offers nearly all the features of Gmail proper.

    2 – Google employee Jeff Sharkey’s full time job is to develop Oil Can, and Android scripting method that makes the browser as powerful, if not more so, as any locally installed application. Oil can combined with HTML5, gears and the Chrome browser can/will out perform any local app.

    http://oilcan.jsharkey.org

    There is no future in locally installed apps at all, the desktop is dead.

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    1. Todd,

      The android market already contains widgets. Other app stores sell widgets next to ‘regular’ apps and there is no reason to assume the html5 widgets you mention will not be sold in the android market.

      Still I’d love it if you are right, developing mobile apps for all the different mobile platforms, iPhone, Andoid, Symbian, Maemo, WMobile, etc. is far from ideal.

      Niels

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      1. Yes, of course, “apps” for Android will simply be represented by a “bookmark” in the app manager, that being a launcher for the browser to open the web app.

        …look for this to happen very soon with Google Voice for the iPhone!

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      2. @ Niels

        I agree. The Android Market will still serve a useful purpose, for web apps:

        1. discovery – a place to go to learn about web apps, read user reviews, etc.
        2. installation – a bookmark or perhaps even a “local” HTML5/CSS/JS app.
        3. financial transactions – developers may prefer having the Android Market handle billing, etc.

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      3. Google Voice for Iphone? Well see. FCC involvement with Google Voice and iPhone, you’re likley not going to see anything happen for awhile (if it ever does). I wouldn’t hold my breath. Apple has their heads to far up their own a$$ they are going to suddenly find their strong market share gone. Locked in with AT&T who service and network is sub-standard, denying Google Voice because they feel it competes with their own services, etc. I think Android is going to start booming. I’m excited to see Android finally coming to Verizon. Strong OS, strong phone, best network. iPhone is gonna be hurting soon.

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    2. Too true.

      The iPhone way of doing things is to charge $3.99 for a service that is free in the browser. One of the reasons I think ported iPhone apps don’t do so well in the Android market is because the demographic that uses Android is much different. If I were to put a slogan on it, it would be something to the effect of: I’m an Android and I’m not that gullible.

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    3. On the contrary, Google’s prizes for ADC (Android Developer Challenge) are responsible for fueling a a major android app boom.. And developers have no chance with countless fart apps; they have to come up with something original and high quality to have a chance.

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    4. You’re assuming the user will always have a (3G) signal. I’m in the subway all the time, and want to be able to do things on my phone. Other times I have a wavering signal while in a building, where I have just enough to download an email or page but certainly not to run an app. You can’t treat an Android phone like a PC which has a consistent connection. Local apps will always be necessary.

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  2. The other difference being that if you have an iPhone you will definitely have an iTunes store account, whereas on Android I’m sure only a small proportion of users have bothered to set up Google Checkout, which is required to buy paid-for apps.

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    1. As a developer, why write an app that’s has to be installed locally, through the Android Market, when your web app can make use of PayPal, Amazon, etc. payment gateway APIs, offer limited use for free and a premium, outside of Google’s control?

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  3. but… look at a lot of the Market apps. They’re complete crap. Right now I’m looking at 3 “flashlight” apps, and a whole bunch of stupid “soundboard” apps. Then there’s a bunch of ringtone apps and a big pile of sports related themes and “sexy girl pics” apps.

    There might be an app boom, but it’s likely fueled by low quality developers just trying to make a quick buck.

    And Android hasn’t even managed to get email or a music player right. Yes, I’ve tried k9mail and while it’s light years ahead of the built in Mail app, it still has many problems.
    :(

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  4. [...] leads to an interesting question posed by Om: with the Android operating system advancing to version 2.0 and with so many new Android handsets [...]

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  5. Probably the best of the mobile apps by Google is Mobile Maps, and that is a native application, so while it’s reasonable to assume that Google will push raising the bar on web based apps wherever possible, it’s not like they are blind to the goodness of native/local.

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  6. [...] GigaOM Leer más: Android, Aplicaciones, Aumento, Google, iPhone, programas, Sistemas Operativos, [...]

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  7. Om Malik’s article are not good, I don’t like his approach, please write with more research..

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  8. [...] Will There Be an Android App Boom Soon? – [...]

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  9. In our case, we first built an Android app to provide a highly-requested feature that consumers wanted — Caller ID — that is technically possible on the iPhone but Apple will not approve. So innovation was our primary motivator and since they have launched premium we have seen better-than-expected conversion rates (+10% on free to premium). Premium is only going to get better on Android because at least one carrier will be providing bill to phone capabilities and another planned marketplace will allow monthly recurring charges/subscription capabilities. Finally, as more apps like our provide users with “always on” benefits, Android’s ability to run multiple apps at the same time provides some important consumer wins. With the recent news of more carriers and phone-makers embracing Android, they are achieving the reach and distribution to justify the investment. Thus, Android doesn’t have to beat iPhone — they just need to keep it open to attract more developers.

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    1. What kind of app is that? Some kind of blocking or public address book? The iPhone shows you the number and, if available in the address book, the name and picture of the caller. That’s what’s commonly known as caller ID.

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      1. No, what’s commonly known as “caller ID” gives you a listed white pages entity for the number that’s calling you; not just the IDs you’ve programmed in, yourself. Remember, circa 1995, when we’d shell out $5/month for those stupid little boxes that would tells who was calling?

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