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Exclusive Apps: iOS Versus Android

Exclusive Apps: iOS Versus Android
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While we're starting to see more and more apps available on both iOS and Android, each OS still has a stable of exclusive content at its disposal.

Let’s face it: Apple got a considerable head start over Android when it comes to mobile apps. The iPhone (and now the iPad), iOS and the App Store got the jump on everyone else in the mobile OS space. When the first Android phone launched, the Apple App Store already had 10,000 apps, compared to Android’s several hundred. Since then, the two app portals have exploded, with Apple’s up to 350,000 apps, and the Android Market trailing with 200,000 "official" apps (estimated figures put the total at 350,000).

While both ecosystems are potent and successful at this point, the two app stores are not equal by any means. Being first out of the gate, iOS got a lot of attention, with developers passing up Google’s unproven platform. Still, many of the most popular iOS apps have been since ported over to the Android platform or at least have independently developed counterparts; however, iOS seems to remain the developer platform of choice, and there are a handful of popular iOS apps that Android lacks. Similarly, Android’s open approach means it has several popular apps of its own that iOS would never allow.

We should note that this article was under well underway before Google's I/O conference last week. That confab was home to a slew of major announcements, including taking the wraps off some major new Android apps. We also want to make clear that none of the following addresses jailbreaking your iPhone or rooting/flashing your Android device. We are dealing with both operating systems "as is", meaning we are only dealing with software that is available without altering your phone in any way.

After reading through the list, please let us know in the comments if we missed any exclusive apps, as well as what apps you're particularly jealous of as an iOS or Android user.

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  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 17, 2011 1:40 AM
    Instamap does this on iOS, and has for years
  • 0 Hide
    HappyBB , May 17, 2011 3:41 AM
    It's Apple's close-door environment, control-freak attitude, and Jobs' super ego that keep me away from joining iCamp. However, I have to admit that App Store is a really attractive place to visit. Until Android Market catches up or surpasses App Store, I'll have to live with my secret and torturing desire of visiting App Store.
  • 0 Hide
    kanaida , May 17, 2011 5:31 AM
    I'm never gonna develop for iphones, it's already dying off. They only have a handful of devices vs the ever growing number of cheaper android devices. Besides, I think i'd slap jobs in the face if he ever took out my app out of the market. They have a nasty habit of getting rid of people's hard work at a whim.
  • 0 Hide
    kanaida , May 17, 2011 6:37 AM
    The app store is barely anything to complain about. just download a better one.
    All they really need are proper search filters to narrow stuff down a bit more.
  • 1 Hide
    quickmana , May 17, 2011 7:08 PM
    A phone without "Adult Apps" is useless!
  • 0 Hide
    NatureTM , May 17, 2011 9:42 PM
    Not to mention all kinds of other smaller-name apps that Apple just doesn't like for one reason or another. For example, there was an app on iTunes called "Lock Genie." It could recover combinations for MasterLocks, which I thought was pretty cool. Sure, it could be used for something bad, but it could also save you from throwing out old locks that you just lost the combination to. I guess it made Apple nervous, because they got rid of the app after a short while.

    Now there's one for android that does the same thing. Sure there are exclusive apps on both sides, but at least Google isn't in the business of telling users what they can't do.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2011 4:46 AM
    Wish you guys would've done a bit on the fact that how Android's APIs are WAY more open than iOS's. Things like alternative keyboards and other system app replacements aren't possible on iOS, but are on Android.
  • 0 Hide
    ericburnby , May 18, 2011 5:09 AM
    mcrissjrWish you guys would've done a bit on the fact that how Android's APIs are WAY more open than iOS's. Things like alternative keyboards and other system app replacements aren't possible on iOS, but are on Android.

    Come on now, if you're going to start talking about the differences in programming for Android and iOS you can at least be fair - there are things iOS can do better than Android as well. if you truly knew anything about developing for each system then you'd know this, instead of your weak attempt to imply Android's superiority as a platform to develop for.

    This also applies to that other "so called developer" kanaida.

    Myself, I chose to develop for iOS after taking a long hard look at both platforms. Would you like to get into a detailed technical discussion on the inner workings of both systems? I'm up for it, are you?
  • 1 Hide
    NatureTM , May 18, 2011 1:50 PM
    lol ericburnby, you're really riled up! mcrissjr only said Android is more open. I don't know how anyone could deny that fact. I mean, you can actually read the source for the Android OS, and it's based on Java, which is also very open.

    I remember when iOS first came out, Apple wouldn't even let people discuss programming for it outside of the Apple-run communities. It was like being under an NDA. If something wasn't documented well, you had to just poke around and figure it out for yourself. Apple's gotten a little better, but Android is still *much* more open.

    I don't think there's anything untrue about what kanaida said either, although he did get a little fanboyish at the end.

    Oh, and your comment, "Would you like to get into a detailed technical discussion on the inner workings of both systems? I'm up for it, are you?" makes you sound like a real know-it-all. There are so many technically knowledgeable people on the internet. A wise person realizes, no matter how smart they think they are, there are a *ton* of people who know more than them.
  • 0 Hide
    watcha , May 18, 2011 6:25 PM
    NatureTMlol ericburnby, you're really riled up! mcrissjr only said Android is more open. I don't know how anyone could deny that fact


    Er, it seems you're really riled up to me. Ericburnby only said that there are things iOS can do better. I don't know how anyone could deny that fact. The point, in case you missed it - is that being 'open' and being able to read the source code? Is pointless. It doesn't help you build better apps, it doesn't mean anything. From a developers point of view, I agree it's far easier to develop on iOS. That's *much* more important than it being open.

    'I'm up for it, are you?" makes you sound like a real know-it-all'

    It only makes him sound like that to people with inferiority complexes. To me, it makes him look like he actually has a clue what is relevant, and important when it comes to building apps, and he isn't clinging on the notion of 'open source' like it's the holy grail where no bad can happen.

    'A wise person realizes, no matter how smart they think they are, there are a *ton* of people who know more than them.'

    In your case, that appears to be true. For others, who have vastly more experience than you (the *ton* of people you refer to), they can have confidence in their opinions because they actually recognise what is important. It would be unwise for such a person to attach any credence to a guy who essentially says 'you're riled up and open source is good'. And yes, I utilised your lame blueprint to demonstrate how pathetic it is.

    :-)


  • 0 Hide
    sliem , May 18, 2011 6:50 PM
    Adult appsssssssss! :D 
  • 0 Hide
    NatureTM , May 18, 2011 7:23 PM
    @watcha

    The guy was just being a jerk. Those two people made factual statements and he attacked them.

    ie:
    "if you truly knew anything"
    "your weak attempt"
    "so called developer"

    His only argument was that he knows and they don't. Most of the really smart people I meet are pretty humble and don't act like that, so I called him out. The worst things I said to him were that his sentence made him sound like a know-it-all, and he was "riled up."

    And that made you act like a complete dick. I smell a fanboy.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 18, 2011 8:07 PM
    >> Unlike Plants vs Zombies, there appear to be no immediate plans to bring Cut the Rope to Android.
  • 1 Hide
    milktea , May 18, 2011 8:38 PM
    The thing that bothers me most was the iTunes. You're tied to the iTunes for any Apple products, which is plain annoying.
  • 0 Hide
    jaksun5 , May 19, 2011 9:24 AM
    Please put a head on that chick, or let me know who it is at least so I can complete my mental image...
  • 0 Hide
    virtualban , May 19, 2011 2:36 PM
    It is fun to see iOS exclusive the skype with proper features in. It won't be long till the new version will slash those. And then skype being exclusive for Windows mobile :p 
  • 1 Hide
    quantumrand , May 20, 2011 1:10 AM
    There is a difference between being open and being open source. Android is both. Yes, being open source doesn't mean much to an app developer, but it does give hardware developers the freedom to make excellent devices.

    Apart from being open source, Android is also an open platform, meaning developers truly have the freedom to create the apps they want. They aren't necessarily limited by rules and restrictions.

    iOS maintains more developer interest simply because it was the first platform to develop successful apps on. Now that Android has a significantly stronger user base, we'll probably start seeing a shift where the majority of developers prefer Android.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , May 20, 2011 6:53 PM
    Android now has Netflix! I have it on my HTC EVO 4G. :) 
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , May 24, 2011 6:49 AM
    I've got an android and my wife's got an iphone. The only problem I have with apps on the android platform is poor optimization such that you have to buy an expensive flagship phone to be sure you can run any app well (try playing angry birds on an ideos) where as ios apps are optimized to run smoothly on any of the "few" idevices that support them. That usually leaves many budget android uses with limited apps to run on their phones which is a pain.
  • 0 Hide
    dimonic , June 2, 2011 2:47 PM
    I have a hard time accepting that iTunes is a bonus. I have an andoid (Acer Liquid E - Froyo 2.2), my Wife an iPhone (3Gs). We have to boot a computer into windows just to use iTunes. iTunes completely sucks at accessing a Lan folder, so music has to be copied to the local HD (which breaks the integrity of our shared music collection). iPhones only does mp3s, which are noticeably inferior to the oggs I prefer.

    With the droid, I can simply copy music to my phone with drag and drop, on any OS - or use some shiny management tool.

    Bottom line - if you own a mac and don't use a lan drive, the iphone is ok. Otherwise, it is an exercise in frustration.
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