Five years ago Apple released its iconic iPhone, setting the standard and the high bar of quality and ergonomics for all smart phones to follow it. While there were many smart phones before the iPhone such as the Blackberry and Windows Mobile phones, the iPhone changed the rules of the game. Before Apple’s entry into the market, most smart phone usage was defined by access to email, smart calendars and journal applications. While better games were definitely available than on the standard flip phones, these phones were not known to be particularly great at entertainment. In fact, browsing the Internet on these phones was quite a challenge – it was clunky to use the in phone browsers and the websites needed to comply to the wireless markup standards, which were extremely stripped down and mostly unusable text based interfaces to popular web sites. The iPhone was released with a great browser that actually let you browse regular html websites, as well as a two finger sensitive touch screen that made browsing infinitely easier than its early competitors. The popular iPod device was built right into the iPhone along with native access to its popular iTunes market, making the iPhone an excellent entertainment platform as well as productivity and business driven platform.
Arriving quickly on the heels of the iPhone release was Google’s announcement to seriously compete in the mobile device market with the release of its Linux based open source mobile operating system, Android. In many ways, Android was everything that Apple’s iOS, the operating system platform powering the iPhone, was not. Android was released open source and meant to be used and configured by any cell phone manufacturer that wished to partner with them. This means that while Apple had a corner on the market for anyone wishing to purchase an iOS driven device, Android was available on several devices from several cell phone providers. Today, both Apple and Google are in close competition as market leaders and these early design decisions have affected the functionality and type of apps that are available on these devices, and apps are the number one differentiation between these two competitors.
Apple’s decision to keep their development environment and entertainment media such as music and movies close to its chest is definitely seen in its implementation of apps. Getting an app to pass the rigor required to get on the iTunes mobile store is notoriously difficult. Apple’s strict standards have definitely limited the number of apps, and especially free apps, that are available. However, Apple has been around the longest and despite the high standards, they still have the most apps available for any mobile platform. While most of the apps are pay for use, you definitely know you are getting an app that has been tested for your particular phone and is probably going to work without too many glitches. This helps continue to ensure a smooth user experience for Apple users.
Google’s mobile store, now called Google Play, is rapidly growing but still only about a third of the size of Apple’s iTunes store. The difference however is very tangible. While there are fewer applications as a whole on the Android platform, there are more free apps than available for iPhone as about half of all Android apps are free. This means that there are a lot of small developers who can really push the boundaries of streaming media and interesting productivity apps. This lends a feeling of excitement and vigor to the apps on the Android market. Unfortunately, the downside to this is that it can sometimes feel like the wild west, as the Play market is often disorganized and the apps are not always attuned to your particular device since Android is deployed on hundreds of different hardware specs worldwide.
Author Bio: The post is written by Jason Phillips. He is a freelance writer and content builder for many technology sites specially related to iPhone 4S screen protector. His articles are useful as well as genuine and really appreciated by his readers.