Exploring the difference between Google Play Store and Apple App Store

By | September 30, 2016

Every smartphone user knows where to go in search for mobile apps. Google Play Store and Apple App Store are the two main distributors of applications for Android and iOS platforms respectively. The question comes up: how these two competitors get along together on one and the same area, how different they are and what principles adhere.

In this article, we are going to enlighten some key features every user, say nothing of mobile app development companies and solar creators, should know about both.

Let’s start with common parameters that are used to compare the Stores’ success. They usually are: the number of available apps, number of downloads, and, annual app revenue. According to the AppAnnie research conducted this year, Google Play outnumbers Apple Store in the first two values. However, it loses in the most important to app developers value — average app revenue.

As for the usual users, they tend not to care much about the Stores’ success and app creators’ revenues. What they do care of is the easy and comfortable way of apps discover and download. Unlike Android apps users, those of iOS have no choice but to use iOS-targeted platforms to search for apps. That’s the main difference users may face. However, those who visit Stores looking for apps, are the users of one platform, Android or iOS, and use only one store to meet their need.

That’s not particularly true about app creators who are normally interested in their apps success on both stores. Therefore, they strive to get aware of the differences between Apple App Store and Google Play Store to adopt their strategy to the requirements.

So let’s identify the most important aspects that every app developer should take into account.

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Mobile App Marketing

The app stores are the most common marketplaces for apps. It’s here the first acquaintance with apps takes place. Users visit an app page on one of the stores and immediately make a decision whether they are going to download your product or not. You have no more than a few minutes to make a good impression and convince users to give your app a try. So, the first step in mobile app promotion is making it visible and attractive to potential users. Here is when App Store Optimization (ASO) takes the front stage.

There are no insignificant details when it comes to ASO. Marketers point out 5 ‘golden’ components every app page should take care of in order to achieve better results through app store optimization. So, let’s identify how those basic elements and how they may differ in Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Application Name. You cannot overestimate the meaning of the app name. It directly influences the success of your app, as strange as it may appear. So, while inventing an app name, try to think of a catchy word that reflects the plot of your app. App stores limit you in the number of symbols: 55 symbols in Google Play Store and 255 symbols in Apple App Store. I hope, you have enough common sense not to use all of them in order not to push users away.

Keywords. These things let users find your app through the search, so don’t neglect them. However, they are more influential on Google Play Store comparatively to Apple App Store.

Application Description. Let users know what your app is about and spark their interest in just a few lines of text. The most valuable information should go in the first two sentences. To optimize the description for Google Play, try to use a few keywords in those 4000 characters that the store provides. To challenge ASO on Apple App Store, don’t forget to check line breaks.

Screenshots. As for visual support, Google Play Store allows 8 screenshots, while App Store provides room for only 5. Anyway, this amount is enough to let users take a quick look at how your app looks like and what features it represents.

Customers’ Reviews. More than in your descriptions, app users are interested in what other users think. That’s why app stores give an opportunity for them to leave comments and rate the apps. As for the differences, Google Play, unlike Apple App Store, allows the possibility to answer reviews by developers. If you think of cheating and filling your page with fake positive reviews, think again. Such strategy has low chances to bring success.

What do developers face during app submission?

Some deservedly say that app development is just a halfway. The process of submission to app stores may be a stressful period for app creators. Apple, for instance, has very tough restrictions and requirements for apps approval in the App Store. Taking into account the complexity of app deployment process, it may take up to 3-4 weeks. Google Play, in contrast, is a much friendlier environment for app creators. It provides clear rules for app submission.

What benefits can developers expect?

Good news for both Android and iOS app developers here: they get 70% of the revenue from selling their apps. However, annual fee of 99$ that Apple requires is significantly bigger that one-time registration fee of 25$, requested by Google. This is obviously balanced against the fact that Apple App Store is more profitable than its competitor.

Let’s talk about App Stores’ restrictions

As every long-standing environment, Stores have their rules and restrictions. For neglecting some of them, you can be banned from the stores. Let’s find out what they are and how to avoid troubles.

Content. Be careful about the content of the apps you are publishing. Pornography and scenes of realistic violence are strictly banned by both stores.

Privacy. Your app should not infringe the copyright or intellectual property rights. So, don’t even think that information swapping app will be allowed.

Payment systems. Any attempts to get round the payment systems are restricted by both Stores.

Surely, it’s not a full list. Luckily, the majority of demands are reasonable as they don’t allow to defeat privacy or cause damage to user’s device. Or take the punishment for driving up the number of comments, which is useful for healthy competition. To know more details about stores’ bans, check out their guidelines.

To sum up, despite Apple App Store and Google Play Store work differently, both succeeded to create an excellent ecosystem for modern mobile platforms. It’s up to you which one to consider better or worse.

About the author

Nataliia Kharchenko is a Marketing Copywriter at Cleveroad Mobile and Web development company. We are focused on helping startups, small, and medium businesses create competitive and winning software. Being a part of the Cleveroad marketing team for already 5 years, she has been among those who forged customer relations via content marketing.

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