How many Android “apps” are even apps?

I find the Android market when compared to the App Store, to be a huge mess. I know Android is open and iPhone OS is closed, but that does not mean the Market has to be filled with app extensions, themes for your phone, and skins for your keyboard or home screen.

 

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Despite Standards, Apple’s App Store Is Kicking Android’s Ass

AppShopper says Apple has approved 198,924 apps with 171,722 available to download. The discrepancy between the numbers accounts for apps that either the developers or Apple have removed from the App Store

This is an important point that few mention.

The above numbers mean that Apple has removed from the App Store roughly the same number as Android even has available. In other words, Apple is implementing some semblance of standards instead of just chasing a number, which is currently what the Android marketplace is all about.

And the Android marketplace has fart and flashlight apps, so don’t even go there.

Google has no issue with JB3 (“Jiggle Boobs Bikini Babe”) apps, and there’s also the need for multiple versions of the same app due to the fragmentation of the Android space.

Before you say this is the result of Google being “open”, let me point out that Google has no issue with yanking apps that get in the way of their business agreements. Open, my ass.

So let’s sum up. Even with Google’s lax standards and multiple versions of apps due to fragmentation, Apple’s App Store can be selective about what’s allowed and still stomp the Android marketplace into the dirt. Think about that the next time a Google or Android fan spouts app numbers.

iPad Can Import iWork or MS Office Files, But Export…?

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With Keynote on iPad, you can import Microsoft PowerPoint files and Keynote presentations.

And if someone emails you a Pages or Word document, you can easily import it into Pages for iPad — ready to review or edit.

So if someone emails you a Numbers or Excel file, you can easily import it into Numbers for iPad.
The above were nice things to see today in the descriptions of the iWork applications for iPad.

Though Apple had specified iWork on the iPad would open iWork Mac documents, there was some question about whether you could receive an MS Office file (say, via email) and bring it into the iWork suite. Apple answered that question today. 

In reading further, however, while all three apps export in PDF or iWork format, only Pages claims to export in MS Office (i.e., Word) format. This could put a crimp on collaboration. Will it be something they add later?

A Quick Review of Posterous’ PicPosterous iPhone App

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Posterous recently released an iPhone app called PicPosterous, and I had a chance to play with it while on vacation, which is a great time to use an app such as this.

You can see my review on Posterous. (Sorry about linking to my other site, but the way the app works you need to see the gallery there, it wouldn’t be the same on WordPress.)

Microsoft to Mobile App Developers: Strap This On Your Back and Race To Market

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There are times when it’s simply not possible to avoid making fun of Microsoft. They bring it on themselves with stuff like this.

With the opening of Windows Marketplace for Mobile (Microsoft’s version of Apple’s App Store), Microsoft is having a contest in order to garner interest from developers. Normally, the best way to interest developers is with a consistent hardware platform and a modern OS with a mature API. But Microsoft doesn’t have that in the mobile space, so they’re having a contest instead.

That’s fine, but look at what Microsoft is giving away (emphasis mine):

The Race to Market Challenge will reward the developer whose paid application earns the most revenue… and the developer whose free application is downloaded the most… a prize package including a Microsoft Surface table

Stop right there. Think about it. Other companies might have given a mobile-centric prize for a mobile-centric contest, but not Microsoft. I can see the conversation now:

Microsoft: Congratulations on your winning mobile app. To show our gratitude, here’s a completely unrelated computer the size of a nightstand.

Developer: Um.

Microsoft: Here, we’ll help you put it on.

Developer: It’s kinda heavy. (*groan*)

Microsoft: Come on now. Race! Race to market!

Developer: Ugh. (falls down)

Microsoft: Get up! We need apps for both platforms, dammit! We’re losing in every space we enter. Turn those machines back on! Turn those machines back on!…

Annoying or Not? iPhone App Links Going To iTunes Instead of the Browser

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Is it just me?.

In my posts, whenever I link to an iPhone app it goes to the developer’s web site, usually the specific page for that app. Lots of people, however, use the link that takes you to the product page in iTunes. I find that incredibly annoying.

For example, if you knew nothing about the app Juxtaposer, and someone was raving about it, would you rather be linked here (web) or here (iTunes)? I’ve got a few reasons for preferring the web to iTunes:

  • If I’m reading your post I’m obviously already in my browser, can’t I just stay there? I mean, what makes you think I want to switch apps?
  • I only need iTunes if I’m gonna download the thing, which more often than not I don’t do. So why wouldn’t I just review the app’s information in my browser first?
  • I may not have iTunes running! This one bugs me the most because iTunes isn’t exactly a speed demon at launching. I’ve specifically avoided clicking links for this reason.
  • Aside from the app, on the web I can also look into what else the developer offers in terms of products, support, etc. Sure, the iTunes page has the developer link, but it’s where I should have gone first.

The bottom line is, to say the least, it’s distracting to get switched from the browser just to get information on an iPhone app. To say the most it’s a pain in the rectum.

It’s the web. I use the browser to review pretty much anything before I buy or download it, and I see no reason for this process to be different for an iPhone app. If I like what I see, the app’s web page will obviously have the iTunes link, so I’m not going to have a problem getting there if I decide I want the app.

Does this annoy anyone else?