Users who own smartphones powered by Android software are now making the Google Play store a more popular place to be.
According to Strategy Analytics, four out of five smartphones shipped in 2013 were Android devices, and the Play store is where their owners go for apps, games, music and more.
Play takes center stage. At Google’s annual developer conference taking place this month, the Play store is expected to take center stage. With the addition of Android TV and Android Wear to the Google family of software, the apps available in the store will be even more in demand. There are currently 1.5 million apps available in the Play store, compared to 1.2 million in the App store. For the first time since both markets opened, Google App downloads outpaced those from Apple’s store in 2013. While App developers saw a sixth as much revenue as 2012, Play store payments to developers quadrupled in the same time period.
It’s estimated that users will spend $9 billion this year at the Play store. Typically, software developers earn 70% of the revenue from app sales, with the store keeping 30%. If Google keeps 25% of the estimated earnings, it will account for more than $2 billion in annual revenue.
Not all good news. However, it’s not entirely smooth sailing for Google Play. Developers who create apps for Android devices have to contend with devices from multiple companies with varying screen sizes and options for the operating device. Since it is challenging to create apps for Android, many developers look to Apple first for their design and then roll over to the other platform.
But high demand is hard to ignore. With so many devices running on Android and users ready to pay for apps, developers are rethinking their strategy. Google hopes these users will more and more turn to them, and are offering developers new testing tools to overcome challenges.